FHYAA VOLLEYBALL RULES
FHYAA will follow relaxed version of the National High School Federation (NHSF) Volleyball Rules (rally point scoring, let serves are in play, liberal first ball contact) except as noted below. The women’s official net height of approximately 7 feet, 4 inches will be used for middle school league matches, and approximately 7 feet will be used for elementary school league matches. Junior net height will be used for the 4th Grade players although may be lowered during practices.
Coaches and referees should keep a copy of these rules with them at the matches so that rule questions can be clarified as needed.
COUNTY GYM RULES
The county allocates gym time to FHYAA with the understanding that the gym rules will be adhered to by the occupants of the gym. The following rules need to be followed by parents, players, and coaches as part of the code of conduct:
- NO food or drinks are allowed in the gym except water.
- Younger children should be with their parent/guardian. They are not allowed to wander outside the gym without their parent/guardian. They also should not run around the courts during matches.
- No one is allowed to wander around the school building during our gym time. However, we are allowed to go to the nearest rest rooms.
- Do not move mats or other equipment, other than the standards, desks, and chairs left for us in the gym.
- Do not climb on the mats. We are allowed to sit on mats that are low on the ground (up to around 2 feet high).
- Do not climb the bleachers. If a volleyball is lost on the bleachers, then notify the league director who will notify the school. The school will later return the volleyball when the bleachers are opened up.
- Only play with a volleyball INSIDE the gym. The hallways have drop ceilings that will break if hit with a volleyball.
- Do not drop your child off outside of the gym for a practice or a match. Bring your child inside and verify that the coach is in the gym. If the coach is not there, do not leave your child.
- Please throw away trash in the trash cans.
CODE OF CONDUCT
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR TEAM MEMBERS:
All team members must abide by the FHYAA Code of Conduct rules. Any player not adhering to the code of conduct rules may be asked to sit out of a game, sit out of a match, or leave the gym, depending on the severity of the behavior. Two warnings will be given for inappropriate behavior. If the behavior still continues, the player will be asked to leave the gym. If the same player is asked to leave the gym on two separate occasions, they will be asked to leave the gym and not participate at matches for two weeks. The team can substitute another player for the expelled player.
All coaches must must abide by the code of conduct rules. During the games or a match, the coach, as well as other team members, may give instructions to the players on the court as long as it is not disruptive and does not delay the game. Any coach not adhering to the code of conduct rules may be asked to excuse him or herself from a game, a match, or leave the gym, depending on the severity of the behavior. Repeated behavior problems could result in the coach being asked to step down as the team coach.
ALL spectators must abide by the FHYAA Code of Conduct rules.
Any spectator not adhering to the code of conduct rules may be asked to leave the gym. Two warnings will be given for inappropriate behavior. If the behavior still continues, the spectator will be asked to leave the gym. If the behavior occurs at multiple matches, the spectator may not be allowed to come to future matches.
CODE OF CONDUCT ISSUES:
The referees are the court officials who will monitor code of conduct violation issues. If they witness a code of conduct violation, they will ask that the behavior stop. Any inappropriate conduct by a team member, coach or spectator towards another in the room, such as rude conduct, offensive conduct, or aggression is misconduct, is not permitted. The referee, will issue a warning for minor misconduct and can expel a person from the game, the match or the gym for repeated or major misconduct. If the referee feels that the offending individual has not responded to correct the behavior, then the League Director or the Commissioner may be asked to address the individual that has violated the code of conduct.
If the League Director, Commissioner or Volleyball Committee Member witnesses a violation of the code of conduct independent of game play, such as violation of gym rules, they will address the individual violating the code of conduct directly.
In the situation where players, coaches, or spectators intentionally yell or make other distracting noises to throw off an opposing player as they are serving, the referee will wait until the end of the play of that ball. The referee will issue a warning to the offending individuals to remain quiet during serving and that if they make noise to distract the server again, they may be asked to leave the gym.
PREPARATION FOR THE MATCH:
Each team must provide a scorekeeper and a line judge to assist with the match. The line judge and scorekeeper should report to the referee for instructions prior to the match. One team’s scorekeeper will use the flip chart scoreboard to keep track of the score and the other team’s scorekeeper will record the score and timeout information on the FHYAA Volleyball score sheet. The line judges will stand at the left back corner of each court, as assigned by the referee.
