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1 Informal Signals for NFHS Volleyball. 2 OVERVIEW A lot of good information about using informal signals is available in the 2007-08 NFHS Volleyball.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Informal Signals for NFHS Volleyball. 2 OVERVIEW A lot of good information about using informal signals is available in the 2007-08 NFHS Volleyball."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Informal Signals for NFHS Volleyball

2 2 OVERVIEW A lot of good information about using informal signals is available in the NFHS Volleyball Rules Book and the NFHS Volleyball Case Book and Manual. There is additional information regarding how informal signals help the referee and umpire get the calls right. This comes over time from other volleyball officiating venues.

3 3 OVERVIEW Much of the information on informal signaling and how it can benefit matches has been developed over time from other volleyball sources – USA Volleyball (USAV) and, for college women’s volleyball, PAVO (the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials). In its search for improving high school girls’ volleyball, the NFHS includes representatives of USAV and PAVO at its annual meeting where rules, mechanics and instructional techniques are discussed.

4 4 Making a Commitment toward Becoming a Better VB Official Guidance Learning more effective use of informal signals can help facilitate the matches that you officiate. Keep an open mind toward assimilating these informal signals into your officiating since they can help you and your partner get the calls right!

5 5 Informal Signals Informal signals are a key communication tools for the officiating crew. The referee is responsible for scanning the officiating crew on every play to take in all available information before making a decision. The referee and umpire should be in a constant scan mode.

6 6 Informal Signals The referee and umpire should be in a constant scan mode, looking for such things as: Potential safety issues. Coach requests. Bench activity. Readiness of the umpire. Line judges in proper position. Additional time needed by scoretable support staff (readiness issue).

7 7 Informal Signals Notes: Informal signals should reflect the pre-match agreements regarding what the umpire will signal the referee. Only play-ending information should be shown.

8 8 Informal Signals Show only play-ending information such as: 4-hits 2-hits Prolonged contact, below-the-waist contact, or assisted hit Touched out Back-row block, illegal attacks Over-the-net contact Ball down/in, ball out, and ball touched out Possible position switch on the serving team Possible screening formation

9 9 Informal Signals Guidance: A Very Good Practice to Follow: An umpire can help the referee on plays where the referee is unsure of what happened and needs to be led. To do this requires the umpire to have an opinion regarding which team lost a rally. Moving to the side of the team that lost a rally can be exactly the help the referee needs on a bang-bang play in particular. Attack-antenna- block or attack-block-antenna is one situation. Another is a 3 rd hit tape shot that goes out of bounds – off the block or off the attack? Discussion.

10 10 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 1 “Third team hit not going over the net” When a ball has already been contacted three times and the next contact will result in the team’s fourth hit, the referee has asked the umpire to show 4-hits to confirm for the referee that the next contact will be the team’s fourth hit. Umpire has agreed to step out big to be very visible on this call. Referee has agreed to be alert (awareness of partner movement) to pick up this type of helping information.

11 11 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 1 Umpire Action: Team A has already contacted the ball three times and the ball clearly isn’t going over the net. Umpire steps out strongly to the side of the team who already contacted the ball three times and shows four fingers in the chest area, using the hand to the side of the team that would be committing the fault on the next contact. Referee Action: Referee sees 4-hits and whistles the 4-hit fault at the next team contact.

12 12 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 1 Discussion: On this play, the umpire could be saving the referee from embarrassment. One never knows when a referee has a temporary (hopefully) mind meltdown. This is not a discrete signal. The umpire is not empowered to whistle a 4-hit fault. Rather, the referee has agreed to be alert and to trust partner assistance.

13 13 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 2 “Extra contact not seen by referee” If a team has an “extra” contact that the referee might not have seen (such as where a ball glances off a player, is then passed and set), the referee has asked that the “unusual” 4-hit call be shown early (as soon as the third hit is not attacked) by the umpire to alert the referee that the next contact will be the team’s fourth hit. Umpire has agreed to step out big to be very visible on this call. The referee has agreed to be alert (awareness of partner movement) to pick up this type of information.

