Points of Emphasis

Fellow Officials,
this week’s points of emphasis after 2 weeks into season:

1. Without Lines People – hints:
– Reminder, R1 should be calling In/out on all lines. There should be no help signals from R2 on end lines & R1 side lines. The R2 can help when able on the short sub-zone side lines or full R2 side line if it is an easy free ball play. This takes great experience. BUT, the R2’s job of watching for antenna, touches, net & centerline faults must come first! (Discuss with partner in prematch expectations.)
– R2 should not be more than 2 steps back from the pole. Reasons – R2 needs to be able to move from their base position to a secondary position quickly to assist in: balls that may be hit over or behind antenna, helping with touches off blocks, and moving to get better views of net/centerline faults to avoid being blocked by pole/padding. (Standing 10 ft back at table hinders that ability in some cases.)

2. Prematch Conference:
– Roster/Lineup sheets are not always coming to the R2. That is the first thing officials should be asking for in this meeting. (R2 can “X” the Serve/Receive box after the coin toss is determined.)
– The R/L sheet stays at the table during entire warmups! R2/R1 checks the rostered players both teams. Place roster sheet upside down on teams side of table. Roster changes can be made up to 11 min on clock and must be done at table with R2. Coaches come to table to fill in lineups and gives to R2 not the score keeper. R2 check lineup for errors then if ok, can submit to score keeper. Confirm lineups entered correctly. (Between sets, coaches may take their lineup sheets to the bench then submit to the R2 by 1 minute left on clock.)
– By now, there should be no balls laying on the floor during time-outs and between sets. At this meeting, continue to remind captains/coaches to get the ball to the R2 during Time-Outs and between sets for remainder of season.

3. Time Outs / Ball at table hints:
– R2 intiates time-out: double whistle, move to side, mechanic, point to center of court, give back T-O’s used in front of chest to R1.
– Now step back facing court and where ball coming from. (Do not turn to table yet.) Get ball from serving side place on table.
– R2 check T-O’s entered correctly in book, liberos in/out, confirm scoreboard is correct.
Important so you don’t forget about ball – R2:
– Wait on receiving side near table. (Being near table helps you remember why you are so far back…to get ball.)
– Double whistle 15 sec warning (or earlier), R2 or R1
– Signal clock operator to give horn/stop clock when all 12 players are back on court; if under 5 sec, let go to automatic horn.
– At horn, give back T-O’s used to R1.
– Now grab ball from table and roll to server. Confirm with score book that the player # is correct server.
– Scan both benches & courts, then step up to base position and when ready signal R1 court is theirs.

4. Scorekeeper / clock operator / libero tracker:
– There must be one of each. One person CANNOT do more than one of these jobs.
– Ask coach for people to fill these positions and explain there must be one for each so the match runs smoothly without errors.
– I had 2 matches last week where a scorekeeper was attempting to do the book & clock during warmups. They said they have done both with no one saying anything. This is unacceptable! Officials, please make sure coaches provide people for all three jobs.
Explain to the coach that if the table is not properly staffed by the beginning of the first set, they risk a Delay Sanction (YUD). Report it to your assignor. (In both instances above, a coach or team manager found someone to do the clock in a short amount of time. Be vigilant.)

5. Player/students on court during warmups:
– Same yearly problems and it shouldn’t be……
– ANY player/student helpers must have athletic footwear and no jewelry while on court assisting or helping.
– No electronic devices, earbuds, etc. on court or at team benches.
– At table: no food or beverages that can spill, and no cell phones – politely ask they put them away for the match.

6. After announcements/anthem:
– teams should not be huddling after anthem at their side line.
– starting 6 + libero must move to end line or already be standing on the end line after anthem.
– no matter how many varsity players are standing on the end line during anthem, only the start 6 + libero are allowed to be beckoned into their court via sideline to greet opponent. Non-starters go back to their bench and do not shake hands at net. (If this happens, R2 tell coach nicely that next time correct it.)

7. R1 appearance and ref stands:
– best appearance and easy flow of mechanics is when R1 is standing with arms at side or with hands on side rails.
– some stands have a front rail that is higher than the side rails – these are evil to R1’s in my opinion. Avoid holding that front rail during play as it inhibits could mechanics and flow. (You will not see a college match with a ref stand that has a high front rail – most of the time.)
– see attached pictures as to what I mean.

If any of you experience any stuff that doesn’t seem right, don’t hesitate to send me an email.

Thank you and have a great week!

