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By Az Volleyball Mom, 04/17/23, 11:15AM MST


Love the game? Get paid to enable teams to play the game they love, too!

Referees, also known as officials, are the key to competing on a fair and level playing field. Our game officials are responsible for maintaining sportsmanship and rules of the sport.

We build in a variety of bonuses for our officials and hope you consider joining our "team" today!


We offer opportunities for officials at a variety of levels. This page takes you to our Arizona Region of USA Volleyball Officials' page.


Did you know teens can get paid for working with the Arizona Region? It’s great experience and looks great on your resume, too!

Please check out the #AZRegion Junior Refs webpage @

Q: Who can be a junior official?
A: Junior boys and girls who are members of the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball aged 16+.

Q: What are the opportunities?
A: Plan to work the Club level tournaments on the Junior Girls Schedule. New officials will be assigned to the 12's tournaments at first and may advance to 14's as the season progresses. Returning officials may be assigned to higher levels.


Contact: Earl Capps


Brenden Matteson - AZ Region Junior Official

Brenden Matteson - AZ Region Junior Official

The Arizona Region of USA Volleyball addresses the officials shortage with a unique solution... the training and hiring of junior, teen boys and girls to become referees.

Doug Kiefer says, "I started the program in 2000 with 12 kids, grew to 38 by year 3.  The past 10 years, we have anywhere from 50-75 kids annually."

The pay is good!! Junior officials can be paid per match (range, $15-22/match) or wave ($60-80).

To help our members find out more about our junior officials program, we reached out to an outstanding young gentleman who loves the game of volleyball. The teen has found a way to be involved and earn good money doing so.

We are honored to introduce you to Brenden Matteson. He is a senior at Estrella Foothills High School where he plays on the Varsity boys volleyball team. He also plays setter and middle for Matrix Club Volleyball - 18U.

In addition to his phenomenal performance on the hard court, he's an excellent student in the classroom.

We thank Brenden for his time and present to you our latest Q&A from #AZVolleyballMom, Jen Barber.

Q. When did you start playing volleyball and how did you get interested in the sport?
A. I started playing volleyball in 7th grade, but we all know how middle school volleyball works… I didn’t start playing real volleyball until the spring boys’ season in 8th grade. My dad had coached it for years, and most of my friends played it so I thought I should try it out.

Q. How did you hear about the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball Junior Officials program?
A. I was recommended by another Official that I was good, and I should try out the Junior Officials Program.

Q. What would say are the benefits of referring games?
A. The pay is a lot better than any minimum wage job and it keeps you involved in the sport. You also get to watch volleyball for free, and if you’re good enough you get to watch real volleyball. Your judgment is the precedent of the game, so you have the power to say “Oh, that was a double.”

Q. Do you feel this is a good way for youth to make some extra money on the weekends? Does this job offer any other benefits, i.e. résumé building, experience, etc.?
A. Yes of course, it can easily be a side hustle since it is only on the weekends, and it teaches valuable skills like Communication, Time Management, and Critical Thinking because you have to translate judgment based off of the rules you know.

#11 Brenden Matteson - Estrella Foothills High School

#11 Brenden Matteson - Estrella Foothills High School

Q. How do you balance family, school, sports, and working?
A. I’ve always been involved, and that kind of forced me to develop better time management because otherwise I really wouldn’t be able to do everything I needed to do. There are many nights that I don’t get home until 10 and still have homework to do but I try to be very efficient with everything. I try to get ahead on schoolwork that might not be due soon but I know I won’t have time to do it later. Another plus of being an official is that your schedule is based on you, you’re not relying on a manager giving you specific hours, and you get to choose what day you work.

Q. Do you have any advice for other teens thinking about joining our officials program? Would you recommend it to others? If so, why?
A. The best advice I can give to other teens thinking about joining the junior official’s program is to make your calls based on what you know and stick with them, don’t be swayed by a coach or a parent. Ignoring them is honestly the best way to deal with them unless, of course, the call was a misappropriation of the rules. I would recommend it to other teens who are already extremely busy with school and sports or clubs, to the point where they couldn’t get a “normal” job even if they wanted to. It’s a great way to stay involved with the sport and make a lot of money.

Q. What has been your most favorite volleyball memory?
A. My most favorite volleyball memory isn’t really a memory but more a continuous feeling. Volleyball is a sport I think I could play forever, I can play for hours and hours and still be surprised when it's over. The best feeling is at the end of practice, coach tells us to break down and everyone can’t believe that it’s already over, and they want to keep playing. That’s why I love volleyball so much.

