The Crucial Role and Responsibilities Of Volleyball Referee

Volleyball Referee

Welcome to the dynamic world of Volleyball. Volleyball is a well-known game enjoyed worldwide by individuals of all ages. In every game, many officials play their respective roles in the game’s success based on their professional judgments. The attentive and determined volleyball officials, by following the rules of volleyball, can make any tournament successful.

The volleyball referee, among all officials, is the leading man who uses his expertise to make any match fair and smooth. In many counties the power volleyball is still in the beginning stage. A large number of people interested in volleyball still need proper knowledge for this game. This article is all about the basic information any volleyball enthusiast needs to know.

Table of Contents

Role of Volleyball Referee in Competitive Matches

In competitive matches there is more pressure on the management team of the volleyball in controlling and executing the game properly. These officials should have to manage various roles during gameplay, such as refereeing the match, keeping a record of the score, and keeping the game fair without any one-sided favor. The volleyball officials ensure the official rules integration in schools, clubs, national and international tournaments.

This management team is the main part of the game, as their decisions affect the overall result of the game. Now the question arises that why is it important to understand the responsibilities of these officials? The answer is that the volleyball players and coaches, having the proper knowledge about the rules and responsibilities of referees and other officials, got an edge on proper game execution. By understanding these responsibilities, the teams got the competitive edge over rivals having not proper knowledge.

First Referee's Responsibilities

The first volleyball referee, known as the first official, is responsible for the commencement and progress of the volleyball match. These referees are positioned on the elevated stand, which, also known as up referees, assess the play and look for technical fouls. Due to their strategic position, they observe for net touches, double hits, and lifts. The first volleyball referee performs duties before the match, during the game, and after the game. All of these are mentioned below:

Before Match

  • Inspect the balls and court apparatus, such as the net and antenna.
  • Assessment of the playing area condition.
  • Facilitate the coin toss with team captains.
  • Regulate the start and end times.

During Match

  • Issuance of warnings.
  • Penalize misconduct and delays in games.
  • Determine the possible faults by players.
  • Monitor the position of the serving team.
  • Identify the defects during ball play.
  • Assessment of attack hit marks specifically by the Libero when they jump and make contact with the ball above net level.

After Match

  •  Verify the score sheet and put their signature on it.

Second Referee's Responsibilities

The second volleyball referee, positioned opposite the first referee on the ground, assesses the game from the opposite side of the net. Depending on their position, they are known as down referees. These referees support the first referee by monitoring fouls occurring under the net. Their primary responsibilities include monitoring the players in the warm-up area and overseeing both teams’ timeouts. They also communicate with the scorer at the score table. Along with these responsibilities, they also perform the following key roles:

  •  Make sure the team rotation order to confirm the players are in the correct positions.
  •  Carefully observe and call the foot faults by the server or back-row hitter.
  •  Address questions and monitor scores.
  •  Monitor player substitutions in and out of the substitution zone.

During Match

During the match, the second volleyball referee whistled and signaled for:

  •  Penetration into the opponent’s court over or under the net.
  •  Overlaps or out-of-position faults by the serving team.
  •  Backrow issues such as players transitioning from back row to front row or liberos jumping to hit a ball entirely above the net.

 Instances when the ball touches the floor and is not visible to the first referee.

After Match

  •  Scrutinize the score sheet and sign it.

How To Become a Volleyball Referee?

A proper method needs to be followed to become a volleyball referee. This process consists of three steps: attending a clinic, passing an exam, and undergoing evaluation. Each stage has specific requirements, so keeping yourself updated about guidelines is essential. You will learn all the rules and responsibilities of a volleyball referee during the training session.

The first duty of any referee is to start the game and make it according to the rules of volleyball. It would be best if you had to maintain a balance by handling questions without any long interruptions in the game. A good referee is one having a complete understanding of volleyball laws. Anyone can be a good referee with complete training and dedication towards his goal.

Role and Responsibilities Of Volleyball Referee

Referee Uniform in Volleyball

The uniform of the referee is according to the level of play, the organization, and the referee’s personal choice. They normally wear a distinct uniform that includes the following; A shirt in a color different from players, shorts or pants depending on the dress code of the event, a whistle worn around the neck to signal,  shoes designed for referees to move quickly and easily around the court,  flags for indoor Volleyball or beach volleyball matches are used to signal, and  a watch to track time and manage match intervals.


If we are curious about getting the point about who is fully responsible for fair game on the court? The answer is only one volleyball referee. As a bottom line, I would like to say that the referees are only unseen heroes in the game. They vibrantly maintain fair and honest play.  Dealing as a boss, the 1st referee checks out the game start and focuses on everything from the ball to the playing area. On the other hand, the 2nd referee checks the smooth play and looks for fouls under the net. Second referee watches all players and fair play.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Role of Volleyball Officials in Competitive Match?

Volleyball officials are responsible for refereeing, keeping score, and ensuring fair play between two teams.

How Can Someone Become a Volleyball Referee?

To become a volleyball referee, one must attend a clinic, pass an exam, and undergo evaluation.

Can a Volleyball Referee Work at Different Levels of Play?

A volleyball referee can officiate matches at various levels, including youth, high school, college, and beyond.

About David Muse

About David Muse

Hi, I'm David Muse, the founder of Volleyball Spikes. My days are spent with workouts and article writing, mostly for Volleyball Spikes. With 15 years of expertise and a history of competing on an international scale... It's fair to say that my knowledge of volleyball is pretty good.

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