TEXAS ASSOCIATION of SPORTS OFFICIALS
Operating Procedures and Guidelines
TASO Policies, Operating Procedures and By-Laws
Introduction and Ethics
This guide is for the current members of the Houston Area Volleyball Officials’ Chapter, (H.A.V.O.C.), of the Texas Association of Sports Officials (T.A.S.O.). The purpose of this guide is to provide answers to many questions that are important to HAVOC members. The first section covers administrative concerns, such as joining TASO, paying dues and how to be a member in good standing. The next section – Game Work Rules – covers the official’s responsibilities for activities before, during and following a match. Guidelines for uniforms and equipment that should be observed by all HAVOC members are included, in addition to Chapter’s By-Laws.
At the beginning of any official’s orientation, ethics must be defined and emphasized:
Do everything you can to uphold the integrity of the game and respect for the official’s position, both on and off the court.
Support your partner and other chapter members as you would want them to support you, on or off the court. Do nothing to diminish the respect others may have for fellow officials.
Improve your knowledge of the rules and mechanics to be better able to officiate competently.
Administer the rules diligently and consistently to prevent unfair advantages.
Work cooperatively with coaches to explain rule interpretations.
Avoid conversations with game participants, unless necessary to do your job.
Stay in control at all times.
HAVOC is a chapter of TASO, which is a state-wide organization in Texas. TASO is approved by the University Interscholastic League to officiate Texas secondary volleyball matches. HAVOC is designated District IX and authorized to officiate secondary school volleyball in Houston and the surrounding area.
Chapter By-Laws and Work Rules
The basic structure of HAVOC is detailed in the By-Laws, which have been approved by TASO and chapter membership. The HAVOC By-Laws and various chapter policies are included in this guide. This guide also includes the Work Rules of HAVOC. Any member may suggest changes to the Work Rules by contacting any Executive Board member, who will bring the suggestion before the Executive Board.
Joining the Houston Chapter
To join HAVOC, one must join TASO online, (a late fee of $25 will be assessed by TASO for not paying state dues on time), submit a local application, submit dues and attend training sessions as set by the Executive Board. The Chapter Secretary should be contacted in regard to training dates.
Loss of Membership
Members who failed to fulfill their membership requirements for the second consecutive year may be suspended from HAVOC for the next season based on non-compliance with HAVOC membership requirements, as set forth in the Constitution and By-Laws and/or Operating Procedures. The Board will propose the status and the Executive Board will make the final proposal. An appeal will be considered within the Texas Association of Sports’ Officials’ guidelines.
Rejoining the Houston Chapter
After, at least, a two (2) year absence from H.A.V.O.C., a returning member will be required to attend training with registered officials for one year, prior to resuming his/her previous chapter ranking for training when they left.
Each member must pay fees to the Chapter Secretary annually. Local fees are set by the Executive Board. Payment of chapter fees are due at the December meeting. Chapter fees are determined by the Executive Board.
If a member pays his/her dues (any fee or payment) with a check that does not clear the bank, he/she will be charged an applicable fee ($25) and will be required to make future payments with a money order, cash or certified check.
There is one scheduler who schedules all sub-varsity and high school varsity matches. The scheduler may appoint an assistant scheduler to help with the duties of the scheduler each year and he/she must be approved by the Executive Board. The appointed assistant is invited to board meetings as a non-voting member.
Scheduling fees are set by the Executive Board. The scheduler is paid directly by the official who works the game. Officials are responsible for paying the scheduler a $50.00 (minimum) pre-scheduling deposit by May 1st. Any fees incurred beyond the deposit will be due by December 15th or a late fee of $25.00 will be assessed. Any excess pre-scheduling deposit may be refunded (if not returning) or may be applied to next year’s deposit. An appointed assistant scheduler is responsible for billing and collection of his/her assignment fees. Any outstanding scheduler’s fee incurred in a past season is payable to the Chapter Scheduler to remain in good standing.
There will $5 assessment fee for assignments declined. For returning accepted assignments (turn backs), a $15 processing fee will be assessed.
According to UIL, if another official cannot be found to cover the assignment, the official who canceled may be held responsible for paying the match fee to the school. Likewise, if the school fails to give a 24-hour notice for a match cancellation and the assigned official cannot be reassigned to another match, the school will be responsible for paying the official the amount for the match minus the travel fee.
