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!



At this point, we do not know what our protocols will be. We should know more by our next meeting on Aug. 22 at Winnetonka



To: MSHSAA Volleyball Coaches, Officials, Athletic Administrators and Principals

From: Davine Davis, MSHSAA

Date: August 9, 2021

Re: Volleyball Uniforms – Illegal Waistbands

The NFHS has made uniform waistbands a point of emphasis in this year’s rules review.  Under current NFHS Volleyball Rule 4-2-1-f, “A single partial/whole manufacturer’s logo/trademark/reference, no more than 2 ¼ square inches with no dimension more than 2 ¼ inches, is permitted on each piece of the uniform provided placement does not interfere with the visibility of the player’s number.” 

When a team cannot begin or continue the match with six players wearing legal waistbands, a loss of rally/point shall be awarded to the opponent (Rule 4-2, Penalty 3).  The match begins and/or continues and the R1 will submit a special report via the MSHSAA website and MSHSAA staff will follow up with school administration.

Any player who attempts or begins to enter the match at a later point, wearing an illegal waistband, will be allowed to enter and the team will be assessed a loss of rally/point, the R1 will submit a special report via the MSHSAA website and the MSHSAA staff will follow up with the school administration. 

The unnecessary delay (administrative yellow card) will not be assessed for illegal waistbands because the team has, or will be penalized, under Rule 4-2, Penalty 3.   

If, during the match, a player is injured and there is blood on the uniform, Penalty 1 or 2 must be used, depending upon when the blood is noticed on the uniform.  This must be corrected before the player can re-enter the match again.  It is a safety issue.

Ultimately, it is each coach’s responsibility to ensure that ALL players on the team are LEGALLYuniformed before the match begins.  If your school does not provide uniform bottom or shorts for your players, it is your responsibility to educate your players and parents so they understand Rule 4-2-1 when purchasing their shorts.  

MSHSAA expects our schools to follow all NFHS and MSHSAA rules for the sport of volleyball and our officials to apply these rules consistently across the state,at all levels of play.   Anything less impacts the integrity of the game and the opportunity for every player to have a chance to participate.  Good luck to everyone on the upcoming season! 


The following are situations we came up with and confirmed with MSHSAA that these are correct.

  1. If a team cannot begin the match with six players with legal waistbands, we begin the match with a penalty point, the opposing team serves, and all players who have illegal waistbands are allowed to play.
  2. If an official witnesses a team wearing illegal waistbands during warmups, but will still have six players with legal waistbands, there is no penalty yet.  The official can remind the coach about the rule, but no penalty occurs since the players with illegal waistbands have not yet started or entered the set.
  3. Once a player actually starts the set with an illegal waistband (during the lineup check), the team is penalized.  Multiple players could have illegal waistbands, but only one point is penalized for the entire match.  If the team was to have served to start the match, they lose the first serve when their team is penalized a point and will rotate one position when they regain the serve.
  4. If a player with an illegal waistband enters the substitution zone and it’s their first violation, the team is penalized.  The substitution is carried out, but if the team was serving, they lose the serve when their team is penalized a point and will rotate one position when they regain the serve.  Therefore, if that sub was supposed to serve, she won’t and the team rotates next time.  Any more players that enter the rest of the match with an illegal waistband are not penalized and allowed to enter.
  5. If a player is discovered with an illegal waistband on the court during the set and it’s their first violation, the team is penalized.  The player remains in the set.  If that team was serving, they lose the next rally and will rotate one position when they regain the serve.  Any more players that enter or are discovered the rest of the match with an illegal waistband are not penalized and allowed to enter or continue playing.
  6. Under all of these scenarios the officials will submit a special report to MSHSAA.

One of the favorite parts of our Sunday newsletter makes a triumphant return! Our area MSHSAA mechanics interpreter and observer, Don Sleet, will occasionally share some trends and reminders for all of us in this space.

First, this is reminder that the R2 needs to have a watch for as a backup for timing team timeouts and for timing injury timeouts. You may not use a cellphone as a timing device.

There were 32 people that attended the first area MSHSAA mechanics clinic on Aug. 14 at Lee’s Summit North. For those of you planning on attending our other clinics, make sure to mark these dates and times in your calendar:

Mon., Aug. 23 at Warrensburg HS (classroom session starts at 5pm, finish by 9pm) – clinic administered by Andy Williams and Cathy Viets

Thurs., Aug. 26 at St. Joseph LeBlond HS (classroom session starts at 5:45pm, finish by 9:30pm)

Remember to register in advance on http://www.mshsaa.org and to arrive in full uniform with your equipment.



I don’t normally send out multiple emails like this and wait to put announcements in the Sunday newsletter (I think tons of emails are annoying), but with the Part II exam now available, I wanted to get this information to you ASAP before you take it.  Hopefully, I’m not too late for most of you! 

