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The certification reciprocity agreement establishes criteria for PAVO and USAV referees to acquire a rating in the other organization without having to undergo the entire prerequisite training and evaluation process. This agreement was developed to encourage referees to work at various levels of competition by streamlining the certification path, recognizing their prior qualifications from PAVO or USAV. The reciprocity is to be used for the initial achievement of a rating from the other organization. Following are the criteria for acquiring a reciprocal rating:

  1. In order for a PAVO referee to acquire a USA Volleyball rating through reciprocity as defined below, the individual must maintain membership with USA Volleyball in his or her respective USAV region, pay the appropriate dues and meet other regionally defined (and nationally defined, if applicable) membership and certification requirements.
  2. In order for a USA Volleyball referee to acquire a PAVO rating through reciprocity as defined below, the individual must affiliate through a local PAVO board, pay the appropriate dues and meet other locally defined membership and certification requirements.
  3. A currently certified USA Volleyball National or USA Volleyball Junior National referee may obtain, by reciprocity, his/her initial PAVO State rating. All prior experience and practical testing requirements are waived, but the individual must comply with all local requirements involving clinic attendance and written examinations.
  4. A currently rated PAVO National referee may obtain, by reciprocity, his/her initial USA Volleyball Junior National or Regional rating with all prior experience and practical testing requirements waived. An individual reciprocating to a USAV Junior National must indicate that selection to the USAV AVP-National Referee Commission, and must meet all maintenance and renewal criteria established for Junior National Referees. Individuals reciprocating to either Regional or Junior National certification must also comply with all local requirements involving clinic attendance and written examinations.
  5. A currently certified USA Volleyball Regional referee may obtain, by reciprocity, his/her initial PAVO State rating, and a currently certified USA Volleyball Provisional referee may obtain, by reciprocity, a PAVO Local rating. All prior experience requirements are waived, but the individual must comply with all local requirements involving clinic attendance, practical ratings, and written examinations.
  6. A currently certified PAVO State referee may obtain, by reciprocity, his/her initial USA Volleyball Regional rating, and a currently certified PAVO Local referee may obtain, by reciprocity, his/her initial USA Volleyball Provisional rating. All prior experience requirements are waived, but the individual must comply with all local requirements involving clinic attendance, practical ratings, and written examinations.

In all cases of reciprocity, the individual must attend a PAVO clinic for PAVO certification or a USA Volleyball-RVA clinic for USA Volleyball certification. A joint USA Volleyball-RVA/PAVO clinic will satisfy the clinic requirement for either or both certifications.

Note: Only the above certification categories are covered by this reciprocal agreement.

The Certification Reciprocity Agreement establishes that reciprocal ratings can be awarded at certification levels other than a National rating in each organization. However, PAVO and USAV agree that earning a National rating still requires a formal evaluation process. In the spirit of reciprocity, some requirements are waived so that referees who hold a National rating from one organization are encouraged to apply as National referee candidates in the other organization. The specifics of the current agreement are:

  1. Each year, USA Volleyball may send a maximum of three individuals who have USA Volleyball National referee certifications to PAVO National Rating Team (NRT) sites for evaluation as PAVO National referee candidates. These candidates will be waived from all requirements regarding previous PAVO ratings, and from requirements involving previous post-season collegiate experience or recommendations (defined in Part B of the NRT Candidate Application). Reciprocal candidates will meet the same obligations and conditions of candidacy as any other candidate being evaluated at the rating site.

    Individuals who were unsuccessful PAVO NRT candidates in the previous year are not eligible to be reciprocal candidates.

    If the reciprocal candidates are already PAVO members of a local board, it is the responsibility of the PAVO NRT Director to affirm that each individual is in good standing with that local board. Good standing refers only to ethical/professional issues and local board responsibilities, and does not refer to competency. If it is found that any reciprocal candidate is not in good standing with a local PAVO board, the NRT Director will notify the candidate and the USAV Associate Chair-Indoor National Referees in writing.

