Refereeing structure

The Refereeing Structure at a Beach Volleyball Event

This chapter addresses the refereeing structure that should be secured at a Beach Volleyball tournament. It takes as an example the structure implemented at FIVB World Tour events but should be adapted to the different situations.

We cover here the functional relationships and the duties of the various members of the structure.

We also cover the actions required prior to, during and after the tournament for the smooth running of the event itself, as well as its integration in the context of the international or national structure behind.


The Referee Delegate, Competition Director and Referee Manager at work

the referee delegate

The Referee Delegate is appointed by the relevant sanctioning body (FIVB/Confederation/ National Federation). He / she is the head of the refereeing structure at a given Beach Volleyball tournament who coordinates all referee related matters under the authority of the Technical Supervisor and is assisted by a local Referee Manager designated by the hosting National Volleyball Federation.


The FIVB Officials address players and coaches at the Technical Meeting

The Responsibilities of the Referee Delegate

To make sure a Beach Volleyball event runs smoothly, the Referee Delegate undertakes the following actions/ steps:Referee Delegate


the referee manager

The Referee Manager is usually appointed by the hosting National Volleyball Federation. A Referee Manager acts under the direct authority of the Competition Director. During a Beach Volleyball event a Referee Manager liaises with a Competition Manager and a Referee Delegate.

Responsibilities of a Referee Manager

When preparing for a Beach Volleyball event, a Referee manager helps the organizer to recruit the auxiliary officials (scorers and line judges) and the court personnel, and then to train them to perform the required tasks during the event. During the event, with main task in mind, to assist the Referee Delegate, the Referee Manager is responsible to coordinate and help with his/her tasks (i.e. the referee clinic, the daily meetings, assignment of referees, line judges, scorers, collecting information for final reporting, etc.).


the referees

Ratio to calculate needed number of referees = 3 referees per count +1

Referees at a Beach Volleyball event are usually a mix of neutral referees assigned by the sanctioning body and local referees assigned by the hosting National Volleyball Federation. The total number of referees to be assigned for a given tournament depends on the amount of competition courts used. The ratio should be 3 referees per court plus 1 referee in addition.

Within this given rational to calculate number of referees required for a Beach Volleyball event, the recommended amount of referees with previous Beach Volleyball qualified experience should be minimum 2 per competition court. This should directly relate to the amount of neutral referees to be designated by the sanctioning entity.

The Referee Delegate, the Referee Manager and the Referees for the tournament


The Referee’s Responsibilities

Referees preparing for a match

The main responsibilities of a Referee at a Beach Volleyball tournament are to be prepared to officiate Beach Volleyball matches in accordance to the requirements of the FIVB Official Beach Volleyball Rules of the Game, including all relevant related Instructions and Protocols (i.e.: Medical Injury, Ball Mark, Protest Protocol, etc). Referees are also required to attend the mandatory referee clinic held before the tournament, and to take part in the daily meetings during the event.

Using their professional expertise, Referees are also asked to check daily that the court set-up corresponds to the requirements, to verify that the field of play does not present any danger to the athletes, that the court and net dimensions are correct, and that the required sport equipment and court personnel are available to smoothly run a match.


During a match, a Referee has to coordinate a proper match protocol procedure checking that the information included on the scoreboards is correct and ensuring that the score sheets are delivered to the parties concerned, the Referee Manager and the competition office, at the end of each match.referee_responsabilitie_2

During and after a Beach Volleyball match, a Referee is evaluated by the Referee delegate, and therefore is required to take part in the relevant individual debriefing meeting in regards to his/her performance during and at the end of the Beach Volleyball event.


Going through the alcohol test procedures


Ration to calculate needed number of auxiliary officals = 6 auxiliary officials per court (3 Line judges + 3 scorers)

the auxiliary officials (line judges and scorers)

The Refereeing structure for a Beach Volleyball event is completed with a specific amount of scorers and line judges whose total number required shall depend on the number of courts used. Again the ratio to calculate the required number for both scorers and line judges recommended is 3 per court as this allows the implementation of a rotation system, when making assignments, of 2 games on, 1 game off.

The Scorers and the Line judges walking to the court for their next match

The Auxiliary Officials’ Responsibilities

To summarize the main responsibilities of the Auxiliary Officials, the following is required during a Beach Volleyball event: to be prepared to officiate matches in accordance to the requirements of the FIVB Official Beach Volleyball Rules of the Game; to attend the mandatory referee clinic for the tournament, and take part at the daily meetings and to respect their relevant match protocol procedures.


Referee auxiliary officials lounges

preparation before the event

There are several criteria that need to be considered prior to the tournament to prepare accordingly the Refereeing Structure. Firstly, respecting the set deadline for the assignments of refereeing officials is crucial. The appropriate deadline in the Master Plan is usually defined by the sanctioning body and the hosting National Volleyball Federation.

