Rules of volleyball can seem intimating to learn at first. Whether a beginning player, coach or fan, learn the rules and you'll make volleyball a much more enjoyable experience.
In Play After the Referees whistle for service, the volleyball is in play wants the contact for serve has been made.
Out of Play The volleyball is out of play once a fault has occurred and is whistled by a referee.
If an inadvertent whistle occurs, the rally is ended and the referee must make a ruling that doesnt penalize either team.
The Ball is In - Rules of Volleyball The volleyball is In once it touches the court. The courts boundary lines are part of the court and are In.
The Ball is Out The ball is Out when
The volleyball remains in play if it contacts objects or the ceiling that is higher than 4.6 meters (15 feet) above the playing area.
The volleyball is Out and a playover is directed when
Each team must play within its own playing area. However, the ball may be played beyond the free zone.
The volleyball may be retrieved from beyond the free zone if
Playing a ball over a non-playable area - Rules of Volleyball The player retrieving a volleyball over a non-playable area must be in contact with the playing surface when contact with the ball is made.
In the rules of volleyball non-playable areas are defined as
Contacting the Ball - Rules of Volleyball If a divider or net is separating courts, only the player making an attempt on the ball may move the divider or net to play the ball.
When competition is occurring or is scheduled on adjacent courts, it is a fault for a player to enter an adjacent court to make a play on a ball or after playing a ball.
The free zone and the service zone on adjacent courts is a playable area.
Team Contacts - Rules of Volleyball A contact is any contact with the ball by a legal player.
A team is entitled to a maximum of 3 contacts.
If a team contacts the volleyball more than 3 times without returning the ball to the opposing team, a 4 hits fault occurs.
Consecutive Contacts - Rules of Volleyball A player may not contact the ball two times consecutively.
Simultaneous Contacts - Rules of Volleyball Two or three players may touch the ball at the same moment.
When two or more teammates touch the ball simultaneously, it is counted as one contact. Any player may play the next ball if the simultaneous contact isnt the third team contact.
If opposing opponents touch the volleyball simultaneously over the net and the ball remains in play, the team receiving the ball is entitled to another 3 hits. If such a ball goes Out it is the fault of the team on the opposite side.
A joust occurs when players of opposing teams cause the ball to come to rest above the net through simultaneous contact. A joust is not a fault and play continues as if play was instantaneous.
Assisting a Player - Rules of Volleyball A player is not permitted to take support from a teammate or any structure in order to make a play on the ball. However, a player that is about to commit a fault may be stopped or held back by a teammate.
Characteristics of Ball Contacts - Rules of Volleyball The volleyball may touch any part of the body.
The volleyball must be hit, not caught or thrown. The ball may rebound in any direction.
The volleyball may touch various parts of the body, provided the contacts happen simultaneously.
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"Ugly Play" or "bad form" isn't a fault. There are basically just two different kinds of playing faults when making a play on the ball, double contact or prolonged contact, that's it.
Exceptions for consecutive contacts
A ball sent to the opponents court must cross the net in the crossing space.
The crossing space is the part of the vertical plane of the net that is
Ball and the Net - Rules of Volleyball The volleyball may touch the net while crossing it.
A volleyball driven into the net may be played within the limits of the 3 team hits.
If the ball rips the net or tears it down the rally must be replayed.
Player Reaching Across the Net
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Official volleyball rules allow players to reach over the net when blocking during any of these 4 situations...
Player Under the Net - Rules of Volleyball A player can penetrate into the opponents space under the net provided that this doesnt interfere with the opponents play.
When penetrating beyond the centerline
A player may enter the opponents court when the ball is out of play.
Players may penetrate into the opponents free zone provided they dont interfere with opponents play.
Player Contacting the Net - Rules of Volleyball Contact with the net by a player is not a fault unless it is made during the action of playing the ball or it interferes with play.
Some actions in playing the volleyball include actions where players dont actually touch the volleyball.
Once the player has hit the volleyball, they may touch the post, rope, or any object outside the total length of the net as long as it doesnt interfere with play.
When the ball is driven into the net and causes the net to touch an opponent, no fault is committed.
Playing Faults at the Net - Rules of Volleyball
The service is the act of put the volleyball into play from the service zone.
Serving Order - Rules of Volleyball The first service of the first set (game) and the deciding set is executed by the team determined by the toss.
The other sets will be started by the team that didnt start the serve first in the previous set.