No Show Fee
Officials who do not meet the scheduled match will pay a no-show fee of $25 to the chapter. The Scheduler informs the official, chapter president and secretary. Non-payment of the fee will categorize the official as a member NOT in good standing.
Every active member must take and pass an online test before officiating. Testing procedures will be established by TASO. The first opportunity will be the Monday following the State Meeting held in July.
Annual Chapter Training
HAVOC annually holds training sessions for all members. The dates for the sessions may vary. Attendance requirements will be determined by the Executive Board.
Annual TASO State Meeting
Each year, TASO holds a two-day convention in Texas, during July. The location varies from city to city, and all TASO members are invited and encouraged to attend. The agenda covers many topics from state office and local chapter administrative matters, to rules’ interpretations and expert speakers. The state convention is also an excellent place to find and purchase new equipment, since many vendors attend with a wide inventory of the latest in uniforms and equipment. Every HAVOC member is urged to attend the state convention to see how TASO works state-wide.
A TASO clinic is required annually. If a member does not attend the State Meeting, a TASO-sponsored clinic must be completed before officiating.
Every official shall complete a Preference Sheet. If your availability changes during the year, please notify the scheduler.
Coaches’ Scratch List
Each coach may scratch officials in accordance with UIL policy.
HAVOC Executive Board
As described in the Chapter By-Laws, the governing body for the local chapter is the Executive Board. The Executive Board is made up of the following officers: President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Scheduler.
As described in the Chapter By-Laws, the Board consists of the Executive Board and District Director, Immediate Past President, 4 (four) Members-at-Large and a Satellite Chapter Representative (if applicable).
The HAVOC Board meets periodically to plan upcoming events and to make decisions on chapter business. Any member may attend a Board meeting (unless it is designated an Executive Session by the President to discuss personnel). Should a member want a topic discussed at the HAVOC Board meeting, he/she must submit the topic to the President a minimum of ten (10) days prior to the Board meeting.
Board members are expected to attend all board meetings. If a board member must miss a meeting, that member may not appoint a substitute to attend the meeting.
Officers resigning or unable to fulfill their elected positions will be replaced by an appointment from the Board. Those officers relinquishing their position will be removed from all committees and positions associated with the elected office from which he/she has left.
Action by the Executive Board
It is the responsibility of the Executive Board to authorize the investigation of any incident, activity, conduct, or official’s performance, which involves any of its members or any other parties that may affect the best interests of the chapter.
The Executive Board may conduct the investigation itself by appointing one or more Board members to investigate the problem and report findings to the Executive Board. Other non-board members, such as an Ethics Committee, may be requested by the Board president to perform a similar role.
The President shall decide whether an issue is to be investigated by either
1) the Executive Board,
2) the Ethics Committee or special committee, or
3) the District Director.
Due process will be provided in accordance with TASO policy.
Process for Resolving Questions or Problems
The following procedure should be observed by a member to resolve questions, problems, or complaints:
Inform your mentor of the question or problem. If the issue cannot be handled by the mentor, the mentor will then inform the President, immediately. The President shall determine whether the issue is a matter to be handled by the District Director, the Executive Board, Ethics Committee or a special committee.
If the issue is to be handled by the Executive Board, the President shall decide whether to call a meeting of the Executive Board. At that meeting, the Executive Board will hear the facts, discuss the issue and, if possible, make a decision to resolve the issue. The member raising the issue may attend the meeting to present facts involved; however, only voting members of the Executive Board may be present during discussion and the making of a final recommendation. The HAVOC Board will vote on the recommendation from the Executive Board.
If the Ethics Committee is assigned the problem, the procedures are, as written, in the Ethics section of the HAVOC Operating Procedures.
HAVOC shall have a committee to address ethics violations by members. The Ethics Committee is chaired by a Past President appointed and approved by the Executive Board. This committee provides a forum for a member who has a problem that cannot be handled by his/her mentor or the Executive Board. This problem may relate to disciplinary action taken by the Board, attendance, payment of fees or any other matter. A member or members with a grievance must inform the President of the grievance. The President will determine if the grievance can be handled by the Executive Board, or should it be turned over to the Ethics Committee to initiate action to resolve the grievance.
Ethics Committee procedures are as follows:
Upon notification of a documented ethics violation, the Ethics Committee will assume responsibility for gathering relevant information about the allegation.
Actions of the Ethics Committee will be coordinated by the Chairperson, who will schedule meetings at the appropriate times.
