Scroll down and get schooled

Before you bump, set and spike your way to victory, you'll need to know some basics. Take a few moments to get familiar with the ins and outs of the court so that when you suit up, you'll be ready for whatever comes your way.

Court Dimensions

  • Playing Area
  • Playing Area

Lines on the Court

Be aware of all lines during play. Moved lines won't stop the action. A replay will be enforced if the ball's landing spot is undeterminable.

Lines on a court

Net Height

  • Net Height Men
  • Net Height Women


The Ball


To win a match a team must score more than its opponent in either a 1 game or in 2 out of 3 games

  • 1 Set Match:
    • First to 21 pts.
    • Must win by 2
    • No cap
    • When playing a game to 21, teams switch sides of the court after 7 pts.
    Best 2 Out of 3:
    • First to 21 pts. If a third game is needed, it is played first to 15 pts.
    • Must win by 2
    • No cap
    • When playing a game to 21, teams switch sides of the court after 7 pts. In games to 15 teams switch after 5 pts.

             *If a 3rd game is needed, the first team to 15 points wins.

  • Scoring

To win a rally

A rally is a number of hits back and forth between teams. A team scores a point:

  • By successfully landing the ball on the opponent’s court or one of the opponent's sidelines or baseline;
  • When the opposing team commits a fault (examples:  double contact, caught or thrown, net fault).  
  • When the opposing team receives a penalty (red card).


faults in volleyball faults in volleyball

State of Play

The ball is in play from the moment it is served until a ball contacts the sand (or other object), fails to cross the net within the team's three contacts, or a fault is called by the referee.  Faults include illegal playing actions or penalties.   

Ball Out of Play

From the time it lands or a fault is committed. The ball is out of play when it contacts the sand (or other object), fails to cross the net within the team's three contacts, or a fault is called by the referee.  Faults include illegal playing actions or penalties.   

out of play in volleyball

Ball Out of Bounds

The ball is out when it contacts the ground outside of the court lines (without touching them) or contacts an object outside of the court (net post, umbrella, etc.).

State of Play

Ball in Bounds

The ball lands inside the court boundaries or touches one of the court lines. 

State of Play

Playing the Ball

Team Contacts– Ideal sequence of hits is traditionally referred to as the pass, set and spike.

  • Each team has 3 contacts max to return the ball to the opposing team.
  • No player can touch the ball twice in a row except during or after blocking the team’s first contact.
  • Blocking counts as one of the team’s three contacts.
  • After the block, any player can make the first contact with the ball.
Playing the Ball

Assisted Hit: Players cannot help teammates reach the ball.

  • However, a player about to commit a fault can be stopped or held back by a teammate.


Joust: When two opposing players make contact with the ball at the same time over the net.

  • After a joust the receiving team is entitled to another 3 hits. 
  • If the ball lands out of bounds after a joust, it is considered to be the fault of the team on the opposite side of where the ball landed out.   
Playing the Ball



  • The ball may touch any part of the body.  
  • The ball must not be caught or thrown. It can rebound in any direction.

The Pass:

  • Usually the first of a team’s three contacts.  This is most often used when receiving a ball from the opponents. 
  • Gives teammates an opportunity to get under the ball and spot up to set the ball.

A Set:

  • Usually the second of the three allotted contacts, this contact uses fingertips, not hands, to direct the ball upward.
  • Gives the attacker time to accurately spot the ball before contact.
  • Ball must be contacted with two hands at the same time (no double contact).  
  • Ball must not be caught or thrown.  The ball can rebound in any direction.  
  • A set ball can only legally cross the net if the setter’s shoulders are perpendicular to the net at the point of contact (forward or backward).  
    (Exception:  if the referee judges the contact was an attempt to set their partner.)

All actions which direct the ball towards the opponent, with the exception of service and block, are considered as attack hits.

The following are some faults of an attack hit: 

  • Player hits the ball within the playing space of the opposing team (reaching across the net).
  • Player completes an attack-hit using an open-handed finger action or if using finger tips that are not rigid and together (an open hand tip).
  • Player attacks the opponent’s service, when the ball is entirely higher than the top of the net.


The ball may contact the net while crossing the net, including during a serve.


A ball hit into the net is playable and may be recovered by the receiving team as long as it's done within the allotted three team contacts.

Ball At Net


Reaching beyond the net

  • Touching the ball beyond the net while blocking is allowed.
  • Players can't interfere with opponents movements.
  • Ok for hand(s) to pass beyond the net after an attack-hit, as long as the contact was made within the team's playing space.
Player At Net

Entering into opponent's playing area

  • As long as it doesn’t interfere with the opponent’s play on the ball, players may partially or completely step into the opponent's court during a rally.  
  • If a player interferes with an opponent’s legal play on the ball, a fault should be called.  Interference can occur with our without contact with an opposing player or the opponent’s court.  Contact between opponents is not always a fault.  
Opponent Area