Basic Volleyball Rules for Playing the Game

  • 6 players on a team, 3 on the front row and 3 on the back row.


  • Maximum of three hits per side.


  • Player may not hit the ball twice in succession (a block is not considered a hit).


  • Ball may be played off the net during a volley and on a serve.


  • A ball hitting a boundary line is “in”.


  • A ball is “out” if it hits:

​​       a). an antennae,
       b). the floor completely outside the court,
       c). any part of the net or cables outside the antennae,
       d). the referee stand or pole,
       e). the sports hall ceiling or wall (outside the playable area).

  • It is illegal to catch, hold, or throw the ball.


  • If two or more players contact the ball at the same time, it is considered one play and either player involved may make the next contact (provided the next contact isn’t the teams 4th hit).


  • A player cannot block or attack from a serve.


  • After the serve, players may switch positions.​


Basic Volleyball Violations


The following are some basic volleyball rules for violations.

The result of a violation is a point for the opponent:

  • When serving, stepping on or across the service line, at the point of contact with the ball.


  • Failure to serve the ball over the net successfully.


  • Failure to serve the ball within eight seconds.


  • Contacting the ball illegally (lifting, carrying, throwing, etc.)


  • Touching the net with any part of the body while the ball is in play. Exception: If the ball is driven into the net with such force that it causes the net to contact an opposing player, no foul will be called, and the ball shall continue to be in play.


  • When blocking a ball coming from the opponents court, contacting the ball when reaching over the net is a violation if both: 
    1) your opponent hasn’t used 3 contacts and….
    2) they have a player there to make a play on the ball.


  • When attacking a ball coming from the opponents court, contacting the ball when reaching over the net is a violation if the ball hasn’t yet broken the vertical plane of the net.


  • Crossing the court centre line with your whole foot.


  • Serving out of order.


  • Back row player blocking (deflecting a ball coming from their opponent), when at the moment of contact the back row player is near the net and has part of his/her body above the top of the net (an illegal block).


  • Back row player attacking a ball inside the front zone (the area inside the 3 metre line), when at the moment of contact the ball is completely above the net (an illegal attack).


Printable version ( Click Here )