I don’t plan to play in college in the way that most athletes probably want to, but I do plan to go to the club volleyball open gyms at my university and I plan on playing on the sand volleyball club team that is available.


Kyla Chavez as a Junior Referee

Submitted by Kyla Chavez

I am so thankful to the Arizona Region for continuing to develop and invest in the next generation. They have created an opportunity for young athletes to be a part of a Junior Officiating Development Program (JODP). In this program, the head officiants in the region take the time to invest and teach the members how to properly manage and referee a volleyball match. I started in this program when I was 15 years old and did it all the way up until I was 18. After graduating from the JODP, I moved up the rankings and years later I am now a Regional I referee. I say these things to say that there are lots of opportunities out there, and all you have to do is take the first step. If you or someone you know is interested in getting to know more about the game of volleyball and become a JODP member, I would highly encourage you to email Earl Capps and tell him of your interest. From there, the next step is to complete the online modules that explain everything you need to know about how to manage a game from start to finish. You will have 1-2 meetings in person with the head officials and your peer JODP members and they will ensure that you leave feeling confident and well prepared. After completing the training, they invite you to a friendship tournament where you have a mentor that follows you around and ensures that your matches run smoothly. They are there to help you gain the confidence to do it on your own. I am so appreciative of my mentors for being so patient with me and encouraging me to stick with it. The best part about the job is the flexibility of it. You get to create your own schedule; you could work just the morning waves, or just the afternoon waves on whatever weekends you choose. This was a huge factor as to why I have been able to do this job for so long - the people and job allows for so much flexibility. Even as I have gone off to college, I have been able to come home on the breaks and pick up right where I have left off. After being 3 years out of the JODP, I have received so many opportunities to travel, work college matches and move on up the rankings. If it were not for the AZ Region being willing to invest in the next generation, I would not have had these opportunities, and for that I am very grateful. I would highly encourage anyone and everyone to join the Junior Officiating Development Program because your knowledge of the game will grow exponentially, it is highly flexible, and the longevity of it is great! Sign up today by emailing

"Even as I have gone off to college, I have been able to come home on the breaks and pick up right where I have left off. After being 3 years out of the JODP, I have received so many opportunities to travel, work college matches and move on up the rankings. If it were not for the AZ Region being willing to invest in the next generation, I would not have had these opportunities, and for that I am very grateful," Kyla Chavez.

TuTu Carter - Junior Referee

Italya Carter - AZ Region Junior Official


Most people recognize being an official is a difficult (and often thankless) job. Yet ironically, many volleyball parents, coaches and athletes insist on making this job even harder by shouting ridicule and criticism the official's way.

While fans empathize with an athlete who makes a mistake, officials (who are sometimes not much older than the athletes) are more likely to be condemned, demeaned and chastised. Teaching respect for officials doesn’t necessarily mean encouraging blind obedience, but rather, how to self-advocate, take responsibility for your own actions and overcome adversity.


Youth sports culture has shifted. The days when parents were just glad that kids were out playing with their friends have been replaced with a more outcome-based measurement of success.

The pressures to excel as a student-athlete are at an all-time high.Cost has contributed to the high expectations parents place on young athletes to be the star on the field. Parents now expect a return on their investment in the form of college scholarships, sponsorships and professional sports.

Unfortunately, those parental expectations end up on many coaches’ plates as well.

“I want kids to have goals and to strive for more, but at the same time, I don’t want them setting unrealistic expectations for themselves and feeling that kind of pressure so early in the process,” said Brandon Buchanan, baseball coach at Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs.

“It’s a game in the end and it needs to be fun, but you see a lot of unrealistic expectations turn young athletes against the game due to such high pressures placed upon them,” he added. “Eventually, we see sport participation and interest drop completely.”

Recognizing the consequences that come along with the overwhelming pressure parents put on coaches, Buchanan shares practical ways coaches can manage expectations from team parents.


It has been a rough start to the Boys tournament season in regards to officials. There were about half of the officials at the General Assembly and Officials Division Meeting as a normal year. COVID is also still an issue for some.
Please let your coaches know that they could possibly be the R1 during the team ref assignment at any of our events. It is better to know it upfront than to arrive and be told. So far we have not been notified of the shortage until Friday nights.
Please also encourage your coaches to be appreciative when they have a paid R1 on their court - even if they are not the highest level official. Keep the complaining to a minimum so that they will come back.
We are crediting each team $24 per match in which they have to provide the R1 during their ref assignment. If the person that takes the stand is a certified R1 official, we will pay them their regular match pay in Arbiter when the other officials get paid. If they are not in Arbiter, we will credit the club.