Annually, PAVO works in close coordination with the NCAA and USA Volleyball to develop a series of theoretical (written) examinations for PAVO members. All PAVO referees are required to take the theoretical examination yearly to obtain or maintain PAVO certification. The referee's certification level influences which examination is taken, and what result is required.
The examinations developed include:
Form A - written for the more experienced referee, and tests both knowledge and application of the rules. Local, State, and National certified referees are required to take the Form A/B examination.
Form B - some certification levels and local boards require a particular exam score on EITHER Form A or Form B. If Form A is taken and the needed score is not obtained, Form B is available for re-taking the exam.
Form C - intended for entry-level referees, this exam can be used to certify new referees and recertify Apprentice referees.
For 2014, the planned launch date for the examinations is July 21. PAVO members who have paid current year dues enter the examination website via the NCAA Central Hub in order to take Form A or B. Once the on-line Form A/B exam is completed and the answers are submitted, the test-taker receives immediate feedback on their score and the particular questions missed. Results and corrections can then be submitted to the appropriate local board chair, and results can be forwarded to any number of selected assignors, conferences, etc. via the on-line exam site. The online examination will be available on the NCAA Central Hub website until October 1 of every year; however, the NCAA established a September 1 examination deadline for all referees who wish to be considered for post-season assignment (all NCAA Divisions). To be included in the postseason selection pool, a score of at least 90% on Form A or Form B must be obtained by September 1. Also, by September 1, all PAVO National referees must submit an exam score of at least 90% to the PAVO NRT Director as one of their annual maintenance requirements.
Specific requirements for each PAVO certification level are:
1. Apprentice ratings - Apprentice referees may take the new Form C examination, and required results are established by each local board. Each board chair is provided a master copy of the Form C examination, which can then be used for training and testing. Form C is also available to members online, on each member's PAVO "Welcome" page. Ultimately, each Apprentice or Intramural referee may use the rulebook or other resources to correct the examination to 100%, noting the rule references on the answer sheet.
2. Local and State ratings - Candidates striving for or currently holding a Local or State rating must take the Form A exam each year. The official must ultimately score 100% on the examination, utilizing the rulebook and other resources to obtain the correct answers, and noting the appropriate rule reference on the answer sheet. The recommended procedure is to have each candidate take the examination closed-book, then have a member of the examination committee correct the exam and discuss the questions that were missed with the candidate. The candidate may then use the rule book to correct the examination to 100%, noting the rule references on the answer sheet.
3. National officials & National candidates - National referees and those striving to become National officials in the upcoming season must take the National Theoretical Examination each year, closed book (no use of the rule book, Guidebook, or other materials is permitted) and within a 90-minute time frame. Form A is the first examination given to each National official or candidate. A score of 90% correct must be obtained to be eligible for an National Rating Team (NRT) site (if a candidate), or to maintain the National certification (if currently a National official). If a score of 90% is not obtained on Form A, the official is allowed to review and discuss the questions that were missed, and then may take Form B, closed book. The PAVO NRT Director must receive examination results annually by September 1 for all National officials. If, after taking both Form A and Form B, a current National official does not receive a score of 90%, the referee is ineligible to receive renewal points for that season. Failure to meet this requirement twice during the same renewal term will result in the referee losing National certification.