The National Federation of State High School Federations (NFHS) Volleyball Rules Committee approved four rules changes during its January 6-8 meeting in Indianapolis. The recommended rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
With a mind toward school spirit, the committee approved the addition of a school name or mascot reference to be placed on the sleeve(s) of solid-colored jerseys, providing it appears in either 4-by-4 inch or 3-by-5 inch space. The solid-colored jersey, as specified in Rule 4-2-2 Note, is required in 2016 but is currently permitted.
“Schools are wanting to put a mascot or [the high school’s abbreviation] on the sleeves of the solid-colored jerseys,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Volleyball Rules Committee. “The committee thought ‘how do we allow them to promote school spirit and team unity, but yet preserve the integrity of the solid color and not make a change that becomes more restrictive?’ Now, [it is allowable] to have a 4x4 or 3x5 [logo] on the sleeve.”
Another rule change approved by the committee was clarifying the responsibility of the second referee to whistle and signal out of bounds for an antenna fault on his or her side of the net.
“This change provides clarification that if the ball is going out of bounds over the antenna on the side of the second referee, he or she is in a better position to look up and make that call better than the first referee,” Oakes said. “Now, by rule, the second referee can and should make that call.”
The other changes include a whistle by the second referee to end a time-out if the audio signal has not sounded and both teams are ready to play prior to the end of the 60-second time-out, and allowing the line judge – if requested by the first referee – to be positioned to the side and in line with the extension of the end line for servers on the left side of the court. This positioning allows the line judge a clear view of any line violations for which he or she is responsible before moving back into position following the contact of the ball for serve.