Line Judge Certifications


Click here for a current list of individuals who have PAVO National Line Judge certification

The objectives of the PAVO Line Judge Training and Certification program are to:

  • Build a database of certified line judges.
  • Increase knowledge and competency of line judges.
  • Increase recognition of line judges as professional officials. 
  • Provide validation for line judge compensation.

Using the standards outlined below, PAVO affiliated boards (and other entities that establish a program meeting the minimum standards) have the authority to award and renew PAVO line judge certification. Certified line judges will receive the certification, a "Certified Line Judge" patch and current year certification pin, liability insurance coverage, a subscription to the Official Word newsletter, the PAVO/NCAA Rules Interpretation Newsletter and PAVO member discounts on travel, events, and merchandise.PAVO annually develops line judge training materials. The "Line Judge Training Video" and the supplementary training materials which can be purchased separately, are available in the PAVO e-store or by calling (888) 791-2074.  The LJ training video and manual are availabel for viewing online to current PAVO referee membersthat are a PAVO State rated or above OR a PAVO National Line Judge.

Basic Line Judge Certification Standards

Initial Certification Requirements

  • To be PAVO-certified, line judges must join a PAVO-affiliated local association (called a "board").  Click here for a list of PAVO-affiliated boards.  Annual dues of $20 are charged to Line Judge members, although local boards may charge a small additional fee for local programs.  All PAVO members, including Line Judge members, must sign the PAVO Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct, Conditions of Membership, General Waiver, and Media Release.  The documents can be signed and submitted during the online dues-payment process, or by contacting the PAVO central office (pavo@pavo.org)
  • Attend a training session where current-year materials developed by PAVO are used, conducted by an approved PAVO instructor.  Approved PAVO instructors include any PAVO State or National referee, a PAVO Nationally-certified line judge, any NCAA Division I conference assignor/coordinator, and any individual who has been assigned as a line judge to an NCAA Division I Regional or Championship event in the last five years.  Additional approved instructors may be listed on the PAVO website.
  • Submit to your local board chair by December 31:
    • The current-year written Line Judge examination, corrected to 100%and signed by the PAVO training-session instructor.
    • Three recommendation signatures from any approved PAVO instructor.  Signatures must be obtained from at least two different individuals, and be based on at least one 25-point set.  Recommendations may be based on observations at any women's or men's collegiate match, or any other PAVO, USAV or high school match officiated by referees certified by PAVO or USAV within 90 days of the start date of the certification.  Please click here for recommendation form.   
  • Certification expires annually on June 1. 

Basic Line Judge Certification - Renewal Requirements

  • Attend an annual Line Judge training session as described above.
  • Submit to your local board chair by December 31:
    • The current-year written Line Judge examination, corrected to 100% and signed by the PAVO training-session instructor.
    • One written recommendation signature (see description above) annually.
  • Annual dues of $20 are charged to Line Judge members, although local boards may charge a small additional fee for local programs.  All PAVO members, including Line Judge members, must annually sign the PAVO Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct, Conditions of Membership, General Waiver, and Media Release.  These documents can be signed and submitted during the online dues-payment process, or by contacting the PAVO central office (pavo@pavo.org).

Approved Line Judge Instructors

  1. Any PAVO State or National referee
  2. Any NCAA Division I conference assignor/coordinator
  3. Any individual who has been assigned as a line judge to a Division I NCAA Regional or Championship event in the last five years
  4. Any Nationally-certified Line Judge

National Line Judge Certification

Initial Certification Application

Download an application form herePlease note - applications for National Line Judge Certification (either by attending an NRT site or using prior experience) and a $50 application fee must be submitted to PAVO PO Box 780 Oxford, KS  67119 (check made payable to PAVO) .  Applications to attend a 2014 NRT site must be received by May 15, 2014, so submit in time to meet that deadline. Applications may be scanned/emailed/mailed to PAVO PO Box 780 Oxford, KS  67119.  If you have any questions, please email Mara Wager, NRT Director at NRT.Director@pavo.org.

Experience-based applications must be submitted by October 1 to be applicable in that season.  Qualifying events after October 1 will be applied to a term that begins the following June 1.   

