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Basic volleyball rules

6 players on a team, 3 on the front row and 3 on the back rowimage

Maximum of three hits per side

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 nonplayable area

It is legal to contact the ball with any part of a players body

It is illegal to catch, hold, or throw the ball

If two or more players contact the ball at the same time, it is considered one play and either player involved may make the next contact (provided the next contact isn’t the teams 4th hit)

A player can not 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

At higher competition, the officiating crew may be made up of two refs, line judges, scorer, and an assistant scorer

Volleyball setter 

As a volleyball team consists of six players on the court at any time, each and every position is important, but the setter is often considered as one of the most important due to the position’s ability to make or break a team.
This should come as no surprise, as the setter is considered to play an equivalent role to the quarterback in football, whereby the player touches the ball more than any other play and sets the team up to score.

We believe that there are 4 keys aspects to playing the setter position to the best of your ability with each being just as important as the other.  So what are the 4 key aspects?  Being the Leader. If you’re new to volleyball then you may have noticed that it’s quite common for setters to be the captain of the team. Considering that a setter must possess an excellent understanding of the game to lead the offense effectively this comes as no surprise.

A setter needs to be able to lead on the floor and does this by assessing the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their own team’s, and then deciding upon how this can be used to the team’s advantage.


Determining the right volleyball net height for your team is important for many reasons. As a coach, knowing accurate volleyball net heights is crucial for following the rules of the game, as well as being prepared for the officials on match day! Regulation heights of indoor volleyball nets and outdoor volleyball nets vary between age groups, genders, abilities, and the number of players on your team.  
Follow these guidelines to ensure that the volleyball net you set up is the ideal height for your players — whether you’re coaching a professional, Olympic, NCAA, high school, middle school, youth, indoor or beach volleyball team.

How to Play Volleyball

Are you looking for a sport that requires a positive team relationship, builds good communication skills, increases upper body strength and delivers an unlawful amount of fun? This article will teach you the basics of how to play volleyball. At the end, you’ll be ready to set, serve and spike!

Part One of Four:

Playing the Game


Image titled Play Volleyball Step 1


Choose your players. Ideally, you want at least 6 players for a competitive game. However, if you’re playing with a group of friends, keep the same number of players on each side.

  • You should have 2 rows of players, with the first row closest to the net and the back row closest to the rear boundary of the court.

The player in the back right corner will serve the ball. You can rotate players around the court so that you will have a new server for each service game.

If you are rotating players out, rotate clockwise — looking at the net, the player closest to it on the right side would rotate out, allowing for many players to play.

Image titled Play Volleyball Step 2

Serve the ball from behind the line at the back of the court. If you serve from in front of the line it will not count as a point. This is known as a foot fault. The ball has to go over the net (but it can touch), and it has to land within the court for the serve to be good.

The player on the right-hand side at the back of the court serves. Each player will only receive one service attempt per serve rotation; you may serve as many times as you can get the ball in the other teams court.

The ball is good even if it lands on a line.

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Return the ball if you’re on the receiving team. Thus the rally has begun! A typical play will be bump, set, spike — but as long as it goes over within three hits, it’s good.

Technically, you can hit the ball with any part of your body so long as the ball does not come to a rest.[1]

Players may go over the lines, but the ball may not. If a player on your team hits it out of bounds, you may run to retrieve it — successfully so if it doesn’t touch the ground.

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Continue hitting the ball back and forth across the net until a fault happens. This could be because of any one of the following:

The ball hits the ground.

If the ball hits the ground on the side of the serving team, then the other team has the opportunity to serve.

If the ball hits the ground on the side of the receiving team, then the serving team can serve again.

The point is awarded to the team that did not allow the ball to hit the ground.

The ball goes out of bounds. The team that hits the ball out of bounds loses the point.

Someone touches the net. If a player on one team touches the net, then the opposing team picks up a point.

Someone’s foot goes under the net. When this happens, the opposing team receives the point.

Someone hits the ball 2 consecutive times. Players can’t strike the ball twice in a row, unless a strike is in the block. A block does not count as a touch.

A team hits the ball 4 or more times without sending it over. 3 is the maximum.

Image titled Play Volleyball Step 5

Serve the ball again. The team that won the last point gets to serve the ball. If you’re rotating, rotate now.

If your team has the ball, it’s common for the rows to back up a bit. The idea here is to get ready for an attack. If you don’t have the ball, move forward. The idea instead here is to make the attack.

Image titled Play Volleyball Step 6

Continue playing until you reach a threshold. You can decide how many points you will allow for each game. For instance, you can start a new game when a team earns 15 points.

