Official Volleyball Rules

Team

  1. Team rosters shall include a minimum of five players, including at least two of each gender:
  2. The maximum number of players on the court is six per team.
  3. If a team does not have six players and at least two players of each gender, they may start with as few as four players (missing players shall be designated "Ghost Players"; see section on Rotation).
  4. All players must be registered with the League to play with the team. Unregistered substitutes are not permitted. Any team found to be playing with an unregistered player will forfeit the game. See: Late Registration below.
  5. When a team has fewer than the required number of players of a specified gender available, players of one gender may not be substituted for members of another gender. For example, if a team has six total players available at game time, but only one is female, the team must play short with five players, and the sixth designated as a "ghost player."
  6. Players arriving late may not join a game already in progress except to take on the position of a ghost player; however, they may join the next game.
  7. All players present during the match may, but are not required to, play in each game of the match.
  8. The player order for the purpose of rotation must be determined before each game, however, it may be altered between games.
  9. Late Registration: a team may add players to the roster through the fourth scheduled match provided the team captain approves, with the league fee pro-rated for the remainder of the season. All players must be formally registered with the League and paid in full prior to playing.

Playing Area

  1. The volleyball court shall measure approximately 60 feet long by 30 feet wide and include a center line. Attack lines are not required. The length of the court may be reduced to 50 feet long ("short court") depending on the size of the facility.
  2. The net shall measure 7 feet, 10 inches in height.

Equipment

  1. Games will be played with a regulation indoor volleyball provided by the League.
  2. Players must wear their League-provided t-shirts of the appropriate color for their team.
  3. Players must either wear soft-soled, close-toed shoes (indoor and grass) or be completely barefoot (sand).

Game Clock

  1. Each match shall be completed within 60 minutes.
  2. Each team is permitted one 1-minute time-out per game. Unused timeouts do not carry over into subsequent games.

Service

  1. A coin toss shall determine which team makes the first serve. The losing team of each match will receive the first serve of the corresponding match.
  2. The server must await the referee's whistle before serving and must proceed with service within 5 seconds of the whistle.
  3. The serve must be delivered from behind the boundary line.
  4. Served balls that contact the net on the way over are considered live and may be played.
  5. Served balls are dead, and a side-out and point awarded to the opposing team if:
    1. The ball fails to cross the top of the net.
    2. The ball makes contact with the ceiling or other obstruction.
    3. The ball lands out of bounds.
    4. The ball contacts a serving team's player prior to crossing the net.

Returns

  1. Any part of the body may be used to hit the ball, including feet, but only if the foot is touching the floor at the time of impact.
  2. Serves may not be attacked or blocked; i.e. they may not be returned when the ball is higher than the top of the net.
  3. The ball must be returned with no more than three hits.
  4. A player may not hit the ball twice in a row, unless players from opposing teams contact the ball simultaneously over the net. In that circumstance, a player may attempt to recover the ball with one additional hit after the block. 
  5. A player in the back row may not spike the ball from in front of the attack line.
  6. A ball that hits the ceiling or any objects attached from the ceiling (basketball backboards, light fixtures, scaffolding, etc.) shall remain in play provided the ball remains on the hitting team's side of the court. Should this happen while crossing the plane of the net, the ball is dead and a side-out and point awarded to the opposing team.

Rotation

  1. When a team receives the ball after a side-out has been called on the opposing team, the team shall rotate available players prior to serving.
  2. Players shall rotate to the next position, rotating clockwise.
  3. The player in the front-right position and only this player shall rotate off the court, and the next player waiting on the sideline rotated into and only into the server's position.
  4. When six players are on the court, there shall be three players in the front row and three players in the back row. When five players are on the court, there shall be three players in the front row and two players in the back row. When there are four players on the court, there shall be two players in each the front and back rows.
  5. When a team fields fewer than six players, the positions for the missing players shall be designated as "ghost players." When a ghost player arrives at service, that team shall receive a side out, and the other team 1 point.
  6. In the event that the rotation will result in the team not meeting the on-court gender requirements due to a player of a particular gender moving off the court, the outgoing player may instead jump ahead in the order and move directly to the server's position. Alternatively, the referee will call a side out and the opposing team awarded 1 point.

Side Outs

  1. If a team commits an error or foul, a side out shall be called, 1 point and service awarded to the opposing team. 
    Errors include:
    1. Ball lands out of bounds.
    2. Ball fails to pass over the net on a serve.
    3. Carrying the ball.
    4. Team contact with the ball more than three times in a return.
    5. A player contacting the ball more than once in a row, except for recovering after a simultaneous block.
    6. Ball contacts the ceiling or hanging object prior to crossing the net.
    Faults include:
    1. A player making contact with the net during the service, unless the net is pushed into the player.
    2. Crossing the plane of the centerline below the net with any part of the body (NOTE: crossing the plane of the net above the net is permitted provided that no contact is made with the net).
    3. Blocking a serve.
    4. Making contact with the net while attempting to play the ball. Exceptions: Incidental contact by a player not actively attempting to play the ball is NOT a fault. Contact with the net as a result of movement of the net is NOT a fault.
    5. Crossing the plane of the net (area above the net).
    6. A player on the back row crosses the attack line to spike the ball.
    7. Placing a foot or hand completely over the center line.
    8. Illegal rotation or substitution.
    9. A "ghost player" rotates to the service position (see Rotation).
    10. A player making contact with the opposing team's side of the court.
    11. Unsportsmanlike conduct.

Scoring

  1. One point shall be awarded for each service, i.e. "rally scoring".
  2. The first team to score 21 points by a margin of 2 or more, or to reach 25 by any margin shall win the game.
  3. If a team has scored 21 points without a margin of 2 or more points, gameplay and scoring will continue until the margin has been reached or a team has reached 25 points.
  4. For regular season games, a total of 3 games will be played in the match; each game win shall count for 1 point in the standings.  Playoff games shall use a best-of-3 format, with the first to win 2 games advancing.

Late Arrival Penalties & Forfeits

  1. Teams must be ready to play and meet game start requirements within 5 minutes after the posted game time.
  2. If a team is not ready to play at 5 minutes past the posted game time, it shall incur an immediate 5 point penalty in the first game, awarded to the opposing team.
  3. If a team is still not ready to play after 10 minutes, it shall incur an additional 10 point penalty in the first game.
  4. If a team is not ready to play after 15 minutes, it shall forfeit the game, with the opposing team winning the match 3 - 0.
  5. Any team found to be playing with a player not registered with the League or team shall forfeit the game.

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