Volleyball Rules + Regulations (EASY TO UNDERSTAND)

To be stored up to date with the newest rules and laws, you need to check with:

2019-20 NFHS Volleyball Rules E-book

A really common description of Volleyball Rules & Regulations:

Two teams of 6 gamers every (with substitutes) play the game of volleyball, on a courtroom that is divided by a internet.

The item of the game is to hit an inflated ball (the volleyball) over the web, such that the opposing staff can’t return the ball either because the ball has been “grounded” (i.e. the volleyball has touched the courtroom floor inside the outlined boundaries of the opposing group’s courtroom), or the ball is returned back over the web however lands outdoors of the outlined boundaries of the opponent’s courtroom.

Each staff has a maximum of 3 hits to get the ball over the web to the opponent’s aspect of the courtroom inside the boundaries.

The play begins with one staff serving the ball over the web to the opposite group, which in turn has the three hits allowed to get the ball again over the web to the serving workforce’s aspect.

Every workforce continues to aim to floor the ball (or make it otherwise non-returnable) in the opposing workforce’s courtroom. This process is known as a “rally” – once a staff wins a rally, they are awarded some extent.

If the serving group wins the rally, it maintains the serve. If the staff receiving the serve wins the rally, they are awarded the point, achieve the proper to serve, and the workforce’s gamers rotate one position to the left (or clockwise).

The above was a very common description of Volleyball Rules & Regulations, and ought to be sufficient that will help you get started.

Nevertheless, hold reading to get into the precise guidelines of the sport in order that you’ll have a extra thorough understanding of this implausible staff sport.

There are a set of widespread rules it doesn’t matter what age and competition degree at which you play, however in some situations there are slight differences in rules between center and highschool, college, and national / international ranges of play.

Enjoying Space

In the overwhelming majority of instances, indoor volleyball is played in a multi-purpose gymnasium either at a faculty or college, and the courtroom strains are superimposed on the ground together with basketball, badminton, handball, and so forth. In national and world-level competitors, the courtroom surface is often dedicated solely to the game of volleyball.


Regardless of the venue, the courtroom dimensions are as follows:

Free Zone Dimensions

The free zone is the world surrounding the courtroom itself, by which the ball might be performed. It varies slightly for college age, college, and international FIVB.

The primary objective of the free zone is to offer a protected area for players to play the ball – stands for spectators, gear and so forth should not be in this area apart from the volleyball internet stands, the referee stand, and so on.


      • High school and University: at the very least 2 meters, 3 meters is preferable.
      • National / FIVB: minimal Three meters, with a minimal of 5 m from the aspect strains and 6.5 m from the top strains for world and official tournaments.

Internet Peak

The official heights for the nets range for women and men, however in fact you need to have success early on for beginner gamers so by all means be happy to regulate the web peak.

For ages 15 and above, the heights are:

      • Males – 2.43 meters
      • Ladies – 2.24 meters


Under age 15, you need to use:

      • Boys and Women ages 13-14 – 2.24 meters
      • Boys and Women ages 11-12 – 2.13 meters
      • Boys and Women ages 10 and beneath – 1.98 meters

Number Of Gamers

Generally, teams should have a minimum of 6 gamers to start out the match, and no less than 6 eligible players (substitution gamers, or “subs”) to play the match. There are 6 gamers on courtroom for each group through the match. In FIVB guidelines, a workforce might have up to 14 players in complete.

Serving Rules

The Actual Serve

The server must toss (i.e. release the ball), and then should contact the ball behind the top line in the service area situated behind Zone 1 (often a Three meter extensive space). Neither foot might touch the line through the contact. In the case of a bounce serve, the bounce takeoff have to be behind the road as nicely.

No Screening Allowed

The gamers on the serving staff should not organize themselves on the courtroom in such a approach as to block the view of the server or the ball, nor wave their arms or make different distracting actions.


There are some minor volleyball rule variations relating to the toss before the serve.

In FIVB, college and high school matches, the server should hit the ball within 8 seconds after the referee whistles for service, and only one toss is allowed.

For players underneath age 14 (i.e. middle faculty), the time is 5 seconds from the whistle, but the server might have a second toss if the primary one was not effective, and lands with out touching the server.

Player Service Rotation And Positioning Rules

Each workforce has 6 gamers on the courtroom at anybody time. Firstly of the game, or “set”, every workforce’s coach arranges his / her gamers in the zones of the courtroom.

This association dictates the rotational order of the staff when they’re awarded the serve (either firstly of a set, or after a “side-out” through which the workforce who served the ball to start out a rally loses the purpose).

