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VolleyNation Rules of Play

The goal at VolleyNation is to create a consistent set of rules that apply to all our events.  These rules are updated as the game evolves, but there are some rules we apply that differ from modern formats in keeping with traditional grass rules, doubles format, and reverse coed format. The rules listed below are either reminders of important rules or differences from modern volleyball rules.  If there are any questions, please contact us using the contact information provided on the website.

Before every tournament, the tournament director reviews important rules with all tournament teams.

​Facilities, Equipment, and Format
  • Court size

    • Doubles: Each side of the net is 27' x 27'.  

    • Triples and Quads: Each side of the net is 30' x 30'.

  • The ball may be played outside of the court up to another court. If a player steps into any other court's area, the play is considered dead and the team that stepped into the other court loses the point.

  • Rally scoring is used for all matches unless otherwise indicated in the tournament description.

  • Teams switch which side of the net they are on per the following guidelines:

    • Sets played to 21+: Every 7 total points​

    • Sets played to 15: Every 5 total points

  • Match warm-ups should be kept to a maximum of 4 minutes per team so as to not put your court's schedule behind.

Playing Actions
  • Let serves are allowed.

  • For serve receive only, setting the ball is a fault and loss of point.  If the ball is contacted with both hands, they must be touching and not use a setting motion.

  • A hard-driven ball may be doubled as long as the contact does not use a setting motion.

  • Setting

    • While rotation of the ball is not the sole determining factor for whether a ball is doubled, the intention of the rules is to be much stricter on doubles than modern rules.  The descriptions provided here use rotation as a guide to determine if a double fault has occurred.​

    • "Cleanness" of the set and whether or not a double fault has occurred adjusts per level of play.  Use the following rotation guidelines to assist in calling a double fault.

      • B Division: Up to 2-3 rotations of the ball are allowed

      • A Division:  Up to 1.5 rotations of the ball are allowed

      • AA Division: Up to between 0.5 - 1 rotations of the ball are allowed​

        • We encourage players to call their own doubles.  If your set is questionable it is most likely a double.​

    • Setting the ball on the first contact after serve receive is allowed even on a hard-driven ball.  The same considerations for a double fault are ​used on the setting motion regardless of whether it is the first, second, or third contact.

    • If the ball is set and stays on the same side of the net as the setter, the setter's shoulders may be at any angle.  If the ball is set and goes over the net, the ball must travel in-line with the setters shoulders and be "square" and in-line with their shoulder orientation at the time of the set.

  • The ball is considered "in" if it contacts the line of the court and the line "bounces".

  • Contacting the net is a fault and loss of point.

    • Contacting the net after the ball is dead is still considered a fault and loss of point.​

    • Hair is allowed to touch the net and not considered a fault.

  • Players are allowed to go fully under the net and onto the opponents side provided it does not a) interfere with the other team's ability to play the ball or b) contact the other team in any manner.

  • Open hand tips are not allowed at any time.  Knuckling the ball is allowed.

  • Blocks are not considered a touch for a team's three contacts.

  • During an overpass, a blocker is not allowed to re-direct the ball.  They may either let the ball naturally deflect off their hands or direct the ball straight down. Attacking the ball on an overpass is allowed and not considered a re-direction.

Interruptions to Play
  • Each team is allowed one timeout during the first two sets of a match.  Timeouts are for one minute.  If a 3rd set occurs, each team is allowed one additional timeout.

  • Substitutions are allowed during pool play only in the event of an injury and only if the team still has a set remaining in pool play.  No substitutions are allowed after a team completes all of their sets in pool play.

Reverse Coed Format
  • Team Composition

    • Teams must consist of one member of each gender. 

    • Teams with two women are allowed, but one of them must be clearly designated to the other team as the "guy" each set.  The player designated as the "guy" may be changed between each set.

    • Teams with two men are not allowed.

  • Lines will be placed on each court with duct tape or paint to mark the 10' attack line.

  • Men may jump and attack the ball from behind the 10' attack line, women may jump and attack the ball from anywhere.

  • Men may jump and attack the ball from in front of the 10' attack line, but the ball must have a clear upwards trajectory.

  • In the rare case a man contacts the ball above the net within the 10' attack line, he may not do so within arm's reach of the net.  Contact made at or beyond their arm's reach away from the net is legal, but must still have a clear upwards trajectory if it returns to the other team's side.

Triples and Quads Format
  • Teams may register with an additional player (4 total players for triples and 5 total players for quads).  The extra player is considered a sub and may be subbed in between sets for other players.  Subs are not allowed during sets, except in the case of injury.

  • RevCo Quads Only: Teams are traditionally two men and two women, but a 3-1 ratio may be used in favor of either gender.

    • If a team is composed of 3 men and 1 woman, one of the men must be clearly designated to the other team as the "libero" for each set. The libero is not allowed to attack the ball above the net in any way, even in an upwards trajectory (standing downballs are allowed).  The libero is allowed to set in front of the 10' attack line.​

    • If a team is composed of 3 women and 1 man, one of the women must be clearly designated to the other team as a "guy" each set.  This player must follow all rules applied to men for that set.

    • A team of 4 women is allowed, but one of the players is designated as a "guy" for the entire tournament.  The other three players follow the rules of designating one of them as a "guy" for each set.

    • Teams of 4 men are not allowed.

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