Archive for In the News

New content on ref training website

By · March 22, 2011 · Filed in In the News · No Comments »

The following information was sent to the 1500 members of VRT (the volleyball referee training site) yesterday. We thought you might be interested in seeing what is new on the site also.  We ask that you take a peek, and let everyone you know in the volleyball world of the great opportunities for learning rules, techniques and mechanics that can be found on the training site.   It is also great for parents, players, or coaches who might like more information or to just see what the officials are being taught in our sport!

Thanks as always for your support of the Officials Commission.

Kathy Ferraraccio

As a loyal member of, we knew you’d want to be aware of some material that has gone up on the site in the last couple of weeks.

Highlights of the new content include:

  • Signals – A comprehensive guide to the hand signals used in USA Volleyball play. The module combines descriptions and photographs of real, live referees executing these signals with suggestions about things to pay attention to and errors to avoid.
  • Ground Rules – Another thorough guide on how to set ground rules for USA Volleyball play. Get yourself off on the right foot by establishing ground rules that are supported by the DCR.
  • Professionalism – A pair of modules pulled from past USA Volleyball National Clinics on ethics, the Golden Rule, and the characteristics of professionalism.
  • USA Volleyball camp opportunities – Information about the joint PAVO/USAV camp at NCVF in April as well as the Premier Referee Camp in June at Girls Junior National Championships.

As always, point your browser to for all of this new content and more. Future modules will we’re working on will help with briefing juniors line judges and scorekeepers, the science and art of officiating, and sanctions.  In addition, we keep hearing from even experienced referees that they find it valuable to return and view modules again (in particular units on protests and timeout mechanics).

On the VolleyballRefTraining blog (www., there have been some interesting new posts on social media and officiating. The blog is an interactive forum and it promises to get stronger and stronger with participation from you and your colleagues.

Fully supported by USA Volleyball, is THE central resource for USA Volleyball officials of all levels of experience. It remains free and open to all who wish to learn more about the sport of volleyball. But, we still need your help to spread the word. Tell your refereeing colleagues about the site. Then visit the site again. Visit the blog. Then contribute to the blog by giving us your scenarios and questions.

As we’ve written before, we REALLY want your feedback. What training modules do you want to see in the future? How can we improve the site?

Welcome back to!


Sponsor a former Starling

By · March 11, 2011 · Filed in In the News · No Comments »

From Ken Rutan, Navajo Starlings. To support Lori, see her note at the bottom of this page.

Lori (No. 5, while an 9th grader, wearing a medal earned at the Starlings Nationals in 2003) was one of the original Allied Gardens Starlings in 2002 on the team that Dennis Herrmann and I started. I had not met her before. She was an avid softball player and easily took to the sport. She played with passion, was the team captain and quickly became one of my daughter’s best friends, and has remained a close friend to this day. She played with us several years and played on the high school varsity teams in softball and volleyball. Her last year in high school, while still playing softball, helped coach one of the younger teams instead of playing.

She was a good student and for many years she spoke about her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She went to UC Davis to accomplish that goal. During the summer after her second year, she went back up for the summer to do an internship. It was July 2008. She spent a weekend hiking in Yosemite. That Sunday night, she was at a friend’s house and developed back problems. She went home. The symptoms worsened. She called a friend to come over. It got worse. She lost feeling in her legs. She called her parents and they had her call 911. By the time her parents got from San Diego to Davis the next day, she had already had back surgery and the spinal cord was damaged. She was paralyzed from the upper back down. Family and friends were in shock. The week before she had been in San Diego playing beach volleyball with my daughter.

Her prognosis was unclear, but throughout it all, she remained positive. She was limited to a bed or wheelchair. Then one day she had feelings in one foot. She worked hard in rehab. I will always remember when she came over to my house to watch the NCAA volleyball finals in December following her surgery. She told Dennis and I that she had something for us. She pushed herself up from her wheelchair, and with very lumbered steps, walked across my family room. I still get emotional thinking about it. Walking again had been far from a certainty, and it was amazing to see.