The diagram under exhibits the order and move of rotation:


It’s essential to notice that when a workforce is serving, the players of every staff have to be in their zones. After the service hit, the gamers might move around and occupy any place on their courtroom and the free zone.

If the serving staff wins the rally and maintains the serve, the gamers on each staff MUST return to their unique zones for the service (then are capable of move once more).

This order have to be maintained all through the set.

If there is a side-out, and the opposing staff is awarded the serve, that staff rotates one position clockwise as shown in the above diagram (i.e. the zone 2 player moves to zone 1 and serves, the zone 1 participant moves to zone 6, the zone 6 strikes to zone 5, and so on).

Flexibility Within Zones for Positioning

It is very important notice that whereas the zones have a particular space, there’s flexibility inside the areas relating to players locating themselves within their specific zone – to a certain extent.

This helps with maximizing defensive skills, having players be closer to their offensive talent positions, and so forth. With that stated, gamers MUST comply with these positional guidelines:

        1. Each back-row player have to be positioned further back from the centerline than the corresponding front-row player.
        2. The front-row gamers and the back-row gamers, respectively, have to be positioned laterally in the order indicated in the diagram.
        3. The positions of players are decided and controlled in response to the positions of their ft contacting the ground as follows:
        • Each front-row player should have at the least part of his/her foot nearer to the center line than the ft of the corresponding back-row participant.
        • Every right or left aspect participant should have at the least a part of his/her foot nearer to the fitting or left aspect line than the ft of the middle participant in that row.

Scoring Rules – Points, Units, And Matches


A single level is scored by a staff when:

        1. That group successfully grounds the ball on the opponent’s courtroom, inside the outlined area including when any a part of the ball touches any of the aspect or finish strains (in different phrases, the strains are thought-about “in”).
        2. When the opponent staff commits a fault (i.e. an motion going towards the principles).
        3. When the opponent group receives a penalty.

If the serving group wins a rally, it scores some extent and continues to serve. If the staff receiving the serve wins a rally as defined inside the above three sub-points, that staff scores some extent and it will get to serve subsequent (also referred to as a “side-out”).

Units & Matches

A “set” is a single recreation of volleyball, and a “match” is a sure variety of sets played to determine the general winner of the play between two teams.

        1. A set is played to 25 factors, with points being awarded from each rally (also referred to as a rally-point system). Teams must win by two points to win the set; within the case of a tie at 24 factors every, for instance, a group must win 26-24.
        2. A match is a maximum of 5 units, with a workforce being declared winner of the match if it wins Three units (i.e. a staff might win 3-0, Three-1, or Three-2).
        3. Within the case of a 5th set when the match is tied at 2 sets each, the final set is performed to 15 points slightly than 25, with the win by 2 points rule remaining in effect.


In response to volleyball guidelines, highschool and middle faculty groups will typically play in a three-team round robin format, especially if there are various groups in a league and courtroom / fitness center venues are limited within the area.

In this case, two teams play whereas the third group watches (or perhaps is in another space working towards). There’s some leeway within the rules to play such that a match of 3 units could also be performed, with all sets to 25 points.

In a college round robin format as described above, the choices are greatest 3 of 5 units, or greatest 2 of three units (with the sets going to 25 factors, win by 2 level rule in effect).

In FIVB, it’s best 3 of 5 sets.

Violations Of Rules (Faults)

Violations of the principles for a player or gamers on one staff leads to a “fault”, with the rally ending and some extent being awarded to the opposing workforce (and the lack of serve if relevant).

When Enjoying the Ball

        1. Groups might only hit the ball 3 times when the ball is on their aspect of the courtroom. The third hit must get the ball over the web, into the opposing staff’s courtroom space. If two or three players on the same group hit the ball on the similar time, it counts as two or three hits, except for two or three players blocking the ball.
        2. A participant might not hit the ball two occasions consecutively, with the next exceptions:
        • Enjoying the ball after a block (i.e. the participant contacts the ball in a block, then digs out the ball from hitting on his/her aspect of the courtroom).
        • Enjoying the ball on the primary hit of a workforce (during which case the ball might contact numerous elements of the body in succession, however have to be in the same movement).
        • Players might not obtain help from another participant, or an object comparable to the web stand, so as to hit the ball.

Three. The ball have to be hit cleanly – in different phrases, the ball cannot be cradled, carried, caught, thrown, or directed. The ball must rebound clearly off the participant.

4. In the course of the serve, the server’s foot might not touch the top line during contact with the ball. The server’s teammates might not block the opponent’s view of the server, the ball, the trajectory of the ball, and so on, nor can they distract the opposing staff.

