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2018 Rules

Vienna Youth Volleyball follows the official United States Volleyball (USAV) rulebook.  Some variances are made for the House leagues to foster more equitable games and encourage learning.

QUICK SUMMARY:

 

4th-6th Grade (ES) House
Girls & Boys

7th-8th Grade (MS) House
Girls

Net Height

7’

7’ 4”

Playing Area (per side)

30' x 30'

30' x 30'

Service Line

25', whether serving underhand or overhand (no distinction is new in 2018); Foot faults not enforced.

20' alternative service line allowed for underpowered players in regular season.

30' (regulation);
Foot faults not enforced

25' alternative service line allowed for underpowered players in the regular season.

Ball

Volley-Lite (softer & lighter)

HS regulation

Warm-ups

10 minutes before 1st set; 2 minutes between sets

Same

Time-Outs

(2) 30-second per set

Same

Scoring

Rally scoring, 3 sets with first 2 sets to 25 points and the last to 15 (win by 2) starting at 0-0; may start at 4-4 if needed due to time constraints

Same

Extra Point Incentive

Extra point awarded for any three-touch combination leading to an immediate win

Extra point awarded for a three-touch combination with the last touch involving an overhead arm swing leading to an immediate win

Substitutions

Continuous substitution

Same

Re-Serve

Re-serve if first service in a new rotation is bad. Upon winning a point in a new rotation, no re-serve on the next point.

Same

Consecutive Service Wins

Maximum of 3 consecutive points per server rotation

Same

Playing Time

Equal playing time policy

Same

 

 

9th-12th Grade (HS) House

MS Select

Net Height

7’ 4”

7' 4"

Playing Area (per side)

30' x 30'

30' x 30'

Service Line

30' (regulation);
Foot faults enforced

30' (regulation);
Foot faults enforced

Ball

HS regulation

HS regulation

Warm-ups

10 minutes before 1st set; 2 minutes between sets

10 minutes before 1st set; 2 minutes between sets

Time-Outs

(2) 30-second per set

(2) 60-second per set

Scoring

Rally scoring, 3 sets with first 2 to 25 points and the last to 15 (win by 2) starting at 0-0

Rally scoring, 5 sets with first 4 to 25 points and the last to 15 (win by 2) starting at 0-0

Extra Point Incentive

No extra points

No extra points

Substitutions

Continuous substitution

Positional substitution (unlimited); Libero permitted

Re-Serve

No re-serves

No re-serves

Consecutive Service Wins

Maximum of 5 consecutive points per server rotation

No maximum service wins

Playing Time

Equal playing time policy

Playing time at the discretion of coaches

 

BEFORE THE MATCH:

  • The referee calls a captains meeting within 5 minutes of the scheduled start time.
  • Each team must designate one or more captains for the match.  The captains from both teams meet with the referee for any special instructions and to conduct a “coin toss” to determine which team serves first and on which side.
  • Teams share the court during a 10 minute warm-up time, including hitting and serving.
  • Prior to the start of the first set, the referee signals for players on both teams to shake hands at the net.

 

DURING THE MATCH:

  • At the start of each set, players go directly to their positions on the court.
  • Breaks between sets during a match do not exceed 2 minutes.
  • Within the match, first service with each new set alternates between the teams.  A new coin toss is not required before the start of the last set.
  • HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULE: Third set only counts in final scores if needed to break 1-1 tie, AND one team gets to at least 11 points before time expires. If time expires before then, the match is entered as a 1-1 tie.

 

AFTER THE MATCH:

  • After the last set of the match completes, the referee signals both teams to the baseline.  Then the referee signals the teams forward to shake hands at the net.  All players and coaches are expected to participate. 
  • HOUSE: Match scores recorded by winning coach in SI Play. Only enter sets won/lost (not points). E.g., 2-0, 2-1. 

 

STANDINGS AND PLAYOFF SEEDING (HOUSE):

  • Standings are based on matches won, with % of games won/lost as a tiebreaker.

 

CHEERING:

  • Cheering is encouraged before/after sets, and briefly/immediately following a point.
  • Both sides are expected to be silent upon the referee's whistle signaling that a player may serve. Cheering during an opponent's serve is distracting and is grounds for a re-serve. Cheering during your own team's serve is also distracting and therefore discouraged.

 

BASIC RULES OF VOLLEYBALL:

  • Each team gets a maximum of 3 touches to return the ball to the opponent.
  • A ball may NOT be caught, thrown, held, or lifted.
  • A player may not contact the ball twice in a row, except in the case of a block. A block of the ball at the net does NOT count as a hit.
  • Contact with the net between the antennae by a player during the action of playing the ball is a fault. HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULE: Net faults are called loosely in VYI House leagues in 4-8th grade.
  • A ball driven into the net may be recovered within the limits of the 3 touches, so long as the contact with the net is within the antennae.
  • A ball touching the antennae is out.
  • It is permitted to penetrate into the opponent’s space under the net, provided that this does not interfere with the opponent’s play.  However, completely crossing the center line with the foot, feet, or hands, or encroachment with other body parts, is not permitted if it presents a safety hazard to opponents.
  • A ball hitting the net and going over the net is legal and in play, even on the serve.
  • HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULE: To promote learning, referees do not call double contacts or other mishandled ball touches. However, catching, throwing, holding or lifting the ball is not permitted.

 

THE PLAYING AREA:

  • The lines on the court are considered part of the playing area.  If any portion of the ball falls on any portion of the line, that ball is IN.
  • If during a volley, the ball hits something on the ceiling (rolled-up gym divider, rafters, ductwork, raised basketball hoops, or ceiling), and comes back to the team that hit it, they may continue to play it, as long as they are still within their 3 hit maximum. If it hits something on the wall (wall itself, hanging dividers, bleachers, lowered basketball hoops, etc.), it is out.
  • If a ball crossing the net hits anything, it is out of bounds.

 

TEAM RULES:

  • Players and coaches are the only ones allowed on the court and sidelines.
  • During game play, coaches may stand on the sideline with the rest of their team and give instructions to players, but cannot distract, disturb or delay the game. A coach who purposely delays the game to gain an advantage is issued a warning or loss of point penalty.
  • Teams normally play with 6 players on the court. A minimum of 5 players are required to start a set. If a 6th player arrives, that player may enter the set immediately. When playing with 5 players, the team does not lose the serve when the 6th player “hole” goes to serve. The next player in the rotation simply serves.
  • If a team has less than 5 players on the court 10 minutes after the scheduled start time, the first set is declared a forfeit and recorded as 25-0 for the opponent.  If a team cannot place 5 players on the court 20 minutes after the scheduled start, the entire match is declared a forfeit with each set is recorded as 25-0 or 15-0 for the opponent. In a forfeit situation, teams are encouraged to split up available players and use the remaining scheduled time to play for fun.
  • There is an exception to the minimum of 5 players rule when one of the 5 players on the court sustains an injury during the match.  In such a situation, the current game and subsequent games are considered valid even if the team has less than 5 players.  However, this rule does not apply when a player voluntarily leaves the match early bringing the number of players on the court below 5.  In such a situation, the current set and any subsequent sets in the match are declared forfeits.

 

MATCH FORMAT:

  • House matches are allocated 50 minutes to accommodate 3 sets (games). MS Select and HS House are allocated 90 minutes to accommodate 5 sets. For league standings, the winner of a regular season match is the team that wins the most sets during the allotted time.
  • During the regular season, all 3 or 5 sets of the match are played, regardless of how many sets each team wins, time permitting.  During playoffs, all matches are best 2-of-3 with the decisive third set played only if both teams have won one set.
  • Matches begin on time throughout the day; beginning as close to the scheduled start time as possible. Teams must arrive at the playing site at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled match start time.
  • Referees are the official timekeepers and responsible for matches starting and ending on time. If the last set is exceeding the allocated time for the match, the referees are empowered to shorten the game (see the Scoring section).
  • The 1st referee is located on wall-side of the court. The 2nd referee serves as the score flipper opposite the 1st referee.

 

SCORING:

  • In rally point scoring, every play results in a point being awarded. A serve into the net or out-of-bounds is a point for the other team. Let serves (serves which touch the net on the way over) are considered good.
  • For 3 set matches, the first two sets are played to 25 points and the last to 15 points.  For 5 set matches, the first four sets are played to 25 points with the final set to 15 points.  All sets start at 0-0. 
  • A set is won by the team which first scores 25 points or 15 points in the final set with a minimum lead of two points. In the case of a 24-24 tie, play is continued until a two-point lead is achieved (26-24, 27-25, etc.).
  • 4th-8th GRADE HOUSE SPECIAL RULE: At the discretion of the referee, an extra point is awarded to a team that executes a multi-touch combination that leads to an immediate win where the opponent does not legally return the ball over the net into play. For 4th-6th Grade House, ANY three legal touches earns an extra point. For 7th/8th House leagues, three legal touches earns an extra point provided the third touch involves an arm swing above the shoulder. Rolls and tips/dinks are counted as overhand hits, while forearm passes/bumps and two arm hand sets are not.  The opportunity to earn an extra point on a multi-touch combination is nullified if the opposing team legally returns the ball over the net and into play.

