Volleyball Ref Signals (Check Out Some Of The Ref Signals In Volleyball!)

Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Alex PT

In volleyball, referees use hand signals to communicate decisions. Key signals include point (1 arm raised), side out (both arms), and substitution (pointing). There are over 20 official signals for various rulings and game situations.

Referee Hand Signals Cheat Sheet

Here’s a detailed cheat sheet of common volleyball referee hand signals:

  1. Point Awarded: One arm raised to indicate which team scored.
  2. Side Out: Both arms extended to the side to signal a side out.
  3. Substitution: Pointing at the player entering the game.
  4. Rotation Error: Circular motion with one hand over the other to indicate a rotation error.
  5. Back-Row Attack: Signal a back-row attack with an open hand facing upward.
  6. Net Fault: Extend arm straight up and then swipe the hand across the net to signal a net fault.
  7. Foot Fault: Tap the foot with the hand to indicate a foot fault during service.
  8. Ball In: Point towards the floor on the side where the ball landed to indicate an in-ball.
  9. Ball Out: Signal with a hand moving outward to show that the ball is out of bounds.
  10. Touch (Block or Attack): Flick fingers of one hand to signal a touch off a blocker or attacker.
  11. Double Contact: Hold one hand vertically above the other to show a double contact violation.
  12. Antenna Fault: Signal by extending both arms and pointing to the antenna to indicate an antenna fault.
  13. Four Hits: Tap the top of the opposite forearm with the hand to signal a four-hit violation.
  14. Center Line Fault: Swipe an open hand across the centerline to indicate a centerline fault.
  15. Held Ball: Hold one hand steady while moving the other hand up and down to signal a held ball.
  16. Time-Out: Make a “T” shape with both hands to signal a time-out.
  17. Substitution Error: Signal by crossing the wrists to indicate a substitution error.
  18. Replay: Cross arms in front of the body to signal a replay of a point.

Volleyball Ref Signals

1. Illegal Alignment/ Improper Server

 As a team, you must start each rally in a specific rotation in the game of volleyball, meaning you must stand in the appropriate order on the court. When the other team is serving and a point is awarded to your team, you must rotate one position in a clockwise direction. A team will be awarded a point if its opponent stood in the wrong location at the time of making serves, or probably if a wrong person serves the ball. When you see a referee straightening his arm at a 45-degree angle towards the floor on the side of the team at fault, it means he’s awarding a point. To show exactly what happened, a small circular motion would be made by the referee to indicate that a rotation area has occurred. 

2. Line Violation

It is illegal to step over or on the baseline during the serve when serving in volleyball. The two lines that form each end of the volleyball court is the baseline. The line judges are the officials normally assigned to the side and baselines. When a player steps over or on the line when serving, and he or she was caught by the line judge or even referee, the official would immediately point down at the offending line to indicate a player has violated the baseline.

3. Net Foul Or Net Serve

 Net foul or net serve is regarded as one of the most popular rules in the game of volleyball, although it is sometimes misconstrued. You’re allowed to touch the net provided that you will not through that, interrupt the run of play or the rally. Having said that, there’s almost no way you’d touch the net without interrupting the run of play. In case you don’t know, the net and antenna are included in a net violation. In case a total fault happens the referee would get the hand of theirs on the side where the net fault occurred and put their hand carefully on the web to show the fault.

4. Delay Warning/Penalty

When referees want to go give a delay warning to a team, they will hold their hand against the opposite wrist on the side being sanctioned. However, ref signal for a delayed penalty happens when the referee shows a yellow card against the opposite wrist on the side being sanctioned. 

5. Substitution 

For a substitution, the referee rotates his forearms with hands closed in a circular motion to call in the substitutes.

The Table Below Contains A Brief Explanation About Two Common Ref Signals. 

Common Ref SignalsBrief Explanation 
Line ViolationsIt’s unlawful to step over and on the baseline throughout the provide when serving in volleyball.
Illegal Alignment You must rotate one position in a clockwise direction when the other team is serving and a point is awarded to your team.

What Happens When A Player Steps Over Or On The Line When Serving?

You’ll see the official immediately pointing down at the offending line to indicate a player has violated the baseline. 

What Are The Referee Hand Signals In Volleyball? 

1. Authorization for service. The most used signal by the first referee is the beckon for serve. 

2. Ball in

3. Ball Touched 

4. Ball out

5. Catch 

6. Loss of Rally. Referees extend their arm to the side that won the rally 

7. Double contact (hand signals Volleyball)

8. Line Fault (Hand Signals Volleyball)

What Does It Mean When The Ref Holds Up Two Fingers In Volleyball? 

This means that a player has contacted the ball more than once, meaning the block does not count. The server is now asked to serve by the official. 

Some People Talk About Down Reffing In Volleyball, What Does It Mean?

Discreetly signal four hits, double connections, back-row blocks, or even back-row attacks. The second referee must view the team getting the services as well as call-out rotation faults that arise.

Why Is It That Hand Signals Are Important In Playing Volleyball? 

Several hand signals are used by referees during a volleyball game.  The hand signals are provided by the referee that initially indicates the fault after which indicates which team has received the point. A place is suggested by a single finger on the edge of the court to show the winner of the rally.

Final Words – Closing Thoughts! 

We hope that you’re already acquainted with each one of these ref signals. We’ve come to the end of this informative article. We hope you were able to find resources in your quest to know the volleyball ref signals. Please do not hesitate to contact us for questions or comments. Thanks!




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