Ann Arbor Adventure Club Message Board › Volleyball rules
Ann Arbor, MI
As part of my effort to become a middling to fair volleyball player, and avoid interrupting play too often with incompetence, I looked up the official volleyball rules. Please know that I'm not a stickler for the rules. I'm writing this because I've noticed many situations when we halt a good enjoyable volley because someone made a sloppy hit, and then someone incorrectly thought a fault was committed. It's hard enough to keep a rally going in a mixed skill-level pickup game.
The standard rules have changed over the last few decades to allow for more continuous play. Official current rules are less strict than much of the folklore I've heard on the court. If you know a different set of rules, they could be obsolete or not applicable to an informal pickup game. It's helpful to understand the spirit of the rules, not just the technicalities. In general they punish over-controlling the ball and attacking deceptively, not sloppy technique.
This is from official refereeing guidelines:
"In accordance with the spirit of international competitions and to encourage longer rallies and spectacular actions, only the most obvious violations will be whistled."
I'm in favor of possibly ignoring some rules if it leads to longer volleys, more time playing, and fewer newbies being yelled at. I'm always in favor of constructive criticism and helpful advice that doesn't interrupt play.
Here is a mix of excerpts from official rules and guidelines:
13.4 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HIT
13.4.1 The ball may touch any part of the body.
13.4.2 The ball must be hit, not caught or thrown. It can rebound in any direction.
13.4.3 The ball may touch various parts of the body, only if the contacts take place simultaneously.
9.3.3 CATCH: the ball is caught and/or thrown; it does not rebound from the hit.
9. During the action of players setting overhand with fingers, the ball must be played with one quick motion. There must not be any significant movement of the ball downwards whilst in the hands and the ball may not visibly come to rest in the player's hands.
8. There may be consecutive contacts, provided it is one attempt to play the ball when it is the first contact by a team.
2. Play can continue after the ball is driven into the net provided it is within the limits of the three team hits and contacts the net between the antennas without touching them.
5. We draw attention to the rule concerning the contact of the player with the net: “Contact with the net or antenna (Rule 11.3.1) is not a fault, unless it interferes with the play”. Touching the top band of the net or the top 80 cm of the antenna by a player during the action of playing the ball will always be considered as interference with the play.
17.2 ATTACK-HIT FAULTS
17.2.3 A player completes an attack-hit using an “openhanded tip or dink” directing the ball with the fingers.
17.2.4 A player completes an attack-hit on the opponent’s service, when the ball is entirely above the top of the net.
2. An opponent may not complete an attack hit on a service, while the ball is completely above the height of the net. This is a fault.
14.1.1 Blocking is the action of players close to the net to intercept the ball coming from the opponent by reaching higher than the top of the net, regardless of the height of the ball contact.
14.5 BLOCKING THE SERVICE
To block an opponent’s service is forbidden.
3. Any player, including the one who has touched the ball at the block, may execute the first hit after the
USAV 13.1.1: For Doubles and Triples Competition only: blocking does constitute a team contact, and any player may make the second contact of the ball after the block.
For Four-Player and Six-Player Competition only: Blocking does not constitute a team contact, and any player may make the first contact of the ball after the block.
3. A player may complete an attack-hit using an overhand pass (which has a trajectory perpendicular to the line of the shoulders), either forwards or backwards.
So, my interpretations and things I noticed:
There is no official rule against digging the ball with upturned or open hands. There is no fault or rule called 'LIFT'. If the ball rebounds from contact, it's a clean hit. If the ball stops, it is a CATCH or a HELD BALL.
The reason not to dig the ball this way is because it's sloppy and ineffective, but we don't always have to stop playing when it happens.
There is no official rule against digging the ball with separated hands. If the ball rebounds once from a simultaneous contact, it's a clean hit. If the ball rebounds twice, call DOUBLE CONTACT.
I realize that some schools and leagues use modified rules to teach good habits.
You are not allowed to catch and then throw the ball in two separate actions. Having the ball roll across your body is also a fault.
For a fault to be called, it should be obvious and of visible significance. They don't use high-speed cameras to discover prolonged or non-simultaneous contact. Most faults are called on over-controlling the ball, not on sloppy technique.
Bad hits are judged on how the ball contacts your body, not how you're holding your hands or fingers.
Touching the net is not a fault unless it interferes with the play. Touching the top of the net during the action of playing the ball is a fault, but we don't seem to be very strict on that one.
Setting straight over the net is not a fault. Setting deceptively sideways over the net when it looks like you're passing is a fault.
Dinking is a fault if you use open-handed finger action to control the ball. Merely slapping at the ball with an open hand isn't a fault.
It's not a fault to jump while attacking a serve. Your feet don't have to stay on the ground. It is a fault if you touch the ball while near the net and you are REACHING ABOVE THE NET (BLOCKING). For back row players, it's also a fault to attack hit while the entire ball is higher than the net.
It's ok for the ball to bounce off multiple parts of your body on the first team hit (not only the serve), and even if it's not a 'hard driven' ball. For example, it could bounce off your arms and then your shoulder in one action. This goes for the first hit every time the ball crosses the net. Second and third hits have to be clean.
You can hit the ball with your head, feet, or any part of your body (except on serve). If the ball rebounds off from the contact point, it's a clean hit.
If you blocked the ball (had your hands above the net), it's ok to hit it a second time.
The ball is still playable if it goes into the net. Try to dig it up.
References and reading:
REFEREEING GUIDELINES AND INSTRUCTIONS 2013
OFFICIAL BEACH VOLLEYBALL RULES 2013-2016
2011-2013 BEACH DOMESTIC COMPETITION REGULATIONS as Presented by USA VOLLEYBALL
“Ugly” Is Not A Ball Handling Violation
I'm grateful to have such a forgiving group to help me learn the game. Please discuss, comments welcome.
Edited by Dylan Cowmeadow on Mar 15, 2014 8:49 AM