Interested in becoming involved as a volleyball official or want to pursue your certification to a higher level? 

Our refereeing pathway allows referees to plot their own learner journey through a range of awards.

Grade 4

The 1-day Grade 4 refereeing course is your first step into refereeing. It consists of pre-course tasks, half a day of on-court practice and half a day conducted in a classroom setting, covering both theoretical and practical aspects of refereeing. Finally, you will be required to sit an online exam. 

From 1st April 2024, the cost of the course is £75 (plus a service fee of 3.2% + 50p). Learners will need to be at least 16 years of age on the day of the course.

At the end of the day, you will be able to:

  • Interact effectively with teams and match officials
  • Handle pre- and post-match administration, guiding a successful match
  • Understand the FIVB rules
  • Referee a game both as a 1st referee or as a 2nd referee assisting the 1st referee, including signaling, etc

With this award, you will be able to officiate games within regional and local leagues as a trainee referee and work towards attaining a Grade 3 Regional award.

How can I book onto a Grade 4 Referee Course?

Grade 4 Referee Courses are organised on a demand basis. A list of live courses can be found on the VolleyZone course portal here. If you can't see a suitable course listed or there are no courses listed, please look out for future courses. These will be added to the course portal when they are available for bookings.  

If you see a course listed that you would like to attend, please see the step-by-step guide here for booking instructions and support.

For further information please contact the Volleyball England Hub via email or call 01509 974 700.

Next Steps

After passing the Grade 4 course, you will then be able to obtain higher grades through being observed. 

In some cases, it may also be able to shorten the normal period of qualification through the Accelerated Promotion Scheme.

Grade 3 Regional

The Grade 3 Regional qualification is the basic grade of practical refereeing and the recommended minimum standard for officiating in regional and local leagues, attained through being observed refereeing a game.

Ideally, after attaining the Grade 4 qualification, you will be able to be promoted to Grade 3 Regional by getting practical experience as both a 1st and 2nd referee in regional and local games. 

To achieve Grade 3R you need to be observed by an approved Volleyball England Referee Assessor  officiating a match, at least as a 1st Referee.

You can apply for your Grade 3R assessment on Volleyzone, by selecting Referee Grade 3R Assessment in the event finder and completing the information. A Referee Assessor will then get in touch with you to arrange the observation and assess if you are able to:-

  • Carry out pre-match preparation in accordance with local league guidelines
  • Communicate and work with the other match officials
  • Communicate with team officials and captains sufficiently to reduce/contain excessive reactions to decisions
  • Control matches consistently and impartially within current Volleyball England/FIVB rules
  • Generally apply handling decisions accurately
  • Recognise the actions which lead to misconduct and apply misconduct sanctions accurately
  • Carry out post-match local league requirements
  • As 2nd Referee, assist the 1st Referee to control a match
  • Discuss with the assessor any reasons for particular decisions

Grade 3 National

The Grade 3 National qualification is the minimum grade for National Volleyball League appointments, beginning from Division 3. You can be promoted to Grade 3 National after at least 2 years of officiating, with experience of NVL/Cup matches. Again, once you feel confident enough, contact the relevant persons to be observed.

Grade 2

The Grade 2 qualification allows you to be appointed to higher level NVL/Cup matches, namely Division 1 and 2 matches. In addition to a practical assessment, you should also have at least 2 years of experience as an NVL referee at the Grade 3N level. You should demonstrate a consistently high standard of officiating in National League Division 2 matches and Volleyball England recognized competitions.

Grade 1

The Grade 1 qualification allows you to be appointed to the highest level NVL matches, namely Super 8s matches. In addition to a practical assessment, you should have at least 2 years of experience as an NVL referee at the Grade 2 level. You should demonstrate competence at the highest level of officiating and must be committed to an extensive programme of NVL matches each season.