To access Updates from the State Officials Coordinator, to go to "From the Stand."

Please remember that, to re-certify with the OHSBVA, you are required to have attended one pre-season rules meeting of the five meetings held around the state or made an arrangement with the State Officials Coordinator if circumstances prevent you from attending. If you fail to attend a meeting, please contact Lucas Tuggle immediately at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Failure to attend a required meeting could make an official ineligible to referee this season.

Rules Interpretation Meetings are posted for 2020 on the "From the Stand" webpage.



The Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association (OHSBVA) is a self-governing non-profit comprised of high school volleyball coaches. The OHSBVA follows administrative rules and operational procedures established by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). We do have a few administrative and rule modifications from National Federation of State High School (NFHS) and OHSAA volleyball playing rules that were adopted over the years, but the OHSBVA has moved in the direction of basically following the same playing rules that the OHSAA uses for girls' high school volleyball.


The OHSAA is in the process of considering a request from the OHSBVA to become sanctioned as a “regular” high school sport. This would result in a minor modification of our current playing rules to bring them into consistency with girls’ NFHS volleyball playing rules used by the OHSAA.


OHSBVA Playing Rules

Our playing rules consist of the most recent versions of the published NFHS Volleyball Rules Book and the NFHS Case Book and Manual, which provide commentaries on techniques and mechanics. Rules may be modified annually by any rule interpretations published by the NFHS and adopted by the OHSBVA Board of Directors. OHSAA clarifications are typically adopted as well. Overall, there are minimal administrative and very few rule modifications for OHSBVA. Please click on our OHSBVA Administrative and Rule Modifications to see these minimal differences. Some of our referees also officiate USA Volleyball and/or PAVO/NCAA college women's volleyball where there are some rule and mechanics differences. See some of these differences on our From the Stand page. These differences will be posted here shortly.


The few differences between OHSBVA and OHSAA mechanics are in line with established "best practices" and match facilitation guidelines that come from annual joint meetings held by the NFHS in partnership with representatives in attendance from USA Volleyball and the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials (PAVO), the governing body for NCAA college women's volleyball. Go to OHSAA Volleyball Regulations to access OHSAA Volleyball General Regulations which supplement NFHS Volleyball Rules.


Rule and other changes for 2020 will be considered at the NFHS's January Rules Committee meeting, with preliminary information announced by the NFHS in early February. The OHSBVA determines which of these changes to adopt for our Spring season and which to delay until there are further details as the NFHS provides clarifications throughout the year. For 2020, we do have some further clarifications of NFHS rules and mechanics. These clarifications will be posted on the From the Stand page and will be incorporated into our rules presentation. When available, the 2019 Rule Changes will be updated for 2020 and a link provided to a summary document.


Requirements to Officiate

Years ago, the OHSBVA created its own certification program with the belief that, in order to improve officiating, better training was needed along with a greater understanding of the types of decision-making required in a game that is played high above the height of the net. The belief was that expectations needed to be "stepped up" to help our referees become capable of handling the type of ball speed and above-the-net play associated with the boys' game. The certification program has continued, and all officials must be OHSBVA-certified to referee any level of OHSBVA matches or - if new to boys' high school volleyball - actively engaged in becoming certified.


Already officiate volleyball?

Then, perhaps you are ready to take the challenge to "step up your game" and move into the fast-paced and exciting game of boys' volleyball. While having played the sport is certainly a plus for referees, this is not a requirement; however, to become competent, one does need to become "a student of the game." We are looking for officials who know the game of volleyball and want to learn the art of officiating. We are also always looking for new and young talent! As with all other high school sports, we face a shortage of officials and, especially, a lack of younger officials.


No one without a current volleyball certification may referee OHSBVA matches, but the OHSBVA accepts all current volleyball certifications and builds from there. OHSAA Class II and III referees can learn and move up! USA Volleyball Junior Regional Officials who are new to high school volleyball may also step up their games, contribute and move up!


Returning officials must attend ONE required rules meeting of the five meetings held around the state including a make-up meeting (see list of meetings above). Officials typically attend the meeting in their own Regions but attending any of the meetings held around the state is fine. These meetings are hosted by Regional volleyball officials' associations, and you are expected to pay local association dues (typically $10 or $15), pay a relatively small state administrative fee ($20) and remain in good standing by honoring your officiating commitments. 


Returning officials are expected to go online on their individual accounts to update any changes in contact information. Each year, the OHSBVA is unable to contact some officials because they didn't update their email address online and notify their association or the State Officials' Coordinator to ensure the new contact information is recorded. Active concussion certification is required, so if you haven't met the State of Ohio concussion training/certification requirement, this has to be done before you officiate your first match. This is a STATE law in Ohio since 2013.


New officials are those who have not previously been certified as well as those previously-certified referees who have not officiated OHSBVA in several years. As with returning officials, new officials must attend a required rules/meeting anywhere in the state, held by Regional officials' associations, pay local association dues, pay the state administrative fee ($20) and complete a demographics form with contact information and volleyball "credentials." A new official must also pass observations as both R1 and R2 by an approved observer at local scrimmages. New referees will receive access from our webmaster to their personal pages on www.ohioboysvolleyball.com and receive a patch once they pay state and local dues. 


