Michael Blalock’s extensive experience in officiating and training the next generation of referees may not have happened if not for a chance exposure to volleyball while walking across the University of North Carolina campus as a student in the early 1970s.
He was fascinated with the game and joined the North Carolina club team in 1974. After his team finished a match at a tournament, Michael asked what the “work team” meant. After learning that his team would serve as referee, line judging and scorekeeping for the next match, he was appointed the team’s referee which shaped the next 46 years of his life.
Michael would eventually achieve his USA Volleyball national referee rating in 1986 and go on to officiate two gold-medal matches at the USA Volleyball Open National Championships. Along with the adult nationals, he officiated USAV Junior National Championships and the Collegiate Club Championships. Michael was appointed national commissioner for the rating and evaluation team from 1996 to 2000 in the middle of an 18-year tenure on the rating team.
Along with his involvement with USA Volleyball, Michael was a member of the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials from 1978 to 2019. He achieved his PAVO national rating in 1984 and a year later was part of its national rating team.
Michael was an NCAA referee from 1981 to 2016, including selections to four NCAA Division I semifinals and 20 NCAA tournaments overall.
Michael has served as supervisor of officials from 1997 to 2020 for numerous conferences including SEC, Sun Belt, Lone Star, American South and Ohio Volleyball.
Michael’s proudest accomplishments were being the up official for the 1992 USAV Volleyball Open National Championships men’s open division gold-medal match and watching all the accomplishments of the referees he had rated.