Little boy arguing

What’s the BIG Deal?

Recently my family purchased a new board game. It was a game none of us had played previously and we thought it looked fun. When we opened the box the first thing we had to do was read and understand the rules. Being competitive I really didn’t care what the rules were I just wanted to know how to win. My daughter, on the other hand, made sure that we all “listened” as she read the rules so that we would all know how to play the game.

As we played through the game the first time I would occasionally make the mistake of trying to roll the dice or take a card out of order. The “rules” interpreter (my daughter) was quick to reprimand me for any violations of procedures on my part. She had read the rules, we all knew the rules, and the game was not going to be played without a strict adherence to the written rules.

Why? Rules provide structure and order to a game. They provide an agreement of understanding to competition. In sports, rules define what is allowed or not allowed to occur during situations on and off the court. Rules govern anything from wearing proper uniforms to how to keep score during games of different levels of competition. The rules of a game apply to players, coaches and officials, and vary among different sports and age groups.

Coaches place a high importance on our understanding and applying the rules of volleyball properly. When we misapply or don’t know the rules it can often lead to a situation that can escalate and cause the coach to lose confidence in our ability to properly call the match. A coach’s confidence in an officiating team calling a match is integral in their perception of a match being called fairly.

What surprises me is hearing about officials who regularly “pass” the annual State test and are often unable to apply or interpret the rules in a “live” game experience. Certainly, there are obscure and/or rarely imposed rules but I am speaking of rules that should be “commonly” understood and applied accordingly.  Rules one might consider basic that are regularly being ignored or misapplied.

Here are a few that have recently been brought to our attention by coaches:

  1. Ball hitting the ceiling
  2. Illegally/Legally served balls
  3. Balls hitting backboards
  4. Centerline violations
  5. Net violations
  6. How many points in a third set (2 out of 3 sets)
  7. An incorrect roster

Coaches understand there can occasionally be some confusion over an obscure rule – but nothing stands out more to a coach than when an official doesn’t know a common rule. It is incumbent on us as officials to know the rules AND how/when to apply them. Spend some time every day reading through your Rules Book. It will pay dividends.

This Week’s Updates & Reminders

Next Chapter Meeting: NEW Officials ONLY – Monday, September 26
Location: Plano High School
Start: 6:30 p.m.
Education Forum: Basics 101

Mentoring Initiative

Please be sure to contact your mentee on a weekly basis to check in on how he or she is doing and answer questions they might have. As a mentor you should take the initiative to ask leading questions – remembering that new officials are sometimes uncertain about “what” to ask you. This can be a very beneficial program working to strengthen our officials and chapter but only so far as we work together to make it successful and vibrant. I am counting on our veteran officials to lead STRONG! New officials, if you are not being contacted by your mentor you can take the initiative. If you need assistance please contact Mark Krone @

Junior High Special Rules

Many districts we service have special rules regarding Junior High play. Please reference the Special Junior High Rules sheet we have placed on the website prior to working Jr. High matches. Special Junior High Rules Always remember to ask coaches prior to your match if they are playing by any special rules. However, you already being knowledgeable of the special rules and using your conversation with the coach as a point of clarification rather than a question is ALWAYS best.

Unnecessary 3rd Games: Some districts play an “unnecessary” third set (one team won the first two sets). They do this to allow all of the girls to have an opportunity to play. You are paid additional for a third unnecessary set.

Player Uniforms Update

We posted a clarification page on the website and sent out an email blast. Please review and be sure you have a clear understanding for what is compliant and what is not.

If you are in doubt about whether a uniform is compliant – play the match and let us know about the situation and school. DO NOT take a photo of a player in a uniform. Simply let us know which school and we will communicate with the coach.


We are now receiving nominations for the 5 Board positions that will be up for election this season in the next few weeks. There are 3 Division Representative positions and 2 At-Large Representative positions to be filled this season. Mark Krone will be serving as our Board Liaison and give leadership to our Elections Team. Remember, this season our elections will be On-line. For clarification regarding eligibility and the position responsibilities please see our DVOC By-Laws. You may nominate an official for one of the Board positions on our website: Elections Resources

State Tournament – November in Garland

We have been asked again to provide Ball Retrievers for the State Tournament to be held in Garland at the Culwell Center.  The dates are Nov. 16 – 19.  It is a volunteer opportunity but you do get to watch the State Tournament games for free, receive a State Tournament t-shirt and this year have full access to the Hospitality Room.  We will be scheduling in half-day shifts.  If you are available and would like to serve contact Don Melton.  We will have a training session the week of the tournament during the evening.  These positions have filled early in past years so if you are interested please contact Don and let him know your availability.


We are in tournament season for JV and JR High. A couple of items to remember:

  1. Schedules can change so be flexible.
  2. Double check your assignments throughout the week.
  3. Read the “site” column carefully. Know which school you are scheduled. Many tournaments use Middle Schools and 9th grade facilities.
  4. Be EARLY, especially if you work the afternoon shift. Morning matches can move ahead of schedule and the tournaments often like to move the matches as quickly as possible. An hour early is NOT too early –especially if you want to be sure you do not miss out on any assigned matches.
  5. Don’t talk…….around the courts and in the hospitality rooms keep opinions and comments to yourself. Coaches hear things. Players and table personnel hear things. All too often what they hear is something that should have never been said by an official.
  6. DO NOT leave a tournament until your replacement is on the court to replace you.
  7. Complete your paperwork correctly.
  8. Travel pay for tournaments is a $10 flat fee per day.
  9. If you have a discrepancy with an assignment, contact Don Melton for clarification.
  10. Be professional!

Call Your Partner

Call your co-officials for any assignments you have each week and confirm the game, time, and location of the game you are scheduled to work.

A message left IS NOT a confirmation.

  • A conversation about your assignment with your co-official IS a confirmation.
  • An email sent is NOT a confirmation.
  • An email sent AND replied to IS a confirmation.

If your co-official has not replied to your attempts to confirm 24 hours (preferably 48 hours) before your assignment you need to contact Don Melton and let him know. It could be that the match needs to be filled with another official.

New Officials: Observation Opportunities

If you have not received an assignment yet please consider attending some matches and observe. It can be a great time to see live action, make some notes and visit with the officials working the match at its conclusion to ask your questions.

Opportunities are posted on our website under the Members Area on the Education & Training Resources page.

Let Us Know

Your input and active participation in communicating situations and issues concerning our chapter are both needed and solicited.  EVERYTHING we do should be for the benefit of all.  Your eyes, ears, and ideas will move us forward to where we need to be.  your Board is in place to serve you and help in any way possible.  If you to contact anyone of them their contact information is on our website under the Members Area

Make this season your best season ever! Work hard. Be professional in all areas. Set goals and find at least one area you can improve upon. Help one another become better along the way. Have a great season!

Solid-Colored Uniform Update