    After evaluating each USAV candidate, the PAVO National Rating Team will either award PAVO National referee certification, or no PAVO certification. Previous collegiate experience and/or PAVO training are recommended preparation for the PAVO National referee certification process.

    Any referee successfully completing the PAVO National rating process is expected to maintain membership through a PAVO local board and to fulfill all other maintenance and renewal requirements expected of PAVO National referees.

  2. Each year, PAVO may send a maximum of three individuals who have PAVO National referee ratings to the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships for evaluation as USAV National referee candidates. These candidates will be waived from requirements regarding previous USA Volleyball ratings, except for any candidate who had previously attempted, but failed, to qualify for evaluation as a USAV National referee candidate at the USAV Junior National Championships . Such candidates are USA Volleyball/PAVO National Referee required to obtain the approval of the USA Volleyball National Referee Commission before being extended the opportunity to reciprocate. Reciprocal candidates will meet the same obligations and conditions of candidacy as any other candidate being evaluated at the tournament.

    Individuals who were unsuccessful USAV National referee candidates in the previous year are not eligible to be reciprocal candidates.

    If the reciprocal candidates are already certified USAV referees, it is the responsibility of the USAV Director for Junior National and National Referee Certifications & Evaluations to affirm that each individual is in good standing with a USAV region and if applicable, with the Indoor National Officials Commission. Good standing refers only to ethical/professional issues and regional/national responsibilities, and does not refer to competency. If it is found that any reciprocal candidate is not in good standing with a USAV region or the Officials Commission, the USAV Director for Junior National and National Referee Certifications & Evaluations will notify the candidate and the PAVO President in writing.

    After evaluating each PAVO candidate, the USA Volleyball National Rating Team Certification and Evaluation Committee will either award USA National referee certification, or no USAV certification. Reciprocal candidates are expected to provide evidence of experience as a referee for men’s or boy’s competition, or other high level competition, and USA Volleyball experience and/or training is recommended preparation for USAV National referee candidacy.

    Any referee successfully completing the USAV National referee certification process is expected to maintain membership with USA Volleyball and fulfill all other maintenance and renewal requirements expected of USAV National referees.

  3. PAVO National referees may attend the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships (Girls or Boys) on a space available basis under the same conditions and with the same benefits as a USA Volleyball Junior National referee.

Timeline

Candidates from USAV for PAVO National Referee Certification:

  • March 15 | Name, contact information and $150 application fee for potential reciprocal candidates due to PAVO NRT Director.
  • April 1 | PAVO NRT Director will send confirmations to reciprocal candidates, or notify in writing that the candidate is not in good standing with a local PAVO board and will not be accepted for candidacy. Any candidate not accepted will receive a full refund of the application fee.
  • August 15 (approximately) | Examination score on Form A or Form B must be submitted to PAVO NRT Director at least two weeks prior to first day of NRT site.

Candidates from PAVO for USAV National Referee Certification:

  • March 15 | Application and $150 application fee for potential reciprocal candidates due to USAV Director of National Referee Certification and Evaluation.
  • April 1 | Examination score on Form A or Form B must be submitted to the USAV Director for Junior National and National Referee Certifications & Evaluations, if candidate is not already a USAV Junior National Referee. If the reciprocal candidate(s) is already a USAV Junior National Referee, the exam score must have been received by the USAV Associate Chair-Indoor National Referees, National Referee Commission, by February 15.
  • May 1 | USAV Director for Junior National and National Referee Certifications & Evaluations will send confirmations to reciprocal candidates, or notify in writing that the candidate is not in good standing with a USAV region and will not be accepted for candidacy. Any candidate not accepted will receive a full refund of the application fee.

All Junior National and National Referees must submit the current USA Volleyball Domestic Competition Regulations’ Exam no later than February 15 each year. Instructions on how to take the exam are sent to all National and Junior National referees on October 15 of the fiscal year, the first day the USAV exam is available on line.