The purposes of the Ethics Committee meetings are as follows:
ensuring members of due process
dispersing of all pertinent information to concerned parties
All information received by the Ethics Committee, in whatever form, shall be strictly confidential.
At the discretion of the Ethics Committee, an Ethics hearing may be called. The purpose of the hearing shall be to hear the testimony of relevant parties, clear up conflicting testimony and promote a full discussion and understanding of the allegation. The Ethics Committee may ask any person to this hearing that is considered in any way relevant to the case.
The Ethics Committee Chairperson shall make a written notification of the recommendation to the Chapter President. The Ethics Committee’s recommendation must include an opinion as to whether the violation is valid and recommend sanctions. (Article X and Article XI of HAVOC By-Laws for due process procedure.)
By majority vote, the Board may elect to inform TASO of the recommendation made by the Ethics Committee and the final decision made by the Chapter Executive Board.
Further consideration of the decision or action may occur from TASO.
With the exception of informing TASO of the recommendation, all information related to the case will be held in confidence by all members of the Board or any other parties involved in the allegation.
After the Board makes its decision on the allegation, the Chapter President will notify:
1) the party who submitted the violation
2) the Ethics Committee Chairperson as to the final decision and resulting action to be taken, and
3) the member for whom the allegations have been submitted.
Refer to TASO Due Process Policy
Liability insurance is now included in the price of TASO state dues.
Reporting Income to the IRS
All records of matches, worked by Chapter members, could be audited by the IRS. Game records are kept on file by TASO and HAVOC.
Game Misconduct Report
If, in your match, a player, coach or fan is ejected, you MUST report the ejection to the Chapter President as soon as possible. Inform the President after the match. Fill out the UIL Incident Report and send it to him/her within 24 hours. The President will then have knowledge of the problem. Problems with individuals will be documented for future reference. Both officials of the match MUST send a report, not just the official who made the ejection. The official must complete the TASO/UIL form for misconduct and send to UIL.
Also, the President should be contacted when a red card is issued to a player or coach. The President will maintain a list during the season of all red cards. Athletic Directors are notified of occurrences throughout the season.
Note: Make a copy of ALL reports and keep for your records.
Member in Good/Bad Standing
Member in good Standing
Qualifications of a member in Good standing are:
all documentation in order and processed
all required attendance in training fulfilled
If a member is in Good standing:
1 year of officiating experience with HAVOC
he/she may vote at Chapter election
he/she may run for Chapter office
he/she may work high school play-off matches, if requested.
Member Not in Good Standing
If a member is not in good standing:
he/she may not vote at Chapter elections
he/she may not run for Chapter office
he/she may not work high school play-offs matches, if requested
A member may lose status as a member in good standing by:
failing to pay scheduling fees, late fees, and fines
failing to pay annual dues before the deadlines
failing to fulfill attendance/training requirements
failing to fulfill other TASO/HAVOC policies and procedures.
A schedule of Chapter meeting dates is available at the December meeting. Members are required to attend 2/3 of the meetings to be in good standing. If you are officiating a match scheduled by the Chapter, you will be given credit for this meeting. A copy of the meeting minutes can be obtained upon request by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the secretary and/or check HAVOC website.
Explanations for non-attendance to a missed meeting should be submitted in writing to the secretary within one (1) week before the missed meeting. This submitted request will be reviewed by the Board, if a question of attendance to maintain good standing is in question. Not all letters will immediately excuse a missed meeting,
One way to keep up on the rules and mechanics is to review the rulebook, casebook, and any publications i.e., Referee Magazine, HAVOC/TASO websites.
The purpose of the mentor program is to assist members as HAVOC volleyball officials. Some of the purposes and intents are:
to clarify rules and specific game situations on an individual basis
to work closely with officials on the mechanics of officiating
to answer any questions not covered in a regular meeting
to assist an official by attending scrimmages prior to scheduled matches
to be available for any questions during the season
A mentor can be very helpful starting off on the right foot.
Wear only a proper uniform:
Approved TASO White short sleeve polo type shirt with flag, tucked in
Black slacks – non faded, lint free, positively no jeans, yoga pants or warm-ups.
Black tennis shoes – clean, with no colored stripes or markings
NO BEEPER, CELL PHONES, or ELECTRONIC MECHANISMS are to be in sight while performing officiating duties.
