The Rules of Volleyball: Learn The Volleyball Basics On How To Play  

 Beginners learning how to play will need to quickly understand the basics for the rules of volleyball in addition to the skills and positions of the game. 

Learn the rules of volleyball before stepping on the court (Andy Wilkes)Learn the rules of volleyball before stepping on the court (Andy Wilkes)


So you're interested in learning how to play volleyball?

First let's get you familiar with the rules of the volleyball game. Then you'll need to know the six basic skills before learning how to play volleyball.

Let's start with a simple list of the basic volleyball rules....


Learning The Rules of Volleyball




Learning The Rules of Volleyball
How Does A Team Play?


The Rally, The Referee, The Court



The Rules of Volleyball: In the back row the right back area is Zone 1, the middle back area of the back row is Zone 6, the left back area is Zone 5, (LT Mayers)The Rules of Volleyball: In the back row the right back area is Zone 1, the middle back area of the back row is Zone 6, the left back area is Zone 5, (LT Mayers)

  • In the back row the right back area is Zone 1, the middle back area of the back row is Zone 6, the left back area is Zone 5, 
  • Moving up to front row the left front area starting from inside the ten foot line to the net is called Zone 4, moving to the right to the middle of the net area is Zone 3 and again moving clockwise to the right is Zone 2. 
  • Players rotate clockwise every time their team wins the rally. The player who rotates to Zone 1 is the player who serves to start the rally. Teams do not rotate until they win a rally

Learning The Rules of Volleyball
How Does a Team Win?


Errors, Points, Rotations and Scoring


Frequently Asked Questions By Beginners About The Rules of Volleyball


For beginners plunging into the popular and fast-growing world of volleyball, understanding the rules of volleyball might seem a bit intimidating at first.

Say less, because I've got you covered. The section below answers some of the most frequently asked questions, asked by newbies and junior players when starting out.

By answering these seven questions I dive into the finer points of the game, highlighting what's legal, how the scoring works, and other aspects of the game beginners need to know.

Let's dive into these questions and help you master the rules so you can confidently continue your new journey in volleyball.

The Rules of Volleyball: Learn The Volleyball Basics On How To Play
1. What is illegal in volleyball?


Illegal actions in volleyball refer to any actions that are not permitted according to official volleyball rules.

Some of the most common are:

  • touching the net
  • reaching over the net to hit the ball (unless in the act of blocking), 
  • back row players attacking the ball above the height of the net while inside the front zone, 
  • hitting the ball twice in succession (unless in a single attempt to play the ball)
  • kicking the ball (in indoor volleyball). Also, a player cannot enter or cross the boundary lines until the player has made a play.

The Rules of Volleyball: Learn The Volleyball Basics On How To Play
2. Is hitting the ball with a closed fist legal in volleyball?


Yes, you can hit the ball with a closed fist because it is legal.

This is often seen when a beginner player is serving the ball in order to create more power on the ball with an underhand serve or if they're making an underhand pass because they haven't learned the proper technique yet.

However, it's important to make sure that the ball contact is clean, without any prolonged contact like lifting the ball or carrying the ball, because these actions are considered faults, which are reasons for the referee to blow their whistle.


The Rules of Volleyball: Learn The Volleyball Basics On How To Play
3. How do you score in volleyball?


3. How do you score in volleyball?

Scoring in volleyball occurs when a team wins a rally.

A rally is won when one team manages to land the ball on the opponent's court, or when the opposing team commits a fault or error.

This could involve

  • hitting the ball out of bounds,
  • committing a service error (like serving the ball into the net), or 
  • a player touching the net

Each time a team wins a rally, they earn a point and the right to serve.


The Rules of Volleyball: Learn The Volleyball Basics On How To Play
4. Can your body parts or your hair touch the net?


In volleyball, no part of the body is allowed to touch the net during play, except for the hair.

In other words, incidental contact of your hair with the net does not mean its a fault, or a reason for the referee to whistle against your team.

This happens a lot when a blocker wearing a ponytail lands from a block jump and turns to transition back behind the ten foot line to get into position to attack. 

But any other contact such as with hands, shoulders or feet is considered a net violation and results in a point being awarded to the opposing team.


The Rules of Volleyball: Learn The Volleyball Basics On How To Play
5. Can you kick a ball in volleyball?




In beach volleyball, you are allowed to kick the ball.

And yes also in indoor volleyball, Yes, you can!

In volleyball, any part of your body can legally come into contact with the ball, including your feet. However, players normally use their hands and arms as they offer better control.


The Rules of Volleyball: Learn The Volleyball Basics On How To Play
6. What's a red card, and what's a yellow card?


In volleyball, cards are issued by the referee to penalize misconduct from players or coaches.

A yellow card serves as a warning and no points are deducted.

A red card results in a point and serve for the opposing team.


The Rules of Volleyball: Learn The Volleyball Basics On How To Play
7. Does a team have to win by two points?


Yes, a team must win a set by at least two points. This rule is in place to allow for the potential of a "see-saw" set where teams can rally back and forth indefinitely until one team has a two-point lead.

If the score reaches a 24-24 tie, play continues until a team leads by two points. It doesn't matter how long this takes, the game goes on until this happens.

This rule applies to all levels of volleyball, from recreational play to the professional leagues and international competitions.

Great!

Now that we've discussed a few simple game rules, let's review the basic skills you need to know before learning how to play volleyball. 


Learning How To Play Volleyball: Where Do I Go From Here?


What you just read was just  a warmup!

Just like in volleyball practice, you do a little stretching to warm up your muscles before getting into the real meaty part of practice.

Here.... you go through a light review of everything before you really begin to dig deep and take each rule, each position, each skill and really explore it, learn to do tons of reps and go over each drill repeatedly until you get it right. 

Read...  How To Play Volleyball and Win to get started...



Learn more about the rules of volleyball in the pages below.



  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Private Volleyball Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. Important Rules of Volleyball All Varsity Players Should Know
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  5. The Rules of Volleyball: Learn The Volleyball Basics On How To Play


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