I just finished taking the MSHSAA Part II exam, and I was reminded of a couple of universal truths regarding these type of exams that will hopefully help you out.  Over the years, I have found these out the hard way–just trying to assist you in not making the same mistakes! 

Read each WORD of every question carefully.  Never assume that if a test question sentence starts out like a sentence in the rules book, that the sentence will finish that way. Be careful of the word “NOT” or an opposite word – sometimes they like either throwing “NOT” in a question or removing it or changing a word to its opposite (like “legal” vs. “illegal”) just to see if you’re paying attention.  That one word change can mean all the difference in an answer being true or false. 

These questions are written by NFHS and do not take any COVID protocols or Missouri adaptations into account.  The actual wording in the rules book is what they’re going by, not what other documents may or may not say.  So, in other words, pretend that we are switching sides and that we have the option to wear different shirt colors for the purposes of this exam. 

There’s probably some other tips I could point out, but those usually help out the most.  Just go back to your days in school when you had that one teacher who liked to give you trick questions and remember what you had to do to pass those quizzes and apply that knowledge here.  See?  The things you learned in school really do have real life implications!


Please stay on Arbiter daily. We have had situations of officials not checking in for 3-4 weeks. Things are changing daily. Please stay up to date. 

Email Don Gard and David Thompson every Sunday to let them know your open dates for the upcoming 1-2 weeks. 


I am requesting everyone please update your blocked dates. With the season just three weeks away it very important  this task be completed as soon as possible. Our number of officials in GKCOA are down. We have turned away schools asking us to assign their matches because of the quality GKCOA Volleyball provides. 

One of the qualities of this association is being professional.  David and I ask for honesty. When we assign games and they are declined for the reason, “I had this date blocked” is not professional. So everyone knows, David and I can not assign games if the official has a date blocked. The only way we can assign a block date is if we go in and manually override your block. I can tell you it does not make sense for David and I to override your blocked date. If you are in multiple associations make sure when blocking dates you click on all associations or click on the association you want to block. If you need help or have questions please give me a call and I will be more than happy to help.

As assignors we understand we are all independent contractors. Just be up front with us when declining matches. There are numerous matches to be assigned. Have a great week!


For those of you who are visual learners and would like to see what a typical pre-match and match looks like before you take the court yourself, we will conduct a live YouTube webcast of the jamboree from Winnetonka on Wed., Aug. 25 at 5:30pm. The website will be distributed once the link is established. The webcast will also be available later on demand in case you can’t view it live.

GKCOA referees Keri Peterson and Eric Worsham will be our on camera officials and Dixie Wescott, Don Sleet, and Ken Corum will provide “play by play” and “color commentary” of the matches, but from the point of view of the referees instead of primarily describing the play on court.

In addition, we will broadcast the coin toss and captains/head coaches meeting as well as the pre-match discussions with the line judges and scorer’s table workers. You may also ask questions in the YouTube comments during live play as the matches proceed.

The goal is to provide some education for new and veteran referees on techniques and protocols in preparation for the upcoming season.


Here’s when to fill out MSHSAA special reports if there are unsporting conduct cards given during a match:


It is legal for a team to wear different styles of uniform bottoms as long as they are like-colored:


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.


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:


Fri., Aug. 20: First possible jamborees, MSHSAA online rules review deadline (www.mshsaa.org)

Sun., Aug. 22:  GKCOA Meeting #3 at Winnetonka – 3:30-4:30pm – new officials; 4:30-6:00pm – all officials (receive Get Official orders)

Mon., Aug. 23: Mechanics meeting at Warrensburg High School (run by Andy Williams/Cathy Viets) 5:00-9:00pm (register at www.mshsaa.org)

Wed., Aug. 25: 6:00pm – GKCOA jamboree webcast from Winnetonka (YouTube link TBA)

Thurs., Aug. 26: Mechanics meeting at St. Joseph LeBlond High School (run by Don Sleet) 5:45-9:30pm (register at www.mshsaa.org)

Fri., Aug. 27: First possible matches, MSHSAA class and district assignments released for schools

Mon., Aug. 30: First C-team/middle school matches

Mon., Sept. 6: Labor Day, Part II test deadline (www.mshsaa.org

Tues., Sept. 7: MSHSAA post-season application due (www.mshsaa.org

Sun., Sept. 19: GKCOA Meeting #4 at Winnetonka – 4:30-6:00pm – all officials

Sat., Oct. 16: Middle school season-ending tournaments

Thurs., Oct. 21-Tues., Oct. 26:  Districts

Thurs., Oct. 28: Sectionals

Sat., Oct. 30: Quarterfinals

Thurs., Nov. 4-Sat., Nov. 6: State in Cape Girardeau