Each coach must also prepare a rotation order sheet at the beginning of the first and third game. This sheet lists the players in their starting positions for the game, including the players that are rotating in. This is the order which the players must maintain as they are playing the game. For the second game, the players will start in the positions they left off in at the end of the first game, but on the opposite side of the net.
Each coach must also select a team captain (or two team captains) for the match.
FORMAT FOR REGULAR MATCHES:
The following format will be used for all matches:
- A referee will be provided for all matches.
- There will be an official warm-up session prior to each set of games or match. The warm-up session begins at the time listed on the schedule for the start of the match. \The length will be 10 minutes – 4 minutes for one team to have the whole court, 4 minutes for the second team to have the whole court, then 2 minutes for both teams to serve from opposite sides of the court. The match will begin by 15 minutes after the time listed on the schedule for the start of the match.
- During the warm-up period, the referee will call for captains from the two teams for the pre-match conference.
- The referee will conduct a coin toss before the match. Team that wins the coin toss has the choice of either serving the ball or choosing which side their team would like to play on for the first game. The other captain takes the remaining alternative.
- At the end of the 2 minutes of serving, the referee will call for the coaches to bag all the volleyballs and for the teams to take the court. Coaches must bag all volleyballs except the game volleyball prior to the beginning of the first game.
- The referee will blow the whistle for the teams to take the court.
- The first two games are to 25 points, no cap on the score, and a team must win by 2 points.
- Immediately after the first game, the teams should take their places on the court for the second game in the same positions that they ended at the end of game 1. The second game will begin immediately after all players are assembled on the court. This will help ensure matches are completed in a timely fashion and also help guarantee equal playing time for all players. We will no longer change side between sets.
- After the second game, the referees will again call for captains from the two teams.
- The referee will conduct a coin toss for the 3rd game. Winner of the coin toss has the choice of either serving the ball or choosing which side their team would like to play on for the third game. The other captain takes the remaining alternative.
- Coaches should choose their line-up for game 3 to ensure players get about equal playing time, based on playing time in the first two games. (See section on “Appropriate Amount of Playing Time”).
- The last game is to 15 points, no cap on the score, and a team must win by 2 points.
- EXCEPTION – if there is not enough time to complete the match in the gym time allocated for FHYAA for that evening, then during the last game of the match, the referee can choose one of the following options depending on the current score and the time remaining before the gym must be vacated:
- The referee can cap the 3rdgame at 15 points (game will not be required to be won by 2 points).
- The referee can issue a 5 minute warning that the match will end based on time. When the 5 minutes are up, the match will then be called.
In addition, referees may shorten the length of time outs to help speed this game.
FORMAT FOR TOURNAMENT MATCHES:
Tournament matches will follow the same format as regular season matches except that tournament matches are played best two out of three games to win the match. If a team wins the first two games of a match, then the third game is not played and the team winning the first two games is the winner of the match.
ETIQUITTE GUIDELINES FOR MATCHES
Coaches, players and spectators should review the Volleyball Match Etiquitte in Attachment 4.
If the serving team wins the rally, they score a point and the serving team continues to serve. If the serving team loses the rally, then the opposing team scores a point and gains the right to serve and its players rotate one position clockwise (side-out).
A team may request up to 2 time-outs per game. They should notify the referee at the end of a rally if they wish to have a time-out. A time-out will be no longer than 30 seconds.
A coach may ask a referee to explain why a call was made or for a clarification of a rule. If this occurs, the referee will invite both coaches and captains to listen to the explanation or clarification. Coaches should show good sportsmanship as they communicate with the referees and receive the explanation for a call. Spectators should not be addressing the referees during the matches. Any questions a spectator has should be addressed to their coach.
AT THE END OF THE GAME:
The game ends after the whistle blow for the winning point. All players on the court will move behind the back line on their court immediately after the game ends. Then the teams will change courts before the next game by walking counter-clockwise around the edge of the court until they are on the other side.
AT THE END OF ANY MATCH:
At the end of the match, all players from each team will move behind the end-line on their court. They will then form a line and approach the net by walking counter-clockwise around the edge of the court and will shake (or tap) hands with the members of the other team underneath the net as the teams continue walking.
WINNING A HOUSE TOURNAMENT MATCH:
During the house tournament, the matches are won by winning best two out of three games. Not all 3 games are played if a team wins the first two games. The first two games are to 25 points and the tie-breaker game, if needed will be to 15 points.
A team consists of the youth that are on the FHYAA team roster, along with their coaches. Only team members listed on the roster can participate in games or matches. A player is one of the 6 members on the playing court during the game. A substitute is a team member that is not playing at that point in the game. A team captain(s) should be chosen for each match. The team captain(s) represents the team in the coin toss at the pre-match conference.
Only players that are in their FHYAA-issued uniform will be allowed to play. The uniform must not be defaced (see program guide for details.) Each player must wear his or her FHYAA– issued team shirt, shorts (or pants), kneepads, and athletic shoes. The athletic shoes should have white soles and no heel. Players are not allowed to wear hats or jewelry during a game or practice. An exception will be made for religious or medical medallions if worn under the shirt.
RULES OF PLAY
HITTING THE BALL:
- The ball may touch any part of the body.
- A team is allowed to hit the ball 3 times (in addition to a block contact) or less to return it to the opponent’s court.
- A player is not allowed to hit the ball twice consecutively, except when trying to block.
- If two teammates contact the ball simultaneously, it is counted as one hit and any player may play the ball next if it wasn’t the 3rd
- If two opponents contact the ball simultaneously and it remains in play, the team receiving the ball is entitled to another 3 hits. If it goes out, it is the fault of the team on the opposite side.
- The ball must be hit cleanly, not caught or thrown.
Only front row players can block.
A block is not considered as a team hit (i.e. not counted in the 3 hits a team is allowed, so team is entitled to 3 hits after a block).
The first hit after a block may be contacted by any player, including the player that contacted the ball when blocking.
A serve cannot be blocked.
When blocking, a player may place their hands beyond the net, inside the antennaes, providing they do not interfere with their opponent.
A kill (aka -spike) is an attack hit that contains a downward motion. It is illegal to kill a ball that has just been served.
- The referee signals with a whistle blow when the server can serve after he/she has determined that the teams are in their proper positions and ready. A service before the referee’s whistle is canceled and repeated. If a team repeatedly serves before the referee has blown the whistle for service, the team can be cited for delay of game and service will be given to the other team.
- The server is the person in the right back row position. A server can serve the ball from anywhere behind the back line between the two side lines (as if extended back). A server cannot enter the court until after they have contacted the ball. (They must not cross the serving line until after contact with the ball). A server is allowed to hit the ball out of their hand (i.e. the ball does not have to be dropped before it is hit).
- All team members, except the server, should be inside of the court lines at the time of the serve. They must be in the correct rotation order prior to the serve. If players are switching position, then no part of their body should cross with players to the right, left, front, or back of them until the ball is hit for the serve.
- A serve may be hit underhand or overhand, with the ball being hit with one hand. Serving a ball using a bump is not allowed.
- For Elementary League (Grades 4-6) ONLY: Servers will be allowed to use the modified service line.
- If a server does not execute a good toss, they must let the ball fall to the ground without touching it or it is considered a serve hit. There is not a limit on how many times a server can repeat their toss during a game, unless the referee sees a deliberate delay of game (i.e. this is done repeatedly throughout the game).
- Middle School coaches should encourage their players to serve the ball within 8 seconds after the referee blows the whistle since this is a requirement for higher level play teams such as school and club teams.
- The players must follow the service order recorded on the line-up sheet.
- The team that won the serve during the coin toss before the match will start service in the first game of the match. The team that did not start service in the first game will start service for the second game of the match. The team that wins the serve during the coin toss after the second game will start service in the third game of the match.
- There is no rotation prior to the first service in a game.
- After the first service in a game, the player to serve is determined as follows:
- When the serving team wins the rally, the player (or his/her substitute) who served before, serves again. (See note below for exception.)
- When the receiving team wins the rally, it gains the right to serve, and rotates clockwise before actually serving. The player who ends up in the back right position will serve. There is always a rotation by the team that gets possession of the ball after a side-out.
EXCEPTION: When the serving team wins the rally, the player who served the ball usually serves again. However, because the experience levels of the players varies greatly, for FHYAA volleyball, the number of points that can be scored by an individual server is limited to 4 points (Middle School and Elementary School Leagues). After a server has scored the maximum number of points, the serving team players rotate clockwise and the new server continues the serve for the team.
A serve is legal when it is hit over the net within the boundaries of the antennae and the opponent’s court. It may touch the net on a serve (let serve), but must fall in bounds on the opponent’s court.
RECEIVING A SERVE:
There is liberal first ball contact – it can be an overhand pass, forearm pass (bump) or set on the first hit after the ball crosses the net. However, an attack hit is not allowed on a serve. (See Attachment 1.) Liberal first hit rules apply for receiving a serve. A double hit is not called on a serve unless it is ruled by the referee as a lift. This allows for incidental double contact on a serve only. Any other time a double will be called by the referee while the ball is in play.