Black lanyard with a black whistle – have a back-up with you
A method for keeping a line-up during the match
A watch with second hand
Pen or Pencil
Rulebooks - in your bag or briefcase
Red and Yellow Cards
Ball Pressure Gauge
**Pink whistles and lanyards are acceptable in the Month of October for Cancer
Game Day Procedures
Call the co-official before the match to confirm date, site and time.
Arrive at the site of the match in proper attire at least 30 minutes before match time.
A. One official will be designated as an R-1 for the varsity match as noted on the contract. The sub-varsity duties will be determined by both officials. Officials WILL NOT split up for a match, even if the request is made by the coaches.
B. If a partner fails to show up - Immediately report this to the scheduler.
Be courteous as you introduce yourself to the home and visiting coaches. (NO first names) Signs of fraternization are often perceived as unethical.
Fill out the pay sheets properly. It is suggested to bring a W-9 for the district. Some districts may require a vendor number. If non-metro mileage is used, you may bring a map with correct round-trip mileage noted.
Check out the gym
Standards properly protected
Court, centerline, and service area properly marked
Overhead obstructions identified.
Locate game ball and check pressure.
Locate the school administrator, introduce yourself to him/her and determine his/her location during the match (varsity required).
Check the players for proper uniforms and equipment. Check the roster to see that all players have the proper numbers. Check the libero uniform to see that it conforms to current guidelines. Check for adornment on shoes, wrists, etc. Guidelines are explained in the NFHS Rule Book.
Talk to the line judges about their responsibilities and use of flags.
Locate and introduce yourself to the scorekeeper, time keeper, and libero tracker. Review their responsibilities.
Call for the captains and coaches from each team and discuss the ground rules, new rules, coin toss, etc., before warm-up time.
After the match, sign the book, collect your belongings and quickly leave the gym.
Keep a record of where you worked, co-official, match fee, mileage, and points. Check off when you are paid.
Federation Publications and Rules
In addition to the high school rulebook, the Federation also publishes a very useful casebook that all high school officials should study. The Federation Rulebook and Casebook are distributed by TASO to each Chapter Secretary for distribution to members each year. The casebook is sent every two years, unless revised.
The Federation’s address is:
National Federation of State High Schools Association
1802 Alonzo Wetford Sr. Drive
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206
Proficiency Units-See TASO Operating Procedures on the website taso.org
Proficiency units are earned by an official based on his/her score on the TASO rules examination for the current year; total of completed years of experience as a high school official registered with either TASO or another state association which is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations; attendance at a mandatory TASO Rules Clinic or other educational opportunity as described; and the number of both varsity and sub-varsity contests officiated in the season worked. The total points received determine an official’s ranking, not just the years of experience.
Members turn in proficiency units each year to the chapter secretary on point sheets. Point sheets are due to the secretary postmarked NO LATER than mid- January, as set by the secretary each year. A late fee of $10 will be assessed to the Chapter membership fees and a $10 late fee will be paid to the secretary. If no application, fees and forms are not received by that date, no points will be earned for that year. All points claimed must be documented on that point sheet. If no point sheet is turned in, an official’s ranking will possibly change. Prior to turning in your completed point sheet, it is advised that you make a copy for your records.
The chapter secretary will verify total proficiency units claimed and, if requested, will send in the total for each member to TASO. Officials are placed in a classification according to the units on record.
Ranking of Officials - Please check TASO Operating Procedures and By-Laws
Officials are ranked as Certified, Approved and Registered by accumulation of points yearly. Current guidelines for rankings by category are found in TASO Operating Procedures on the website. Your chapter secretary will have these available for each member.
Transfer of Points/Membership from an In-State Organization
For members who wish to transfer from one chapter to another chapter within TASO, the following procedure must be completed before the transfer becomes effective:
Member must notify the old chapter in writing of his/her intention to transfer and give the name of the new chapter to which the member wishes to transfer.
The chapter secretary of the old chapter must compete the TASO form and send to the receiving chapter secretary and TASO as soon as possible.
Before admitting the official to membership, the new chapter must receive the paperwork from the previous chapter concerning the member’s status.
The current chapter must contact TASO to establish the member’s standing with TASO.
Transferring from Another State Association
An official who transfers his/her registration from another state association which is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations and who meets all TASO qualifications will be assigned a ranking by the TASO office in accordance with his/her record in the previous state association. Documentation from the previous state association must be received on the state association’s official letterhead for verification of the official’s grade on the rules examination for the current year, rules clinic attendance for the current year, number of contests officiated during the previous year and completed years of experience to date.
These operating procedures were approved: