Becoming a USA Volleyball Referee

To become a USA Volleyball certified referee, there are four core components that have to occur every year – membership, clinic, exam, and practical.

Here is a general outline of the steps required to become a USAV certified referee:

  • Become a member of the New England Region of USA Volleyball. NOTE: To referee USAV events, you will also need to have passed a USAV background check and complete the SafeSport Training as mandated by the USOC.
  • Through the USAV online training program (not in place right now), register for and view the New Referee Training materials, which includes a referee exam (can be done open book).
  • On your own, do some practice refereeing (local leagues are great here)… this can be tough due to COVID restrictions.
  • Once you have completed the coursework and you are comfortable as a first and second referee, arrange to be evaluated at a tournament (details on this when play resumes).

What we can’t do online is help you practice and get skilled at blowing a whistle, knowing the sport, and actually DOING the job. There is no substitute for time on task. This is something you need to do in venues that are convenient to you and your life. If you need some help finding locales, please drop me a line.

But, the old adage certainly applies, “How do you get to Lincoln Center? Practice, practice, practice.”
Please send any questions to Steven Webster, NERVA Officials chair,

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Referee FAQs
How do I get assigned?
After you get certified, you will be set up in NERVA’s online assigning system. Once that is done, you will make yourself available to be assigned to single-day tournaments. In addition, NERVA sanctions several weekend-long events. Once certified, you can register to officiate at these events. Register for these tournaments at
How frequently do I have to referee?
Entry-level referees must work one tournament a season (for which you will be paid). Beyond that, it will depend on your interest, availability, and skills. Some referees work one day a month. Others do so far more often.
How much do I get paid?
Once I get a USAV certification, will I be able to work high school or college volleyball?
No, those settings use different rule sets (though they are very similar to USAV rules). High school play uses NFHS rules ( and college ball requires PAVO ( certification. Consult with local contacts for details.
For more information, contact Steve Webster, NERVA Officials Chair,