Initial Certification Criteria

  • Meet all current requirements for Basic Line Judge Certification (see above) in the season (June 1 to June 1) prior to application for National certification.
  • In addition, meet one of the following criteria:
    • Attend a PAVO National Rating Team Site and be evaluated by the PAVO National Rating Team.  An application to be a candidate must be received in the PAVO central office by June 30.
    • Work as a line judge at one of the following events in the last three years, and submit the signature of an NCAA Official observer to confirm your participation and proficiency:
      • NCAA Women's Division I Regional or Championship (Final Round)
      • NCAA Women's Division II or III Championship (Final Round)
      • NCAA Women's Division I, II or III 1st/2nd round (at least two matches required)
      • NAIA Women's Volleyball Championships (at least two matches required)
    • Work at least two matches as a line judge at a Division I Conference Championship in the last three years, and submit the signature of the Conference Coordinator to confirm your participation and proficiency.
    • Work at least two matches as a line judge at an NCAA Men's Conference Championship in the last three years, and submit the signature of the Supervisor/Conference Coordinator to confirm your participation and proficiency.  In addition, work as a line judge at a minimum of four NCAA women's collegiate matches in the year of certification and submit a list of identifying those assignments.
    • Work at least two matches as a line judge at the Men's NCAA Championships (Final round) in the last three years, and submit the signature of a member of the Championship committee to confirm your participation and proficiency.  In addition, work as a line judge at a minimum of four NCAA women's collegiate matches in the year of certification and submit a list identifying those assignments.
    Please note:  The deadline for submission of documentation of experiences leading to National Line Judge certification must be submitted by October 1 to affect the current year certification.  Documentation submitted after October 1 will be applied to certification status for the following year. 
  • Term:  National Line judge certification expires on June 1, four years after the year in which the rating is awarded.

National Line Judge Certification - Renewal Requirements (Click here for a pdf of the renewal point system).

National Line Judge Certification may be renewed through continued demonstration of excellence as a line judge. The following Point Renewal System may be used in lieu of renewing by repeating the original criteria A, B or C above.  A renewal fee of $25 is charged to renew using the point system.

  • Six (6) points must be earned during the four-year term of the rating.
  • A minimum of three (3) of the six total points must be earned in Category I.
  • The remaining points can be earned from any combination of the three categories.
  • Positions such as referee, scorekeeper, or alternate official, etc. do not qualify for renewal points.
  • One point is awarded for the each item in the following categories, as a line judge or line judge trainer:



    Category I - Women's Intercollegiate Volleyball
    • Semifinals or finals of a women’s NCAA conference championship, any division (1 pt maximum per event)
    • Women’s NCAA Tournament play-in match
    • Women’s NCAA First/Second Round 
    • Women’s NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA Regionals
    • Women’s NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA National Championships (any division) 
    • Line judge at least four (4) women's collegiate conference matches in one NCAA Division I conference. Only one Category I point can be earned per season using this criterion.
    Category II - Training, Rating, Educating
    • Conduct a line judge clinic using current PAVO training materials (maximum one point per year)
    • Actively rate line judges at a PAVO National Rating Site
    Category III - Other Volleyball Competition
    • Semifinals or finals of a WOMEN'S NAIA or NJCAA conference championship, any division (1 pt maximum per event)
    • Women’s state junior college championship tournaments in states that are not affiliated with NJCAA
    • National Small College Athletic Association Championship
    • Line judge the final matches at the USA Volleyball Adult Open Championships in the following divisions:
        • Open division
        • Gold division of AA, A, BB, B
        • Gold division of men’s age divisions younger than 50
        • Gold division of women’s age divisions younger than 40
    • Line judge Finals of the Gold 16, 17, or 18 divisions at the USA Junior Olympic Volleyball Championships for Girls or Boys
    • Any Gold Finals of the Collegiate Club Championships (NIRSA/NCVF) 
    • NCAA Men's National Championships (any division)
    • NAIA Men's National Championships 
    • Line judge at least four (4) women's collegiate conference matches in one NCAA Division I conference. Only one Category III point can be earned per season using this criterion, and the matches must be different from the matches used for a renewal point in Category I.

Maintaining National Line Judge Certification:

Each year within the term, National Line Judges are required to:

  • Attend an annual Line Judge training session as described above, or instruct a Line Judge training session.
  • Take the current-year PAVO line judge examination.   For National Line Judge's in maintenance years, the exam will be taken online and submitted to the NRT Director (NRT.Director@pavo.org). The exam must be submitted annually by October 15. 
  • If the above criteria is met by instructing a Line Judge training session, submit a statement/form describing the location and date of the clinic and the administrator/sponsor (PAVO board, conference, institution, etc).
  • Join PAVO through a local PAVO-affiliated board.

If a National Line Judge fails to meet any of the above requirements once in a term, the referee is ineligible to receive renewal points for that season.  Two failures to meet this requirement during one renewal term will result in loss of National Line Judge certification.


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