Becoming a high school volleyball referee is a rewarding pursuit that requires a deep understanding of the game, strong communication skills, and a commitment to fair play. This guide outlines the essential steps, requirements, and potential rewards of entering the field of high school volleyball officiating.


Understanding the Role

High school volleyball referees play a crucial role in ensuring the integrity of the game, enforcing rules, and maintaining a safe and fair playing environment for student-athletes. They must possess a thorough knowledge of volleyball regulations, excellent judgment, and the ability to manage game situations effectively.


Step-by-Step Process

  • Meet the Basic Requirements:

    • Age: Prospective high school volleyball referees typically need to be at least 18 years old.

    • Knowledge: A comprehensive understanding of volleyball rules, scoring, and game mechanics is essential.

    • Physical Fitness: While not as demanding as professional sports, referees should maintain good physical condition to keep pace with the game.

  • Officiate at Lower Levels:

    • Start officiating at lower levels, such as youth leagues, club tournaments, or recreational games, to gain practical experience and familiarity with volleyball officiating.

  • Attend Officiating Clinics:

    • Participate in officiating clinics and workshops organized by local officiating associations, state high school athletic associations, or volleyball governing bodies. These clinics provide valuable training, rule updates, and networking opportunities.

  • Obtain Officiating Certification:

    • Obtain certification as a high school volleyball official through relevant officiating organizations or state athletic associations. Certification may involve passing written exams, attending training sessions, and completing on-court assessments.

  • Gain Experience:

    • Officiate high school volleyball matches at the junior varsity or lower levels to gain experience and demonstrate proficiency. Seek feedback from experienced officials and coaches to improve officiating skills continuously.

  • Network and Seek Opportunities:

    • Build relationships with high school athletic directors, volleyball coaches, and officiating coordinators to secure officiating assignments at local high schools or tournaments.

    • Volunteer to officiate at preseason scrimmages, invitational tournaments, or postseason playoffs to gain exposure and showcase officiating abilities.


Advancement Levels

  • Entry-Level Official:

    • Begin officiating junior varsity or freshman-level high school volleyball matches to gain experience and establish credibility as an official.

  • Varsity Official:

    • Progress to officiating varsity-level high school volleyball games, demonstrating proficiency in managing higher-stakes competitions and enforcing rules consistently.

  • Playoff and Championship Official:

    • Officiate postseason playoffs, district championships, or state tournaments, showcasing expertise in officiating under pressure and maintaining fairness in critical matchups.


Compensation and Rewards

While compensation for high school volleyball referees may vary by location and level of play, officiating offers both financial rewards and personal fulfillment. Referees may receive per-game fees, travel allowances, and opportunities for advancement to officiate prestigious tournaments or championship events.



Becoming a high school volleyball referee is a fulfilling journey that requires dedication, ongoing learning, and a passion for the sport. By following the outlined steps, aspiring officials can embark on a rewarding career in high school volleyball officiating, contributing to the growth of the sport and the development of student-athletes. Officiate your first high school volleyball game with confidence and professionalism, and embrace the opportunities to make a positive impact on the volleyball community.