The second referee, also known as the R2, has many officiating responsibilities. Learning and mastering these basic volleyball rules and techniques will help your volleyball matches move along better.
The second referee is in charge of the game ball. The second referee ensures the game ball is ready before the start of the match. A ball pressure gauge should be used to check the game ball pressure.
Attend the captains meeting.
The second referee should attend the captains meeting. The second referee should inform the scorekeeper of the result of the captains meeting coin toss.
Time the pre-match warm up.
The second referee should have a watch or stop watch to time the pre-match warm up. The second referee should manage the court by directing the teams on and off the court at the correct time intervals.
Collect team line ups.
The second referee should collect the teams line up sheets from the coaches before the match.
Check each team line up.
The second referee should check each team lining up on the court before the start of each game.
Identify team captains.
The second referee identifies the team captains and signals to the first referee.
The second referee should be watching the receiving team before the serve for out of rotation violations. It's the second referees responsibility to call overlaps on the receiving team.
Except for the service beckon, whenever the first referee whistles, the second referee should mimic the first referees hand signals.
Hand signals should be sharp and clear. When signaling, the second referee should step out away from the pole so the first referee can clearly see the signals.
It is the second referees responsibility to whistle timeouts and substitutions.
For timeouts, the second referee whistles, makes the timeout signal, then signals to the first referee how many timeouts each team has taken. For substitutions, the second referee whistles, makes the substitution signal, then communicates to the scorekeeper the substitutes. Once the scorekeeper is ready, the second referee signals to the first referee to begin play.
The second referee is also responsible for signaling the end of the time period between games.
Along with timeouts and substitutions, the second referee needs to blow the whistle for net violations, centerline violations, the ball hitting the antenna, the ball hitting any object outside the antenna, and the ball crossing the net outside the antenna.
The second referee should also blow the whistle and stop play if a player runs into a nonplayable adjacent court, a player steps into a nonplayable area and plays a ball while not being in contact with the playing surface, or an object such as a ball from another court interferes with play.
The second referee should communicate effectively with the scorekeeper. The second referee should be assertive while at the same time approachable.
The second referee should transition from one side of the court to the other side when the ball is in play. The second referee should try to stay on the defensive teams side of the court watching both sides of the court with emphasis on watching the play at the net for net violations and centerline violations.
The second referee should have good eye contact with the first referee helping them out the best they can. Before the start of the match, the first and second referee should have a discussion on exactly how they are going to help out one another. It is the first referees responsibility to whistle a ball handling violation such as prolonged contact or double contacts, the ball hitting the court, 4 team contacts, illegal back row attacks, and illegal back row blocks.
If the first referee desires, it's the second referees responsibility to discreetly signal (not whistle) ball handling or illegal contacts. Discreetly signaling the first referee can be important when the first referee is screened out of the play. For example, the first referee could miss a ball clearly contacting the floor if a player is between the ball and the first referee. In this situation, the second referee can discreetly signal to the first referee the ball hitting the floor. The first referee may even desire for the second referee to whistle. Discussing referee mechanics and what to do in these situations before the start of the match will likely help things run more smoothly.
The second referee should anticipate, recognize, and administer substitutions.
It's the second referees responsibility to communicate with the team bench during play. For example, if the coach is requesting a timeout or substitution, it's the second referee's responsibility to take control.
The second referee should also be scanning the court and team bench area during play and in between plays. For example, if a ball rolls onto the court interfering with play, the second referee should be ready to blow the whistle and stop play.