5. The ball could also be performed inside the courtroom space, the free zone, and past the free zone. It the latter occasion, this space is known as a “non-playing area” and should be capable of be safely navigated.


Center and highschool players, and college players have to be touching the playable floor to legally play a ball over a non-playable space.

For FIVB players, the ball may be retrieved from past the free zone when the floor change is lower by ½” or less, and the world is freed from obstructions.

If this situation does NOT exist, then a participant have to be touching the playable surface to play a ball over a non-playing area. This accounts for particular volleyball venues which will have a raised enjoying surface.

In the course of the Rally

At The Internet

        1. The ball should cross over the web within what is known as the “crossing space”, which is the air area excessive of the web between the sidelines. In official matches and tournaments, there are antennae on the top of the web immediately above the sidelines to assist with defining this area (see courtroom diagram in Part 1). In any other case, the ball is “out”.
        2. The ball might contact the web because it goes over, and could also be played off the web as properly. Nevertheless, it might not touch the wires, antennae, stand or padding.
        3. Gamers might not contact the web (the exception being if the ball is driven into the web by one workforce, causing the web to the touch a participant on the opposite group).

Center and high school players can’t contact the web, internet cables, or internet antennae besides contact by unfastened hair.  Contacting the web or internet cables can also be a internet fault. Dangerous contact with or gaining a bonus from the standards or referee platform is a internet fault.

If college and FIVB players contact the web between the antennae, in the course of the motion of enjoying the ball, it is a fault. The action of enjoying the ball consists of (amongst others) the take off, the hit / attempted hit, and landing.

Nevertheless, gamers might touch the publish, ropes, or another object outdoors the antennae, together with the web itself, offered that it doesn’t intrude with play.

four. A player might not contact the ball or an opponent in the opponent’s area, earlier than or in the course of the opponent’s attack hit.

5. A player’s foot or ft can’t penetrate utterly into the opponent’s courtroom.


Middle and highschool players can touch opponent’s courtroom with ft or palms, offered some part of the extremity is on or above the middle line. Contacting the floor throughout the centerline with some other part of the body is a fault.

University and FIVB players can touch opponent’s courtroom with ft or arms, offered some part of extremity is on or above the centerline.

Gamers may contact the opponent’s courtroom with a whole foot or hand or some other body half(s), offered the encroachment doesn’t present a safety hazard, does not intrude with the opponents, and a few body half is on/over the center line.

6. In blocking, a participant might not contact the ball beyond the web and intrude with the opponent’s play earlier than or in the course of the opponent’s attack hit.

The “Attack” Hit

        1. While all gamers can play the ball, there are specific restrictions on which gamers can “attack” the ball, and from the place they’re within the courtroom, during a rally.
        • The assault hit is outlined as any hit of the ball with the intent of it going over the web to the opponent’s courtroom. From a “zones” perspective, a front-row participant (i.e. those gamers who at the time of the serve have been in zones 2, Three, and four) might full an attack hit at any peak of the ball, offered that the contact with the ball has been made inside the participant’s own enjoying area.
        • A back-row player (i.e. those players who at the time of the serve have been in zones 1, 6, and 5) might full an assault hit at any peak only from behind the entrance zone, as marked by the “attack” line or Three-meter line. A back-row player might complete an attack hit from the entrance zone, if in the meanwhile of the contact a part of the ball is lower than the top of the web.

2. A again row player might not, at his/her takeoff, touch or have crossed over the attack line (but after his/her hit, the participant might land inside the front zone).

3. A back-row player might not complete an attack hit from the front zone, if in the mean time of the hit the ball is solely larger than the top of the web.

four. The serve can’t be attacked.


Center and highschool gamers can’t assault the opponent’s serve from in front of, or behind, the attack line if the ball is completely above the highest of the web, in accordance with volleyball rules.

University and FIVB gamers can’t attack the opponent’s service, when the ball is within the entrance zone and completely greater than the top of the web.

5. A participant might not hit the ball inside the enjoying area of the opposing group.

The Block

        1. Again-row gamers might not block.
        2. Players might not contact the ball in the opponent’s area, both before or simultaneously with the opponent’s assault hit.
        3. Gamers might not block the ball in the opponent’s area from outdoors the antenna.
        4. The serve is probably not blocked.

Rotational / Positional Faults

It is very important keep in mind that while volleyball is a really free flowing sport during rallies, with gamers shifting throughout (topic to some restrictions on who can play the ball from where on the courtroom as described above), the rotation and position rules are very strict. As such, faults are declared if the principles from section 4, PLAYER SERVICE ROTATION AND POSITIONING RULES, will not be adopted.

