As much as I would love to gather people together in person next Sunday for one last meeting this season, unfortunately there are a number of reasons why we’re not going to be able to pull it off. Centrally-located venues and schools still aren’t allowing outside groups to have meetings, many of you have expressed concern about gathering a larger group of people, and honestly, since this season has gone better than originally thought, we wouldn’t have a large agenda anyway.

So, instead, what we’ll do is have an optional Q&A Zoom meeting on Sun., Oct. 11 from 4:30-5:30pm. Here is the registration link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYsfu-vrzkpHtRdyg_GMJyjxs1AFGwFm3sK

Feel free to ask questions or briefly bring situations to the meeting, and we’ll attempt to get you some answers! And if there’s no questions or situations, we’ll have some fun anyway!

PLEASE KEEP CHECKING YOUR EMAIL AND ARBITER CONSTANTLY: Those are where the latest updates and announcements will be. As we already know, the situation changes minute by minute, so please make sure to stay up to date on the latest information!

KEEP YOUR GEAR HANDY AT ALL TIMES! It would be a good idea to keep your uniform and gear handy at all times (like in your car) just in case you might get a last-second call to officiate–it’s probably going to happen more than once this year!


Listed below are the host schools that may contact you beginning at 6:00am on Wed., Oct. 7 (I had incorrect information earlier saying Oct. 6) to work their district tournaments.

CLASS 5: Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, North Kansas City, Staley

CLASS 4: Harrisonville, Warrensburg, Raytown South, Winnetonka, Kearney

CLASS 3: Clinton, Odessa, Notre Dame de Sion, Cameron

CLASS 2: Adrian, Lawson, East Buchanan, Carrollton

CLASS 1: Sacred Heart, Crest Ridge, Plattsburg, Rock Port


MSHSAA has made their selections on who is working sectional and state tournaments. So, far here is what we know–please let David and/or me know if your name needs to be added to this list. Congratulations to all!


Cheryl Aston – Class 1, Sectional 4

Lisa Baney – Class 3, Sectional 4

Ken Corum – Class 5, Sectional 3

Don Gard – Class 5, Sectional 4

Sheila Handley – Class 2, Sectional 4

Rob Kyle – Class 1, Sectional 4

Dixie Ousley – Class 4, Sectional 4

David Thompson – Class 4, Sectional 4

Brian Verman – Class 4, Sectional 3

Dixie Wescott – Class 5, Sectional 4


Ken Corum, Rob Kyle, Dixie Wescott


1. Please make an attempt to contact BOTH David and Don (email or text) if you need to contact the assignors for any reason. Things are constantly changing so much so that it helps them be on the same page if you text or email both at the same time.

2. Please check Arbiter (your full schedule page rather than your Main page) daily. Officials will need accept any changes in order for schools and assigners to know that you are up to date with all current details. 

3. Please communicate back to Don and David any changes (day, date, time, level, opponent) from Arbiter you may encounter as you contact schools ahead of time. 

4. Tues., Oct. 6 is a date we need help filling assignments. Please constantly check your Arbiter and block and unblock dates frequently. Also, it might not be a bad idea to email Dave and Don on the weekends to make it clear when you might be available for the upcoming week. There have been numerous match and tournament changes already with surely more to come. Be persistent if you want to get more matches–the opportunities will be there!

5. With all the uncertainty, it could be possible (maybe even probable) that you will have to let David and Don know the day of a match that you cannot work (especially due to illness)…please be professional and CALL THEM ASAP to ensure that they are aware of the situation and to give them enough time to find your replacement.

  1. When a team replaces players after winning a rally then takes timeout, pay particular attention to the lineup after the timeout–they probably took timeout because of a problem.  This week, I saw a JV match where a team performed a double libero replacement (i.e., the libero moved from LB to serve) then they took a timeout.  After the timeout,  the libero didn’t return to the court. The libero had served elsewhere in the lineup and the coach recognized the problem.  The replacement during the timeout was illegal and the second replacement during the same dead ball was also illegal.  We should have had an administrative yellow card.  Since this was two violations of the same rule at the same time, it is a multiple fault and there is only one penalty.  Even though we’d normally make them go back to the lineup they had before the illegal replacement, I think we’d let them go through with the second replacement (following the administration of the card); otherwise, we’d end up penalizing them for the libero serving in a second position in the lineup.  In a Varsity match (the same night), a team completed a substitution then took timeout.  Following the timeout, they substituted again (different players).  Since they’d already substituted during the dead ball, the request should have been denied and, if the substitution hadn’t been whistled, there’d be no penalty–if the substitution was whistled, it would result in an administrative delay card.
  2. Just a reminder… under NFHS rules, a team may have only one libero per set (excluding redesignation following an injury).  They may use one libero in one set and a different libero in another set, but they can’t have two in the same set.  I recently heard of a junior high team that tried to use two liberos in the same set.  Of course, they said “we’ve been doing it all year”.