  1. A National or Junior National referee who submits a corrected Form A or B rules exam after the deadline will not be confirmed to work as a referee for the Adult Open Championships, the Girl’s Junior National Volleyball Championships or the Boy’s Junior National Volleyball Championships during that year. Only an accepted status will be granted. An accepted referee is guaranteed only those matches needed to maintain a certification and to meet attendance requirements at the tournament. All other matches assigned will be on an as-needed basis.
  2. A National or Junior National referee who does not submit a corrected Form A or B rules exam before May 31 will lose their National level referee certification.
  3. A National or Junior National referee who fails to achieve the minimum score (90%) on either the Form A or B rules exam, but still submits the score by the testing deadline, will be placed on a one-year probation.
  4. The corrected exams should be submitted to the Associate Chair, National Indoor Officials’ Commission, Referees by the deadline noted above.

Please be aware that when you take Exam A on-line, a copy of your test results is automatically sent to the Associate Chair.

What is the Officials' Commission policy for accepting officials and assignment of officials at the Adult Open Championships, the Girl’s Junior National Championships, or the Boy’s Junior National Championships?

CONFIRMED NATIONAL OFFICIAL
A USA Volleyball National Referee or National Scorer is confirmed to work a USA Junior National Volleyball Championships and/or USA Volleyball Adult Open Championships if the annual Officials’ Commission dues (plus late fee, if applicable) are paid, the corrected rules exam is submitted by the deadline, and he/she registers for the tournament by the deadline. A confirmed referee is guaranteed to work the number of matches requested in the registration (up to a maximum of 6/day, except for the last day of any session). This number of matches will also depend on the number of teams registered for the tournament.

ACCEPTED NATIONAL OFFICIAL
A USA Volleyball National Referee or National Scorer is accepted to work a USA Junior National Volleyball Championships and/or USA Volleyball Adult Open Championships if the rules exam is NOT received by the deadline, if he/she registers for the tournament after the deadline and/or if the contract and associated paperwork has not been received by the USA Volleyball Events department. An accepted referee is guaranteed only those matches needed to maintain a certification and to meet attendance requirements at the tournament. All other matches assigned will be on an as needed basis.

A USA Volleyball National official who pays the annual Officials’ Commission dues (and late fee, if applicable) and meets the examination requirements can register to work a USA Junior National Volleyball Championships and/or the USA Volleyball Adult Open Championships at any time up to the actual dates of the event, and will be assigned to the matches needed to maintain a certification or show attendance at the event.

CONFIRMED JUNIOR NATIONAL REFEREE
A USA Volleyball Junior National referee is confirmed to work a USA Junior National Volleyball Championship if the annual Officials’ Commission dues (plus late fee, if applicable) are paid, the corrected rules exam is submitted by the deadline, and he/she registers for the tournament by the deadline. A confirmed referee will be assigned to work the number of matches requested in the registration (up to a maximum of 6/day, except for the last day of any session). Note: The number of assignments is further dependent upon the number of teams and referees registered for the tournament.

ACCEPTED JUNIOR NATIONAL REFEREE
A USA Volleyball Junior National referee is accepted to work a USA Junior National Volleyball Championships if the rules exam is not received by the deadline, if he/she registers for the tournament after the deadline, and/or if the contract and associated paperwork has not been received by the USA Volleyball Events department. An accepted referee is guaranteed only those matches needed to maintain a certification and to meet attendance requirements at the tournament. All other matches assigned will be on an as-needed basis.

A USA Volleyball Junior National referee who pays dues (and late fee, if applicable) and meets the examination requirement can register to work a USA Junior National Volleyball Championship at any time up to the actual dates of the event, and will be assigned to the matches needed to maintain a certification or show attendance at an event.

