Rules Interpreter

The Rules Interpreter shall be appointed by the President and approved by the Executive Committee to serve during such President’s term.


Previous years (still relevant)

Questions and Answers

Q- Collars are legal and do not require a letter from CHSAA.

  • 2024-Feb-01 - Beginning in 2024-25 season - Line Judge Procedure Modified

    By NFHS

    Line judges will be required to change sides of the court between sets when teams remain on the same bench. The change in officiating procedure highlights the 2024-25 high school volleyball rules changes.

    In all, four rules changes were recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Volleyball Rules Committee at its annual meeting January 7-9. All rules changes were reviewed and approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

    Rule 5-9-2b, which outlines line judge responsibilities, includes the new note requiring that they switch sides of the court when, by state association adoption, teams remain on the same bench throughout the match. The corresponding item on the state association adoption chart was also amended to add the requirement, which was added to promote fair officiating.

    “Since the pandemic, many state associations have adopted the rule to require teams to remain on the same bench throughout the match,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS Director of Sports and liaison to the Volleyball Rules Committee. “The unintended consequence of this adoption is that the same line judge officiates the same lines for the same teams throughout the match. This change allows teams to see both line judges and promote equity in officiating.”

    In other rules changes, Rule 11-4-1b now allows teams to substitute for a replacement player during a referee’s time-out when the libero is injured or ill, allowing the team to avoid playing the replacement out of position.

    Two rules dealing with uniforms and rosters were amended to address when a uniform is damaged or has blood on it. Rule 4-2-3 Note was added to allow a player to change uniforms and for the roster to be adjusted accordingly with no penalty when a uniform is bloodied or damaged. Rule 7-1-1 Note was also changed to specify that blood on or damage to the uniform are acceptable reasons to change uniforms.

    The first referee’s responsibilities were modified in Rule 5-4-3c(1) to direct players to the end lines prior to the first set and then direct starting players onto the court for play. Previously, only starting players were directed to the end lines for prematch announcements. The rule now allows but does not require teams to include more team members in the prematch ceremony.

    A complete listing of the volleyball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Volleyball.”

    According to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, volleyball is the second-most popular sport for girls (trailing track and field) with 470,488 participants in 16,610 schools nationwide. In addition, 77,287 boys are participating in the sport at 3,376 schools.

  • 2023-Sep-25 - Protecting lineups
    CVOA members,

    We have a situation that has come about recently, that requires a quick refresher on an obscure ruling.

    Who has the right to see a submitted lineup and when can they see it?

    – Prior to the 2-minute deadline for set #1 and 1-minute deadline for subsequent sets, only the referee(s), scorekeeper and libero tracker may view a submitted lineup.

    – Once the submission deadline has passed all other relevant personnel such as: coaches for either team or visiting scorekeeper may be granted access to either lineup.

    Note: Page 68 of the Case Book and Officials Manual.

    If either team accesses the opponent’s lineup prior to the submission deadline it may be penalized with a “Yellow Card” as a minor violation or potentially a “Red Card” as a flagrant violation, if a team uses the opponent’s lineup information to adjust their own lineup prior to submission. Rule 12-2-1 No player, teammate, coach and/or team attendant shall act in an unsporting manner while on or near the court before, during, or between sets.

    Please keep those lineups secure, protecting the privacy of each’s team strategy until after the submission deadline.

    Please instruct your scorekeeper and libero tracker to keep them secure and private as well until the submission deadline has passed.

    Please contact your area director if you have any questions.

    Bruce Bird
    CVOA President
  • 2023-Sep-5 - Tucked towels
    Past NFHS interpretations have indicated that it is legal for any and all players to wear a towel tucked into their uniform bottoms.  There are no color restrictions for the towel.  However, this is now considered part of the uniform and therefore they must keep it out of the net or it is a net fault. The other caveat is if it keeps falling out the officials can permanently have it removed for the match, as well as issue an unnecessary delay penalty.
  • 2023-Jul-24 - Jewelry
    SITUATION: During warm-ups, a referee notices a player wearing (a) plugs or spacers in both ears or (b) dermal implants with small jewelry stones near the player’s eyebrows.  The referee determines these to be legal.
    RULING: Correct procedure.
    COMMENT:  Stud or post-like jewelry above the chin is allowed.
  • 2023-Aug-11 - Compression sleeves
    SITUATION: Two players on Team A are wearing compression sleeves that are different in color from the uniform top and are different colors between players.
    RULING: Legal. Compression sleeves, knee pads, and socks are not considered part of the uniform that must be of a like or similar color or the same color between teammates.
  • 2023-Aug-16 - Sub-varsity uniform/equipment
    This is intended to remind all officials that the rulebook is written for the varsity level. At the other levels, we should be less restrictive and do our best to promote play when there are uniform/equipment deviations.  Many sub-varsity uniforms are hand-me-downs from varsity that are now non-compliant for one reason or another.  If the match can be officiated in a safe and orderly manner let them play. Be lenient.

    For all situations, PLEASE USE COMMON SENSE; safety is the highest priority.

    These deviations may include, but are not limited to the following:
    – Illegal numbers (example 00)
    – Duplicate numbers
    – Duplicate numbers in different colors
    – Number size & placement 
    – Number contrast
    – Uniform contrast
    – Uniform colors
    – Uniform likeness top or bottom
    – Libero contrast

    As long as we can referee a sub-varsity match, let us not focus on the uniform that may keep a kid from participating.
  • 2023-Aug-18 - Line judge positioning
    Official Interpretation For Line Judge Positioning During a Varsity Match.

    CHSAA has authorized permission for teams to remain on the same benches throughout the match.  This is per State Association Adoption Chart number 10 (page 70 current rulebook).  The exception is when a waiver from CHSAA has been provided to the officials to allow court switching. 

    This has raised the question of whether or not line judges should be switching.

    Per Rule 5-9-2b line judges are to hold the same positions relative to the court throughout the match.

    There is no state association adoption that allows us or CHSAA to make modifications to this rule.

    Therefore, line judges will not be switching sides.

    The exception to this is governed under Rule 5-4-3a which states the first referee may replace a scorer, libero tracker, or line judge who is not properly performing duties as assigned.

    This may include removing and replacing a line judge completely or just moving them to a new position on the lines i.e. (switching sides of the court).