We are proud of our officials and want to see improvement all the time. To that end, members of the leadership team among others go out to Saturday tournaments to watch and help referees improve. This is not an official MSHSAA evaluation, but just an opportunity for improvement. Most likely, you’ll get some written feedback and a conversation about your strengths and areas for improvement. We were able to observe over 50 referees last year, and we hope to continue that process this year. We haven’t decided which tournaments we will observe yet, so stay tuned. More information to come.


I would like to have one more meeting this season, and hopefully we can do it in person. It was going to be on Sun., Oct. 4, but I now have a conflict on that date. I will try to nail down as site and let you know as soon as possible.



If you have a rules interpretation question, please contact Dixie Wescott at (d.wescott@sbcglobal.net) – do not contact MSHSAA or NFHS directly!

Know who your assignor is–remember Mark Bubalo assigns Suburban Conference dual JV/varsity matches and some tournaments. GKCOA assigns middle school, C-Gold/Silver, varsity line judges, some varsity tournaments, and some varsity/JV matches outside the Suburban Conference. When you have a question about an assignment, make sure to look in Arbiter to see who actually assigned it to you before you send questions to the wrong assignor! (see below to tell the difference)


  1. When working in a location that requires masks, officials must wear masks at all times, as well.  When blowing a whistle, droplets can be expelled with greater force than normal speaking.
  2. Don says that if you want a laminated clock countdown protocol sheet or a laminated partner prematch sheet traditionally handed out at his MSHSAA mechanics meetings or at in-person GKCOA meetings made by Nancy Willig, please contact Don at drsleet@sbcglobal.net and he’ll get one to you.
  3. I’m starting a new job on Sept. 27…  I’ll still be with the USDA, but I’m moving from being a contractor to becoming a federal employee.  Since there may be a time during the transition where I won’t have access to my USDA e-mail, I’ve set up a new e-mail address just for my volleyball contacts—something I probably should have already done.  I expect that don.sleet@usda.gov will continue to work, but please use don.sleet.vb@gmail.com as my primary e-mail address. 
  4. I’ve seen a number of cases this year where exposed metal used in securing the net isn’t properly covered.  Examples include chains, exposed cables, a metal device that is used to hold two pieces together or a metal device that slides along and clamps down to hold it in place.  This does not include the metal grommets at the ends of the net where ropes or cords are used to tie the net to the post to create tension.  Any exposed metal on the top or bottom cable is to be covered.  The covering can be tape, pipe insulation, a towel draped over the cable, etc.–anything to cover the exposed metal.  (3-1-1)
  5. I was at a rivalry game and the fans were ringing bells and banging flag staffs on the bleachers to make noise.  Volleyball rules prohibit the use of artificial noise makers, except during warmups, during time-outs, between sets and post-match.  If you encounter this situation, host management needs to be the ones to address it with the fans–not the officials.  The home team’s coach is host management if there is no game administrator present.  Cheerleaders may use megaphones to amplify their voice, but they may not bang them on the floor/bleachers to make noise.  See Case Play 1.8.
  6. Please make sure to monitor cheering by parent or player line judges during the match. Despite their affiliations to their schools, they are to display neutrality while they are a part of the officiating team.
  7. REMINDER ON WARM UP PROTOCOL:  The off team can shag balls during warm-ups as long as the team on the court is okay with it.  We’re getting reports that some officials are saying the off team can’t even touch the volleyballs.
  8. Even though the starters don’t circle the court and meet at the net prior to the first set, they are still expected to line up on the endlines and be whistled onto the court.
  9. Earlier this week, I was attending a junior high match played at a neutral site.  Neither team had any fans in attendance, so they had no one to line judge.  The host school told the officials to have reserve players serve as line judges.  The officials felt this was unfair to make a coach select a player to not play or to go through the hassle of switching line judges as it came time for the player to substitute.  The officials elected to conduct the match with no line judges and informed both coaches that they’d do the best they could to call the lines themselves.  I forwarded the situation to MSHSAA and they said this was acceptable this year.  They view it as being like one of the referees that doesn’t arrive or becomes ill… if the coaches can agree that there will be no complaints, the match will be conducted without the necessary officials; otherwise, they will need to find someone to line judge or the match will not be conducted.  This applies to all levels of play.


PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ARBITER – THERE ARE A LOT OF UNACCEPTED ASSIGNMENTS!! Also, if you’ve been removed from any assignments recently, it may be because you haven’t paid your GKCOA or MSHSAA dues. Scroll down to GKCOA president Brian Verman’s email below regarding the GKCOA Board of Directors position on making sure you are paid up in order to be assigned matches. If you have questions, please let Brian know or make sure to fill out your renewal form at https://gkcoa.formstack.com/forms/renewal to be reinstated to the matches on your schedule.


