Official Volleyball Rules: In Easy To Understand Format

Are you a volleyball fan looking for an easy way to understand the official rules of the game? Do you want to brush up on your knowledge of the sport? Well, look no further! This article simplifies and outlines all the official rules of volleyball in an easy-to-understand format. With this simple guide, you can get up to speed with the nuances of the game quickly and easily.

The rules of volleyball are surprisingly straightforward and provide plenty of opportunity for improvisation during play. The main objective is to keep the ball from hitting the ground on either side of the net, allowing for exciting rallies and competitive match-ups. Before delving into each rule in detail, it is important to understand how teams are organized, as well as some basic court dimensions.

Volleyball is typically played between two teams of six players each that take turns serving and defending against each other over a net. The playing area is generally a rectangle split into two equal-sized courts separated by a net with specific measurements that must be adhered to in order for matches to be considered official games. In this article, we will go over all these details so that you can confidently hit the court and start playing volleyball according to official rules!

Court Size And Layout

A sea of opportunity awaits on the court; a place where dreams can be made, and champions crowned. The size and layout of the court is like a canvas ready to be painted with excitement.

The official volleyball court is a rectangular shape and measures 18m by 9m, with a 3m attack line in both directions from the center line. The center line divides the court into two equal halves, and the end lines divide the halves into three sections each. The attack lines are located at 4m from each end line, creating an area known as the ‘free zone’.

Net posts are placed at a distance of 1.8m apart from one another, with the top of the net measuring 2.43m for men’s games and 2.24m for women’s games. Furthermore, there is also an extra out-of-bounds area called ‘the service zone’, which extends 4 meters beyond each end line. All these measurements come together to create a vibrant playing surface that will witness many memorable moments!

Now that we know how big and where to set up our court, let’s move onto how many players are needed to play volleyball…

Number Of Players

In team volleyball, teams are made up of six players. Each player must occupy one of the 6 designated positions on the court during the game. These positions include two outside hitters, two middle blockers, a setter and a libero. In addition to these 6 players, there can be up to 2 substitutes available per match in case any of the original players cannot complete the game.

When playing beach volleyball, teams consist of two players only and each player is responsible for defending both sides of the court. Players may switch positions at any time without consequence. In either form of play, it is important to have an equal number of people on each side so that play can be fair and balanced.

Since team sports like volleyball rely heavily on teamwork and communication between players, having an even number on each side is essential for success. Having an odd number would leave one side disadvantaged which could lead to unbalanced scoring or other issues with gameplay. Therefore it is important that teams pay attention to their numbers before starting a match!

Starting The Game

Starting a volleyball game is like setting off a chain reaction. One small move can send the energy soaring and the rally is underway. Here are four steps to set up the game:

  1. The teams line up on their respective sides of the net, with six players per side.
  2. The referee tosses the ball into the air and one team serves it across the net.
  3. To start play, one team must serve the ball from behind their end line over the net to the opposing team’s court.
  4. The receiving team must pass it back over the net with a bump, set or spike so it crosses into their opponent’s court again. The initial contact sets off an exciting exchange of volleys back and forth as each team tries to gain control of the point. It’s all part of the fun of playing volleyball – and getting ready for some serious serving and rotation!

Serving And Rotation

Before a game of volleyball can start, teams must decide who will serve first. After that, each team takes turns serving the ball and rotating their players. During each serve, the player must stand behind the end line and hit the ball so it crosses over the net and lands within their opponents court.

When serving, players are also required to make sure they hit the ball with one hand only; if they use two hands, it’s considered a fault or side out. Additionally, no part of their body can touch the ground outside of their own court as they serve; if this happens, it’s another fault or side out.

After every serve and rotation by both teams, points are awarded based on whether a player was able to successfully pass on their turn or not. As such, understanding how to correctly serve and rotate is an important part of learning to play volleyball. With this knowledge in mind, teams can move forward with confidence towards scoring points in the game.


Scoring in volleyball is relatively simple and straightforward. A point is awarded to the team that wins each rally, regardless of which team served. Whenever the ball hits the ground on the opposing side of the court, that team earns a point. If both teams make errors on the same play, no point is awarded.

Additionally, if a team receives a fault or penalty, their opponents may be rewarded with a point or two points if it was an intentional fault. This usually applies to situations such as double contact, four-hits violations, and back-row attacks.

When one team reaches 25 points with at least a two-point lead (or 15 points in some informal games), they win the set and progress to the next round of play. Moving forward, we’ll explore attacking in volleyball – when players try to get past their opponents’ defense for a successful hit.


Attacking in volleyball? What a strange term to use for a gentle game of volleying a ball back and forth! But even with its seemingly innocuous nature, attacking is an integral part of the official rules for the game.

