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Observer Guidelines

The observer’s job is to facilitate roundnet matches by settling disputes, ensuring adherence to rules, and promoting sportsmanship. While the observers are responsible for making a number of active calls, the responsibility for fair play and sportsmanship remains on the players. Here are the Official Rules of the Spikeball™ Roundnet Association which observers will follow.

Active Calls - When an observer sees any of these infractions take place they are obligated to stop play and take the proper course of action:

  • Foot fault
  • Encroachment over the service line
  • Illegal service toss
  • Illegal net contact
  • Illegal ball contact - lift, carry, catch, double hit, etc.
  • Incorrect rotation or serving order
  • Incorrect score

All other calls are in the hands of the players.

Passive Calls - If players cannot come to an agreement about a call, they can go to the observer for a decision. Once a call goes to the observer, the observer’s decision is final. If the observer is unable to make a definitive call, the point will be replayed. NOTE: For all non-active calls, players should always try to settle the matter among themselves before going to the observer. The observer should never add their input on a passive call until the players ask for the observer’s perspective.

Non Calls - If teams continue play after a possible infraction, they cannot ask for an observer to make a decision.


In the middle of a point, two players from opposite teams run into each other.  After the collision, Team A is unable to get the ball back on the net. Team A calls a hinder on Team B. Team B does not believe a hinder occurred. Team B asks for the observer’s decision. If the observer calls a hinder, the point is replayed. If the observer declares a hinder did not occur, Team B is awarded the point.

A serve flies through the hand of a player on Team A. Team A calls the serve too high. Team B does not believe the serve was too high. Team B asks for the observer’s decision. If the observer calls the serve too high, then Team B will have one fault and gets a second service attempt. If the observer calls the serve legal, Team B is awarded the point. 

Team A thinks that Team B might have hit the rim on a shot. They play out the point and Team A ends up losing the point. Team A says they should replay the point because of the possible rim shot. Team B disputes the fact that it hit the rim. Team A asks for the observer's decision. The observer states that they cannot make a decision because the infraction occurred mid-point. Team B is awarded the point.  

Recommendation for Official Tournaments 
Remember, we are dependent on the availability and quality of observers. Both teams should agree to the observers to prevent conflicts of interest. 

Quarterfinals - one observer per quarterfinal game
Semifinals - two observers per semifinal game 
Finals - three observers for finals game + one observer to track score and serving order

Positioning + Roles

One Observer: When using one observer, the observer should position themselves to the right of the server with a clear view of potential foot faults.

Two Observers: When using two observers, they should be position themselves opposite of each other. The observer positioned to the right of the server is primarily focused on watching for foot faults or illegal toss violations. The observer positioned to the right of the receiver is primarily focused on watching for pockets and height violations. 

Three Observers: When using three observers, one will line up to the right and behind the server. This observer's primary job is to watch for foot faults. The second will line up to the right and behind the receiver. This observer's primary job is to watch for pockets and height violations.The third will line up on the server’s side to get a clear view of encroachment over the 6-foot boundary and illegal tosses. 

Whose call is it: Whichever observer has the best perspective on the play in question is the one who should be making the call. When observers huddle, the first objective is to determine who had the best view on the play. If multiple observers have an equal perspective on the play and cannot come to a consensus, the point should be replayed.

How to become a Certified Observer:

In order to become a certified observer, you must pass the Observer Certification Test with a minimum score of 85%.

Who is a Certified Observer:

  • Alex Ceccanese
  • Alex Gong
  • Alex Harris
  • Alex Perry
  • Alli Kauffman
  • Andrew Gasaway
  • Andrew Shock
  • Anthony Rentsch
  • Arman Cabral
  • Austin Rawlings
  • Becca Graham
  • Ben Dantowitz
  • Ben Naber
  • Benjamin Hamilton
  • Blake Rock
  • Bradley Thompson
  • Brandon Spector
  • Brooks Anderson
  • Bryce Johnson
  • Caleb DeRuiter
  • Caleb Heck
  • Charles Henri
  • Chris Guerra
  • Chris Hornacek
  • Clark Marshall
  • Colton Urbaitis
  • Connor Francis
  • Connor Harte
  • Connor Holloway
  • Cowan McCormick
  • Cyrus Hadavi
  • Dan Abrams
  • Daniel Dantowitz
  • Daniel Lindeen
  • David Najmon
  • David Roedema
  • Devin Matson
  • Elijah Sather
  • Elissa Alarie
  • Emerson Dean
  • Erik Schlick
  • Ezra Dantowitz
  • Fredric Hinkle
  • Frederick Eskens
  • Gabe Packevicz
  • Gabriela Mlcochova
  • George Rizk
  • Ian Donaghey
  • Ian Timan
  • Jackson Brasfield
  • Jackson Harris
  • Jackson Stanek
  • Jarratt Rouse
  • Jason Ebright
  • Jesse Showalter
  • Joe Barnhart
  • Joel Graham
  • Joey Pierron
  • Jonathan Allison
  • Jonny Dariano
  • Jordan Davis
  • Josh Kaplan
  • Joshua Swimm
  • Josue Hernandez
  • Julianne Zussman
  • Kai Pham
  • Kasey Shibayama
  • Kenny Ortega
  • Kristen Davis
  • Kyle Ackermann
  • Luis Brito
  • Luke Marshall
  • Mark Borunda
  • Mathieu Guilbert
  • Matt Bohnen
  • Matthew Chorney
  • Matthew Kozak
  • Max Model
  • Maximus Russo
  • Micah Corbett
  • Mike Bobay
  • Mike White
  • Miles Plant
  • Murray Noble
  • Nate Evensen
  • Nathan Preeters
  • Nic Dewey
  • Nicholas Rankin
  • Nicholas Stinson
  • Nick LoPrinzi
  • Nick Gonzales
  • Nick Sant
  • Noah Brady
  • Pop Kanjanakantorn
  • Preston Bies
  • Quentin Brown
  • Reid Schroeder
  • Richard Tarpey
  • Rui Conde
  • Ryan Fitzgerald
  • Ryan Oswalt
  • Samuel Elkaim
  • Scott Donaghey
  • Sean Kussinen
  • Skylar Shibayama
  • Skyler Boles
  • Stephen Ernst
  • Tobey Bigelow
  • Travis Core
  • Tripp Pierson
  • Tyler Cisek
  • Vinny Bonta
  • Wendell Diefenbacher
  • Wout Geeraerts
  • Zac Vance
  • Zachary Paszkeicz

*updated 1/17/19