The assignors have noticed that a number of assignments have gone unaccepted and therefore cancelled because they believe that people don’t properly accept their assignments from their schedule page. The video below shows how to accomplish that.


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!!


Some schools which originally had their C Gold in an Aux Gym, are moving this match to the Main Gym/Field House for a couple of reasons: 

1. Social distancing in smaller gyms may not work as well as the Main Gym. 2. Main Gym matches allow the school to Live Stream matches so folks can view.  In these instances, schools are moving up start times by about 30 minutes to start the C Gold match. These same officials will now be staying to Line Judge JV and V.  We have had great responses from officials about being flexible on matters like this! Kudos to all!

3. If you are scheduled to officiate C Gold and Silver at Blue Springs HS, please note that Varsity Line Judge slots have been added per school request. Please finish the C Gold/Silver matches and then proceed immediately to the Main Gym to Line Judge the remainder of Varsity. 
4. When contacting a school one week ahead to confirm details, if you find any detail from the school that differs from what is on Arbiter, please immediately email Don Gard AND David Thompson. If it is a change on the day of the event, please call David and Don.  
5. Thanks for your Flexibility—our mantra word—during all the cancellations, reschedules, etc. Keep up the great communication. 


You may have received email or snail mail notification that there was an information breach at ArbiterSports. If you are concerned about your information, please call 1-877-296-5652 during their business hours of Monday-Friday 8am-10pm central time or Saturday-Sunday 10am-7pm central time to discuss your options.


The National Association of Sports Officials is an association that GKCOA is a member of and previously having sent representatives to their national convention. This year’s convention is virtual and FREE anybody that signs up. We HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to register to have access to some of the great volleyball specific content below:

HANDLING UNSPORTING CONDUCT IN VOLLEYBALL: https://www.sportsofficiatingsummit.com/athome/sessions/sport-session-volleyball-unsporting-conduct-ignore-warn-or-penalize/

THE ART OF PREVENTIVE OFFICIATING IN VOLLEYBALL: https://www.sportsofficiatingsummit.com/athome/sessions/sport-session-volleyball-art-of-preventive-officiating/

VOLLEYBALL LINE JUDGE TRAINING: https://www.sportsofficiatingsummit.com/athome/sessions/sport-session-volleyball-line-judge-tips-and-techniques/

THE VALUE OF A STRONG R2: https://www.sportsofficiatingsummit.com/athome/sessions/sport-session-volleyball-r2-mechanics-and-interactions/

Plus, there’s a lot of general officiating topics and sessions for many other sports at this website: https://www.sportsofficiatingsummit.com/athome/program/#Day-1

Please check it out!


Safety and security has always been a primary concern for the Association.  This concern not only includes the safety of students, coaches, fans, administrators, but also for sports officials.  It is extremely important that all MSHSAA Officials have a good understanding of how to protect themselves in the case of an “active shooter” scenario at a sporting event.  It is our intention to provide information and guidance which will assist them in this situation.   

The link included with this message is for a presentation that discusses the important role and responsibilities, as well as the expectations for school administrators in helping with the protection of the officials at the contest.  It is our hope that all Officials, Principals and Athletic Administrators will give their undivided attention and take the time to watch this 8 minute power point presentation, in order to be prepared in the case of one of these unfortunate events happening.

https://www.mshsaa.org/resources/video/Active Shooter Video.mp4

Please refer back to this message to review the presentation.  There will NOT be a link provided on the MSHSAA website.  



As you prepare yourself to officiate this season, in addition to the written recommendations and guidelines, there are some unwritten items you may want to consider:

Also, remember there are items that we do not have to worry about–we have enough to do without inserting ourselves into places where we don’t belong. The administrators on duty and the teams generally need to police such items that aren’t directly in our NFHS rules book.


If you are listed first (Referee 1) in Arbiter for a Saturday tournament, congratulations–you are the crew chief! Here is a list of responsibilities that you need to follow:



As much as I would love to bring people together physically, unfortunately there’s still a number of reasons why we won’t be able to pull it off. Centrally-located schools are still not allowing outside groups to have meetings, and since things are going better than originally expected, we actually wouldn’t have a lot on our agenda. So, instead, we are going to offer a Zoom meeting for anyone that would like to ask questions or bring up situations on Sun., Oct. 11 from 4:30-5:30pm.

Here’s the registration link to sign up in advance: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYsfu-vrzkpHtRdyg_GMJyjxs1AFGwFm3sK

Tues., Oct. 6 (6:00am) – earliest that officials may accept assignments for districts