Volleyball Rules for Dummies

Volleyball rules for dummies includes how to play and win. 

The object of the game

The goal of the game is to be the first to score 25 points. Sometimes games are shorter, for example, in club volleyball often the game starts at 4-4, play to 25 points (win by 2). 


Win the Set (game) or Win the Match

Games are referred to as sets. 

A match consists of the best 2 of 3 sets. 

Sometimes teams will play best of 5 (team to win 3 sets first wins the match).

The deciding set is often played to 15 points. For this deciding set, the teams switch sides of the court half-way through the set (first team to score 8 points switch).


Illegal Playing Contacts

In volleyball, it is a violation to catch or throw the ball. Basically, the referee judges the length of contact... if there is prolonged contact, then the referee could blow the whistle and call an illegal catch or throw. 

Two consecutive contacts

It's illegal for the same player to contact the ball two consecutive times in a row (except on the teams first team contact). 

Reaching Over the Net

Each player must contact the ball within their own playing space. Players can't reach into the opponents space to make the play (unless while blocking). 

And players can't attack the ball when the ball is completely on the opponents side of the net. 

There are situations where a player can legally block a ball that is completely on the opponents side...

1) After all 3 contacts.

2) After the first or second contact and no player is there to make a play on the ball.

3) After the first or second contact, the ball is falling near the net, the ball isn't going over, but there isn't a player there to play it.

4) In the referee's judgement, the ball would have gone over the net if it hadn't been touched by the blocker.


Volleyball Rules for Dummies - What You Should Know

  • Each team plays with 6 players
  • A team may play with a specialized defensive player (libero)
  • Sets go to 25 points (win by 2)
  • Deciding sets go to 15 points (switch at 8)
  • Teams warm up before the match and love to hit
  • It's usually an advantage to be tall at the net
  • The server can't toss then catch the ball (except in high school)
  • One toss for serve in 15 and older (8 seconds to serve)
  • A toss and drop for serve in 14 and under (5 seconds to serve)
  • The ball lands on the line, the ball is "in"
  • The ball lands outside the court and not on the line, the ball is "out"
  • The antenna and the ball going over the antenna is "out"
  • The ball hitting any of the netting outside the antenna is "out"
  • Backrow players can't attack the ball from inside the attack line (unless part of the ball at contact is below the top of the net)


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