During the preparation of a Beach Volleyball event, the Referee Delegate must secure that all requirements are met in regards to the preparation of the mandatory referee clinic, to be staged the day before the start of the competition and that every assigned referee related official’s (as above) plus the key court staff and the court personnel, will be available in time to attend the referee clinic.

the referee clinic

Referee Clinic is usually held a day before the start of a Beach Volleyball event at 9:00AM and is attended by all neutral and local referees officiating during the competition.

The FIVB Referee Delegates addressing the Referees at the Referee Clinic

The theoretical training of the Auxiliary Officials should also be held during this morning. Accordingly, the local Referee Manager, in coordination with the Referee Delegate, must ensure that all line judges and scorers attend the mandatory referees’ clinic from 11:00AM that same day.

The theoretical part of the Referee Clinic should as much as possible be set-up at a hotel conference room (possibly in the hotel accommodating the referees) and include video Microsoft Power Point projector and screen, plus white board with markers. This should be staged from 9:00AM to 11:00AM, and should be followed by the theoretical instruction of scorers and line judges.

The Scorers at the Referee Clinic

The referees, in the meantime and under the coordination of the Referee Delegate, must assist in the homologation of the competition courts and the equipment, by checking that their respective set-up and dimensions correspond to the requirements, verifying that the field of play does not present any danger to the athlete, and that the required sport equipment is available. The practical part of the clinic, which will also include the participation of all court personnel, is usually held during the afternoon in conjunction with actual matches organized for that specific purpose (for example at FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour events, the practical session is held during the Country Quota Play-Off matches).

The referee clinic

The Line judges at the referee






Neutral Referees + Referees

Conference Room, Microsoft Power Point projector & screen, white board &markers


Auxiliary Officials

Conference Room, Microsoft Power Point projector & screen, white board &markers

daily referee meetings

The daily referee meetings during a Beach Volleyball event should be held at the completion of each day's playing schedule and prior to commencement of the play the next day (recommended 1 hour prior). The meeting held after the end of play should focus on reviewing the day’s play, while meetings held before the start of the day should set the scene for the coming matches concentrating on the major areas of focus. These meetings can be held either at the referee’s area or in a meeting room or another appropriate place.

Daily referee meetings
A daily Referee meeting

the referee assignement's criteria

The initial appointment of officials should be made the night before the matches as much as permissible by a draw and then distributed by the Referee Manager in the next morning’s meeting. This should primarily be done in rounds and then continuously modified / progressed during the day as the match schedule is updated.

The balance of matches officiated during a day for a given referee, should be managed to ensure overall quality of officiating and a balanced program, both in number of matches, spacing between matches and teams officiated, except where obvious differences exist in standard of officiating also taking into consideration the neutrality issues.

A Referee Delegates should generally follow the principles below in due coordination with the number of referees considered for match appointments:


The above considerations are suggested to enable the most difficult matches (quarter finals onwards) to be refereed by the best Referees at the tournament, including the desirable element of the host country referees of sufficient standard.

The referee managerAs an objective, match appointments should reflect the Referee Delegate`s rating of an individual Referee. It is highly recommended that the last assignment of each Referee as 1st Referee reflects his or her overall performance.

assessing the referees

All referees must undergo evaluation during a given tournament. Performances should be evaluated according to the following scale:


Referees should be reviewed/ evaluated on a daily basis. This may mean that the Referee Delegate may have to review/ evaluate more than one game at a time and the referees may rotate through different courts. It also means that the Referee Delegate must manage their time effectively to ensure that they have the opportunity to see each referee performing in both functions on an equal basis.

RD assessing the refereesEvaluation should be used to give feedback to the referees at the appropriate time and should take into account both positive and negative points. Daily, the Referee Delegate should compile a summary sheet, which summarizes the major points of the day covering all areas of officiating. This should form the basis for the daily referee’s meeting;

The remarks should be then added to each individual referee’s record of performance (to ascertain their overall ranking and evaluation) forming the basis for the final individual debrief meeting. This evaluation reports should be sent to the sanctioning entity.

the final reports

At the completion of the tournament, the Referee Delegate (representing the sanctioning body concerned) and the Referee Manager Delegate (representing the national body) should compile at the relevant report templates their assessment and eventual recommendations for future reference, on the various issues related with their responsibilities during the tournament, such as: overall compliance with the requirements; quality of the competition area and the sport equipment; quality of the organizational court structure; performance of the refereeing related officials, quality of the facilities provides, as well as future recommendations.



Further qualified information that can be used as guidance for these specific aspects of the Refereeing Structure can be found at the “2011 RDM Beach Volleyball Referee Delegate Manual”, available at the FIVB website at the following directory:



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