In volleyball, an attack is when one team attempts to hit the ball so that it lands on the opposing team’s court. That’s why it makes sense that players who are making an attack must not cross over into their opponent’s court until after they have completed the contact with the ball. If a player does cross the net during the attack, then it will be considered a fault and result in a point for the other team.

If none of these regulations are violated and all other rules have been respected, then any points scored on an attack will be awarded to the team who initiated it. As long as everyone keeps their feet firmly planted in their own courts, they can continue to play with all their might in order to make sure they score more points than their opponents! Ready to learn about blocking? Let’s dive right in!


John and his team were getting ready to face off against their opponents. As a middle blocker, John knew that he needed to understand the rules for blocking in order to be successful. Blocking is when a player contacts the ball coming from the opponent’s side of the net with their body above the net. The main purpose of blocking is to redirect an attack or slow it down so teammates can make a defensive play.

When blocking, players are not allowed to use their hands, arms or any other part of their body besides their torso. A block should also never interfere with an opposing player’s ability to make a play on the ball. It’s important that blockers stay within the boundary lines and do not cross into the opponent’s court while trying to block.

When blocking, it’s important for all players involved to be aware of where they are at all times and respect each other’s space. This will help ensure that everyone remains safe and can perform successfully during game play. Players should also remember that each time they block, they must make sure there is enough room between them and the net so as not to interfere with an attacker’s attempt to hit over or around them.

In order for players like John to be effective blockers, they must understand and adhere to all of these rules while on the court. Knowing how and when to use proper technique when blocking is key for success in volleyball! Setting is another important skill that every player should master in order for their team have any chance at winning matches.


Setting, the second-to-last step in volleyball, requires perfect preciseness and practice. A setter needs to have a steady hand and an eye for accuracy. By setting the ball in the air with a firm yet gentle touch, they create an opportunity for a powerful attack from their team.

As soon as the setter touches the ball, they must release it. Setting is meant to be a quick and precise action; it should not resemble a pass or serve in any way. The setter must ensure that their fingers are spread out when contacting the ball so that it is properly released into the air. It is also important to remember that they may not double contact on the same set; if a setter touches the ball twice consecutively, it will be counted as two touches instead of one.

The goal of setting is to send the ball high enough for another player on your team to spike or hit it over the net into your opponents’ court. Accuracy and timing are key; if done correctly, setting can put your team in an advantageous position for winning points. Setters must be aware of all players’ locations before attempting a set, as well as their own body positioning; setting should be executed from a stable position with arms extended above shoulder level. With proper technique and practice, setting can become an essential part of any successful volleyball strategy! Transitioning seamlessly into contact with the ball makes all these techniques worth mastering.

Contact With The Ball

For a team to score, the ball must come into contact with the players of that team. According to official volleyball rules, the ball can be contacted up to three times. The first two contacts are usually used for passing, setting and attacking the ball. The third contact is commonly used for returning the ball back over the net. It is important to note that any contact beyond three will result in a foul.

Players may not hit or catch the ball in any way, otherwise it will count as an illegal contact and lead to a point for the other team. To prevent contact with parts of the body other than hands or arms, players may use any part of their body as long as they do not cause a double-contact violation or block violation. A player cannot touch or block an opponent’s attack if they’re still in their own court.

It’s also essential that teams don’t make contact with anything else while playing; this includes their own teammate, opponents’ bodies, or anything else that could interfere with play such as clothing and jewelry. Any accidental contact with these items will result in a foul against the offending team. With these regulations in place, teams are ready to move on to understanding what constitutes an out of bounds situation…

Out Of Bounds

Like a bouncing ball that won’t stay put, volleyball rules have a tendency to roll away from the court. With the tenth rule, we’ll take a look at what happens when that ball goes out of bounds.

When a player sends the ball over the net and outside of the court’s boundaries, it’s considered an out-of-bounds situation. In such an instance, play must stop and points are awarded to the opposing side. This is true for all players on both sides of the net; if any contact with the ball causes it to go beyond court lines, then points are given to their opponents.

The most important thing to remember here is that even if one team manages to touch or hit the ball before it goes out of bounds, they still lose points and control of play. Keeping track of where you are in relation to the court’s perimeter is key in order to avoid these costly mistakes– something that can be easily avoided with proper concentration and strategic footwork. From here, we’ll move onto another tricky set of rules: faults!


It is commonly known that touching the ball more than three times in succession, or passing it between two players on the same team, should constitute a fault in volleyball. But is this theory actually true? In order to know for sure, let us look into official volleyball rules regarding faults.

The eleventh rule of official volleyball states that any one of the following can be considered a fault: if there are more than three consecutive contacts with the ball by a single player on either team; if there is contact with the ball by two players from the same team consecutively; if there is contact with the net by any player from either team; or if a player catches, lifts, holds, pushes or throws the ball. Additionally, if any member of either team causes disruption during play, this can also be considered a fault.

