Women's Volleyball Officiating Consortium Announced
IRVINE, Calif. (April 19, 2022) – The Big West, Big Sky, Mountain West, Pac-12 and WCC announced today the formation of the first-ever NCAA Division I officiating consortium specifically for women’s volleyball, the Women’s Volleyball Western Consortium (W5).
Through the consortium, the five conferences will collaborate on all women’s volleyball officiating matters including recruitment, training, scheduling and evaluation of game officials. The consortium includes 55 NCAA Division I women’s volleyball programs with a combined 17 national championship game appearances since 2000.
Joan Powell, a USAV and NCAA National referee for more than four decades, will serve as Coordinator of Officials for the W5. Powell, the former NCAA Coordinator of Women’s Volleyball Officials, will have lead responsibility for The Big West, Mountain West and Pac-12 officials.
"I am honored and excited to be associated with the first-ever volleyball consortium, under five great west coast conferences, institutions, administrators, coaches, student-athletes, event staffs AND officials,” Joan Powell noted. “I look forward to working with Margie Ray, the W5 Deputy Coordinator. Having Margie currently just off the collegiate court, at the highest level, is such a plus for our leadership team and our officials. To quote a friend, 'I'm just renting this space!'"
Margie Ray will serve as Deputy Coordinator and have lead responsibility for the WCC and Big Sky. Ray is an experienced official who presided over the NCAA Division I championship match five times in a 17-year career. Ray and Powell will create a leadership team who will assist in managing line judge assignments, electronic scorekeeping and the W5’s challenge review system.
"I am also excited to be a part of this groundbreaking consortium. I will collaborate alongside Joan with the vision, focus and direction this consortium is set to move in. We'll drive the consortium bus with purpose and enthusiasm. I will help "fuel your ride" (The Energy Bus - Jon Gordon) with insight and positive energy."
“The Big West is excited to lead this initiative and work with the Big Sky Conference, Mountain West, Pac-12, West Coast Conference to improve women’s volleyball officiating coordination in the west,” Big West Commissioner Dan Butterly said. “Joan Powell and Margie Ray are nationally renowned for their contributions to women’s volleyball officiating within the NCAA as well as nationally and internationally. Joan and Margie will elevate the level of women’s volleyball officiating in the west as the clear and consistent voice for all officials regarding NCAA rules, education, training and enforcement.
“The Big Sky is thrilled to partner with our fellow NCAA Division I western conferences to create a volleyball officiating consortium to elevate the experience provided to our student-athletes and coaches,” Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said. “This first-of-its-kind agreement for this sport also will allow us to advance how we recruit, train, evaluate and retain the best officials in college volleyball.”