New for ’19: Lines people and 00s

Two things to be aware of that must be understood throughout the state:

1) Beginning this 2019 season, teams were supposed to be compliant with uniform having #0 and not #00 per rule update. However, there will be a handful of schools that are not. I am granting those schools a waiver until 2020 or their next purchase cycle. Two schools I am aware of is Kennedy-Waterbury and Watertown. If you come across any other schools with this issue, please email me the school name and ask the coach to please email me as well. TY.

2) New CIAC Girls VB Line Judge Policy – possible issues
“Students are prohibited from being line judges for Varsity contests only.” An 18 year old student in the school is still prohibited. Line judges are not required. Home school may provide two adults or two paid line judges if they desire. If only one line judge shows up and not the other, then no line judges will be used. If line judges are not in gym on time for meeting with R1 prior to start of first set, then they will not be allowed to do lines. If one line judge (or coach) says that the second line judge is running late and will be there in time for 2nd set, tell them sorry but they will not to be used. Both line judges must be in gym like officials (hopefully 30 min prior to start time) to meet with R1 to go over expectations and facility rules. If one or both are late and do not conference with R1 prior to first set, then line judges should not be allowed.

With regards to JV matches – It is the HOME team’s prerogative to use or not use line judges for JV matches regardless of what the visiting coach wants. Here’s what I see happening (having been a coach) – Why would a Varsity coach put V players on the corners if they aren’t required? I would want my varsity players with the rest of their mates bonding or doing prematch routines. There still is the possibility that student helpers, managers, etc., may be used for lines for JV contests.

New Rules & Manual

Two documents have been added to the website and are available below. The first lists the new rules for the 2019-20 season; the second describes uniform requirements for the upcoming season.

90 downloads 1.0 Chris Kelly 31-07-2019 15:07
74 downloads 1.0 Chris Kelly 31-07-2019 15:08
179 downloads 1.0 Chris Kelly 01-08-2019 17:00

New Instructional Videos

I have 3 videos for training purposes:

Line Judge Training
This LJ training video is best I’ve found to share with officials. The one thing it doesn’t show in the beginning is the “ready position.” The ready position should have 2 hands on the flag held in front of the hips. Dominant hand on the handle and the other hand at the tip-end of the flag.

Pre-match R1-LJ Conference
This video is how an R1 does pre-match conference with Line Judges. If adults are to be used, R1’s will still have to talk to them prior to match.

Correct use of Hands for signaling “numbers” between R1/R2
Every official needs to watch and practice along with this video.

These will be sent out to All officials prior to season. I’ve requested CIAC send LJ video to ADs/Coaches at each school incase they decide to use adults.


Jim Borbas
State Rules Interpreter

Clarification on a Signal change and new rule this season

1.  When ball goes under the net BETWEEN THE POLES, we will now be pointing to the Center Line with appropriate Index finger for “line violation.” This is now same as college and USAV.  IF the ball lands on the center line, it is signal “IN.”
2.  11.5.3 – Teams may warm up between sets on their half of court in their playable area. That includes in front of the attack line. If a team is not warming up on their court, then old rule still applies:  teams must stay beyond their attack line and sub zone areas.  IMPORTANT:  any random balls that go under the net due to warm up activity – let the players figure out getting their ball back or not. IF an activity or drill is constantly sending balls to the opponents side during set interval, then R2 will need to say something to the coach. (Rule 13)
Last, keep your pre-match conference to 1 minute and your line judge instructions to 5 minutes.
Be mindful that we have been hired to service these schools, our clients. And we should do as much as possible to want us back again and again!
Have a great first week!!
James Borbas
CBVO Official
State Rules Interpreter

Due to Excessive Heat

1.  Please call schools to confirm matches still ON
2.  Bring an old towel for floor incase non available, plus a small towel for yourself!!
3.  Bring water and a snack for between JV & V matches. Stay hydrated. It’s ok to use rest room between sets if necessary.
4.  GIVE EACH TEAM EXTRA TIME IF NEEDED!!  Meaning… more than 3 minutes between sets and more than 60 sec time outs – say 75 or 90 sec. Discuss this with your partner and coaches before pre-match conference.
5.  We must be conscious of the conditions to keep everyone competitive and safe!
6.  If an official is feeling light headed…don’t wait to take an officials time out and call your partner over especially if you are on the stand. Get down immediately! IF one official must continue the match alone…then so be it. Talk to coaches. When you are feeling better…get back in to the R2 position.
7.  Be flexible and use Rule 13 – Common Sense!
James Borbas
CBVO Official
State Rules Interpreter