New rule changes for 2015-16 volleyball season

volleyball referee

These briefing notes are to highlight the rule amendments that were adopted by FIVB in the Rules of Game from the 1st May 2015 and in Volleyball England competition from the 1st September 2015 and the NVL regulation ammendments for the season 2015-16. Further information on the regulations can be found in the NVL handbook pages 122-124.


For any questions please contact the EMVA Referee Development Officer




Rule 4.1 – Team Composition
Each Team will be able to name 12 players including up to 2 Liberos for each match. The number of Liberos is clarified: where the team has 12 players they may have 0, 1 or 2 Liberos
A maximum of 5 staff members on the bench including the coach are chosen by the coach and listed on the scoresheet. Comment: The bench personnel are no longer referred to as C, AC, AC, M and T.

Rule 4.5 – Forbidden Objects
Compression pads may be worn for the protection or support in consideration of the player’s health. They should not be used as an aid in playing the ball and hence they should not include padding when worn on the arms.

Rule 6.1.3 – Rally and completed rally
A rally is a sequence of playing actions from the moment of the service hit by the server until the ball is out of play. A completed rally is the sequence of playing actions which results in an award of a point. This includes the award of a penalty and the loss of service from a serving fault beyond the time limit.

Rule 8.3 – Ball In
The 2014 Guidelines stated that the ball contact with the floor was the first contact with the floor regardless of what happen subsequently. The ball contact is now considered with compression – the wording is now “The ball is “in” if at any moment of its contact with the floor, some part of the ball touches the court, including the boundary lines.”

Rule 11.3 – Contact with the Net
Contact of the net by a player between the antennae during the action of playing the ball is a fault (Important – between the antennae and also the whole body of the net). The action of playing the ball includes amongst others take-off, hit or attempt, and landing.
Rule 11.4.4 – A player interferes with play – By touching the net between the antennae, or the antenna itself during his / her action of playing the ball. NOTE there is no more legal contact below the net band. Players close to the ball as it is played, or who are trying to play it, are considered in the action of playing the ball, even if no contact is made with the ball.

In the new Guidelines there is a comment about the current developments in behaviour.
Guideline Rule 20 / 21 part 2.
It is important to remember, that according to rule 21.2.1, the behaviour of the participants should be respectful and courteous, also toward the officials, their team mates and spectators. This includes excessive play-acting or demonstration. A volleyball match is a sportive show of players, but not the team officials. It is the instruction that if the team officials indulge in this behaviour the 1st Referee must strictly apply the sanctions scale. The show must be for the play on the court and not for peripheral issues which detract from the main purpose of entertaining the crowd with spectacular play.
The consequence of this is therefore an immediate red card.

The amendments to the NVL playing regulations can be found on pages 122-124 of the 2015-16 NVL Handbook.
Technical Time-Outs
There are no Technical time-outs in NVL Divisions 2 and 3 and also the VE Cup

Registration Cards
All bench personnel must have the appropriate bench personnel card for the team they wish to sit on the bench for. Registration cards are no longer issued and teams must have the appropriate print out from the website of all the players eligible for the match. If the player does not appear on the website then they should present an email from VE office confirming the eligibility to play and the player should provide photographic identification.
Teams may register players on the day of the match provided all of the requirements for doing so are met.

Match Fees
Please not that the match fees for the NVL have changed as per the attached grid.

Single Match

Super 8s


Div 1


Div 2


Div 3


Matches 1 & 3 of a triangular

Div 2


Div 3


All three matches of a triangular (exceptional circumstances only)

Div 2


Div 3





Semis and Final



If you have any queries please contact Referee Commission
Steve Evans
Referee Commission.