The players must follow the service order recorded on the line up sheet. After the first serve, the player to serve is determined as follows
Authorizing a Serve - Rules of Volleyball The first referee authorizes the server to serve after have checked the teams are ready to play and the server is in possession of the volleyball.
Executing a Serve - Rules of Volleyball The volleyball shall be hit with one hand or any part of one arm after being tossed or released from one hand or both hands.
Only one toss or release of the volleyball is allowed. Dribble or moving the ball around is permitted.
At the moment of the serve contact, or takeoff for a jump serve, the server must not touch the court or the ground outside the service zone.
After the contact for serve, the player may step or land outside the service zone, or inside the court.
The entire service action must take place within the playing area.
USAV Rule The server must contact the ball within 8 seconds after the referee whistles for serve.
USAV Rule for 14 years and younger The server must contact the ball within 5 seconds after the referee whistles for serve. If the ball after being tossed or released by the server, lands without touching the player, it is considered a service tossing error. After the tossing error, the referee authorizes services again and the server must execute it within 5 seconds. One service tossing error is permitted for each service.
A serve executed before the referees whistle for serve is cancelled and repeated.
After the whistle for serve, no other actions requests for line-up check, time-out,substitution, etc.) may be considered until after the volleyball has been served and the rally completed. This is true even if a request has been made after a server has initiated service action and legally permitted the ball to fall to the floor.
A re-serve is considered part of a single effort to serve and must be completed before any requests may be considered.
Screening - Rules of Volleyball The players on the serving team must not prevent their opponent, through individual or collective screening, from seeing the server or the flight path of the volleyball.
A player or group of players on the serving team make a screen by waving their arms, jumping or moving sideways, or by standing grouped together to hide the flight path of the volleyball during the execution of the serve.
The factors to be weighed when judging whether a screen is being committed are
If the players of the serving team are positioned close to each other, the serve passes over these players, is fast and has a low trajectory; the probability is greater that a screen has been committed.
The probability of a screen occurring is less if
Service Faults - Rules of Volleyball The following are serving faults even if the opponent is out of position
Faults After the Serve - Rules of Volleyball After the ball has been correctly contacted, the service becomes a fault (assuming theres no position fault) if the ball
Faults after Service and Positioning Faults - Rules of Volleyball If the server makes a fault at the moment of service contact, and the opponent is out of position, it is the serving fault which is sanctioned.
However, if the execution of service is done correctly, but the serve becomes faulty (ball goes out, volleyball goes over a screen, etc.) the positional fault has taken place first and is sanctioned.
All actions which direct the volleyball toward the opponent, with the exception of a serve or block, are considered an attack hits.
During an attack hit, tipping the volleyball is permitted only if the ball is cleanly hit, not caught or thrown.
An attack hit is completed the moment it completely crosses the vertical plane of the net or is touched by an opponent.
Restrictions - Rules of Volleyball A front row player may complete an attack hit at any height, provide the contact is made within the players own playing space.
A back row player may complete an attack hit at any height from beyond the front zone
A back row player may also complete an attack hit from the front zone if at moment of contact with the volleyball, the entire ball isnt higher than the top of the net.
No player is permitted to complete an attack hit on the opponents serve when the ball is in the front zone and the entire ball is higher than the top of the net.
Faults of the attack hit
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Rules in volleyball allow the libero to attack from anywhere on the court as long as at the moment on contact the ball or part of the ball is below the top of the net.
Blocking - Rules of Volleyball Blocking is the action of a player close to the net intercepting a volleyball coming from the opponent by reaching higher than the top of the net. Only front row players are permitted to complete a block.
A block attempt is the action of trying to block without touching the volleyball.
A block is completed whenever a volleyball is touched by a blocker.
A collective block is executed by 2 or 3 players close to each other and is completed when one of them touches the volleyball.
Consecutive contacts of the volleyball may be made by one or more blockers provided the contacts are during one action.
When blocking, a player may place hands beyond the net, provided this action doesnt interfere with the opponents play. Thus, a blocker cant touch a volleyball beyond the net until the attacker has executed the attack hit.
Blocking beyond the net is permitted provided
A block contact is not counted as a team contact. Therefore, after a block, a team is entitled to three contacts to return the volleyball.
The first team contact after a block may be executed by any player, include who touched the volleyball during the block.
Blocking an opponents serve is forbidden.
If a blocking fault is completed simultaneously with an opponents attack hit fault, a double fault is committed and the rally is replayed.
Blocking Faults - Rules of Volleyball The following are blocking faults
Kenda S. Lenberg. 2005-2006: USA Volleyball Domestic Competition Regulations: pp. 2741.
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