I recently worked an event where the sports court only provided about 1 meter free zone along the sidelines and less than 0.5 meters along the end lines.  The area outside the playing surface was a cement surface.

The tournament director instructed officials to allow players to serve from the cement beyond the end of the playing surface and that players should be allowed to play the ball from the cement surrounding the surface.  Because there were no clear court boundaries, officials were told to make judgment calls about when a player could play the ball off the surface.

What is your opinion? I believe that the player’s safety is the utmost importance, which has been supported by USA Volleyball’s rules about contacting the ball off the playing surface. Does USAV have a hard and fast rule that would address this?

Any thoughts about how I, as a member of the referee cadre can address this before, during, or after the tournament?