Prior to the formation of the Nigeria Volleyball Referee Association the game of Volleyball was already being played in places like Lagos. By the 60s Refereeing had existed since the game of volleyball was already popular. The relevance of a referee became more evident when competitive volleyball began. Like other sports, it was necessary to officiate and interpret the rules and regulation of game to all participants and spectators of the game.
However, the instructors who taught the game thus became the referees since they were quite conversant with the rules and regulations guiding it. Consequently the era saw Instructors/Coahes training their teams and officiating matches. Nigerian Coaches most of who were former national players had knowledge of the game played the dual role of Coaching and refereeing.
In the 70s most coaches acted as referees together with some few others who were conversant with the game. All efforts to separate Coaches and referees were initially resisted but as the game developed worldwide , it became necessary for the two to separate. The eventual separation led to the inauguration of the Referees Association in 1977 during the National Sports Festival in Kaduna (“Kaduna 77”) with late Professor Ajuduah as its first Chairman the first secretary was Mr Patrick Okolo.
It was after that the training of more referees begun and the quest to get FIVB badge became paramount. This was achieved in 1985 when Nigeria got her first FIVB badged International Referee through Fred Agufobi after series of local and international courses the country got Two (2) more International Referees in 1996.
With the unflinching support of the incumbent President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, the country today has 7 international Referees and 3 International Candidate Referees. With the introduction of Beach Volleyball as a competitive sports, Nigeria got her first International Referee in 1994 through Samuel Timothy. In line with what obtains in other volleyball playing nations, Nigeria has structured its Referees Association into three (3) grades. Presently there are over 200 registered referees in Nigeria.
CHRONOLOGY OF CHAIRMEN OF NIGERIA REFEREES ASSOCIATION
Pro. A. Ajiduah – 1977- 1982
Dr Femi Owolabi – (National Referee) -1983-1987
Dr E. O. Morakinyo–( International Referee) - 1988-1997
Cdr JO Kuje – (International Referee) -1998- 2002
SH Suleiman – (National Referee) - 2002 - 2006
Cdr JO Kuje – (International Referee) 2006- 2010
WO Oresegun – (International Candidate) - 2010 –2014
Martin Melandi - (International Referee) (Incumbent) 2014- 2018
Dr fred Agufobi - First Nigerian International volleyball Referee
Surv. TIMOTHY, SAMUEL the first beach volleyball referee in Nigeria and west Africa
MWO Sheba Jefferson The first female international volleyball Referee in Nigeria
Present chairman is Surv. TIMOTHY, SAMUEL 2018 - 2022 by God's grace