Recent rules state that regulation games go to 25 points, with the third game (in a set of three) going to 15.[2]

A standard match is three games long. Each team should switch sides at the start of a new game.

  1. A game must be won by two points. 25-26 will not cut it; it must be 25-27. Because of this, close games can go on much longer.

Six Basic Skills of Volleyball

Serve-Used to put the ball in play. The action is done with arm swing that sends the ball over the net into the opponent’s court. 
Forearm Pass-Used to receive the ball from your opponents, as in service, or as a technique to accurately control the ball in a way that eliminates lifting or carrying the ball. the fundamental action of passing is to rebound the ball off of the forearms (which are held together tightly with the palms and thumbs positioned together) from a slightly squatted and balanced position.  

Setting- Used to receive a teammate’s pass in order that the play may continue by passing the ball overhead to an attacker. the fundamental action of setting is to contact the ball with the finger pads momentarily at the forehead and following through with arms fully extended to the hitting target.  

Kill or Attack-Used to put the ball into the opponent’s court in order to earn a point or side out. the fundamental action of attacking incorporates a quick approach followed by a strong, full arm swing, and follow-thru.  

Block-Used to stop the ball from crossing the net as a result of an opponent’s attack. A block is effective if it immediately places the ball back into the opponent’s court or if it temporarily slows down the ball in order for a defender to make a dig. The fundamental action of blocking is to stand facing the net with feet shoulder width apart, arms nearly extended above the head, ready to jump above the net to deflect the ball back into the opponent’s court.  

Floor Defense-used to receive the opponent’s attack. The key skills are digging and sprawling. The dig resembles a forearm pass from a low ready position and is used more for balls that are hit near the defender. The sprawl is a result of an attempted dig for a ball that is hit further away from the defender and resembles a dive.  


RulesThe rules of volleyball are simple, but they’re constantly changing, and they can differ depending on the level of competition. I started playing volleyball in middle school, in 2000, and since then, several changes have affected high school and collegiate rules.

Setting up the Court

A volleyball court is 30 feet wide and 60 feet long; each side of the net is 30 feet by 30 feet. A 2-inch line borders the court to serve as the out-of-bounds line. Any ball that touches the line during play is still considered “in” the court.
Rolling: before hitting ground

In volleyball, there are six people on the court at one time for each team. Usually three people are in the front row, and three are in the back row. The front row is sectioned off by a line 10 feet from the net, called the “attack line” or the “10-foot line.” Front-row players are not confined to this section of the court, but this is where most of their playing takes place.
Back to Basics

One thing that stays constant despite rule changes, though, is that during each possession on one side of the net, a team can only have three contacts with the ball. The ideal sequence of contacts is usually a pass, a set and a hit—even the terminology has changed over the years. These skills were traditionally called bump, set and spike.
Hand back to serve

No player can ever make contact with the ball twice in succession, and the ball cannot be caught or carried over the net. A block is not considered as part of a hit, which I’ll explain in the ADVANCED section. Each play starts off with a serve. The server steps behind the line at the very back of the court, called the end line, and has freedom to serve from wherever he or she pleases as long as the foot does not touch or cross the line. If the server’s foot crosses the end line, it is considered a foot fault, and results in a side-out—a change in possession—of the ball.
The server must make the ball go over the net on the serve. It doesn’t matter if the ball touches the net on a serve anymore. Balls that hit the net on serves and still go over and stay in the court used to be illegal, but now they are allowed. These serves are called “let serves.”

Positions are numbered, one through six, starting with the server in the back right corner. Then going in a counter-clockwise direction, the rest of the positions are numbered. The actual direction of the rotation is clockwise, however. After the server finishes, the other team gets the ball, and you get the ball back, everyone just shifts to the right one spot.                                                 Rotation, if not fully understood, can be a very confusing part of the game. In basic volleyball there are three players in the front row and three in the back, and each player just rotates to the next position as the plays go along. Any time a player is in the back row, he or she cannot “attack” the ball in front of the 10-foot line on the court. Attacks are also known as “hits” or “spikes”—usually the third hit of a possession. This rule is in effect to make sure that the strong hitters aren’t always able to dominate the game. When the strong hitters are in the back row, they can still attack the ball on the third hit, but they cannot jump in front of the 10-foot line.


Contrary to the way it may seem, there are actually positions in volleyball, and despite the mandatory rotation, it’s possible to play the same position every play. The only catch is that if you’re not already in the position where you want to be, you have to wait to move to that spot until after the ball has gone over the net on a serve.