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New Time-out Responsibilities Approved for Second Referee in Volleyball

By Bryce Woodall on April 24, 2018 nfhs news Print

The responsibilities and mechanics of the second referee during a time-out in high school volleyball have been altered. Effective with the 2017-18 season, the second referee will whistle a warning at 45 seconds and instruct the timer to sound the horn at 60 seconds as the defining end of a time-out. Further, the second referee shall whistle if the teams are ready to play prior to the 45-second warning and then instruct the timer to sound the horn.

This revision to Rule 5-5-3b was one of five rules changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Volleyball Rules Committee at its January 8-10 meeting in Indianapolis and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

In a related change, Rule 5-4-3c(17) now states that the first referee shall whistle a warning at 45 seconds if the second referee is still checking the scoresheet. In addition, Rule 5-8-3a states that every time-out will end with a warning whistle by the second referee followed by the horn sounded by the timer.

 “The committee is in resounding agreement that the sport of volleyball is in a good position. Participation numbers are higher than ever and there is no need to make many changes to the rules,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Volleyball Rules Committee.

A new rule, 9-8-2, clarifies that a replay is considered to be part of a single-play action. Once a replay is signaled by the first referee, no requests — time-out, service order, lineup, substitution, libero replacement, etc. — may be recognized until after the replay.

A change was also made in the Officials Signals in the Volleyball Rules Book. Signal No. 20 for illegal substitution will be eliminated since the penalty for illegal substitution is covered in signal No. 22 — unnecessary delay.

A complete listing of all rules changes will be available soon on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “Volleyball.”

According to the 2015-16 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, volleyball is the second-most popular sport for girls with 436,309 participants. A total of 15,755 schools offered girls volleyball in 2015-16 and 2,333 offered boys volleyball.