What's The Let Serve in Volleyball And More Serving Questions Answered

Learn important volleyball service rules and answers to basic let serve volleyball questions about what's legal when serving a ball from behind the service line. 

Volleyball Service Rules
What Is A Volleyball Serve? 

What's the "let" serve in volleyball?
Is it a volleyball foul?

What's a "let" serve in volleyball?

The old rules were that when a server served a ball which nicked or touched the top of the net

  • this is a fault
  • enough for the referee to blow their whistle 
  • award the opposing team the sideout 
  • the server's team loses the ball to the opposing team
  • the opposing team would get a point
  • and the right to serve

Volleyball service rules have changed and now the let serve rule states that a served ball on its way to an opposing team's court...

  • if it touches the top of the net and manages to fall into the opposing team's court

that ball is still a live ball and can be played up.

Play continues until that ball drops to the opposing team's floor. 

The referees "let" the ball hit the net and "let" play continue only if

  • the ball hits the net and
  • continues over into the opposing team's court. 

Volleyball Service Rules 
What Is The Service in Volleyball?

Also known as "the service" according to volleyball serve rules its the action taken by a player who is in the right back position in their team's rotation in the service area.

During the course of the game this player, while standing behind the service line, tosses the ball to herself with one hand and contacts the ball with the other hand to send it across the net into the court of the team that's in serve receive. 

Volleyball Service Rules 
Does everyone on a volleyball team have to serve?

  • There are 6 zones on the court. 
  • Six players rotate in and out of those zones so anyone of these six players who rotate into Zone 1 after their team has won the rally can serve. That person is called the "server" and is the only one who can serve at the beginning of each rally. 
  • A player can be substituted in from off the bench to replace one player on the court  to serve in their place. 

Volleyball Service Rules 
Can a libero serve?


in collegiate, high school and middle school competition a libero can serve. Only in international competition is a libero prohibited from serving in volleyball. 

5 Volleyball Service Rules and Volleyball Fouls
What can the volleyball ball do once it's served?

Once the server has completed their serve, the volleyball ball must

  • not contact any of the server's teammates before passing into the opponents court
  • must completely travel between the two antenna's before landing into the opponents court
  • not land in the net 
  • land out of bounds
  • pass over players who are creating a screen as blockers making it difficult or impossible for the opposing team's passers to see the travel path of the ball

All of the five things above will result in the referee blowing their whistle and awarding the ball to the opposing team, giving them to a chance to serve and possibly score a direct point. 

This has been an important message by your favorite volleyball coach! That's me!!

Thanks for visiting.

Be sure to check out more of my volleyball articles by clicking one of the links below!  (April Chapple)

Do You Follow Me on Instagram?

Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap to improve your game even faster!

I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 

Volleyball Service Rules New Coaches Need To Know
Where Do You Go From Here?

Your three options are: 

  1. You can learn more about Serving by visiting the related links below.                            
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the How to Play Volleyball section in the drop down menu at the top of the page to get started. 
  4. Before leaving this page Say "Hi" to Miss Tattoo the Tiger wearing the #9 jersey below.  Miss Tattoo is the starting defensive and serving specialist for the All Beast VolleyBragSwag All Star team.

You might like to learn volleyball on the pages below!

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