Volleyball Rules


The Game

  • The game of volleyball is played by two teams of six (6) players each. Four eligible players are required in order for a team to begin playing a match.
  • Points will be scored according to "rally scoring."  This means that both the serving and returning teams score if they win a rally.
  • A side-out shall be declared when the serving team violates a rule or fails to return the ball and the returning team then serves.
  • Prior to the beginning of the contest a coin toss will be conducted between designated players from each team. The winner of the toss shall choose either to serve/receive, or playing area. The loser shall be given the remaining choice. Options are automatically switched for the second game.
  • A team is declared the winner of a game when they score 25 points and are at least two points ahead.
  • The match is won when one team wins the best of three games.
  • A third game tie-breaker will be played to 15 points.


The Court

The court shall be sixty feet long by thirty feet wide. It shall be bounded by end lines and side lines. A centerline shall separate the two teams, and there shall be a spiking line ten feet from the net on both sides.

A ball striking the ceiling or an overhead obstruction above the playable area shall remain in play provided the ball makes contact on the side of the net extended that is occupied by the team last playing the ball, and the ball is legally played next by the same team.

A ball is out-of-bounds and becomes dead when it:

  • Touches a wall, objects mounted on the wall, or objects on the floor outside the court.
  • Touches the floor completely outside the court’s boundary lines.
  • Touches the net cables or net completely outside the vertical tape markers or touches the net supports.
  • Does not pass over the net “in bounds”.
  • Touches the ceiling or an overhead obstruction beyond the vertical plane of the net.
  • Enters a non-playable area such as another court or the bleachers.

There shall be a replay when:

  • A non-player clearly interferes with a player’s legitimate attempt to play a ball.
  • A backboard clearly obstructs a ball that would have remained in play had the ball not contacted it.

B and Women’s leagues will use standard female height nets.  A league will use standard male height nets.


 The Serve

  • A serve is contact with the ball to initiate play. The server shall hit the ball with one hand, fist or arm while the ball is held, or after it is tossed or dropped by the server. The server shall not serve until the referee’s signal, and then must serve within five seconds following.
  • The server shall serve outside the end line and may serve from anywhere between the sidelines.
  • The first server for each team is their right back player. Thereafter, the right front player rotates to the serving area.
  • The team not serving first in the first game of a match shall serve first in the second game.


During Play

A contact is any touch of the ball by a player.

A team shall not have more than three contacts before the ball crosses the net into the opponent’s playing area. When a team’s first contact is simultaneous contact by opponents, or an action to block, the next contact shall be the team’s first.  

Legal contact is a touch of the ball by a player’s body that does not allow the ball to visibly come to rest or involve prolonged contact with the player’s body. A player may contact the ball with their leg or foot, however the foot must be in contact with the ground.

Simultaneous contact occurs when two players contact the ball at the same time.

  • When teammates contact the ball at the same instant it is permitted and counted as one hit (except a block, which does not count as a hit). Any player may make the next hit.
  • When opposing players contact the ball at the same instant, the player on the opposite side of the net from which the ball falls shall be considered the player to have touched the ball last. The other player may participate in the next play and the simultaneous contact shall not count as a hit.

Multiple or successive hits of the ball by the same player are not allowed unless the second contact follows a block or simultaneous contact.

Front line players may contact the ball from any position inside or outside their half of the court extended. Back line players, while positioned behind the spiking line, may contact the ball from any position also. Back line players, however, shall NOT:

  • Participate in a block or attempt to block.
  • Leave the floor to return a ball while standing on or in front of the spiking line extended.

A player may touch the floor on or across the center line provided there is contact with that line. Touching the floor completely across the center line is illegal.

A ball contacting and crossing the net, shall remain in play, provided contact is within the vertical tape markers.

Recovering a ball hit into the net is permitted.

A player shall not contact a ball on the opponent’s side of the net unless that contact is a legal block.

Blocking a ball that is entirely on the opponent’s side of the net is permitted when the opposing team has had an opportunity to complete its attack. The attack is complete:

  • When the attacking team has completed its three hits.
  • When the attacking team has had the opportunity to spike the ball or, in the official’s judgment, directs the ball with intent to return it to the opponent’s court.
  • When the ball is falling near the net and no member of the attacking team could make a play on it.

A net foul occurs when a player contacts any part of the net or ropes while the ball is in play. It is not a foul when a player’s hair touches the net, or the force of the ball hit by an opponent pushes the net into a player.

A player may not gain an advantage by contacting the net supports, walls, or bleachers.



  • A substitution shall not be made after the referee has signaled for the serve.
  • The position of the substitute on the court shall be that of the player replaced.
  • For intramural sports purposes, substitutes may enter the game at any time provided that the official in charge is aware of the entry.


Line Judges

Each team is required to bring a line judge to make line calls. The official may overrule the line judge. 



  • Every team will earn 20 points for participation.
  • Play-off points. Determined by the final standings, each team that qualifies for the play-offs will receive 10 points. 
  • Championship points. Following post-season play the championship team will receive an additional 25 points, and the runner-up will receive 10.  
  • Forfeit points. 15 points will be deducted from a team’s point total for any scheduled contest they forfeit.


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