Players who commit faults must immediately stop playing and allow their opponents to resume play unhindered. Faults cannot be undone and points resulting from such faults cannot be cancelled out – they must stand no matter what. So it turns out that this popular theory was indeed true after all! Moving forward then, let’s see what official volleyball rules have to say about dead balls.

Dead Balls

A dead ball in volleyball is like a car stuck in neutral, motionless and going nowhere. It can be a result of an illegal action, such as an over-contact or throwing the ball, or if the ball somehow gets lodged in the netting or on the antenna. In either case, a fault will be called on the team responsible for making contact with the ball and play will stop.

The referee is responsible for determining whether it was a fault that caused the dead ball or something else. If it was a fault, then points are awarded to the opposing team as well as possession of the ball. If something else caused the dead ball, then it is reset according to whichever team last had control of it before play stopped.

When a dead ball occurs, there is no further action taken until play resumes so all players must remain still and silent while the referee makes their decision. No substitutions may occur prior to resuming play and if any player engages in physical contact with another player during this time they will be penalized accordingly. With all this in mind, teams should look to minimize dead balls by following all rules carefully when playing volleyball. Transitioning into the next section about substitutions will help ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience with each game.


The thirteenth rule of volleyball is one of the most important – substitutions. Like a well-oiled machine, each team member must fit into their role in order to keep the game running smoothly. The substitution rule allows teams to make changes when necessary, making sure that everyone has an opportunity to shine on the court.

Regular substitutions are permitted for injuries or fatigue, and can be done between points or during a timeout. However, at no point may more than three players from either side simultaneously occupy the court. For this reason, it’s important that teams remain mindful of who is playing when and where.

At any time during the match, coaches are allowed to substitute players as long as they’ve indicated their intention on the scoresheet beforehand. As long as all rules have been followed correctly, substitutions can be made with minimal disruption to the game. With proper communication and organization among both teams and referees, substitutes can enter and exit play without any issues – keeping things running like clockwork while providing ample opportunities for each player to demonstrate their skillset on the court! Ready for a timeout? Let’s take a break and find out what’s next in official volleyball rules!

Time Outs

Ah, timeouts. The perfect respite for players looking to take a break from their volleyball-induced exhaustion – ironic, isn’t it? Just the thought of being able to pause the game and catch one’s breath can be a great relief for anyone in the midst of an intense match.

In official volleyball rules, teams are allowed two 30-second timeouts per set. During these pauses, coaches are allowed to talk to their team on the court; however, all conversations must take place within the team’s bench area. Players from both teams must remain at their respective benches while the timeout is in progress.

When a team calls timeout, they must have possession of the ball or else wait until after they receive the ball before calling one. This ensures that teams aren’t able to disrupt play and stall out an opponent’s rally. Timeout requests should also be made with hand signals as well as verbal cues so that everyone is aware when one has been called. With these guidelines in mind, let’s move on to what referees need to be familiar with in order to officiate correctly…

Referee Signals

The referee is the one in charge of keeping the game going, enforcing the rules and making sure everyone plays fair. But how do they do that? How does a referee communicate their decisions to the players? Through signals. Referee signals are an integral part of any volleyball game, and understanding them is key to having a successful match.

The most common referee signal is the whistle blow. This signifies either the beginning of the match or a stoppage in play. It’s also used to indicate that a player has stepped outside the sidelines or out of bounds as well as when a ball was served incorrectly or went out of play.

Other referee signals include raising both arms above their head with hands together to indicate that a team has won the point, crossing arms across their chest when they want all players to stop playing, and pointing at their eyes with two fingers extended when they want players to be more aware and focused on what’s happening on court.

No matter how experienced you may be, it’s always important to know and understand these signals so that you can play your best without getting into trouble with the referee. Knowing these rules will help ensure that every match goes smoothly!


Volleyball is a thrilling, dynamic sport that can be enjoyed by all ages. It is a game of strategy and skill, requiring players to have both physical and mental prowess. Each player must use their agility and reflexes to anticipate their opponents’ moves in order to stay ahead of the game. With its fast-paced nature, each match is sure to keep players on the edge of their seats.

Just like any other sport, volleyball requires its players to abide by specific rules in order for a fair game to be played. These rules help ensure that the game runs smoothly while providing an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. While they may seem complicated at first glance, these rules are easily understood once you take some time to familiarize yourself with them.

Volleyball is as much an art form as it is a sport; mastering the fundamentals is akin to mastering a brushstroke – it takes practice and dedication in order to perfect your technique. Once you understand the official volleyball rules, you can start painting your own masterpiece on the court!