Changes in Terminology
In an effort to reflect current terminology, all references to referee and umpire in the NFHS Volleyball Rules Book will be changed to first referee and second referee, respectively.
"The other major rules codes - the NCAA and USA Volleyball - use this terminology, and officials refer to themselves in this manner as well," said Becky Oakes, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Volleyball Rules Committee.
In a similar type of "name" change, the position of "assistant scorer" will now be referred to as "libero tracker." Since the duty of this individual is to track libero replacements and substitutions, the committee determined that this change more easily identifies the position and its responsibilities.
Use of flags by line judges optional
Although the use of flags by line judges is not required in high school volleyball and has been optional, the committee revised Rule 5-8-4 to allow the use of flags on a state association-adoption basis.
"The opportunity to use flags continues," Oakes, "but the use of flags will be determined by the various state high school associations rather than on an individual basis."
Co-captains allowed at pre-match conference
A final change in Rule 1-6-2 will allow a team to have more than one captain at the pre-match conference. Previously this conference was conducted with only the head coach and one captain from each team.
"Since many teams have co-captains, the committee believed this change was needed to more accurately reflect what many states already permit," Oakes said.
Six Points of Emphasis
As it does each year, the Volleyball Rules Committee adopted several points of emphasis for the upcoming season. The six topics identified this year were:
- risk minimization during warm-ups
- illegal libero replacement penalties
- officials signals and mechanics
- fan behavior and respect for the game
- communicable disease and skin protection procedures, and
- libero uniform in contrasting color to teammates' uniforms.
Oakes noted that risk minimization and fan behavior will be particularly stressed.
"During a team warm-up period, all personnel actively conducting the activities should be properly attired for the duties required," Oakes said.
"Any type of cheering, yelling or other action that is done in a manner to disconcert, be derogatory or taunting toward the opposing team or a specific player, is considered inappropriate. Cheering and other support should always be positive. Inappropriate behavior, if not addressed, allows a loss of respect for the game and players."
Volleyball is the third-most popular sport for girls at the high school level, according to the 2006-07 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey, with 405,832 participants nationwide. The sport ranks fourth in school sponsorship with 14,881 schools sponsoring the sport. In addition, 46,224 boys participate in volleyball at 2,006 schools.
Source: National Federation of State High School Associations