At the last GKCOA volleyball meeting, we informed membership about the procedure to contact MSHSAA in the event you find a court improperly marked.  Reminder, as officials, we are not allowed to force a school to tape down legal lines, but we are instructed to inform Davine Davis at MSHSAA about the situation for administration to handle.

The new procedure is that we are to file a special report, not send an email to MSHSAA.  The only problem with that is that photos cannot be attached to a special report, so if necessary, you may have to send an email to davine@mshsaa.org with the photo to make sure they receive all the information about the special report.



  1. When assigned as a line judge, make sure to have your officiating equipment with you, in case you are needed to step in as a referee.  Nikki Burkey had to fill in for me last week when I had car trouble and we had a near miss last night when my partner was late getting there.
  2. When the line-ups are turned in, make sure to verify that the numbers on the line-up appear on the roster.  Last night, the coach wrote 36 instead of 34.  We didn’t verify the line-up against the roster and the R2 didn’t catch that the wrong number was on the court to begin the set.  The mistake wasn’t caught until the set was underway and we ended up having to cancel 4 points, because of the illegal substitute being in the set.  That was a tough sell, but (luckily) ultimately didn’t change the outcome of the set.  There was no 36 on the roster, so having cross-checked would have made the mistake apparent.
  3. Under high school rules, balls hitting the ceiling (or overhead obstruction) are playable.  Height and trajectory of the ball are not factors.  If the ball hits the ceiling on the same side of the net as the player who hit it up there and is then played next by the same team, play continues.  If the ball crosses the net immediately before or after hitting the ceiling, hits the ceiling on the serve, hits the ceiling following the team’s third hit or is next played by the opponents, the ball should be whistled dead immediately and the signal is “out”.
  4. A new video regarding center line violations has been produced.  It can be found at http://gkcoa.org/vb_training-videos.html.



Just a reminder about Rule 12-3 regarding addressing spectators.  Spectators includes individuals such as cheerleaders, mascots, and band members.  In other words, referees should not be directly addressing anybody that isn’t a coach, player, or bench personnel.  If there is an issue with individuals not associated with the team, play is to be suspended and host management is to be brought in to address those individuals to resolve the situation.  If there is no administrator on duty, the head coach will serve as host management.  This would include, as an example, cheerleaders not being ready to leave the court when both teams are ready to play.



The GKCOA observation program has gone very well so far!  In the last few weeks at tournaments, the volleyball leadership team has already given written and verbal feedback to about 25 referees!  During those tournaments, we have witnessed a few items that are worth addressing to the entire membership:

  1. The second referee is NOT responsible for whistling ball handling violations.  Sometimes a player’s back is turned to the R1, and it may not be possible for the R1 to witness a contact.  In that case, if the R2 believes there is an illegal contact, he/she is allowed to give discrete signals to the R1, but it’s up to the R1 to make the final decision to blow the whistle.
  2. On the serve, the second referee is responsible for observing potential rotation faults (overlaps) on the receiving team.  The R1 is responsible for the server and the serving team.  The R2 should not be observing the server serve or watch the ball clearing the net on serve.  The focus should be on the receiving team after the R1 beckons for the serve.
  3. At tournaments where there are multiple courts in the same gym being utilized, please be mindful of Rule 2-4-2 EXCEPTION.  While in a normal situation when only one court is used, a player may play a ball while in playable area, then fall into non-playable area.  The exception to this rule is when an adjacent court is being used in the same gym.  In that situation (because of safety), a player is not allowed to set foot (or another body part) on to the adjacent court BEFORE, DURING, OR AFTER playing a ball as long as there is play occurring or scheduled to occur on that court.  This includes the extension of the sideline–in other words, even if the player goes in to the serving area of the adjacent court, in NFHS rules, that would be considered as a violation.  The signal would be “out of bounds” and the other team would be awarded a point.

We’ll continue to visit other tournaments as the season goes on.  We appreciate you being willing to have meaningful conversations and keeping an open mind about the craft of officiating.  Keep up the great work!



The leadership team received this email from a GKCOA member this week…we hope that there are many other success stories like this throughout our organization!  If so, please feel free to share them with us at ken.corum@nkcschools.org.

“For the first time in 9 years, I finally feel like an official. I felt in control of the match, I called things with confidence, without second-guessing myself, and I even had a great no-call that the coach thought I missed, until she saw the girl go back to serve after they rotated.

I say all of this because, for the last 9 years, I have not felt like a confident official. I have even considered only doing 8th grade matches because of my lack of confidence in my own judgment. I could not have reffed tonight without your encouragement, your critiques, your mentorship, and your example. THANK YOU!! I owe each of you a great deal of thanks for all you’ve done and taught me, to help me to finally get to this place.

Thanks for helping the next generation of volleyball officials. I am honored to be a part of this organization.  The GKCOA is the greatest organization of its kind in this state.”



We want to continue the debrief initiative because we all can learn from each other, no matter what the experience level is of our partner(s).  Try to carve out five minutes after your last match of the evening to discuss anything that came up that night.  If we do this properly, the GKCOA will continue to be the best association in the state!

IF YOU ARE OFFERING FEEDBACK: Critique the situation, not the person, accompany the critique with a compliment, be specific with feedback, give recommendations on how to improve

IF YOU ARE RECEIVING FEEDBACK:. Hit pause on your initial defensive reaction–it’s not personal, LISTEN for understanding, avoid saying “Yeah, but…” and giving a reason for why you made those decisions on the court, always thank the person offering feedback, and possibly arrange a time to follow up if the situation warrants.

We are all mentors and we are all mentees!  The intent of this practice is to help each other make each other better…not to cause conflict or hard feelings.



Here’s a good video to check out if you haven’t figured out how to get your Arbiter money into your bank account yet.  PLEASE pay particular attention to using manual transfers—in other words, DO NOT set ArbiterPay to automatic transfers—if you do, it will charge you $1.50 per transaction!!




We do not have any more scheduled face-to-face meetings this year, so please keep up with the latest information using the Sunday newsletter and videos we may post here.  We are planning on doing an online “meeting” of some sort on Sun., Oct. 6, if we feel it’s necessary.  If you have questions or situations, please email ken.corum@nkcschools.org or use the Drop Box.