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Non-National Referee Certifications

Criteria for Non-National Referee Certification 

The primary purpose of a PAVO Affiliated Board is to recruit, train, and rate and certify officials (referees, line judges, and scorers) to service officiating needs in the Affiliated Board’s jurisdiction. PAVO has developed training materials (PowerPoint presentations and online learning systems such as iREF), exams, rating and certification procedures and standards, and criteria to evaluate various levels of ability and experience for officials’ certification. 

Those who officiate women's collegiate volleyball can be certified as a PAVO official (referee, line judge, scorer). Learning and skillfully applying the rules and techniques for this level of competition can result in being selected to officiate one of the many conference and national championships that are held throughout the country. 

Becoming a PAVO Official 

  • Study the rules and learn the proper techniques of officiating, using training tools such as iREF and RefSchool
  • Consider attending the PAVO training camps and NCAA/PAVO clinics. Information on these events can be obtained at www.pavo.org, under the Training tab, or by calling (888) 791-2074. 
  • Attend interpretation meetings and officiating training courses that are conducted in your local area. Practice often and in a variety of environments. 
  • Contact the Chair of a nearby PAVO Affiliated Board for information about membership, on-court evaluations, and written exams. Complete the entire evaluation/rating process as described below to obtain a PAVO certification, remembering that maintaining high standards for officials is a primary goal of PAVO. 

NOTE: Earning a PAVO certification as a referee, line judge, or scorer is a separate process from becoming a PAVO member. Current PAVO membership is a requirement for certification eligibility and retention. 

Referees 

PAVO has established five progressive certification levels for referees. Each referee certification level is earned by meeting a set of criteria specific to that designation. 

  • Apprentice* – qualified to officiate matches that may be adequately managed by a competent, but inexperienced referee. 
  • Local* – qualified to officiate interscholastic and intercollegiate matches requiring a competent and experienced referee. 
  • State* – qualified to officiate any match within the state or geographic area where the certification is awarded. 
  • National – qualified to referee any match in the United States. This certification is for the most highly skilled and experienced referee. See National Referee Certification.
  • Retired National – allows referees who no longer actively referee at the national level to remain active as trainers, raters, and/or observers within their Affiliated Board jurisdiction. See Criteria for Retired National Referees

*PAVO Affiliated Boards are authorized to award Apprentice, Local, and State certifications. 

Each PAVO Affiliated Board can establish minimum requirements for Apprentice referees according to the needs and resources of the Affiliated Board. The Affiliated Board can require minimum scores for theoretical exams and on-court evaluations. 

PAVO establishes minimum requirements for Local and State referee certifications. 

To earn a National referee certification, referees must attend one of PAVO’s National Rating Team (NRT) sites that are conducted around the country each year. 

Referee Rating and Certification Criteria 

Apprentice Certification 

Certification expires annually on June 1, at the end of the PAVO membership year. 

INITIAL CERTIFICATION (Minimum certification standards can be established by the PAVO Affiliated Board, or these standards can be applied): 

  • Pass a written exam (Form C or Form A), corrected to 100%, prior to the collegiate season. 
  • Pass an on-court evaluation with a minimum score of 75. There must be at least one rater with a Local certification or higher. 
  • Complete all modules of iREF 100 (one-time requirement, although frequent reviews are recommended). 

RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Pass a written exam (Form C or Form A), corrected to 100%, prior to or during each collegiate season. 
  • Pass an on-court evaluation within each two-year period with a minimum score of 75. There must be at least one rater with a Local certification or higher. 
  • This certification is not transferable to other boards. 

Local Certification 

Certification expires annually, on June 1, at the end of the PAVO membership year. 

INITIAL CERTIFICATION (Minimum certification standards are established by PAVO):

  • Pass a written exam (Form A or Form B), corrected to 100%. A required minimum score for Form A/B may be established by the member’s Affiliated Board. For more information, see the PAVO Theoretical Exam Procedures in the current PAVO Handbook for Affiliated Board Chairs, which is available to members in the My Ref Kit section of the PAVO website. 
  • Pass an on-court evaluation with a minimum score of 80. The rating session(s) must include a minimum of two raters, and one rater must hold a Local certification or higher. The awarding Affiliated Board may use an alternative rating method as described below and in the PAVO Handbook for Affiliated Board Chairs. Affiliated Board Chairs can provide more information related to on-court evaluations. 
  • Complete all modules of iREF 100 and 200 (one-time requirement, although frequent reviews are recommended). 

RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Pass a written exam (Form A or B), corrected to 100%. The exam is available prior to the season, through October 15 for Local referees; it is recommended that the exam be taken after attending a clinic and prior to the season if possible. A required minimum score for Form A/B may be established by the member’s Affiliated Board. 
  • Pass an on-court evaluation within each two-year period with a minimum score of 80. Affiliated Board Chairs have more information related to on-court evaluations. 
  • This certification is transferable to other boards. 

State Certification 

Certification expires annually, on June 1, at the end of the PAVO membership year. 

INITIAL CERTIFICATION (Minimum certification standards are established by PAVO): 

  • Pass a written exam (Form A or B) corrected to 100%. A required minimum score for Form A/B may be established by the member’s Affiliated Board. For more information, see the PAVO Theoretical Exam Procedures in the current PAVO Handbook for Affiliated Board Chairs, which is available to members in the My Ref Kit section of the PAVO website. 
  • Pass an on-court evaluation with a minimum score of 85. The rating session(s) must include a minimum of three raters, and one rater must hold a State certification or higher. The awarding Affiliated Board may use an alternative rating method as described below and in the PAVO Handbook for Affiliated Board Chairs. Affiliated Board Chairs have more information related to on-court evaluations. 
  • Complete all modules of iREF 100, 200, and 300 (one-time requirement, although frequent reviews are recommended). 

RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Pass a written exam (Form A or B), corrected to 100%. The exam is available prior to the season, through October 15 for State referees; it is recommended that the exam be taken after attending a clinic and prior to the season if possible. A required minimum score for Form A/B may be established by the member’s Affiliated Board. 
  • Pass an on-court evaluation within each two-year period with a minimum score of 85. Affiliated Board Chairs have more information related to on-court evaluations. 
  • This certification is transferable to other boards

Using Alternative Rating Sites 

Sometimes it is not possible for the Affiliated Board to set up an ideal rating site to award certifications. PAVO allows these alternatives: 

  • Use an existing college tournament, in collaboration with the tournament director. The match fee normally paid to the referees can be paid to the raters or to the Affiliated Board instead. 
  • Use USA Volleyball tournaments that provide a level of play that approximates women’s collegiate play. In the post-match discussion, include any differences in rules or techniques that are pertinent to the match. 
  • Establish an observer system during the college season. A number of designated observers who hold at least a State certification can evaluate referees at a scheduled match. The match fee normally paid to the referees can be paid to the raters or to the Affiliated Board instead. If possible, an observation system should be concentrated in the early part of the season. 
  • Reciprocate with USA Volleyball certifications as defined in the current PAVO/USA Volleyball Reciprocity Agreement.