It is recommended that youth be instructed to receive serves with a forearm pass hit (bump) as that will better prepare them for receiving hard serves.
PLAYING OUTSIDE THE COURT TO RETRIEVE BALLS:
- A player may go outside of the court lines to hit a ball that is still in play.
- A player may go around the standard to play a ball and “bring it back” on the 2ndhit, so long as they do not contact the upright, the bench, the scorer’s table, bleachers, referee, referee stand, or run into another court where there is a game in progress. If the ball crosses the net on such a play, it must do so OUTSIDE the antenna.
CENTER LINE RULES:
A player may cross the center line as long as:
- Part of the shoe is touching the center line. If the entire foot crosses the center line with no part touching the line, then it is a fault.
- The player does not contact or interfere with a player on the opposing team.
- The player does not contact the tape on the net, standard, referee, or referee stand while the ball is in play.
NET TOUCH RULES:
* A player should not contact any part of the net during a play.
CEILING HIT RULES:
- The ball can be played off the ceiling on your own team’s side provided it hits the ceiling, ceiling rails, or vents directly over the playing area. However, if the ball hits the ceiling-mounted rolled up gym divider net at any time, it is out of bounds. If the ball hits a basketball hoop, backboard, or supporting brackets at any time, it is out of bounds. If the ball hits the wall, it is out of bounds.
- When the ball crosses to the opponent’s side of the net, it must not touch the ceiling.
BALL IN OR OUT OF BOUNDS:
- The ball is “in” if the ball touches the floor of the playing court INCLUDING the boundary line (i.e. the ball is in bounds if it touches the court line).
- A ball sent to the opponent’s playing area must pass over the net within the court sidelines and between the antennae if installed, without hitting the ceiling.
- The ball may touch the net while crossing it, providing that it falls in-bounds.
ILLEGAL HITS – CARRIES:
A lift or carry is when open full-hand contact is made with the ball in an upward or outward motion, resulting in the ball remaining in contact with the hand longer (not including the serve). Example, when the ball is low and a player tries to lift it up, when the ball is behind the head and a forward motion is used, or when the ball is to one side of the player and a sideways motion is used during contact. A carry is a form of “short” catch or throw. Hitting a ball with a closed fist underhand is not necessarily a carry unless the ball remains on the hand for a longer time.
BACK ROW ATTACK HITS:
Back row players cannot attack hit a ball in front of the 10 foot line unless they contact the ball below the plane of the net. (See attachment 2.)
ROTATING IN PLAYERS:
For all house leagues: Players must rotate in during each game. Players will rotate in at one location on the court that is convenient to the coach.
Appropriate Amount of Playing Time:
Coaches should rotate in players in a manner that allows each youth from the team that has come in uniform to the match to play about an equal amount of time (except as noted under “Missing Practice” below).
- All players present in uniform play in each game, but only 6 are on the court at a time. The others are on the sideline, in a predetermined rotation order, which is written on the rotation order line-up sheet. Every time a rotation occurs, one player from the court rotates out of play and one player that was on the sidelines rotates into play of the game, at the designated position.
- The rotation order must remain the same throughout the first two games. Maintaining the rotation order maintains the order in which the players serve. The players that are off the court must stay in rotation order.
- It is highly recommended that the coach rotates in their players at either the right back (serving position) or the left front position.
- For the third game, the coaches should start players on the court in a manner that helps to allow about equal playing time for the players present. It is recommended that coaches have different players start the third game than started the first game.
Substitution: Replacing Injured or Expelled Players:
Injured players should be replaced by a substitute. Expelled players should be replaced by a substitute. Any player that is out of play can be selected as a substitute for the injured or expelled player.
The only exception to the requirement that each player play about an equal amount of time is if there is a player that does not show up for practice, and does not provide the coach with advance notice and valid reason why he or she did not show up (e.g. illness, family trip, school conflicts) or if a player comes to practice, but does not actively participate in the practices. For this player, at the next match, the coach may choose to have that player sit out the first game for which they are present at the beginning of the game. They will be required to observe one game before playing. The coach will then allow the player to play about equal time in the remaining games of the match. (If the player arrives at the beginning of the first game, they sit out the first game. If they arrive after the first game but before the second game, they sit out the second game.)
