R2 Transitioning


As the R2 in a volleyball match you have two primary responsibilities during any particular rally; you are to watch for violations that may occur at the net (net contact and center line violations) and assist R1 in determining if ball handling violation have occurred. Keep in mind that one is just as important as the other. When there is little or no chance of the ball being mishandled or R1 has the best view to determine whether it is mishandled or not, you should be sure you don’t miss any illegal action at the net. When there is little or no chance of violations occurring at the net, you should assist in determining the legality of the ball handling. Be aware that if a net or center line violation occurs, it is your violation to whistle. If you see a ball handling violation occur, you cannot whistle that violation. You should only assist in the call by making a discrete signal to your R1, especially if R1 was likely not to have seen what you saw.

With these two concepts in mind let’s examine the exact mechanics R2 should use during a rally. As the serve is about to happen, R2 needs to be on the receiving side on the net, checking the receiving teams rotation for alignment faults. However since it is highly unlikely that there will be violations occurring at the net at the time of the serve, as soon as the serve is contacted you need to transition to the other side of the net, you should start with the foot closest to the net standing directly on the center line. While this is not a good position to maintain during most of the rally, it will allow you to transition in just one big glide step to the blockers side. Prepare to transition by slightly flexing your inside knee and as soon as you hear the ball contacted for serve, push hard with your outside foot, take a long glide step with your inside leg to the other side of the net. Now pull your trailing foot up under you, slightly behind the one already planted, keeping your feet shoulder width apart. You should now be in a position about 2’-3’ off the center line with your body and shoulders tipped slightly toward the net. At the same time you take the glide step to transition, shift your attention to the person receiving the serve. As it is highly unlikely that there is any action occurring at this time at the net, you can assist R1 in determining whether or not the first two contacts are legal. There are times when two players contact the ball on the initial serve receive and R1 is screened from seeing it thus causing the potential for the team to use four contacts in returning the ball across the net. R1 might also be totally screened from seeing one of the actual contacts as it occur and you can help there as well. As the ball comes toward the net for the attack, as R2 you need to direct your attention to the net action and monitor it until no additional action is likely to occur. There is usually action to observe at the net until after the defensive team has made their first ball contact. Watch the hitter and blockers take off, land and start to clear away from the net. At this point you can turn your attention to the team playing the ball and transition to the other side of the net. Always turn your attention first then transition. Since you are a few feet away from the center line now (different than on serve receive) you will likely have to take more than a long glide step to get to where you need to be. Try taking a big glide step with your inside leg, cross over behind with the outside leg then place your front foot on the court in a comfortable position slightly nearer the court than your inside leg with your feet shoulder width apart. You should now be about 2’-3’ off the net with your body tilted slightly toward the net, an ideal position to observe the action that is about to occur at the net.

Remember, other than on serve receive you need to watch for any net violations that might occur as the ball crosses the net. If you see the 1st contact after an attack, you most likely left the net too quickly and you are in jeopardy of missing a violation. If the team is returning a free ball high over the net and no blockers are attempting to block, you can focus your attention on the initial pass and transition much sooner. Yes someone might hit the net on this play but it is highly unlikely and since almost no one is at the net is should be rather easy to determine who the culprit was.

On serve receive start on the center line, transition with one long glide step on serve contact and help R1 with the 1st and 2nd contacts. Then get your attention to the net play.
At all other times during the rally you need to be off the net into the back court 2’-3’, 5’-6’ away from the pole so you can best observe net action. Watch the attacker and blockers go up, land and transition to their next move. There is now very little chance for a violation to occur at the net so first turn your head find the action involving the ball then quickly transition to the blockers side of the net. Since you don’t want to be screened by the pole any longer than necessary, make your transition quick, once you start. You will thus be able to help R1 observe the 2nd and perhaps 3rd contact before you have to again concentrate on possible net area violations. It is your responsibility to observe back row attackers to see if their take-off point is indeed in the back row. In general during a rally, you want to transition to the blockers side of the net sometime after the defensive team makes their 1st contact and before that make their 3rd or final contact.

At the end of the rally, step laterally, away from the net post, with shoulders parallel to the sideline. Both referees should "center" by making eye contact with one another as they execute the appropriate signals.

If you whistle a fault violation as R2, you need to immediately step to the side of the net where the fault occurred and indicate the nature of the fault and if needed, who committed the fault. You then mimic R1's awarding of the point.