Volleyball Rules



Sec 1 Team Size

A team consists of six players playing on the court at one time. All six must be present at the beginning of the game to avoid a forfeit. If a player becomes injured, teams may play with fewer than six players.

Sec 2 Player Positions and Substitutions

Serving order will rotate clockwise.

At the time the ball is served, the players of each team must be within their team area in two rows of three players each.

After the ball is contacted for the serve, the players may move from their respective positions.

When a player(s) of a team is discovered out of position, the play must be stopped and the error corrected. All points scored by the team while a player(s) was out of position shall be canceled. If the team at fault is serving at the time of discovery, a side-out will be declared.

All front row players will be permitted to block and spike from anywhere on the court. Back row players may not block or attack in front of the 10-foot line.

Substitutions may be made by both teams during a dead ball. Substitutions will be allowed with the following restrictions: The player must re-enter the game by substituting for the same player who replaced him/her. A continuous rotation will also be allowed as long as a player re-enters the game after five rotations.

Sec 3 Length of Match

Girls play three games, regardless of who wins. All three games shall be played to 25 points.

In the third game, teams will change sides after one team has scored 12 points.

Because they may play teams back-to-back, boys play best of three games, with the third game played to 15 points only if necessary.

All games will use rally scoring; i.e. one team will score a point every rally.

Games must be won by 2 points.

After each game, teams will change sides of the playing area.

Each team will be allowed two 1 minute time-outs per game.

Sec 4 Service

Server must serve within the designated service area (anywhere behind the end line and between the two sidelines).

Players in JV games may serve underhand from a marked line five feet from the serving line (25'). JV overhand serves must be from the 30' service line.

If a player serves before the referee's whistle, the team loses their service; this rule is not enforced at the JV level. JV players will get a re-serve.

At the instant that the ball is hit for the service, the server must remain behind the end line and between the two sidelines marking the service area, but may enter the court immediately after the ball is hit.

The ball may hit the net on the serve (let serve) as long as it hits the net without touching the net antenna and continues across the net into the opponent's court. The let serve is a playable live ball.

Serving faults include: a) ball passes under the net, b) ball does not pass over net, c) ball is hit a second time by serving team or any object before landing in opponent's court, and d) ball lands outside limits of opponent’s court.

Change of service takes place when a server commits a fault or side out is signaled.

The team, which receives the ball for service, shall rotate one position clockwise before serving.

JV servers may serve a maximum of five (5) in a row. The team keeps the ball but they must rotate.

Coaches, players and spectators must demonstrate positive sportsmanship at all times. When a player is serving the ball, all coaches, players and spectators will NOT make any noise with intent to distract the server; this includes but is not limited to noise makers, shouting, whistling, stomping, chants, etc. After the whistle is blown it is expected to be quiet for the server. The referee will determine what constitutes intent to distract the server.

Offenses may result in a re-serve, a warning, a penalty, expulsion from the game, or disqualification from the match.

Sec 5 Contacting the Ball

The receiving team may not block or spike the ball off the serve.

Each team is allowed a maximum of three successive contacts of the ball before returning it to the opponent.

The ball may be contacted with any part of the body.

The ball may contact more than one part of the body, provided the contacts are simultaneous and that the ball is not held.

A player who contacts the ball or is contacted by the ball is considered to have played the ball.

When the ball rests momentarily in the hands or arms of a player, it is held and a side-out is called. Ball must be hit cleanly without scooping, lifting, pushing, or carrying.

Common interpretations: a) Ball below the waist may not be played with an open hand, b) Overhead balls must be played in a direction perpendicular to the line of the player's shoulders.

A player contacting the ball more than once without any other player having touched it between these contacts will have committed a double hit and a side‑out will be awarded to the opponents.

In a simultaneous contact of the ball by two opponents above the net, the team whose side the ball enters has the right to play the ball three times.

If, after simultaneous contact, the ball lands in the playing area of either team, the team on whose side it lands is scored against or side-out.

If two players of the same team contact the ball simultaneously it counts as one play and either one may play the next shot.

If two opponents commit a fault simultaneously, there will be a play-over.

Sec 6 Blocking

Any or all players on the front line can perform blocking. At no time may any back row player block.

Any player participating in a block in which the ball is contacted shall have the right to make the next contact, with it counting as the first allowed the team.

If the ball contacts more than one player during the block, this shall be counted as only one contact even if these contacts were not made simultaneously.

Any blocker(s) may reach over the net but can not contact the ball until completion of the opponents attack.

Following a successfully blocked ball which returns to the attacker's side, the team is allowed three more contacts to return the ball over to the opponents area.

Sec 7 Spikes

There will be a 10-foot attack line. All back row players must take off behind this line.

Hands passing over the net after the spike are not a fault.

Backline players may not contact the ball while in attack area unless the ball is below the height of the net when hit.

Sec 8 In and Under the Net

If the ball is driven into the net forcefully enough to contact an opponent, it­ will not be counted as a fault against the opponent. No other contact with the net is allowed. 

Touching an opponent’s court with foot/feet is not a fault provided that some part of foot/feet remain on or above the centerline at the time of contact.

Sec 9 Ceiling Rule

Ceiling Rule: Players are allowed only one re-serve if one of their serves hits the ceiling. Any ball contacting the ceiling or overhead lights will be considered in play if it remains on the side of the net on which it was played. If the ball ends up on the other side it will be considered out of bounds.

Sec 10 General Rules

Before the match, a coin toss will determine service or receive positions. Captains from each team will watch the referee perform the coin toss; the visiting team will call “heads” or “tails” before the coin hits the ground. The winner of the coin toss may choose to serve or receive first.

The net will be placed at 7 feet for junior varsity and varsity levels.

Too much complaining or arguing about a call can result in loss of serve or point for the opposite team, which depends on the team that is serving. The referee will make this decision.

All games, junior varsity and varsity, will be played with a regulation size and weight indoor volleyball. Each school has been provided with game balls. Lighter or heavier balls such as Volley-Lites and beach volleyballs are not allowed.