14 14 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 2 Umpire Action: Team A has already contacted the ball three times, and unlike an easy 4-hit call, the umpire realizes that – by angle and player positioning – the referee was unlikely to have seen one of the contacts (first or second). The umpire is getting the referee’s attention early to shock the referee who likely isn’t aware of the extra contact that the next contact will be a 4-hit fault. The umpire steps out really big to the side and toward the court to be seen.

15 15 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 2 Discussion: The referee is trusting his/her partner. The umpire will be selling to the affected head coach that this call came from the umpire. “She took my call on that one, coach. I had the ball glance off two players and then the ball was set.” If, for some reason, the referee fails to scan and doesn’t see the umpire’s movement, the umpire should not remain out of position but should give up the call and not miss a net. It is not a good situation for the umpire to have to cross the court to discuss this after the rally is over.

16 16 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 3 “Third hit attacked into tape or top of net, block up” If a team’s third hit is attacked into the tape or the net just below the tape with a block up, the referee and umpire are expected to partner to get the call right. If the ball does not cross to the blocking team’s side of the net, the referee must have an opinion regarding whether or not there was a touch on the block. This opinion can be formed independently or with assistance from an umpire’s informal signal.

17 17 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 3 The pre-match discussion could go like this: If the referee has a clear opinion that ball was touched by the block (allowing attacking team 3 more hits), the referee can show the touch with an unrushed signal above the net, especially if team is yelling “no touch.”

18 18 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 3 In this situation, the umpire may already have a 4-hit informal signal showing but the referee saw a touch and is going what he/she saw. However, it is good partnering for the referee to look at the umpire for information. The referee can make eye contact to acknowledge the call and a light head shake to say, “I saw it differently, we’re playing on.” In this case, showing a touch above the net (with proper mechanics) is helpful especially if there are yells of “no touch.”

19 19 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 3 The aftermath on this play comes from what occurs next. If the ball lands in, loss of rally is awarded the blocking team. If the ball lands out, loss of rally goes to the attacking team because the referee has already shown a touch on the block. If the attacking team plays the ball, play on. Line judges can not be looked to for a touch on this play, only an “in” or “out of bounds” call unless the ball comes back off the block and touches a player on the attacking team before landing out.

20 20 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 3 “Third hit attacked into tape or top of net, block up” But what if the referee isn’t sure whether or not there was a touch on the block and needs partner help. The umpire has to be prepared with an informal signal of 4-hits or a head nod or nothing if the umpire had a touch on the block. The agreement has to be clear on what the umpire will show the referee. The referee agrees that if the umpire shows 4-hits, the referee will take the call. However, 4-hits won’t necessarily occur because the ball could land in or out without someone digging the ball.

21 21 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 3 Umpire Action 1: The referee scans for information from the umpire who shows 4-hits in the chest area which confirms for the referee that the umpire had no touch. This will be the call if the ball is next played by the attacking team, and the umpire will own the call. “Neither of us had a touch, coach.” Let’s say the ball then goes out of bounds off the tape/net. The umpire’s 4-hit signal helps the referee award the rally to the blocking team.

22 22 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 3 Umpire Action 2: When the referee scans for information and the umpire has a touch, the two officials have agreed that the umpire will not show touch because this is used only with play-ending information but, instead, will give a head nod. And there are times when the umpire is unsure, and the referee simply has to decide. If the referee has the touch and/or takes the touch from the head nod and the ball lands out of bounds, the referee will award the rally to the attacking team.

23 23 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 3 Referee Action: There are times when the referee appropriately scans for information but the umpire is not sure about the touch. In such a situation, the referee will not show touch above the net because the referee may have no block OR the referee has yet to make a decision.  The referee has until the ball lands or is next touched to decide. Each official has his/her own approach to whether you have to see the touch or assume no touch or assume the block got it unless it was a clear no touch.