 

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULE: To promote equally playing time, continuous substitution is played in all house leagues. Continuous substitution is defined as using the players on the bench and the players on the court as one continuous line-up with a player in a specific position leaving the court and the next available player on the bench entering the game into that position.  Substitution continues in this manner every time there is a rotation of players on the court, with the order of players in the entire line-up remaining constant throughout the game.  Substitutions can be made in the same location either in the front row or back row, or both simultaneously.  If the coach elects to keep the same line-up for the next game, players on the court at the end of the previous game must start in the new game at the same exact positions.  If the coach elects to change the line-up for the next game, the first 3 servers cannot be any of the first three servers from the previous game.  Violations of this rule will result in the cancelation of all points scored by the serving team while the illegal substitute was in the game.
  • SELECT LEAGUE RULE:  Follows standard USAV substitution rules with the exception of unlimited substitutions per game. For those new to positional substitution, players from the bench can be substituted in for players on the court between points after making a request to the referee.  A re-entering player cannot be placed anywhere on the court for a given game – he/she must assume the original position in the serving order in relation to the other teammates (typically for the same player that replaced him/her on the court). Only if a player is injured can a substitute assume a different position on the court, regardless of where he/she substituted before.  If a team is using a libero, the coach needs to inform the referee and opposing coach prior to the start of the match.  The libero must wear a shirt with colors that clearly contrast with the team's uniforms. A libero is a defensive specialist restricted to performing as a back row player.  He/She can substitute in for multiple players in the back row.  However, the Libero cannot block or attempt a block, and is not allowed to complete an attack if at the moment of the contact the ball is entirely higher than the top of the net.  In one of the six rotation positions, a libero may serve.

 

SERVICE:

  • The server must always wait for the referee to signal for serve, prior to the serve. If a serve is executed before the signal to serve, the referee will signal a re-serve.
  • Servers must always be positioned behind the service line prior to contacting the ball. The entire width of the court is available to the server. A foot on the line at the time the ball is contacted is a foot fault violation and will result in loss of serve and a point for the opposing team. HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULES: Foot faults are not enforced.
  • If the ball, after having been tossed or released by the server, lands on the floor without touching the player, the server is allowed to re-serve. This is called a service tossing error. The server is allowed one service tossing error per serve.
  • A team serving out of rotation will forfeit the serve and result in a point being awarded the opposing team. The rotation must be correct at the time of the serve.
  • 4th-6th GRADE HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULES:
    • Elementary School servers are allowed to use the modified service line which is 25’ from the net.  An alternative service line which is 20' from the net will be available during the regular season and should only be used by underpowered players. Players are considered underpowered if they typically cannot serve over the net from the normal service line, in which case they are allowed to serve from the modified service line 5 feet forward. A player may be underpowered when serving overhand as they learn, even though they may not be underpowered underhand.
    • Foot faults are not enforced.
    • Each player on his/her first serve in a new service rotation is allowed a first bad serve and then one re-serve.
    • With each rotation to the service position, a player is permitted a maximum of three (3) consecutive points won on his/her serves.  After reaching the maximum, the serve goes to the other team, with no point awarded to the other team.
  • 7th-8th GRADE HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULES:
    • Middle School servers must serve from behind the 30’ end line.  An alternative service line which is 25' from the net will be available during the first half of the season and should only be used by underpowered players. Players are considered underpowered if they typically cannot serve over the net from the normal service line, in which case they are allowed to serve from the modified service line 5 feet forward. A player may be underpowered when serving overhand as they learn, even though they may not be underpowered underhand.
    • Foot faults are not enforced.
    • Each player on his/her first serve in a new service rotation is allowed a first bad serve and then one re-serve.
    • With each rotation to the service position, a player is permitted a maximum of three (3) consecutive points won on his/her serves.  After reaching the maximum, the serve goes to the other team, with no point awarded to the other team.
  • 9th-12th GRADE HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULE:
    • With each rotation to the service position, a player is permitted a maximum of five (5) consecutive points won on his/her serves.  After reaching the maximum, the serve goes to the other team, with no point awarded to the other team.

 

FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT

  • Net height is no higher than 7 feet for the Elementary School leagues and 7 feet 4 inches for the Middle School and High School leagues.
  • The standard court dimensions are 9 meters x 9 meters (about 30' x 30') on each side of the net.
  • Teams are responsible for the set-up and takedown of the equipment.