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National Referee Certification

The National Referee certification is awarded only by the PAVO National Rating Team (NRT) at several rating sites around the country each year. Because this certification is for the most highly skilled and experienced referees, PAVO establishes a selective application process, stricter rating criteria, and more demanding renewal requirements.

NRT evaluators must hold a PAVO National Referee certification or Retired-National certification, and are selected by the NRT Director based on their on-court referee experience, teaching abilities, and observation skills. At a NRT site, candidates are evaluated by NRT evaluators, and must score a minimum of 90 to pass. Candidates must also demonstrate scoring proficiency, as defined by the NRT Director. The current NRT Director is Mara Wager.


National Referee Certification Standards

List of PAVO Nationally Certified Referees

Application Process and Candidate Criteria

To be accepted as a candidate at a National Rating site, applicants must:

  • Hold a current PAVO State certification for at least two (2) years, or hold a current PAVO National certification, or hold a PAVO Retired National certification, or be accepted as a reciprocal candidate from USA Volleyball (click here for details on reciprocation).
  • No later than September 1 and at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the rating session, take Form A of the theoretical examination, online, without using a rule book or other resources. A minimum score of 90 is required and the examination session is limited to 90 minutes. If a minimum score of 90 is not attained on Form A, the referee can be re-examined using Form B; the same deadline, time constraints, and minimum score requirements apply.
  • No later than September 1 and at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the rating session, complete the current Line Judge examination, online, as well as the paper version of the current Scorer examination. If accepted, you must bring your Scorer examination to your rating site.
  • Submit evidence of one of the following on the NRT Application Form: 

    -

    Referee at an NCAA 1st/2nd round, regional, or championship event (any division), the final round of the NAIA National Championship, or the final round of the NJCAA National Championship (any division) in at least one (1) of the two (2) previous years.
    -
    Be accepted as a reciprocal candidate from USA Volleyball
    - Be recommended by three (3) different individuals who serve in any of the following capacities:
      a.  College or university women's volleyball coach (maximum of two recommendations).
    b.  PAVO National Rating Team member (maximum of one recommendation).
    c.  Applicant's PAVO Affiliated Board Chair.
    d.  PAVO National Referee with national tournament officiating experience as a referee (maximum of one recommendation).
         Note: National Referees may only sign three candidates' recommendations per year.
    e.  Coordinator/Supervisor of Officials of an NCAA conference (maximum of one recommendation).

* Completed application, recommendation forms (if applicable), and a $150.00 application fee, may be mailed to:

PAVO Central Office
Attn: NRT Director
PO Box 780
Oxford, KS 67119

* Completed application and recommendation forms (if applicable) may be e-mailed to: pavo@pavo.org

Initial National Referee Certification Requirements

  • Pass an on-court examination at an NRT site with a minimum score of 90. There must be at least three (3) raters, all holding PAVO National or Retired National certifications.

NOTE: Rating expires on December 31, four years after the year in which the certification is awarded.

Maintaining a National Referee Certification
Certification expires on December 31 in the fourth year after the year in which the certification is awarded.

Although a National certification is valid for four (4) years, officials who hold this certification must meet annual requirements to maintain their certifications. If a National Referee fails to meet any of these requirements once during a term, no renewal points can be earned that season. Two failures to meet any requirement during a term will result in loss of National Referee Certification.

- By September 1, take Form A of the theoretical examination without using a rule book or other resources. A minimum score of 90 is required and the examination session is limited to 90 minutes. If a minimum score of 90 is not attained on Form A, the referee can be re-examined using Form B; the same deadline, time constraints ,and minimum score requirements apply.
- Attend an NCAA/PAVO Clinic prior to each women's college season.
- By January 31 (or alternate date announced by PAVO), use the online submission process to report points earned in the previous calendar year.
 

Renewing a National Referee Certification
Certification expires on December 31 in the fourth year after the year in which the certification is awarded.

In addition to meeting the annual requirements for Maintaining a National Referee Certification, listed above, there are additional requirements for renewing a National certification at the end of each 4-year term:

- Pay a renewal fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) to PAVO in the renewal year. 
- Demonstrate that the National Referee is still officiating at a highly skilled level. This requirement can be met either by passing a practical examination at an NRT site with a minimum score of 90 or by earning enough renewal points (full details can be found in the National Referee Certification Renewal Options and Point Renewal System document).
  Download the NATIONAL REFEREE CERTIFICATION RENEWAL OPTIONS and POINT RENEWAL SYSTEM document here.

Criteria for Retired National Referees

A PAVO National Referee may choose to take retired status, and maintain an affiliation with PAVO in order to remain active as a trainer for the Affiliated Board with whom they are associated/registered. PAVO has established the following criteria:

• Hold a National Referee certification for at least two, four-year terms.
• Meet all requirements for Affiliated Board membership and PAVO membership.

A written request for retired status must be submitted to the NRT Director by the date when annual National Referee surveys are due. The request must be signed by the applicant and the Chair of the member's Affiliated Board.


Direct questions to Miki Kennedy, Member Services, PAVO Central Office at pavo@pavo.org or (888) 791-2074.