24 24 Informal Signals 4 hits – Scenario 3 Discussion: If the umpire does not provide rally- ending information, the officials have to partner based on what happens next. If the ball clearly lands in, no problem. Signal ball in. However, if the ball lands out, the referee will now award the ball to the attacking team because the ball was blocked out (touch on the block, ball stayed on attacking teams side). On this play, line judges should have been instructed to call in or out and not try to offer information about the block.

25 25 Informal Signals Umpire Leads Referee, Part 1 “Tape shot” Ball attacked into the tape sometimes produces the deer-in-the-headlights look on the part of the referee, at which time the umpire – recognizing this has occurred – literally leads the referee in making the call. If the umpire has no touch on the block, the umpire steps out big to the side of the attacking team with the 4-hits call in the chest area.

26 26 Informal Signals Umpire Leads Referee, Part 1 “Tape shot” The umpire showing 4-hits on the side of the attacking team clearly tells the referee that the umpire is on the side of the team that lost the rally and that the 4-hits call should be shown if the attacking team touches the ball again OR that if the ball lands out, the blocking team has won the rally. Referee shows “out” signal, gestures to the attacking team and then awards the point with the new loss of rally signal.

27 27 Informal Signals Umpire Leads Referee, Part 2 “Tape Shot” If umpire scans and sees referee needs help and umpire had a touch on the block, umpire steps out big to the side of the blocking team with a head nod to tell the referee that the umpire is on the side of the team that lost the rally if the ball lands out or that the umpire is on the blocking teams side if the attacking team digs the ball and runs its offense. The referee shows “out,” gestures to blocking team, then awards point with new loss of rally signal.

28 28 Informal Signals “Double hits and multiple contacts” A pre-match discuss of how to handle double hit or multiple contacts out of the view of the referee is important. This should include multiple contacts that – from the umpire’s angle - are outside the range that the referee has been using in calling a 2-hit fault.

29 29 Informal Signals “Double hits and multiple contacts” Umpire Action Umpire shows 2-hit signal in the chest area to offer help to the referee regarding a fault call. This is also used if – from the umpire’s angle – there is a double hit on the type of play that the umpire believes the referee has called previously – this can bail out the referee.

30 30 Informal Signals “Double hits and multiple contacts” Referee Action Referee whistles the fault. Umpire sells call to affected coach. “Coach, he took my call on that one. He was screened.” This shows that partnering is occurring. If referee fails to make eye contact and umpire is sure, umpire may whistle the fault. But, if eye contact occurs, and the referee shakes off the help/call, it’s play on – the umpire would not whistle the fault.

31 31 Informal Signals “Illegal hit not seen by referee” What to do if there is an illegal hit outside the view of the referee such as prolonged contact, below-the-waist contact, assisted hit or ball rolling on the arm or body.

32 32 Informal Signals “Illegal hit not see by referee” Umpire Action Show the illegal hit signal in the chest area using the hand on the side of the team that committed the fault. Step out big to be visible to the referee. Referee Action Referee whistles the fault. If referee fails to make eye contact, and the umpire is sure that a violation occurred, the umpire may whistle the fault. But, if eye contact occurs, and the referee shakes off the help/call, it’s play on – the umpire would not whistle the fault.

33 33 Informal Signals “Ball touched out” The umpire will not show the touch call while the ball is in play. When a ball has landed out or near a line and the umpire has a touch on the ball, the umpire should step out and be very visible with the touch signal, stepping to the side of the team that had the touch. If the referee has the ball landing out or takes a line judge call to this effect, the “touch” signal shown by the umpire should be picked up by the referee’s scan before signaling the result of the rally.

34 34 Informal Signals “Possible back-row block” If a back-row blocker is near the net, reaching higher than the net and contacting the ball, the umpire should step out and show the illegal block signal in the chest area. The umpire may whistle the fault if the referee does not see the signal and misses the back-row block. If the referee gives a head shake “no,” the umpire will not whistle the fault.

35 35 Informal Signals “Possible collective back-row block, completed” If a back-row blocker is near the net, reaching higher than the net and is part of a collective block, it is an illegal back-row block if the ball touches any of the blockers. To be a blocker, a player must be reaching above net height. The umpire should step out and show the illegal block signal in the chest area. The umpire may whistle the fault if the referee does not see the signal and misses the ball touching a player in the collective block. If the referee gives a head shake “no,” the umpire will not whistle the fault.

36 36 Informal Signals “Blocking the serve” No one can block the serve. If a player is near the net (meeting the definition of a blocker), is reaching above net height and contacts the ball in what can be construed as blocking action (action that deflects or intercepts the ball), the referee should whistle an illegal block. If the referee does not see the play or does not wave it off as legal, below the net contact, the umpire should step out and show the illegal block signal in the chest area, then whistle the fault if the referee does not see the signal.

37 37 Informal Signals “Possible illegal back-row attack” If the ball is clearly totally above net height and the ball then crosses the net or is legally contacted by the opponent, the umpire may show a strong attack signal and may whistle the fault if the referee doesn’t see the signal. This requires the umpire to have been effectively tracking back-row players for both teams, especially the setters but not limited to the setters.

38 38 Informal Signals “Possible illegal back-row attack” If a back-row player whose last position on the floor was in the attack zone contacts the ball when the ball is entirely above net height, it is an illegal back-row attack if the attack is completed (legally contacted by opponents or crosses untouched to the opponent’s side). The umpire may step out and be very visible while showing the illegal attack signal in the chest area and then may gesture if the referee hasn’t seen the signal. The umpire may whistle the fault if the referee doesn’t see the signal but not if the referee shows the legal attack signal.

39 39 Informal Signals “Possible illegal attack off the libero pass – 1” If the libero’s current contact with the floor is in the attack zone and the libero plays the ball with finger action/setting, then the next contact with the ball by a teammate cannot be a completed from totally above the height of the net. The umpire looks at the foot position of the libero to determine the possibility of an illegal attack and may give an immediate safe signal to the referee if the libero is close to but not in the attack zone.

40 40 Informal Signals “Possible illegal attack off the libero pass – 2” The referee looks at both the hand position of the libero and tries to also pick up foot position on the court to determine the possibility of an illegal attack. If the referee sees the libero make any pass other than a set, there is no problem. If the referee sees the libero set the ball and sees the libero in the attack zone or sees the umpire giving the informal illegal attack signal in the chest area, the referee waits until the next contact to determine ball height. If the next contact is a completed attack, the referee signals legal attack or illegal attack based on ball height.

41 41 Informal Signals “Possible illegal attack off the libero pass – 3” The referee and umpire must partner on this play and make eye contact to get the call right. An active libero will step up and set the first ball or the second ball. If it’s the first ball, the setter (back-row or front-row) can’t dump the ball over the net on the next contact if the ball is totally above net height.

42 42 Informal Signals “Possible illegal attack off the libero pass – 4” If the referee does not acknowledge with a legal attack signal that the libero set the ball in the attack zone and the ball is then attacked above net height on the next play with the attack completed, the umpire may step out big and give two pumps of the arm to show the attack. The umpire may whistle the fault if the referee missed the call. In calling the fault, the officials signal illegal attack and then gesture toward the libero.

43 43 Informal Signals “Possible illegal attack of a served ball” If any player attacks a serve from anywhere on the court when the ball is totally above net height, this becomes illegal when the attack is completed. The referee may use the legal attack signal to show that part of the ball was below net height. If the ball is played by a teammate before crossing the net (or being contacted by the opponents), play on. If the ball is hit into the net and dug out, play on. The umpire can help inform the coach why such a play was legal.

44 44 Informal Signals “Over the net” If a player reaches over the net and contacts the ball which has not been attacked while the ball is totally on the opponent’s side of the net, the umpire should step out and show the over-the- net signal in the chest area. The referee should pick up the help and will make the call. Over the net includes an attack on the other side of the net as well as a block contact which takes a play away from the opponents on a ball that was not going over the net and/or is not an attack. However, any ball that has already been contacted three times may be blocked on the opponent’s side.

45 45 Informal Signals Ball in/down The umpire may have a great angle plus with ability to adjust position to see a ball down/in and may step out to signal the referee to assist with making the call. If the referee waves off the umpire (indicating the referee saw the ball “up,” the umpire should pull the call back and play continues. However, if the referee fails to see the call despite the step out and “sell” job, the umpire – being 105% certain that the ball touched the court, is empowered to whistle the fault.

46 46 Informal Signals “Out” The umpire may also have an informal “out” call to offer on a play where the umpire’s focus did not have to stay with the net and center line, just in case the referee is left with a no-call on the part of a line judge.

47 47 Informal Signals “Possible position switch on serving team” The umpire may show a possible illegal alignment on the serving team picked up during the umpire’s court scan. Such a situation typically involves a player position switch. This is part of the pre-match discussion and may involve an informal signal. The referee has responsibility for observing the serving team and should have this call but may use help from an umpire who has kept track of both team’s rotations on the court.

48 48 Informal Signals “Possible screening” Possible screening can be detected by the umpire based on the umpire’s scan when viewing signs that the receiving team is struggling to see the serve. Umpire Action Show screen signal in the chest area to alert the referee to possible screening. Address possible screening with umpire while referee warns captain. Referee shows screening signal to alert umpire that this is being discussed.

49 49 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals The illegal attack due to a back-row player taking off from behind the attack line when there is contact totally above net height should be used sparingly by the umpire, typically only when the player’s take off was close to the attack line or the ball was near the top of the net and the referee has not made the signal. The safe signal may also be used to show the libero was making a finger-tip setting action from outside the attack zone or that the next contact off the libero set from the attack zone was on a ball that was not totally above the height of the net.

50 50 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals There is one legal play signal (Signal 7) shown under NFHS Official Volleyball Signals. The description reads “Legal Back Row Attack” but should include legal libero attack, legal attack of a libero set in the attack zone and a variety of other attacks where a signal represents helpful communication of the official’s awareness and that a decision was made that play was legal.

51 51 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals The description for “Legal Back Row Attack” is: “Arm on attacker’s side is extended, parallel to the floor at chest level, palm down. Make one slight horizontal sweeping motion.” This signal does nothing for an official wishes to communicate why a play wasn’t called for a back-row block, when a contact by a player near the net might result in first contact rather than a block, attack off a libero set from the attack zone where the next contact is a completed attack but at least part of the ball was below net height, legal attack of the serve, serve was not blocked, etc.

52 52 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals” Last year, the NFHS was sent a proposal to use standardized signaling of player numbers. This year the NFHS will be asked to consider adopting two legal play signals to more clearly convey judgment of officials regarding ball position in relationship to the height of the net; whether a player near the net is reaching higher than the top of the net or not, libero not in the attack zone while setting the ball, and other information not clearly conveyed by the current signal.

53 53 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals” Officials need to be able to communicate more information to coaches, players and fans than is currently communicated clearly by the current signal. Two signals would be used. Signal 1 would be “play on, legal attack, player behind the attack line” while Signal 2 would be “play on, legal play – either legal attack based on ball height or first contact/not a block based on a player not reaching above net height or position not near the net or the play.”

54 54 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals” Signal 1 (play on, legal attack) The sweeping arm extension would be on the side of the team attacking the ball; horizontal; parallel to the floor; and at chest level. However, instead of palm down, the palm would face the attack line to show that: a) the position of a back-row player was not in the attack zone or b) if the next contact that occurs is a completed attack from above net height off a libero finger-tip set, the play is legal because the libero was behind the attack line.

55 55 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals” Signal 1 (play on, legal attack) would be shown as a wave-off motion with the palm of the hand on the attacking team extended toward the attack line in a similar sweeping gesture to the current signal. By the nature of the signal, it conveys that a play is legal based on player position in relationship to the attack line (including imaginary extension of the attack line).

56 56 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals” Signal 1 (play on, legal attack) The wave off toward the attack line for Signal 1 would more clearly show that a play is continuing on an attack of a ball that is contacted while the ball is totally above net height by a back-row player. This would not address an attack by the libero since ball height is the only judgment factor on such a play.

57 57 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals” Signal 2 (play on, legal play: either legal attack based on ball height or not a block/first contact) would have the official's arm initially extended but not in as much of a sweeping motion and not quite as far out to the side in the direction of the team in question. The extended arm would be parallel to the floor, still at chest level although possibly a little lower down, and with the palm of the hand down and parallel to the court. The official would make a couple of soft downward motions as if lightly patting a small child on the head.

58 58 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals” Signal 2 (play on, legal play: either legal attack or first contact/not a block) would be shown to convey different information regarding why play is continuing. It could show: a) position of the ball in relationship to the top of the net; b) that a player near the net was not consider a legal or an illegal blocker because the player was not reaching above net height when contact was made with the ball;

59 59 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals” (continued) c) that the libero was not reaching above net height and therefore cannot be considered as attempting to block; d) that a contact was not a back-row block and should be treated as first contact; This change would help take into account NFHS libero playing rules and limitations.

60 60 Informal Signals “Legal Play/Safe Signals” (continued) There is a good reason why Signal 2 is currently used in officiating under PAVO/NCAA and USA Volleyball rulesets. An advantage to this signal is that it can be also used by the umpire on a play where the umpire attempts to make eye contact with the referee and the referee doesn't look at the umpire. If the referee is playing on but does not make the informal signal and a question is being raised by the opposing head coach, the umpire wave off is at least one visible sign if the referee doesn't do anything.

61 61 Informal Signals “Umpire signals” When a team has a legal back-row attack because a back-row player left the floor from behind the attack line or a back-row player played a ball when the ball was not entirely above the height of the net, the umpire may show an informal signal of legal back- row attack off to the side on the side of the court where the play occurred. This may help the referee if the referee’s view was screened. To indicate a legal attack by a back-row player, the umpire can make a vertical signal with the arm on the side of the attack. Some officials already use the light patting down signal to show the ball was not totally above net height, but this is not yet an “official” informal signal for NFHS.

62 62 Informal Signals “Time-outs taken” Number of time-outs taken by each team is shown by the umpire at the beginning of the time-out at the end of the time-out. The scorer typically confirms number of time-outs used by each team to the umpire and signals the number to the referee during the time-out, then both umpire and scorer show this at the end of the time-out. The umpire informs the two coaches as well.

63 63 Informal Signals “Support for partner” A good call by either official may be responded to by the partner with a thumbs up signal as part of offering support. Eye contact, head nod and a smile go a long way toward offering support.

64 64 Informal Signals “Leading the referee” There are times where an informal signal by the umpire will not be sufficient. Part of effective partnering is recognizing when your partner needs help and leading the call. A bang-bang play at the net, ball played tight to the net, attack-block- antenna and who the fault was on, etc. can all necessitate the umpire leading the referee. Recognizing that “deer-in-the-headlights” look and need for help can be a partnership-defining moment! Get the call right!

65 65 Informal Signals “Game point” After confirming the serving team has game point, the umpire will show this with an index finger on the shoulder of the team that has game point. So should the scorer. The referee will acknowledge the signal with a nod but will not signal back in return. The informal signal of game point is repeated only as necessary and not while the other team is continuing to serve and the receiving team has repeated game points. However, if the score becomes tied, game point will be shown each time either team has a game point through the end of the game.

66 66 Informal Signals “Warnings and sanctions” Warnings and sanctions are never informal signals for high school volleyball. The purpose of a warning is to call sufficient attention to the inappropriate behavior as to prevent an escalation and the need for a formal warning/yellow card. The issuance of a yellow card may be requested by the umpire or directly by the referee. Sanctions in the form of a penalty (red card) or disqualification (red and yellow cards held in separate hands) may be requested by the umpire. The referee may issue these cards directly as well.

67 67 Informal Signals “Request to cross the court to the referee stand” There are times when the umpire needs to come across the court after a play for a private discussion with the referee regarding something that simply can’t be signaled. Typically, the partners pre-arrange that when the umpire moves to the court with toes to the sideline, the referee should call the umpire across the court. The above scenario is to be used only for matters that merit special concern.


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