Mechanics & Signals

Signals are how we communicate to do our jobs. To communicate with partners, we need consistency in the signal & mechanic. Signals are the universal language. Coaches have complained about the lack of knowing what an official has called or why it was called. Communicate with clear signals. If you see confusion, repeat the signals. The R2 can verbally explain the results and reason if necessary as a courtesy to the coach.

Sloppy or lazy mechanics will create confusion & could lead to a coach becoming upset unnecessarily.

Poor position will place the R2 and Line Judges in a location that inhibits their ability to make correct calls


NFHS SIGNAL CHANGE (NFHS Signal #3 Illegal Hit motion

A tossed ball that contacts a backboard or its supports hanging in a vertical position over the service area has been added. This is also the “illegal hit signal.


NFHS SIGNAL CHANGE (NFHS Signal 20): Signal change for illegal substitution

Use only the unnecessary delay signal. There is no need for 2 signals for the same violation of unnecessary delay. The illegal substitution can be verbalized to the coach.


Mechanics of Signals to communicate (CIF State Clarification-webinar July 29, 2017): 1-2-3 Approach….

  • One – Use the proper signal to show confidence in the call & clearly indicates the play is over & the result

  • Two – Hold the signal long enough so the officiating crew is aware; the table officials know the call to record it in the score book; and the coaches, fans are able to keep up with playing action

  • Three – Release of signal

When the R2 initiates a call, move to the offending side to give the signal. (not a change – it’s a CIF State clarification) When the R1 initiates the call, it is acceptable, but not mandatory, for the R2 to get on the offending/losing team’s side as long as there is no delay, and it does not affect the flow/tempo of the match.