Time-Out After Beckon & Wrong Server

Had my first bout of multi-court officiating this weekend. Was a lot of fun and received some good evaluations to help me continue.

On my second day, I was the up referee for a 15U game. My down ref was a player from a third 15U team.

1st set. 24-23, with 24 team serving. I beckon for serve and watch the server. As the ball crosses the net, I see the receiving team just standing there. Ball falls in, I whistle and begin to point to serving team for point. As I'm doing so, I see my down ref signaling a time-out, which I thought was weird considering it was the end of a set. I finish my point, show "in", whistle and signal end of set and change sides.

Both teams look at me like I'm the dumbest person on earth, but begin switching sides. R2 then comes over to me and says "The serving team called for a time-out before the serve." I ask if the request was before I beckoned for serve and she said it was after. She then informs me that the scorer told her it was the wrong server.

I come down the stand and walk to the desk. Sure enough, 7 served but it should have been 5. So now I have a time-out on the serving them who also had an improper server. The down ref whistled the time-out, which is what caused the receiving team to just stand there when the ball came over.

I decided to replay the point since down ref's whistle killed the play. I explained this to the receiving team, who understood. I then walked to the serving team and explained what happened; the coach said "I called the time-out because I saw it was the wrong server." I explained to her that we would replay the point and she seemed genuinely confused that I wouldn't give her the point. I told her that if I allowed the serve to occur, she would have had an illegal server, causing point and serve to the receiving team. I think she understood at that moment, but I'm not quite sure.

We reset everything to the 24-23 moment. They got the right server, who ended up acing for the point anyway - 5 minutes wasted.

As I was going over this to myself later, I realized I probably should have given an improper request to the team. Other than that, I feel I handled it correctly, though I'm more than willing to hear from others.

Under the circumstances, I think you made the right call.  Replay it.  Personally, I think hitting them with an improper request penalty would be inappropriate since your R2 granted the request.  I’ll have to look that up though.

As I think about it though, enforcing the improper server may have been the way to go.  Since the server was improper at the moment of contact, the receiving team’s actions don’t really matter.  Your R2 did acknowledge the time out request came after your whistle and beckon, so the R2’s actions could also be irrelevant.

So, lower level play I may go with option 1.  But I think option 2 is technically correct.

The only thing I might add, is I would have used it as a teaching moment for both teams to use with their ladies when they are officiating.  This signifies the importance of a LOUD and, if needed, persistent whistle from them when officiating.  (I’m assuming since it was multi-court the scorer’s table wasn’t using the horn, but that would be worth including in the lesson for future reference.)

I really like that volleyball uses players to help officiate matches.  I think it can be an invaluable tool for them as players and towards recruiting future officials.  Unfortunately, I don’t think many programs put that effort into it.

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