After being out of school a year, she returned to Davis. The USC program provided her a scholarship to help her continue toward completing her dream of becoming a veterinarian, and I was honored that she asked me in April 2009 to write a letter of recommendation for her application for the scholarship. Although she still needed the use of a walker the last time I saw her, she drives, is independent and moving forward with her dream.

Although she was not one of the lucky ones to get the athletic scholarship for volleyball, she truly is one of the Starlings’ success stories.


From Lori Hammond:

Dear Family and Friends,

This year I am participating in a very exciting and very important fundraising event. It is through the organization Swim With Mike, a group based out of USC, composed of dedicated individuals raising money to send people facing disabilities to college. The specific scholarship is the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship.

While attending Project Walk I was told about this scholarship through another client, a Swim With Mike board member, who heard of my interest in returning to UC Davis. I applied for this scholarship and was fortunate to be one of the few accepted recipients. Swim with Mike has made an incredible impact on alleviating the financial burden of university tuition and has allowed me to focus on academics. In case you do not know this already, I have been back to UC Davis for a year and a half and have loved every moment of it! I still continue my therapy with a trainer I have found in Davis and I get around these days using hiking poles. It has been a long road to get back here and I am so thankful to everyone who has cheered me on the whole way. I am also incredibly thankful for all that Swim With Mike has provided me and that is why this year I am very excited to be able to help give back.

The fundraising event is a swim at the USC campus pool where all the participants, their friends and family, and Swim with Mike affiliates get together to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments while also raising money for future and current recipients. I will be swimming the morning of the main fundraising event to illustrate my dedication and gratitude to their program and to bring in sponsorship donations as I swim.

That is where all of you come in. I would greatly appreciate it if you could make a tax-deductible donation to this great cause. You can donate at where you can select “I Want to Sponsor” and then under either swimmer or recipient locate and click on my name. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter and I sincerely hope you find Swim with Mike an organization worth donating to! Please browse the site and read some bios of the amazing recipients who you will be helping. They are sure to inspire! Take care.

Thank you,
Lori Hammond

Haitian girls’ volleyball team – and Starlings

By · February 2, 2011 · Filed in In the News · No Comments »

Posted originally on the Youth Without Borders website. For more, visit

This morning’s message on my Haiti trip is much more hopeful than yesterday’s of the orphanage. These photos are of the Haitian National Volleyball Training Team. They only have a girls’ team for now; ages 12 to 15; and one of the five sports selected to train exceptional athletes from all over Haiti. In all, there are about 130 kids who live at the national sports center where they train as well as go to school.

The director of the Haitian sports ministry explained that they were all anemic upon arrival and most had never gotten three meals a day before coming to the center. As seen, their practice court is a sagging net on dirt but I saw some real talent. They have two coaches who are Cuban (most of the coaches of the five sports were sent from Cuba to as volunteers).

It might not surprise you that I am going to pursue immediately their coming to San Diego in June as an invited team for the Starlings National Championships. Thus, our annual Literary/Art theme and fundraising efforts of our 3,000 Starlings girls will be to raise money to bring them to San Diego (and hopefully other tournaments throughout the US). I think it would be a phenomenal vehicle to raise awareness of Haiti and help create a new source of hope and pride for the Haitian people.

I’ll be in touch on this and will follow this email with the new uniforms that Lily Richardson presented to these girls last week.

— Byron Shewman

Cap I Clinic details announced

By · November 8, 2010 · Filed in In the News · No Comments »

The Cap I clinic will be held on January 9 (Sunday) 8:00 am to 8:30 pm at Epic Volleyball Center in San Diego.

Click here to access the Cap I course schedule.

This especially designed course for Starlings coaches will be presented in two separate components: half of the course consists of 8 online sessions (3 sessions must be completed prior to January 9) and the other half of the course will be presented in the gym on January 9.

The exact cost will be announced soon but expected about $100 (more than 50% reduction). Also, more information on the first 3 online sessions coming soon.