        1. Rotational Fault – A rotational fault is dedicated when the service just isn’t made based on the rotational order. It leads to the next penalties:
        • Some extent and repair is awarded to the opponent (and the order of the offending group have to be corrected).
        • The scorer determines the precise moment when the fault was committed, and all points scored subsequently by the workforce at fault have to be cancelled while the opponent’s points remain valid.

2. Positional Fault – A positional fault is committed when, on the time of the serve, the gamers are usually not of their applicable zones on the courtroom based on their rotational order. This consists of when a player is on courtroom via unlawful substitution. It results in the following consequences:

        • Some extent and repair awarded to the opponent.
        • The participant positions have to be corrected.


Gamers within the starting rotation may be substituted with different gamers from the workforce, with certain restrictions.

        1. A participant that has been substituted might re-enter the sport, but solely in the position from which they have been substituted.
        2. Coaches must request a substitution with the referee. In instances the place there is a substitution zone on the enjoying surface, a player getting into the substitution zone also characterize a request.
        3. Inserting a Librero doesn’t rely as a substitution.
        4. Variety of substitutions allowed:
        • Center and High Faculty – 18 substitutions per set.
        • University – 12 substitutions per set.
        • FIVB – 6 substitutions per set. A participant of the beginning line-up might depart the game, however only as soon as in a set, and re-enter, but only once in a set.

5. An “exceptional substitution” might occur when a player (except the Libero) can’t proceed enjoying resulting from damage or illness. They should be substituted legally, but if this is not potential, the workforce is entitled to make an exceptional substitution. Because of this any player who isn’t on the courtroom at the time of the damage/sickness, except the Libero, second Libero or their regular alternative participant, may be substituted into the game for the injured/ailing participant. The substituted injured/unwell player isn’t allowed to re-enter the match.

6. If there’s an illegal substitution in violation of the above, the following penalties happen:

        • The offending staff is penalized with some extent and repair to the opponent, and the substitution have to be rectified.
        • The factors scored by the workforce at fault because the fault was dedicated are cancelled, whereas the opponent’s points remain legitimate.

The Libero

You might recall that the Librero place is a delegated defensive specialist on the staff. There’s one Librero designated per set, per staff, in middle faculty, highschool and university ranges while the FIVB allows up to 2 Libreros designated per set (with just one Librero allowed on the courtroom at anybody time).

A Librero’s uniform have to be a considerably contrasting color to that of his / her teammates (while being of the identical fashion, having the identical emblem, and so forth).

The Play of the Libero

        1. The Librero is restricted to perform as a back-row player, and is not allowed to finish an attack from anyplace on or off the courtroom if, in the mean time of contact, the ball is solely above the height of the web.
        2. The Librero might not block, or attempt to dam.
        3. The Librero might serve in one rotation per set.
        4. A teammate might not full an attack when, in the mean time of the attack, the ball is solely above the web and the ball is coming from an overhand finger cross by a Librero on or in front of the assault line. The ball might be freely attacked if the Librero overhand finger passes from behind the attack line.
        5. If he / she is airborne, the Librero’s place is judged in accordance with the point of last contact together with his/her staff’s courtroom.

Libero Alternative

        1. The Librero replacements are not counted as substitutions. They’re unlimited, however there have to be a completed rally between two Librero replacements (until a penalty causes the group to rotate and the Librero to maneuver to place four, or the Appearing Librero becomes unable to play, making the rally incomplete).
        2. The Librero is allowed to exchange any participant in a back-row position.
        3. The player who’s replaced by the Librero can only exchange the Librero. An incorrect Librero alternative is penalized with a delay of recreation if the officers determine and proper the state of affairs previous to the subsequent service contact. If identified after service contact, a place fault results and the opposing group is awarded some extent, and the serve.
        4. Replacements can solely happen after the top of a rally, or firstly of every recreation after the referee has verified the beginning line-up. The alternative must occur whereas the ball is out of play and before the referee alerts for serve. A alternative won’t be allowed after the referee alerts for serve.
        5. A Librero, and the player changed by the Librero, must enter or depart the courtroom solely by the sideline in entrance of their staff bench between the attack line and the top line.


While there are numerous different very specific guidelines to the game of volleyball (comparable to location of workforce benches, coaching positions on the courtroom, size and number of timeouts, and rating sheets simply to name a number of), the above descriptions of the overall guidelines must be more than enough to get you started!

If you need even more particulars, take a look at the principles for the varied ranges with the following hyperlinks:

FIVB Volleyball Rules


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