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Re: question on first referee's obligation (Prism725) writes:

> When an unconditional playing surface is brought to the attention of
> the first referee's, what steps should he/she take before letting
> play continue?  

I'm not sure what you mean by "unconditional playing surface" but I
have to assume that you're referrring to a surface that's not all that
suited for safe play.

For play to begin, the surface has to be made safe.  If this can't be
done to the R1's satifaction, the match should be cancelled.  All the
USAV indoor rulebook says about this "The surface must be flat,
horizontal and uniform.  The playing surface must not present any
danger of injury to the players."  The beach rulebook speaks a little
more to grass and sand surfaces, but the idea is the same.  "If it's
not safe, don't play."

> If nothing is done before play starts and a person is hurt by this
> condition, what steps should he/she take before letting play
> continue?  

Same thing that should've been done in the first place--make the
playing area safe to the satisfaction of the R1....who at this point
may be hoping he took out an extended liability insurance policy for
himself.  There may be other requirments stipulated by the facility,
and/or sanctioning body under which the tournament was run.  

> I ask these questions to find out if we were given the correct
> information from the tournament director.

I'm curious...was this a sanctioned tournament?  Indoors or outdoors?
What specifically was the issue with the playing surface?  Were
certified referees being used?  What did the tournament director tell

I'm not trained in law by any stretch, but a lot of folks don't
appreciate the liability issues one faces when they take the stand as
an R1.  The extent of this liability is not clear to me--but when I
referee, I certainly minimize any possibility for player injury.  Make
sure no one is wearing illegal equipment.  Get all bags, balls and
misc. stuff out of the free zone.  Make sure captains understand the
limits of the playable area, etc.

One of my raters said it best regarding players protesting the removal
of jewelry for instance, "If it comes down to your necklace and my
house...I'm going to pick my house every time.  Please remove your
necklace, or I cannot allow you to play."

                  Todd H.
USAV Regional Referee, Great Lakes Region, Palatine, IL
Todd's Volleyball Referee Page

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