Volleyball Game Rules
Game, Court, and Equipment

The following are some volleyball game rules for beginner players. Learn these basic rules and strategies for how to play

The Game - Volleyball Game Rules

The game of volleyball is played by two teams, six on each team. The teams are separated by a net. The teams compete with one another using an inflated ball.

How the Game is played

One team serves the ball over the net to the other team with the intention of placing the ball into the opponents court. The receiving team attempts to return the ball back over the net to place it back in the serving teams court.

Object of the Game
The object of the game is to win the match. 

Volleyball game rules for high school volleyball…

  • Match
    A match is won by the first team to win 3 out of 5 games. Depending on the state, some high schools still play the best 2 out of 3. As soon as a team wins 3 games, the match is over.

  • Game
    A game is played to 25 points, the first team to 25 wins. Games must be won by at least 2 points. So, if there is a 24-24 tie, the game shall be played until one team has a two point lead. If the match goes to a 5th game, the game is played to 15 points.

  • Point
    A point is scored by a team every time the opponent commits a fault.

    A point is scored every time the ball lands in the opponents court.

Common Strategies for Scoring Points

  • A good strategy for serving would be to serve the ball in such a way that it would be difficult for the other team to return the ball back over the net.

  • Each team is allowed 3 hits before the ball has to be returned over the net. A good strategy would be to play the ball to your teammates in such a manner tomake the 3rd hit difficult for the opponent to play. Most teams try to utilize strategies to bump, set, then spike the ball into the opponents courts.

  • Each team consists of 3 front line players and 3 back line players. The front line players may jump at the net and hit the ball. This strategy is called attacking.

  • The front line players may also reach above the net and try blocking the ball coming from the other side.
Volleyball Game Rules

The Court - Volleyball Game Rules

Court dimensions are 18 meters by 9 meters (60 ft. by 30 ft.). It is recommended that the area above the court be at least 7 meters (23 ft.) high.

Boundary Lines

The boundary lines form a rectangular shape around the court. The endlines are the short boundary lines on short sides of the court. The sidelines are the long boundary lines on the long sides of the court. It is recommended that the courts boundary lines be a color contrasting the color of the court. Lines should be 5 centimeters (2 inches) wide.

The Center Line
The center line extends from sideline to sideline underneath the net. The center line separates the courts playing area into two equal halves, each 30 by 30 feet.

Attack Lines
The attack lines (3 meter line, attack line, or 10 foot line) are the lines placed 3 meters from the centerline of the court. The attack line extends from sideline to sideline.

Serving Area
The serving area is the area behind the endline where the server serves. The serving area is 30 ft. wide (equal to the width of the sidelines). Both serving areas should be at least 2 meters (6 feet) in depth. If 6 feet isnt available, volleyball game rules require the serving area be extended into the court the needed distance and marked.

Substitution Zone
The substitution zone is the area between the attack line and the center line. This is the area where substitutions take place.

Out of Bounds
According to the volleyball game rules, the ball is out of bounds if it touches…

  • The floor completely outside the court

  • A wall or an object mounted on a wall
  • The ceiling above a nonplaying area
  • The antenna
  • The net, cables, or ropes outside the antennas
  • The referee platform or pole
  • A non playing player that isn't interfering with play
  • An object that is hanging from the ceiling and is below 15 ft. and in the referees judgement the ball could not have remained in play

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Rules for Volleyball and How to Play

Volleyball Equipment - Volleyball Game Rules

The net is 1 meter (3 ft.) and 9.5 meters (32 ft.) long when stretched. The net is attached to upright standards that are 1 meter (3 ft.) outside the court. The standards may be padded to a maximum height of 5 and half feet. Front and sides of the referees platform must be padded, same as the standards.

Net Antennas
Antennas are attached to the net inline with the outside edge of the sideline. Antennas extend upward at least 2 and half feet but no more than 3 and a half feet above the net. Antennas should be fasten securely to the bottom and top of the net. The antennas should be made of unbreakable material.

Referee Stand
The volleyball game rules require the referee stand to be a stable platform that elevates the referees head to about 2 or 3 feet above the top of the net. The platform should be 18 inches long and 12 inches wide.

The Ball
The volleyball must be spherical with a laceless molded cover of 12 or more pieces of genuine or simulated smooth leather. The ball is about 25 to 27 inches in circumference. The ball should weigh about 9 to 10 ounces and be inflated to 4.3 to 4.6 pounds.

In competitive volleyball, volleyball game rules require a scoresheet to be used to keep score. A scoresheet also provides space for lineups, individual scoring, team scoring, and timeouts. There is a comments section for recording warnings, penalties, unsporting conduct, and any other unusual events. 

Rules for Officiating

Rules for Playing the Ball

Official Rules for Play at the Net 

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