Referees course – October 2014 – Lincolnshire

Dear All
I have had confirmation from Volleyball England that a Grade 4 referees course will be held on Sat 4th October (9am -6pm) at Spalding Grammar School, Priory Road, Spalding, Lincs, PE11 2XH (Home of Spalding Saracens VC). We will be in the Gym from 9-12 and the classroom after that.The cost is £50 per head but county volleyball associations (such as Cambridgeshire) have in the past pledged to pay half of the fees for any candidates. Here are directions to the venue:,-0.1534823,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x4878037ea8c8eef9:0xc0e959ca359bbdbf?hl=en

Candidates must be 16 or over and the course has recently been reduced from 2 days to 1 to encourage participation.
There is a need for higher numbers of quality referees in local leagues, so would everyone please use all avenues open to them to advertise and encourage this course to be filled. It is a fairly central location for many county associations, which should help this.
Any questions, please ask me on

Ben Cook
Spalding Volleyball Club

Volleyball referee course – May 2013

Once in a while an opportunity to volunteer for your volleyball club arrives and this is no exception.  A referee’s course is being held in Nottingham soon and by attaining this basic volleyball referee grade it will give you a warm glow knowing that you are helping your team mates and afterall every club and it’s members could do with having a better understanding of the rules.

The course should also provide you with the basic understanding of how to fill in the official score sheets. 

It is a requirement to provide a qualified referee for all home matches in the east midlands league matches – either home grown or from outside the club.


If you realise you actually like refereeing then there is an opportunity to become a national league referee and if you progress up to Level 1 before the age of 41 you are eligible to progress further and become an international referee.  On top of that the grade 4 standing referee qualification opens up the possibilities of becoming a beach volleyball or sitting volleyball referee where the age restriction is higher.

We asked one of the national league referees from the east midlands region how he got into it in the first place.

I did the course about 3 years ago while I was training at Chesterfield Cobras to help the club out as we needed to have available referees for our home matches. I helped by refereeing womens and mixed matches whilst others could do the mens matches.  It helped my understanding of the how, where and what to do with volleyball matches… things like net touches, position faults, players responsibilities and many other things that others either don’t realise or can’t explain properly because their knowledge was from another  time period.

I’ve been a national referee for over 2 seasons now and seen some fantastic high level  volleyball both from some of our regions teams (clubs, universities and juniors) and competitions at the national volleyball  centre in Kettering.

It has inspired me to do more volunteering … for the East midlands and nottinghamshire volleyball associations and now I am a coach as well.

If anyone ever wants help or information about doing more than just playing feel free to contact me


Bryan Gladwin

Volleyball referee course details 

Contact: Katharina Reusch

  • Dates:
    • 11th May 2013
    • 12th May 2013

Becoming a standing volleyball referee –

The Grade 4 Award is the basic introductory refereeing award and is a minimum of 14-16 hours delivery over 2-days. The course comprises both theory and practical sessions but assessment of practical refereeing is not compulsory. The course aims to provide the referee with the knowledge and understanding of tactics and skill used within the 6-a-side game and is delivered in a safe, controlled and enjoyable manner.

Opportunities are provided for candidates to further extend their experience of practical refereeing in a group setting and assessment is completed by a formal written examination on the rules of volleyball and the use of the scoresheet.

The cost of the Grade 4 course is £35 and the minimum age for this course is 16 years of age.

After completing the initial Grade 4 exam, referees will be able to obtain higher grades through practical assessments.  An assessment can be arranged through contacting your regional referee representative.

Becoming a Standing Referee

Young Referees Award
This is a course for 14-19 year old candidates, teaching them the basics of officiating junior matches at 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 levels. For more information please click here

Grade 4 Award
This grade is awarded to candidates who attend a two day course and successfully complete a theory

examination on the rules of volleyball and use of the scoresheet.  The course comprises both theory and practical sessions but assessment of practical refereeing is not compulsory. The minimum age for this course is 16 years of age. Grade 4 Referees should attempt to obtain as much experience at local level as possible, before applying to be assessed for Grade 3.

