Basic Volleyball Rules and Terminology

Basic Volleyball Rules

  • 6 players on the floor at any one time – 3 in the front row and 3 in the back row
  • Maximum of 3 hits per side
  • Points are made on every serve for wining team of rally (rally-point scoring).
  • Player may not hit the ball twice in succession. (A block is not considered a hit.)
  • Ball may be played off the net during a volley and on a serve.
  • A ball hitting a boundary line is in.
  • A ball is out if it hits an antennae, the floor completely outside the court, any of the net or cables outside the antennae, the referee stand or pole, the ceiling above a non-playable area.
  • It is legal to contact the ball with any part of a player’s body.
  • It is illegal to catch, hold or throw the ball.
  • A player cannot block or attack a serve from on or inside the 10-foot line.
  • After the serve, front-line players may switch positions at the net.
  • Matches are made up of sets; the number depends on level of play. 3-set matches are 2 sets to 25 points and a third set to 15. Each set must be won by two points. The winner is the first team to win 2 sets. 5-set matches are 4 sets to 25 points and fifth set to 15. The team must win by 2 unless tournament rules dictate otherwise. The winner is the first team to win three sets.