Line Judge Certifications


Click here for a current list of individuals who have PAVO National Line Judge certification

The objectives of the PAVO Line Judge Training and Certification program are to:

  • Build a database of certified line judges.
  • Increase knowledge and competency of line judges.
  • Increase recognition of line judges as professional officials. 
  • Provide validation for line judge compensation.

Using the standards outlined below, PAVO affiliated boards (and other entities who establish a program meeting the minimum standards) have the authority to award and renew PAVO line judge certification. Certified line judges will receive the certification, a "Certified Line Judge" patch and current year certification pin, liability insurance coverage, a subscription to the Official Word newsletter, PAVO member discounts on travel, events, and merchandise, and access to the NCAA Central Hub. Current-year rule interpretation newsletters, messages from the National Coordinator, and other important seasonal information are only available on the Central Hub.

Basic Line Judge Certification Standards

Initial Certification Requirements

  • To be PAVO-certified, line judges must join a PAVO-affiliated local association (called a "board") as either a "Standard" member or an "Associate" member.  Click here for a list of PAVO-affiliated boards.  Annual dues of $20 are charged to Associate members, although local boards may charge a small additional fee for local programs.  Associate members are eligible for certification as a line judge /or scorer.  Standard members ($110 dues) are eligible for certification as a referee, line judge, scorer, or any combination.  All PAVO members must acept the terms of the PAVO Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct, Conditions of Membership, General Waiver, and Media Release.  The documents are electronically submitted during the online dues-payment process or by contacting the PAVO central office (pavo@pavo.org)
  • Attend an annual Line Judge Training Session where current-year materials developed by PAVO are used, conducted by an approved PAVO instructor.  Approved PAVO instructors include any PAVO State or National referee, a PAVO Nationally- certified line judge, any NCAA Division I conference assignor/coordinator, and any individual who has been assigned as a line judge to an NCAA Division I Regional or Championship event in the last five years.  Additional approved instructors may be listed on the PAVO website.
  • Submit to your local board chair by December 31:
    • The current-year written Line Judge examination, corrected to 100%and signed by the PAVO training-session instructor; and
    • Three recommendation signatures from any approved PAVO instructor.  Click here for recommendation forms.  Signatures must be obtained from at least two different individuals, and be based on at least one 25-point set.  Recommendations may be based on observations at any women's or men's collegiate match, or any other PAVO, USAV or high school match officiated by referees certified by PAVO or USAV within 90 days of the start date of the certification.  Recommendation forms are included in this manual, or can be obtained from the PAVO central office (www.PAVO.org or 888-791-2074).    
  • Certification expires annually on June 1. 

Basic Line Judge Certification - Renewal Requirements

  • Attend an annual Line Judge Training Session as described above.
  • Submit to your local board chair by December 31:
    • The current-year written Line Judge Examination, corrected to 100% and signed by the PAVO training- session instructor.
    • One written recommendation signature (see description above) annually.
  • Join a local PAVO-affiliated board as either a "Standard" or "Associate" member, including dues payment and wavers/documentation as described above.

National Line Judge Certification

Initial Certification Application:

Download an application form herePlease note - applications for National Line Judge Certification (either by attending an NRT site or using prior experience) and a $50 application fee must be submitted to PAVO PO Box 780 Oxford, KS  67119 (check made payable to PAVO)  .  Applications to attend a 2014 NRT site must be received by May 15, 2014, so submit in time to meet that deadline. Applications may be scanned/emailed/mailed to PAVO PO Box 780 Oxford, KS  67119.  If you have any questions, please email Mara Wager, NRT Director at NRT.Director@pavo.org.

Experience-based applications must be submitted by October 1 to be applicable in that season.  Qualifying events after October 1 will be applied to a term that begins the following June 1.   

Initial Certification Criteria

  • Meet all current requirements for Basic Line Judge Certification (see above) in the season (June 1 to June 1) prior to application for National certification.
  • In addition, meet one of the following criteria:
    • Attend a PAVO National Rating Team Site and be evaluated by the PAVO National Rating Team.  An application to be a candidate must be received in the PAVO central office by June 30.
    • Work as a line judge at one of the following events in the last three years, and submit the signature of an NCAA Official observer or NAIA Head Referee to confirm your participation and proficiency:
      • NCAA Women's Division I Regional or Championship (Final Round)
      • NCAA Women's Division II or III Championship (Final Round)
      • NCAA Women's Division I, II or III 1st/2nd round (at least two matches required)
      • NAIA Women's Volleyball Championships (at least two matches required)
    • Work at least two matches as a line judge at an NCAA Division I Conference Championship in the last three years, and submit the signature of the Conference Coordinator to confirm your participation and proficiency.
    • Work at least two matches as a line judge at an NCAA Men's Conference Championship in the last three years, and submit the signature of the Supervisor/Conference Coordinator to confirm your participation and proficiency.  In addition, work as a line judge at a minimum of four NCAA women's collegiate matches in the year of certification and submit a list identifying those assignments.
    • Work at least two matches as a line judge at the NCAA Men's Championships (final round) in the last three years, and submit the signature of a member of the championship committee to confirm your participation and proficiency.  In addition, work as a line judge at a minimum of four NCAA women's collegiate matches in the year of certification and submit a list identifying those assignments.
    Note:  The deadline for submission of documentation of experiences leading to National Line Judge certification is October 1 to affect the current year certification.  Documentation submitted after October 1 will be applied to certification status for the following year. 
  • Term:  National Line judge certification expires on December 31, four years after the year in which the rating is awarded. Documentation of experiences leading to National Line Judge certification.
  • Acceptance:  All applications will be evaluated by the NRT Director, who will make the final determination of qualifications submitted.

Maintaining National Line Judge Certification:

Each year within the term, National Line Judges are required to:

  • Attend an annual Line Judge Training Session as described above, or instruct a Line Judge Training Session.
  • Take the current written examination and correct to 100%.  The examination must be signed by the training session instructor, or taken online, and submitted to the PAVO office (address below). The exam must be submitted annually by October 15. 
  • If the above criteria is met by instructing a Line Judge training session, submit a statement/form describing the location and date of the clinic and the administrator/sponsor (PAVO board, conference, institution, etc).
  • If a National Line Judge fails to meet any of the above requirements once in a term, the referee is ineligible to receive renewal points for that season.  Two failures to meet this requirement during one renewal term will result in loss of National Line Judge certification.
  • Continued PAVO membership through a local board is required.

National Line Judge Certification - Renewal Requirements (Click here for a pdf of the renewal point system).

National Line Judge Certification may be renewed through continued demonstration of excellence as a line judge. The following Point Renewal System may be used in lieu of renewing by repeating the original criteria above.  A renewal fee of $25 is charged to renew using the point system.

  • Six (6) points must be earned during the four-year term of the rating
  • A minimum of three (3) of the six total points must be earned in Category I
  • The remaining points can be earned from any combination of the three categories
  • Positions such as referee, scorer, or alternate official, etc. do not qualify for renewal points

One point is awarded for each item in the following categories, as a line judge or line judge trainer:

Category I - Women's Intercollegiate Volleyball

  • Semifinals or finals of a women's NCAA conference championship, any division (1 pt maximum per event)
  • Women's NCAA Tournament play-in match
  • Women's NCAA First/Second Round
  • Women's NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA Regionals
  • Women's NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA National Championships (any division)
  • Line judge at least four (4) women's collegiate conference matches in one NCAA Division I conference.  Only one Category I point can be earned per season using this criterion

Category II - Training, Rating, Educating

  • Conduct a line judge clinic using current PAVO training materials (maximum one point per year)
  • Actively rate line judges at a PAVO National Rating Site

Category III - Other Volleyball Competition

  • Semifinals or finals of a WOMEN'S NAIA or NJCAA conference championship, any division (1 pt maximum per event)
  • Women's state junior college championship tournaments in states that are not affiliated with NJCAA
  • National Small College Athletic Association Championship
  • Line judge the final matches at the USA Volleyball Adult Open Championships in the following divisions
  • Open division
  • Gold division of AA, A, BB, B
  • Gold division of men's age divisions younger than 50
  • Gold division of women's age divisions younger than 40
  • Line judge Finals of the Gold 16, 17, or 18 divisions at the USA Junior Olympic Volleyball Championships for Girls or Boys
  • Any Gold Finals of the Collegiate Club Championships (NIRSA/NCVF)
  • NCAA Men's Division I or Division III National Championships
  • NAIA Men's National Championships (all divisions)
  • Line judge at least four (4) women's collegiate conference matches in one NCAA Division I conference. Only one Category III point can be earned per season using this criterion, and the matches must be different from the matches used for a renewal point in Category I.



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