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MarkusJ Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:23pm

Over-active LJ?
Hello all,

New member, first post!

I was R2 at a small-school varsity match, where the LJs are parents recruited/volunteered/threatened at gunpoint to work the match, so the quality of calls isn't always what one would desire.

However, while the LJ on my side was certainly energetic, with big signal calls and good positioning, on two occasions she ran up to me after a rally and said, "Hey, I called that ball out! It was clearly out, why did the up ref call it in?" I told her that "It's the R1's choice to overrule, she may have had a better angle than you."

The problem was that the LJ was very loud, so the second time the LJ complained to me the coach who lost the point came tagging along with the LJ and started getting in my face a little bit too. I've now got the LJ and the coach complaining about the R1. I took a quick look to the R1 and got the "Your problem, deal with it!" look. Well, thanks.

I told the coach the play is over, point goes there, let's get going. After the coach left I told the LJ to make the calls, make eye contact with R1, to stay in her spot, and not complain about the R1 or R2.

After the match I gave the R1 a bit of grief about the LJ skills, and was told "We are responsible for them, if they make bad calls or use improper procedures it's our fault." I was a bit ticked off and said, "We didn't pick them, we can't fully train a new LJ in 3 minutes, and any serious faults in their work is on the host school." The R1 just said, "True or not, it doesn't matter, it's on us." I don't agree with that view.

I guess I could have asked for a replacement LJ but that carries a lot of baggage too. The coach wasn't doing anything card-worthy, though another 10 seconds of complaining would have gotten her a verbal warning.

So what's the general view about "volunteer" LJs ? Any advice in handling them?



SCalScoreKeeper Thu Dec 28, 2017 03:03pm

The performance of our volunteer and even certified linespeople is on us. I always tell line judges "Do not take it personally if I overrule you. It just means that I saw something different from the stand." If I'm going to overrule a linesperson before awarding that point I generally tap my chest twice to signal my call then go thru the signal sequence. As to the way your line judges acted I would probably warn on the first offense and explain what you did-that an R1 can overrule their linesperson. 2nd time they ran up to me likely would've earned replacement. If you are getting your line judges 3 minutes prior to start then that's a problem I'd talk to my association about and let them deal with the AD & or coach. The host schools are responsible for providing competent assistant officials to help administer the contest. This includes making sure they are trained in whatever roles they'll be working and reporting to the contest with enough time to meet with officials.

In my briefings:
1. Cover which line judge is responsible for what lines
2. Discuss signals (Out vs Antennae, Out vs Touch off block etc) & positioning
3. Timeout Protocol

I like the way you handled the coach. Oh and welcome to the board. Which state do you work?

MarkusJ Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:06pm

Thanks for the reply.

I'm ok with managing trained or semi-trained LJs, but when the host school literally dragged a parent out the stands to work, well, I would have liked the coaches to be appreciative of that fact and not try to take advantage of a new LJ.

I work in Minnesota, in the Twin Cities metro area. I find VB officiating a nice complement to my spring/summer work as a softball umpire.


SCalScoreKeeper Fri Dec 29, 2017 06:35pm

Yeah that's something I'd probably write in a report to your bosses about that match. Are you looking to move up the pole in volleyball?

MarkusJ Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:30pm

I haven't thought too much about "moving up the ladder" in terms of a certification level. My schedule of NFHS and Club VB, along with softball umpiring, keeps me busy enough at present.

Curious - why do you ask?


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