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Volleyball Rules

RedBall: Volleyball Rules


  1. Team rosters must have a minimum of 8 players with maximum of 12, including at least 3 female players:
  2. The maximum number of players on the court is 6 per team.
  3. If a team does not have 6 players and at least 2 players of each gender, they may start with as few as 4 players (missing players will be designated "Ghost Players"; see section on Rotation).
  4. All players must be registered with the Redball Social to play with the team. Unregistered substitutes are not permitted. Any team found to be playing with an unregistered player will result in a forfeit.
  5. When a team has fewer than the required number of players of a specified gender available, players of one gender may not be substituted for members of another gender. For example, if a team has 6 total players available at game time, but only 1 is female, the team must play short with 5 players, and the 6th designated as a "ghost player."
  6. Players arriving late may not join a game already in progress except to take on the position of a ghost player; however they may join the next game.
  7. All players present during the match may, but are not required to, play in each game of the match.
  8. The player order for the purpose of rotation must be determined before each game, however it may be altered between games.


  1. Each game will be officiated by a member of a non playing team or a designated referee.
  2. Referees are responsible for:
    1. Keeping game time.
    2. Enforcing all game rules.
    3. Calling points and errors.
    4. Recording the game score.
  3. The referee shall eject a player from the match if that player engages in unsportsmanlike conduct.

Playing Area:

  1. The volleyball court will vary by location but measure approximately 52 feet long by 26 feet wide and include a center line. Attack lines are not used. The length of the court may be reduced depending on the size of the facility.
  2. The net shall measure approximately 7 feet, 10 inches in height.
  3. In the event a ball from an adjoining court enters another, the referee has full discretion to call a dead ball or allow the play to continue based on whether or not the loose ball interferes with the current play.


  1. Games will be played with a regulation volleyball provided by the Redball Social.
  2. Players must wear their Redball-provided t-shirts of the appropriate color for their team.
  3. Shoes are required.

Game Clock:

  1. Each match shall be completed within 50 minutes, or after one team wins a best 3 of 5
  2. No new game may begin after 35 minutes; the team with the most games won shall win the match; if each team has won 1 games each, the match shall be considered a tie. A sudden death game to 5 point will be played in the elimination rounds.
  3. Each team is permitted one 1-minute time-out per game. Unused timeouts do not carry over into subsequent games. Referee's may at their discretion declare additional time in the case of injury or other unanticipated circumstances.


  1. A coin toss or rock paper scissors shall determine which team makes the first serve.
  2. The server must await the referee's whistle or call before serving.
  3. Server must be delivered from behind the boundary line.
  4. Served balls that contact the net on the way over are considered live.
  5. Served balls are dead, and a side-out and point awarded to the opposing team if:
    1. The ball fails to cross the top of the net.
    2. The ball makes contact with any obstructions (i.e. a palm tree or low flying aircraft).
    3. The ball lands out of bounds.
    4. The ball contacts a serving team's player prior to crossing the net.


  1. Any part of the body may be used to hit the ball, including feet, including feet not in contact with the ground.
  2. Serves may not be attacked or blocked; i.e. they may not be returned when the ball is higher than the top of the net.
  3. The ball must be returned with no more than three hits.
  4. A player may not hit the ball twice in a row.
  5. No part of a player's body is permitted to break the plane of the net (the area above the net) for any reason, including when blocking on a return.
  6. A ball that hits any objects shall remain in play(at referees discretion) provided the ball remains on the hitting team's side of the court. Should this happen while crossing the plane of the net, the ball is dead and a side-out and point awarded to the opposing team.


  1. When a team receives the ball after a side-out has been called on the opposing team, the team shall rotate available players prior to serving.
  2. Players shall rotate to the next position, rotating clockwise.
  3. The player in the front-right position, and only this player, shall rotate off the court, and the next player waiting on the sideline rotated into and only into the server's position.
  4. When 6 players are on court, there shall be 3 players in the front row and 3 players in the back row. When 5 players are on the court, there shall be 3 players in the front row and 2 players in the back row. When there are 4 players on the court, there shall be 2 players in each the front and back rows.
  5. When a team fields fewer than 6 players, the positions for the missing players shall be designated as "ghost players." When a ghost player arrives at service, that team shall receive a side out, and the other team 1 point.
  6. In the event that the rotation will result in the team not meeting the on-court gender requirements due to a player of a particular gender moving off the court, the outgoing player may instead jump ahead in the order and move directly to the server's position. Alternatively, the referee will call a side out and the opposing team awarded 1 point.

Side Outs:

  1. If a team commits an error or foul, a side out shall be called, 1 point and service awarded to the opposing team.
    Errors include:
    1. Ball lands out of bounds.
    2. Ball fails to pass over the net on a serve.
    3. Carrying the ball.
    4. Team contact with the ball more than three times in a return.
    5. A player contacting the ball more than once in a row.

Faults include:

  1. A player making contact with the net during the serve, unless the net is pushed into the player.
  2. Breaking the plane of the net with any part of the body.
  3. Blocking a serve.
  4. Making contact with the net while attempting to play the ball. Exceptions: Incidental contact by a player not actively attempting to play the ball is NOT a fault. Contact with the net as a result of movement of the net is NOT a fault.
  5. Crossing the plane of the net (area above the net)
  6. Placing a foot or hand completely over the center line.
  7. Illegal rotation or substitution.
  8. A "ghost player" rotates to the service position (see Rotation).
  9. A player making contact with the opposing team's side of the court.
  10. Unsportsmanlike conduct.


  1. One point shall be awarded for each service, i.e. "rally scoring".
  2. The first team to score 15 points by a margin of 2 or more, or to reach 20 by any margin shall win the game.
  3. If a team has scored 15 points without a margin of 2 or more points, game play and scoring will continue until the margin has been reached or a team has reached 20 points.
  4. Matches shall be played best 3 of 5.
  5. If a 5th game is required, it will also be played to 15 points.
  6. Each match won during pool play shall count as 2 points in the standings. A tie shall count as 1 point. Losses and Forfeits shall count as 0 points.


  1. Teams must be ready to play and meet game start requirements at the posted game time. Any team not ready to play at this time may forfeit (at Redball Social’s discretion), and the opposing team shall take a default win in that case.
  2. If neither team is ready to play, both teams may forfeit (at Redball Social’s discretion).
  3. Any team found to be playing with a player not registered with the tournament or team shall forfeit the game.

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