2021 Correspondence Log from Rules Interpreter and Assignor
Rules Interpreter, Rick Forge
Posted September 2
Schools Granted Waivers to not Swap Benches
A number of schools have been granted waivers from the NHIAA to have teams remain on the same benches throughout the match, just as we did last year.
When you arrive at a site you should ask the host management what the Covid protocols are and have them discuss them with the opposing coaches prior to the pre match conference. If the protocols include not swapping benches then you should ask if they have a waiver from the NHIAA. If they do not have a waiver, allow them to stay on the same bench throughout the match and report this to Supervisor of Officials, Phil Mollica (firstname.lastname@example.org). He, in turn, will inform the NHIAA. If they want to stay on the same benches, allow this, whether they have a waiver or not!
Wearing masks and not swapping benches are the only covid protocols that will be used in matches. Pre-game, coin toss, etc. will still be done using pre-Covid protocols.
Officials should stay out of and not be the mediator or enforcer of school policies concerning Covid protocols. Officials’ roles are to officiate the matches, not enforce school policies.
Any issues should be reported to Phil.
Posted August 30
Season Opening Email
Expect changes during the season and be prepared when you enter a school. Some schools will be requiring masks. As of this writing the NHIAA has not set forward any Covid recommendations and is leaving that up to each individual school and the NHIAA has not endorsed any Covid protocols for matches. Matches are to be officiated using our normal protocols. Schools may be sanitizing balls and restricting fans etc. but there are no changes to the actual administration of the match. If you encounter any changes play the match and then report them to the Supervisor of officials, Phil Mollica.
Officials may use electronic whistles.
Coaches and athletic directors have all been notified that NFHS has placed an emphasis on enforcing the uniform rule that does not allow for the manufacturer’s name on the waistband of shorts. An example is NikePro that exceeds 2 ¼ inches. This should be addressed during warmups or during the pre match conference by notifying the coach. If a player does not have legal shorts they are not allowed to play until they have changed to legal shorts. Rolling the waistband does not make them legal as the uniform must be worn as intended. If a team has a number of players with illegal shorts that leaves them without 6 players the match will be played with 1 penalty point accessed to start the match. If this occurs, report this to Phil Mollica.
Solid Beads used in hair braids
Some hair styles are using solid beads in braiding hair. This is not legal. The NFHS recognizes that this has become an issue and here is their response:
Rule 4-1-6 . . . Hair devices made of soft material and no more than 3 inches wide may be worn in the hair or on the head. Bobby pins, flat clips and flat barrettes, unadorned and no longer than 2 inches, are also allowed.
The current language prohibits the wearing of beads or clips that do not meet the above criteria. While both the NCAA and USA Volleyball have rules language that allows for these hair adornments, these items are noncompliant per NFHS rules.
The NFHS Volleyball Rules Committee is sensitive to how this rule is enforced. The committee strongly believes that equipment rule compliance begins with coach/player education and the responsibility to ensure all players are properly equipped falls directly on the head coach.
In the instance a player is found to be wearing a hair adornment(s) not meeting the requirements of Rule 4-1-6, the following steps may be taken by the officials to avoid disqualification or cutting out of secured hair adornments:
If a school is running a freshman match prior to the JV match show some flexibility in the starting time of the JV match. We are there for the kids. If this is a continuing problem contact Dick Dumais, do not complain to coaches or athletic directors.
Our website: http://www.nhvoa.net contains a number of resources for you. Please make use of them. The Rules and Mechanics page contains all the information you need for rules, officiating volleyball, videos, and NHIAA forms necessary for protests, disqualifications, physical contact, and insurance. You need to login to the Arbiter to access the videos. Email me if you have trouble accessing our site.
Who to Contact During the Season
Contact Rick Forge, Rules Interpreter, (email@example.com, 603-707-7343) if you have questions about rules and interpretations of rules.
Contact Phil Mollica, Supervisor of Officials, (firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-312-3077) to report issues with a facility, disqualifications, protests, physical contact, etc.
Contact Dick Dumais, Assignor, (email@example.com, 603-455-3149) for all assignment related issues.
Assignor, dick dumais
Posted September 1
Masks and Whistles
We have been fielding questions from officials about wearing masks during matches. If a school's policy is to wear a mask, then you should wear one.
You have two options here:
---Put the whistle under the mask
---Use an electronic whistle.
Posted September 1
Masks, Covid Rules, Access to Phone Numbers
The volleyball season officially begins today!
I continue to receive emails from schools sharing their Covid protocols with most of them requiring officials to wear masks during matches. You can assume that you will be asked to wear a mask so be sure to bring one.
The NHIAA has not adopted NFHS Covid Protocols so matches will be played following all rules with the exception that players will be allowed to wear masks.
Some officials have chosen to have their phone numbers kept private on the Arbiter. This means that Athletic Director's will not be able to call you on game days if there are cancellations or changes in the schedule. Please consider not making this point of contact private. Let me know if you have questions about this.
Remember to check the Arbiter daily in case changes are made. Arbiter emails are not always reliable, so the best practice is to check your schedule daily.
Posted August 31
Assignment Modifications for Officials' Shortage
You can expect the following on dates where the number of matches is exceeds the number of officials available.:
Posted August 30
Season Opening Email
The Fall 2021 Volleyball Season begins Wednesday, September 1. Please review the following information before the season starts.
Check the Arbiter and your email daily. Always go by the schedule on the Arbiter. Contact me if you see a discrepancy between your assignment and the schedule(s) posted on the NHIAA website.
If for some reason you must decline a match because it is too far away, indicate it as the reason for declining. I may be able to shuffle officials around to meet everyone’s mileage constraints.
Don’t be surprised if you get moved around during the season. Many times, schedule changes occur and I shuffle assignments to help schools and officials keep mileage costs down. Sometimes you may get unassigned from a match only to be reassigned to the same match. This may occur when I’m attempting to best address openings at other locations.
If an AD calls you about a game change please notify me immediately. Athletic Directors don’t always inform me about changes and we always want the schedule posted on the Arbiter to be accurate.
Contacting the Assignor
Contact Dick Dumais whenever you need to make changes to assignments or calendar blocks. Do not call the school.
If you need to return an assignment more than 24 hours in advance, an email or text will work. If you send a text be sure to include your name in the text.
If you need to return an assignment on the day of a match call or text 603-455-3149. If you text me, be sure to include your name in the text.
If an apprentice is assigned to your match they will be listed as either Observer or Apprentice.
Observer: The apprentice is there to observe the match.
Apprentice: The apprentice will work the R2 position for the entire JV match. If the third set is a non-deciding set, then the apprentice will be R1.
Refer to this document on our website for expectations of mentors and apprentices: https://www.nhvoa.net/mentoring-responsibilities.html
College and Prep School Assignments
You should wear your NHVOA uniform if you accept an assignment to officiate at Plymouth State University, SNHU, or St. Anselm, NHTI, Great Bay, St. Paul’s or Phillips Exeter.
These schools all use NCAA rules. If you accept a match at these schools you need to be familiar with those rule sets. Information about how to access NCAA rules and differences between NFHS and NCAA rules can be found on our website: