The Maine Association of Volleyball Officials works very hard to make sure that all of our new officials have the best training possible before they ever step on the court for their first match. This includes classroom work, clinics, practical experience, and lots of discussion, involving some of our most seasoned, veteran officials.
Because our first assignment as a volleyball official usually includes a JV and Varsity match, it is essential that we spend a lot of time preparing every new official to the best of their ability.
Every new official has lots of questions, and this website is filled with answers to most of the questions we've heard over the years from those who decide to become a certified volleyball official.
Here is a ballpark listing of what it is going to cost you for your first season of what we hope will become a long career. There is no escaping these fees, and you can't work until you've paid them all. Some are annual and some are good for five years. It is one of the costs of doing business as a professional sports official.
This covers your basic membership into the organization. Everyone pays the same amount to belong to our association.
(updated December 10, 2022)
This is an annual fee and covers you with a liability insurance policy for all of the sports you officiate for one fee. This is for high school volleyball but also covers you for all levels of volleyball except for the professional leagues. If you officiate multiple sports this one $35 fee covers you for every sport you work.
Anyone who works or volunteers at a Maine school is required to have a completed background check on file with the Maine Department of Education. This covers officials for all of the sports they may work, and any other employment/volunteer situations they may have.
Anyone who works or volunteers at a Maine school is required to have their fingerprints on file electronically with the state. This covers officials for all of the sports they may work, and any other employment/volunteer situations they may have.
Some of these costs will vary, depending on the style, brand, vendor, and time of year you may first purchase items. (* indicates an approximate figure, and doesn't include shipping or alterations).
White is the default color. Everyone must have a white certified, licensed, professional volleyball official shirt. No exceptions. Two additional colors are available and optional for officials to wear during MAVO and PAVO assigned matches. Grey, and Cyan blue are the other colors. Both officials MUST match. If they can't agree on a color option, they WILL wear their white shirts.
All shirt colors come in short sleeve and long.
Dress pants. Not canvass, not Dickies, not denim, not track pants, not sweat pants, not shorts, etc. Should be able to put a crease in them if ironed. Pockets are necessary. Belt loops are recommended. Pleats and cuffs are optional.
*SHIRTS MUST BE WORN TUCKED INTO YOUR PANTS.
Plain leather belt. Nothing fancy, but in good condition.
We wear our shirts tucked into our pants. This isn't a suggestion.
Must be white, with regular non-marking soles, white laces, clean. No "Z-coils" or other trendy options. They should be as comfortable as possible. You will be on your feet for extended periods of time. The extra money spent on a good pair of shoes will be well worth it by the end of the season.
Socks must be worn. They must be white. They must be must be plain. They should go up at least half way up your calf. Footies, booties, or colored socks are not acceptable.
Some of these costs will vary, depending on the style, brand, vendor, and time of year you may first purchase items. (* indicates an approximate amount, and doesn't include shipping)
MAVO can recommend a few vendors for our members, however this is not an exhaustive list of all possible options:
UMP-ATTIRE (do not purchase uniforms from this vendor. They do not sell the official uniforms required by MAVO)
FOX40 (Whistles and lanyards. Standard and electronic whistles)
Officials receive on MAVO certified officials patch with their initial membership. It is up to the individual official to determine the best method of attaching their patch to their uniform shirt. Options include: sewing directly onto the shirt (upper right chest); magnets; Velcro; spray adhesive. Do not pin your patch to your shirt.
Your MAVO (or PAVO) patch goes on your upper right chest.
Some vendors offer a start up kit with most of what you need. These kits typically include:
These kits are typically sold with the intention of giving a new official the most bang for their buck, and sometimes the quality of the merchandise is lower than if purchased separately.
There are many different styles and options available for whistles. Most officials use the FOX40 brand. Although there are other brands that work equally well.
White and black are the two basic colors MAVO officials use. You can also match your shirt color to your whistle and lanyard. Your lanyard color should match your whistle.
Most whistles come with a matching lanyard, however, some do not. Make sure yours does when you order or purchase it.
All officials must have a set of red and yellow sanction cards. These usually come with a pocket carrying case.
Each official must have a tossing coin for determining serve/side. The R1 needs it for the captains/coaches meeting, the R2 needs it in the event the match goes to a deciding set.
The coin should be at least the size of a fifty-cent piece, and have two distinct images for front and back.
Each official must have a net measuring device. The most practical, and most commonly used is a chain specifically made for volleyball. It should have markings for the women's height, and men's height net.
Each official must have a ball pressure gauge that is capable of measuring at least between about 3 and 6 PSI.
Each official must have a ball pump and should have a supply of spare needles.
Each official should have a set of RED line judge flags. Most schools have at least one set, but in the event they don't, the officials team should provide their own.
Your gear bag (see below) should be big enough to hold your required equipment AND your NFHS rule book. Each official should have their copy available at the scorekeepers table for quick reference.
Each official should have a watch or electronic timing device capable of timing minutes and seconds. This is considered part of the uniform and should be worn when courtside.
Officials should have a small gear bag (about the size of a toiletry bag) capable of carrying and organizing all of your gear. When possible, this is the only thing you need to bring to the court (with the exception of line judge flags, if you are the R2).
Some of these costs will vary, depending on the style, brand, vendor, and time of year you may first purchase items. (* indicates an approximate amount, and doesn't include shipping).
It is strongly recommended that officials working as R1 wear ear plugs while on the referee stand. Over the course of a season there is a considerable amount of very loud sound coming from your whistle. Protect your ears from the beginning of your career.
Officials are expected (whenever possible) to change into their uniform at the venue. One suggested piece of equipment is a travel bag to carry your shirt(s), pants, shoes, and other items into the school.
Uniforms must be clean and should be wrinkle-free. A small navy blue or black bag to carry your uniform is recommended.
MAVO suggests that officials be proactive in providing for their own hydration while at the venue. We cannot rely or depend upon schools to provide hydration stations. Remember what you bring in, you need to take out when you leave.
It is a good idea to bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer, and use it often.
Dress to make a good first impression.
There is no getting around it, there will be a considerable investment on the part of our new members. We sympathize. And we do what we can to make it possible for our new members to recoup their investment over time.
Keep in mind that if you're in this for the long haul, you'll probably never need to replace many of the items required to be a certified volleyball official. Your shirts, pants, shoes, and belt can last a long time if you take care of them. The same is true for your equipment. Purchasing quality items up front can be a little more expensive, but in the long run you'll save money.
We provide many opportunities for training and don't charge our members for these valuable tools you can add to your equipment bag. Take advantage of all of the training sessions offered throughout the year. Attend board meetings. Participate in decision-making. Get involved.
Very few high school sports officials can earn as much as volleyball officials because nearly all of our assignments include a JV and varsity doubleheader. There may be a longer time investment per assignment, but our hourly rate is still near, or at the top of the list. It will take less time to pay back your initial investment as a volleyball official than it would for other sports such as baseball, and hockey, for example, where those officials may be spending $700+ on equipment alone.
page updated May 24, 2023
page updated November 14, 2023