Purpose
In an effort to standardize the procedures for USA Volleyball Junior National and National Referees to remain in good standing with the Referee Sub-Commission, guidelines have been established for use within the regions. These guidelines will replace what was previously referred to as “In Good Standing” within each region. As the certifying entity, the Referee Sub-Commission will have the obligation to determine whether a national-level referee retains his/her certification.

Requirements
The Referee Sub-Commission recognizes the importance of national-level referees’ contributions to their region’s officiating divisions, and suggests a list of activities in which the referees can contribute to the ongoing well-being of the referee’s region. In addition to officiating matches and tournaments, there are many tasks that need to be completed to ensure the smooth operation of the officials’ division within each region. Rather than suggesting that Junior National and National referees officiate a specific number of tournaments, we believe they can contribute to their region through various training, educational and officiating activities. This may be broken down into a minimum number of service hours or service activities, whichever best fits the region.

Service Hours
Each national-level referee cannot be required to be available for more than thirty (30) hours of service within the region per season. More service hours can be offered at the referee’s discretion. The required hours may take several forms, as noted below. Rationale: An official typically spends roughly ten hours officiating at a tournament in a single day, so this would be the equivalent of officiating three very full days in the region. Naturally, a national-level referee can contribute much more to the region, but 30 hours of work is all that is required by the Referee Sub-Commission.

Activities
The following is a list of activities, through which a national-level referee can contribute to the region’s success, are deemed appropriate and proper by the Referee Sub-Commission. The referee may complete the service hours in any combination of these activities. The Referee Sub-Commission believes that fulfilling one or more of these activities each season will result in approximately 30 hours of work – probably more – and this is a sufficient amount of time in which a trained, national-level referee can share experience, mentorship, training information and officiating duties.

  • Refereeing at tournaments within the referees region
  • Developing clinic and/or training materials:
    • for existing referees, or
    • for junior player referees, or
    • for adult player referees
  • Actively working as a clinician and/or trainer in the region
  • Mentoring fellow referees
  • Serving as a member on the region’s Board of Directors or Officiating Advisory Council
  • Chairing a program within the region’s officials division
  • Maintaining a database for the region’s officials division
  • Other contributions as prescribed by the regions referee chair; i.e., representing the region at national meetings
  • Serving on the USAV National Training or National Rating Teams**
  • Serving as tournament staff at National Championships or other recognized National events, i.e., National Qualifiers**
  • Assisting the Referee Sub-Commission with editing of documents or other tasks that need to be performed on a regular basis**
  • Serving on a referee related USAV commission**

**We request RVAs to recognize that National referees, who serve on the USAV National Training and/or Rating Teams, or who serve as tournament staff at National events, are gaining valuable experience that may be shared with grassroots referees in their respective regions. Likewise, the national-level referee is a representation of his/her own RVA when serving in such a capacity at the national level, and this is worthy of recognition and acknowledgement by the referee’s RVA. A maximum of 10 hours out of the 30 may be earned at the National events.

Reporting
Annually, the Referee Sub-Commission will send a request to each region’s referee chair to confirm all USA Volleyball Junior National and National referees’ completion of this requirement. The referee chair or his/her designee will, in turn, submit a list of their referees who have met the requirement. It is of equal importance for the referee chair or his/her designee to identify any and all referees who have not met the standard and include the reason(s) why.

If the referee(s) who are identified as not meeting the standards set by the Referee Sub-Commission feel that they did fulfill the requirements, they can send a list of their activities to the Chair of the National Indoor Referee Sub-Commission. The Referee Sub-Commission will have the final say in whether the referee(s) met the required standards. If they feel the referee(s) did not fulfill the necessary requirements, the referee(s) national level rating will be revoked.

Appeal Process
In the event that a Junior National or National referee is said to have not met the standard set by the Referee Sub-Commission, he/she will have the opportunity to appeal. This appeal will follow the process set forth in the Officials Commission Administrative Manual.

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