Before getting on the stand at the start of a match, go over to the platform and test it out and make sure that it’s safe.  I got a report of a stand that wasn’t properly secured to the pole and a referee fell off of it.  Even though there wasn’t a significant injury in that situation, we all need to be preventative.  That should be a part of our pre-match inspection of the gym.



Part II Test – Sept. 10

All items located on http://www.mshsaa.org under your Officials tab



  1. If you have court markings that are illegal, inform the home coach and host management, take a photo of it and email Dixie Ousley and Davine Davis to inform them of the issue.  Do not force a school to tape down proper lines or threaten not to play the match.  MSHSAA will receive your report and take action from there.

    Here are photos from St. Joseph Central’s main gym from last Thursday…again, the center line can be shadowed, but not the sideline or the 10 foot lines.  This has been reported to MSHSAA.

  2. With the emphasis on the rule allowing teams to warm up on court between sets, the question has come up whether a varsity team can warm up between sets during the JV match.  This would be similar to the practice of a varsity basketball team shooting at halftime of the JV game.  MSHSAA has determined that will not be allowed in volleyball.  Only the team actually playing that match can warm up on court between sets.



  1. Are these hair adornments illegal?
    Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 2.14.06 PM ANSWER:  From Davine Davis at MSHSAA:  As long as the hair adornments are no longer than 2 inches and unadorned (plain) they are allowable under NFHS Volleyball Rule 4-1-5.  “Hair devices made of soft material and no more than 3 inches wide may be worn in the hair or on the head.  Bobby pins, flat clips and flat barrettes, unadorned and no longer than 2 inches, are also allowed.”  I would not rule these illegal.  Yes I know they do not meet the specific language in Rule 4-1-5 but I think common sense would determine these to be ok.  It would be impossible to remove those on the sideline and I do not see them as being a safety issue.
  2. Can you please review the R2 duties of a time-out? Specifically, the whistles and the horn by the timer.  ANSWER:  Page 79 of the NFHS officials manual/casebook does a good job of explaining the step-by-step procedure by the R2.  Essentially, the R2 will blow a double whistle and signal to begin the time-out, make sure the timer starts the 1:00 clock, checks the scoresheet for accuracy and matches with the scoreboard, and checks with the libero tracker as to the status of each team’s libero.  If the clock reaches 15 seconds remaining in the time-out, the R2 double whistles and the timer sounds the horn when time has elapsed.  If both teams come out of their huddles before the 15 second whistle, the R2 double whistles, then instructs the timer to hit the horn.  Every time-out ends with a whistle and a horn.  The R2 then signals the number of time-outs taken by each team for the R1 to mirror, then gives the court back to the R1 by giving the ready signal.
  3. Server serves the ball and it hits the top of the net, bounces back towards the server and the right front hit the ball cleanly over the net…..what is the signal?  ANSWER: A served ball that hits the net and returns toward the server is a net serve.  It’s irrelevant what happens after that.
  4. THIS ONE IS UNDER REVIEW…Earlier we posted a situation about what a referee should do if a player’s shoe falls off during play.  The answer provided is now being verified by MSHSAA…we’ll let you know the results as soon as we know.
  5. Team S servers the ball to Team R. Team R’s first contact shanks the ball towards the net post. Team R player saves the ball from hitting the net post but she runs into the net post herself. She may or may not have touch the very edge of the net by the net post.  I found the rule that specifically talks about the touching of the net, cables, and antennae but I didn’t see anything about net posts.  ANSWER FROM DIXIE OUSLEY:  This situation is addressed in Rule 9-6 article 7, on page 39 in the rule book and page 38 in the case book. Contacting the post (the book uses the word standards) isn’t illegal unless you feel like she gained an advantage or it was dangerous contact.



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.



  1.  Check your blocked dates.  If you become available on a date that was blocked, contact David or Don ASAP!
  2. Contact schools one week in advance to confirm.
  3. Crew chiefs are those listed first in Arbiter for tournaments.  You need to confirm all officials with the host school and obtain a tournament schedule to communicate to your team.
  4. If it is one week or less prior to your tournament assignment and you have not heard from your Crew Chief–first official listed–please take the initiative to contact that Crew Chief to let her/him know you are confirmed for the tourney, day, date, time, location.
  5. Please request information on partners, letting the Crew Chief know if you need to leave earlier before the tourney is over. (NOTE: All officials are expect to stay for the entire tourney. You may be asked to Line Judge Semis or Finals. GKCOA always requests pay–$15 per official–for this.) Please also let the Crew Chief know if you need to avoid officiating any particular school because of a potential conflict of interest.
  6. SUBURBAN CONFERENCE V/JV OFFICIALS:  This reminder will be redundant for some and new for others. If you have an assignment from Suburban Conference, the start time shows a 7p start. It is vital to understand that there is a 530p JV match prior to this Varsity start time of 7p. Best practice is to contact the school one week ahead of time to confirm details. In addition, there may be assignments (rare) for which there is an earlier C Gold (formerly 9A match) connected to these assignments. Please confirm all details with the school and with your partner. Partner can be found by looking at your Arbiter Schedule page and clicking on the Game Number to the left.  If there are issues or questions, please contact Mark Bubalo. He is connected to the Suburban Conference assignments.



Email me (ken.corum@nkcschools.org) with any refereeing stories that have happened this season that you’re proud of.  If you want to be anonymous, just let me know.

Successes can range from “I refereed my first match ever!” to “I finally figured out how to identify and call an overlap!” and everything in between.  You don’t have to write a lot, but enough where the readers would get an idea of what made that learning moment a success for you.  I’ll jazz it up if you don’t think you’re much of a writer.


NEXT MEETING:  Sun., Sept. 16 at WINNETONKA HIGH SCHOOL – no new officials meeting, main meeting will be 4:30-6:00pm.  This will be the last in-person meeting, as the final meeting will take place online.