Publisher’s Note: The National Federation of State High School Associations is the only source of official high school interpretations. They do not set aside nor modify any rule. They are made and published by the NFHS in response to situations presented.
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, Publisher, NFHS Publications © 2020
SITUATION 1: Team A is playing with only seven players on its roster. One player is designated as the libero. An injury occurs to one of the position players on Team A and he/she cannot continue in the match. The coach for Team A cannot locate the extra team uniform and sends the libero into the set as the exceptional substitute in his/her current libero uniform. The set continues without further delay. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: Team A should do everything it can to locate a team uniform. This includes assisting the injured player away from the playing area to switch jerseys with the libero/exceptional substitute. If the injured player cannot remove his/her jersey and a team jersey cannot be located, a loss of rally/point shall be awarded to the opponent for an illegal uniform, and the state association shall be notified. Play resumes with the libero as the exceptional substitute. (4-2 PENALTIES 3, 10-3-6c, 10-4-3b)
SITUATION 2: A player on Team B’s bench is questioning the line judge’s judgment, influencing his/her decision on an in/out call in the first set. The first referee issues a yellow conduct card to the head coach as a warning to control his/her bench personnel. The card is recorded on the scoresheet and the head coach is allowed to continue to stand and coach his/her players. During the third set, the first referee issues a red conduct card to the head coach as the team’s second offense for bench conduct. The card is recorded on the scoresheet, a loss of rally/point is awarded to the opponent and the head coach is required to remain seated throughout the rest of the match. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: Cards for unsporting conduct carry over from set to set. A yellow conduct card issued to the head coach for actions by the head coach, assistant coach(es) or team bench in Set 1 does not require the head coach to remain seated. A second unsporting conduct card issued to the coach for inappropriate actions by the head coach, assistant coach(es) or team bench does require the head coach to remain seated for the remainder of the match. (12-2-6, 12-2-8, 12-2 PENALTIES, 12-2 NOTES 2)
SITUATION 3: The head coach of Team A is issued a yellow conduct card for disrespectfully addressing an official. The card is recorded on the scoresheet and the match proceeds without further penalty. The coach continues to stand and coach his/her team in the appropriate area. In the same set, a player on the court for Team A is issued a yellow conduct card for using profanity. Since this is the second conduct card given in the match to Team A, a red card is issued to the coach, a loss of rally/point is awarded to the opponent and the coach is notified that he/she must stay seated for the remainder of the match. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: The head coach assumes responsibility for the team bench. Any conduct card issued for behavior by a head coach, substitute, assistant coach(es) or team attendant is assessed to the head coach. Conduct cards assessed to players on the court are assessed to the player committing the violation. The head coach only loses his/her ability to stand when a red conduct card for first serious offense or second minor offense is issued to bench personnel. (12-2-6, 12-2-9, 12-2 PENALTIES)