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Volleyball Rules and Myths

Updated on July 18, 2011
Attacking out of the back row.
Attacking out of the back row.

Back Row Player Jumping to Attack

Myth: If a back row player jumps to attack the ball in front of the attack line, it's an illegal back row attack.

Reality: The fact that the player jumps isn't the criteria for determining a back row attack. In this situation, the referee must first determine the entire ball is above the net when contact is made. Whether or not the player jumps isn't the issue. In fact, if the player is really tall and is able to contact the ball above the net even when standing on the ground, it's possible to be an illegal back row attack.


Changing Warm Up Protocol

Myth: The warm up protocol can be change if the coaches agree.

Reality: The pre-match protocol is part of the rules of the game and can't be modified just because the coaches agree.

For example, certain activities such as shared hitting and shared serving are prohibited by rule. There is no discussion and warm up can't be modified.

Volleyball Screen?
Volleyball Screen?

Calling a Screen or Overlap

Myth: The referees are required to verbally warn a team before calling a screen or position fault.

Reality: Verbal warnings by a referee are courtesy. When a team lines up in a potentially screening formation, the referee may request players to move apart or whatever they need to do to avoid the screen, but the referee isn't required to do this.

A blatant screen or position fault should be called immediately.

Lifts and Double Contacts on the First Team Hit

Myth: Referees shouldn't call either a lift or double contact on the first team hit.

Reality: Volleyball rules allow for a team to have multiple contacts on the first team contact (provided these contacts are made during a single attempt). The ball also can't be caught or thrown. If the referee signals lift on the first team contact, what they are signaling is prolonged contact (the ball comes to rest, the ball is caught, or the ball is thrown).

Coach Requesting an Explanation

Myth: When a referee makes a call that the coach doesn't understand, the coach can ask the referee for an extensive explanation of what was called.

Reality: The volleyball rules state that the coach can ask for clarification of the rule quickly. Once the clarification is given, basically the discussion is over. The coach isn't allowed to disrupt the the flow of the game with this discussion.

The match should resume immediately as soon as the question is asked and answered.


Myth: An individual yellow card must be issued before a red card.

Reality: The assessment of a sanction doesn't require the prior assessment of any other sanction.

For instance, a referee can give an individual red card to a player immediately for unsporting conduct or rude behavior.

Coach Verbally Requesting Substitutions

Myth: If a coach holds up two fingers and verbally requests two substitutions, both subs should be allowed no matter how much delay there is between each of them.

Reality: A request for multiple subs is no longer required. Requesting for multiple subs doesn't provide an opportunity to delay the process.

Also, the moment a player enters the substitution zone, this is an automatic request for substitution.


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    • profile image

      volleyball rules 

      8 years ago

      Good rules list. Crazy indoor rules! Beach is much better.


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