Volleyball Basic Rules
Learn To Play Volleyball First Learn The Rules 

Learn the volleyball basic rules before you learn how to play if you plan on being a serious player you need be very familiar with basic playing and scoring rules. 

These volleyball basic rules review the regulations for scoring and for playing actions allowed and not allowed in the game.

Volleyball Basic Rules 
Rules For Players

  • Two teams of six players compete against each other separated by a net 

  • The opposing team of six the defensive team is serving to...is in serve receive also known as offense, serve reception, or receiving the serve. 

All these terms mean the same thing. 

Volleyball Basic Rules  
What Players Can and Can't Do

During a rally a player can

  1. play the ball off the net
  2. make one contact on the ball 
  3. contact the ball again only after a teammate has contacted it, within the three contacts allowed per team
  4. can kick a ball over the net or to a teammate during a rally
  5. hit from the backrow as long as they are a backrow player who contacts the ball before landing on or over the ten foot line

During a rally a player cannot:

  1. make two consecutive contacts with the ball
  2. hold or catch or lift the ball
  3. hit the ball so it contacts the antenna on its way over into the opposing team's court
  4. block a serve that will land inside the ten foot line
  5. rotate out of zone or position or serve out of order
  6. commit an overlap in serve reception
  7. as blockers,  block the view of the opposing team passers from seeing the server on the serving team

Volleyball Basic Rules

A libero is a specialized role for a player with superior defensive skills. 

The libero wears contrasting colored jerseys than her teammates so its easy to differentiate her from the rest of the team. 

This is because a libero can enter in and out of the backrow for a front row player when that front row player has rotated to the backrow to serve. 

Like a pinch hitter in baseball, the quicker, faster defensively skilled libero will play for that taller player in all three rotations for her in the back row.

The player she came in for, will return into the game when its time for the libero to rotate up to the front row. 

Volleyball Rules For Dummies:
What a Libero Can and Can't Do

A libero can:

  1. replace any player in the back row
  2. can serve after replacing the player in zone 1
  3. be outside the ten foot line and overhand set a front row player who can jump and hit the ball

A beginner's explanation of Olympic Volleyball Rules.

Watch this short video tutorial guide on how to play Volley ball under Olympic and FIVB rules.

A libero cannot:

  1.  jump and attack hit a ball when at contact, the entire ball is completely above the top of the net. This means liberos should generally stand and hit the ball over and not attempt to attack a ball like a tall player would. 
  2. block or attempt to block a ball
  3. be inside the ten foot line and set a front row player who then uses their spike approach to hit a ball that's above the level of the net. If a libero sets a ball to a front row hitter and she is inside the ten foot line, the hitter has to hit a down ball . 
  4. cannot enter the court, at the start of each set, until the second referee gives the go ahead after checking the team's rotation on the score sheet. 

Volleyball Rules For Dummies:  
What Can a Team Do?

A team can work together to score 25 points before the opposing team does. 

The team who is first to score 25 points and has an advantage of two points wins the set. 

Volleyball Rules For Dummies:
How To Win A Match

A "match" is a predetermined minimum number of maximum sets that will be played with a pre-declared minimum number of sets that must be won by one team in order to declare a winner. 

There are the best of five set competitions called "matches".

There are the best of three set competitions called "matches".

Most collegiate, club and international indoor matches are three out of five sets.  

  • The first team to win three sets of 25 points wins the match. 
  • Your team can win three in a row. If so your team wins the match.
  • Your team can win two sets, the opposing team wins one, then your team wins the fourth set. If so your team wins the match. 

The opposite applies.

  • If in any order, your team wins two sets and the opposing team wins two sets, then a fifth "tie breaking" set is played. 
  • Tie break sets are played to 15 and not 25 points. 

Rules of Volleyball:
Where Do You Go From Here?

Good times! Where do you need to go now? Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about the Rules
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the Volleyball Rules section in the drop down menu at the top of the page 

Learn more from these volleyball rules pages!

  • Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
  •  ›  ›
  • Important Rules of Volleyball All Varsity Players Should Know
  •  ›  ›
  • Volleyball Basic Rules Learn To Play Volleyball First Learn The Rules

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