If the coach chooses to have a player sit out one game of the match, then they need to inform the coach on the other team and the parents (if present) why the player is sitting out a game. They must also inform the commissioner after the game.
The match schedule will NOT be changed at the request of a coach because of schedule conflicts for members of the team or because of the coach being unable to make the match. The team can play with a minimum of 4 players. A substitute coach should be found if both the coach and assistant coach cannot attend a match. Note that there is no penalty applied to the score for playing with less than 6 players.
The ONLY time a match will be rescheduled is if there is a gym cancellation.
ATTACHMENT 1 – ATTACK HITS ON A SERVE
Below is clarification regarding an attack hit on the serve to help understand which attack hits are faults and which are not.
- Player jumps and hits the serve above the height of the net, FAULT
- Player hits the serve while standing on floor… if the ball is below the height of the net**, no fault. If above the height of the net, FAULT.
- Player jumps and blocks (two handed) – if the ball is below the height of the net**, no fault. If above the height of the net, FAULT.
- Player overhand passes (feet on floor) the ball back over the net. No fault.
** The key is “below the height of the net, any part of the ball”.
ATTACHMENT 2 – ATTACK HITS BY BACK ROW PLAYERS
The rules for attack hits by a back row players reads as follows:
- A back row player may complete an attack-hit at any height from behind the front zone (behind the 10 foot line). At take-off the feet must neither have touched nor crossed over the attack line or its imaginary extension. After the attack hit, the player may land in the front zone.
- A back row player may also carry out an attack hit from the front zone if, at the time of the contact, any part of the ball is below the top of the net.
- This means that if ANYpart of the ball is below the top of the net, then it is a legal hit for a back row player to make an attack hit. It does not matter if the player jumps or not; the deciding factor is whether ANY part of the ball is below the top of the net (not the whole ball).
- The referee is the one who determines if any part of the ball is below the top of the net and makes the call.
ATTACHMENT 3 – EXAMPLE OF HOW PLAYERS ROTATE IN DURING A GAME
The starting line-up for the game is as follows:
Sideline Players on the court
Players (In order) *4 3 2
6 8 9 1
Each number designates a player on the court or sidelines. The players are numbered in the order in which they will serve. The * indicates the location where the players will rotate in.
After the first rotation:
Sideline Players on the court
Players (In order) *5 4 3
7 9 1 2
Note that each player has rotated clockwise, including the players that were on the sidelines. One player (8) rotated out and one player (5) rotated in at the rotate-in position. The players on the sideline are still in order.
After the second rotation:
Sideline Players on the court
Players (in order) *6 5 4
8 1 2 3
Again, during the clockwise rotation, one player (9) rotated out and one player (6) rotated in at the rotate-in position. The players on the sideline are still in order.
After the third rotation:
Sideline Players on the court
Players (In order) *7 6 5
9 2 3 4
Again, during the clockwise rotation, one player (1) rotated out and one player (7) rotated in at the rotate-in position. The players on the sideline are still in order.
After the fourth rotation:
Sideline Players on the court
Players (In order) *8 7 6
1 3 4 5
Again, during the clockwise rotation, one player (2) rotated out and one player (8) rotated in. Note that with each rotation, the rotation order is maintained. Note that player (8) did not go back into the game until the players that were on the sidelines when player (8) came out (players (5), (6), and (7)) rotated in.
ATTACHMENT 4 – VOLLEYBALL MATCH COURT ETIQUITTE
There are several court courtesies that should be respected by everyone present in the gym during the matches:
- Do not stand or sit behind the serving lines in the elementary gym. These gyms are very small and servers are allowed to serve from anywhere behind the end line of the gym. If there are spectators in their way, they are interfering with the servers. In the larger gyms, a space of about 15 feet should be left unoccupied behind the serving line.
- If an individual in an elementary gym needs to move from one side to the other, requiring them to pass behind the end line, they should only do so at the end of a play, while the ball is being retrieved and the teams are setting up for their next serve. Spectators should not walk behind someone who is serving, even in the larger gyms.
- When the referee blows the whistle for the serve to commence, those present at the court should be quiet until the serve is hit. First, the referee needs to be able to hear that the ball was hit (and not thrown). Second, sudden yelling is distracting to a server, especially a young server who is trying to concentrate on serving.
- At the end of a match, both teams and their coaches should immediately line up and meet at the net to shake hands. Then they should clear the court as quickly as possible so that the next match can commence.
- When the play has ended, the ball should be rolled UNDER the net to the team that won the play, and therefore, the serve.