Concussion Certification Link https://nfhslearn.com/courses?searchText=Concussion


The 2020 season will have some minor rule and technique/mechanics changes which will be covered at the Rule Interpretation Training meetings in February-March and will be available on the online PowerPoint once it is posted after the meetings are completed.




2019 OHSBVA Rules Interpretation PowerPoint

Following the last Rules Interpretation meeting each year, the State Officials Coordinator ensures  the PowerPoint presentation and related notes are posted on the Officiating web page for reference by officials, coaches and other interested parties.


Notes to accompany 2019 Rules PowerPoint


To download any of the documents listed below, click on the document's name:


  • Challenging Volleyball Situations addresses a number of questions raised in the past few years.

  • OHSBVA Points of Emphasis covers key points of emphasis including libero replacements made in conjunction with substitutions, what assistant coaches are and are not allowed to do; coach behavior and screening.





SUPPORT TABLE GUIDES are not only intended for our support crews. They are also available to educate referees in the basics of scoring, libero tracking, and line judge functions. The OHSBVA has again endorsed VolleyWrite scorekeeping software from WildfireSports. This system is in wide use by boys' programs and has been used successfully as the scorekeeping system for the boys' State Championships and girls' State Tournament. Wildfire Sports is offering a discounted price again this year. Contact Debbie Keller, President of Wildfire Sports, at VolleyWrite.com for a short-term license.


In an effort to assist OHSBVA officials, scorers, and coaches, follow this link to the YouTube channel for VolleyWrite and see how the system works. PAVO has endorsed VolleyWrite as one of the two electronic scoring systems usable for college women's volleyball. VolleyWrite is designed to record all scoring events AND libero events (libero activities, movement onto off of the court, serving, etc.), allowing a VolleyWrite scorer to effectively manage both functions with the assistance of a trained "spotter."  VolleyWrite flyer


  • Working with a VolleyWrite Scorer provides guidance to our referees to learn how to partner effectively with VolleyWrite Scorers of all experience levels. Our referees must know how to work with a VolleyWrite Scorer and spotter. More information on obtaining this product is available by clicking here.
  • Scorer Sample Set walks the official scorer through a sample set, showing all the appropriate markings on the scoresheet that match on-court action during each set.

  • Scorer Guidelines is a simple 2-page summary of official scorer responsibilities and offers a great approach for ensuring scorers understand their duties and the partnering relationship with the libero tracker.

  • Libero Tracker Guidelines is a simple 2-page summary of libero tracker responsibilities and offers a great approach for ensuring LTs understand their duties including the partnership with the official scorer.

  • Line Judge Guidelines is a 2-page summary of LJ responsibilities and is a great document to give to LJs to further their understanding of what is needed from them to contribute to the match.

  • Instructions to Guide Libero Trackers is a document that offers more in-depth guidance on how a libero tracker partners with a scorer to benefit a match, the "ins" and "outs," "dos" and "don'ts."



  • Acceptable Professional Garb/Equipment catalogs key information to prepare for the upcoming season, using a document prepared initially by the NFHS but tailoring it to reflect OHSBVA priorities.

  • Pre-Match Agenda Task List is a simple yet comprehensive checklist that addresses what officials need to remember before each match.

  • Pre-Match Discussion Checklist nails what officials need to discuss with each other before a match. Failure to come to understandings regarding some of the suggested topics may result in problems that could be avoided.

  • The Value of Partnering is an instructional guide for covering the key elements of effective partnering, from match arrival through pre-match preparation through scanning and providing informal signals, centering and serving/protecting, constructive interactions with coaches, and what it takes to provide effective match facilitation.



  • Incident Report Form may be used by officials, coaches, and athletic directors to document an unusual situation, typically marked by questioned behavior. Disqualification of a coach requires the filing of this report to start a review process.

  • OBSVCA/OHSBVA Complaint Resolution Process describes the review process that looks at questioned behavior and addresses formal complaints.





  • Libero Serving is a training document for coaches/schools to help show how the libero moves from an on-court or off-court position to serve, what the scorer and libero tracker have to do to track the libero serving, and what the libero tracker has to do in terms of charting and the libero’s movement onto and off of the court.






  • The OHSBVA follows OHSAA guidance governing photographers and videographers at volleyball matches. Depending upon the facility, the referees will determine where approved videographers may and may not be positioned pre-match during the warm-ups and during a match. Click on the links below to learn what can and cannot be done in terms of taking pictures and videos.
OHSAA Tournament Policy related to Spectators taking photos and videos:


OHSAA Photography Regulations:


OHSAA Media Regulations:




  • Coaches are responsible for providing a professional, competitive, game day environment. For all the forms necessary from line-up sheets to scorebook pages, plus training and tips, click here.


All files on this page are Adobe Acrobat PDFs or MS Word documents

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Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association