For information on how to find a course in your area, please click here

Grade 3 (Regional)
This is the basic grade of practical refereeing, a recommended minimum standard for officiating in regional or local leagues. So, when you have been refereeing comparatively regularly in your local league or BUSA/BUCS competitions, and think you are fulfilling the very basic criteria below, you should be applying for assessment for Grade 3R. To achieve Grade 3R a candidate must be observed (by an approved member of Referee Commission) officiating, at least, as a 1st Referee at a match and must be in the current referee uniform. Candidates may make a direct approach to any staff on the current list, in order to arrange an assessment. Whereas Grade 4 is awarded for theoretical knowledge of the rules, the Grade 3R Award is made solely on the basis of practical refereeing. Prior to assessment a candidate must have qualified as a Grade 4 and have registered or be committed to registering. The award will not be ratified until registration is received by the National Office. There is no charge for single Grade 3R assessments but Regions/Areas/Organisations may wish to host “Grade 3 Clinics” for training purposes and to arrange more than one assessment in a day.

Once you have been officiating on a comparatively regular basis and are able to :-
•    Carry out pre-match preparation in accordance with local league guidelines
•    Communicate and work with the other match officials
•    Communicate with team officials and captains sufficiently to reduce/contain excessive reactions to decisions
•    Control matches consistently and impartially within current FIVB rules
•    Generally apply handling decisions accurately
•    Recognise the actions which lead to misconduct and apply misconduct sanctions accurately
•    Carry out post-match local league requirements
•    As 2nd Referee, assist the 1st Referee to control a match
•    Discuss with the assessor any reasons for particular decisions

then you should be requesting an assessment for Grade 3R.

For more information please contact

Many Thanks

Grade IV Referee Course running in Derby!


There is a Volleyball England Referee Grade 4 Course planned for October in the East Midlands.  Grade for is the introductory level which is designed to

“This grade is awarded to candidates who attend a two day course and successfully complete a theory examination on the rules of volleyball and use of the scoresheet.  The course comprises both theory and practical sessions but assessment of practical refereeing is not compulsory. The minimum age for this course is 16 years of age. Grade 4 Referees should attempt to obtain as much experience at local level as possible, before applying to be assessed for Grade 3. “
Volleyball England Website

Course Details

Cost: £25

GAD Club,
22 Cotton Brook Road,
DE23 8YJ 

17th and 24nd October 2009


How to get on the course:
Any intersted candidates can join the course by contacting

Sitting Referee Oppourtunity

Sitting volleyball is a fast, exciting and enjoyable sport for athletes with disabilities and able-bodied people! This is the first sitting volleyball referee course in England, and provides a great opportunity to get in at ‘ground level’ on sitting volleyball refereeing in England. Volleyball England is developing eight sitting volleyball clubs around England who will meet regularly during the season for tournaments—initially two tournaments in December 2009 and April 2010 are planned, and more will follow in the 2010-11 season.

The course will cover the key differences in rules and refereeing the sitting game, and will be taught by Steve Walton, who is an international sitting volleyball referee and also an international sitting volleyball referee instructor for WOVD, the international governing body of the sitting and standing games.

You will receive the sitting volleyball rule book and a document on the key differences from the ‘indoor volleyball’ rules before the course. The morning will include theoretical teaching, the exam to qualify for the new Grade C sitting volleyball referee qualification, and the afternoon will give you chance to practise refereeing on some scrimmage matches.

To take the course, you should be a qualified referee in ‘indoor’ volleyball—this means you should either be a currently registered and active referee or have taken a Grade 4 referee course in the last 3 years.

If you are not qualified in this way, you may attend the course and take the exam, but you will not be recognised as a sitting volleyball referee by Volleyball England until you also take and pass a Grade 4 ‘indoor’ volleyball referee course.

The day takes place on Sunday 8 November 2009, starting at 9.30 am—please arrive promptly. The first part, up to 1.00 pm, will include the theoretical teaching and the exam. After lunch we are planning for you to do some practical sitting volleyball refereeing, so please bring your referee uniform and equipment. You will be free to go by 4.00 pm.

The course takes place at the Kettering Conference Centre, which is becoming the home of English and British sitting volleyball. Directions:

For more information please contact Steve Walton at

Many Thanks