Calls in Volleyball
Referee Signals and Calls

Calls in volleyball. Learn what the referee is calling.  

Hand Signals - Calls in Volleyball

Authorization to Serve

The referee makes this signal to beckon the server. The referee indicates the direction to serve. The server then serves the ball.

Team to Serve

This is the signal to indicate which team is serving next. 

Change of Courts

This is the signal for teams to change sides of the court.


This the time-out signal. 


Signal for substitution.

Misconduct Warning

Show yellow card for a warning.

Misconduct Penalty

Show a red card for a penalty.


Show both cards for an expulsion.


Both cards are shown for a disqualification. 

End of Set

This is the end of set or end of match signal. 

Ball Not Tossed or Released for the Service

Delay in Service

Called when the server doesn't serve the ball in the allotted time.

Blocking Fault

This signal is for an illegal block. There are situations where it's not legal for a player to block a ball. For example, a back row player can't legally complete a block. Only front row players are allowed to block.


Signal for an illegal screen. Screening isn't called very often. Usually, the referee will issue a verbal warning before calling a screen. 

Positional or Rotational Fault

Out of rotation signal. It's at the moment of contact for serve the players need to be in the correct position on the court. 

Common Signals - Calls in Volleyball

Ball "in"

The signal made when the ball lands "inside" the court.

Ball "out"

The signal made when the ball lands "outside" the court. If the ball hits any object outside the court, the ball is out of play.


A catch is when the ball is illegal caught. 

Double Contact

A double contact is when a player illegally double contacts the ball. 

Four Hits

Four hits is when a team contacts the ball four times. A team only gets a maximum a three contacts before the ball must be sent over the net to the opponent.

Net Touched By Player

The referee blows the whistle and signals a net violation on a player that touches the net illegally.

Served Ball Doesn't Pass Vertical Plane of Net

This is the signal for when the ball fails to break the vertical plane of the net.

Different Calls in Volleyball

Reaching Beyond the Net

The is the signal for a player reaching over the net and contact the ball. 

Attack Hit Fault

This is the signal for an illegal attack hit.

Penetration into the Opponent Court

This is the signal for a player illegally penetrating into the opponents court. 

Line Fault

This is the signal for a line violation. 

Double Fault

The is a double fault that results in a play-over. 


This is the replay signal.

Ball Touched

This is the touch signal. This signal is used when the ball is touched and lands out of play. If the ball is touch then lands in the court, the correct signal is to signal the ball "in". 

Delay Warning

The delay warning is done by placing a yellow card against the wrist. A yellow card is a point for the opponent. 

Delay Penalty

The delay warning is done by placing a red card against the wrist.

Illegal Contact

This is the signal used in coed for when 2 males send the ball over the net without a female contacting the ball. 

Line Judge Signals

Ball "in"

The ball is "in" whenever the ball lands on a boundary line or within the court space. 

Ball "out"

The ball is "out" whenever the ball makes contact with the space outside the boundary line. The ball is also out of play if contact is made with any object outside the court. This includes the antenna, the netting outside the antenna, the poles or cables supporting the net.

Ball Touched

The line judge signals a "touch" when the ball is touched by a player and the ball lands out of play.  

Crossing Space Faults

The line judge signals "out" when the ball crosses the antenna outside the court. There are certain organizations where the "pursuit rule" is in effect. Pursuit is when a player retrieves a ball by pursing it outside the antenna. This would be on a poorly passed ball that crosses outside the antenna. A teammate runs down the ball and sends the ball back in the court where a third contact is made to send the ball back over the net. 

Ball Touched Outside Object

The line judge signals "out" when the ball is touched by an object that's out of play.

Foot Fault

The line judge signals "foot fault" by raising the flag and pointing with the finger to the line when a player commits a foot fault while serving.

Judgement Impossible

The line judge crosses the arms when they line judge is unable to make a call.

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What's the Call | Volleyball Officiating Explained