Volleyball Rules

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Volleyball is one of the most beloved sports in the United States of America, and thus if you are unaware of the volleyball rules, it can be a frustrating experience whenever a game is on. Therefore, it is essential to familiarize yourself with volleyball rules before going to the trial rounds at your school if you want to make it to the team.

Volleyball Rules

Volleyball is a sport that came into being around 1895 and evolved till 1965, when the sport officially entered the Olympics. It is a celebrated sport globally with a huge fan base and professional competition, with the best players competing in the Olympics.

The Objective of the Game

Before moving on to discussing the rules, it is essential to understand the objective of the game:

  • The main agenda of the game is to hit the ball with bare hands over the net and make it bounce on the opponent’s side of the court.
  • The opponent is supposed to hit the ball before it bounces on the ground and return it to the serving side.
  • The result of the game is decided based on the best of 3 or 5 sets.
  • The team that has won the majority of the sets wins.
People playing volleyball on a sand floor

Dynamics of the Team

The rules begin with understanding the dynamics of the team and how it functions. Here are some fundamentals followed while forming a team.

  • There are a total of 6 players present at a time on each side of the court. 
  • Teams have the liberty of using substitute players throughout the game.
  • In volleyball, no mixed-sex teams are formed.
  • Instead, each player is allocated a position in the attacking zone or the defensive zone of the court. The attacking zone is the spot next to the net, and the defensive zone is at the back of the court.
  • Three players in each zone are supposed to rotate in a clockwise direction after a point is scored.

Equipment of the Game

The court where the sport is being played is the major equipment of the game. Thus it is essential to understand the measurements of the court.

  • The volleyball court is in the shape of a rectangle with 18m x 9m.
  • There is a 2.43 m high net that is being run across the court.
  • The ball is 8 inches in diameter and weighs between 9 ounces to 10 ounces.
  • Outside the boundary, there is an out-of-bounds area. If the ball falls in this area, a point is being rewarded to the opposite team.

Here is a link to the video guide that explains the measurements and angles of a volleyball court.

Scoring a Point

Here are the rules one has to follow for scoring a point during the game.

  • For a player to score a point, the ball must bounce in the outlined region of the court in the opponent’s section.
  • The opposing team scores if the server’s ball hits the net or fails to reach the opponent’s side.
  • The serving player is supposed to hit the ball with one hand behind the baseline with either over or underarm action. After playing the serve, the player can join the team and play to score.
  • Each team can hit a maximum of three times, and a single-player cannot hit the ball twice.
  • If the ball falls on the opponent’s side during an event of blocking, a point is awarded to the blocking team
  • If while blocking the ball bounces out, the point is awarded to the opposing team.
  • The game lasts until a score of 25 is reached with 2 points clear. For example, if both the teams have a 24-24, then the game is played until either team is ahead by 2 points.

The Winning

The winning team must have a higher score after considering the best of either 3 or 5 sets. The team that reaches the required number of sets first wins the game.

Here is a link to the strategies that can help you to win the game. 


Violations will be called for the following activities:

  • A player steps on the baseline while serving.
  • The ball hits the net and falls on the player’s side. If the ball hits the net and falls on the opponent’s side, it is completely legal.
  • Players running with the ball in their hands.
  • A player hitting the net. 
  • Players reaching over the net to hit the ball.
People in sports attire playing volleyball in a field

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Different Ways of Hitting a Volleyball?

There are four different ways to hit a volleyball: attack, block, spike, and serve. When you directly hit the ball towards the opponent, sometimes with the help of a setter, it is called attacking, and when the player near the net jumps higher than the net to hit the ball, it is called a block.

If the ball is hit in the downward direction towards the opponent’s side, it is called a spike, and when the ball is pulled to play in the serving position, it is called a serve.

What Is a Court Area?

The area, also known as the zone, is the court area where a player stands. Since there are six players in each team, thus there will be a total of six zones on each side. It is also known as their court position.


Volleyball is one of the most beloved sports on an international level that is played professionally and as a hobby by some, knowing about its health benefits.

To enjoy the game with full authenticity, it is essential to be familiar with the rules and follow them during the play. It would be a bonus if you take some time to perform some easy drills.

Even if you are watching the game, you will enjoy it better if you have a little bit of knowledge about it.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.