General Volleyball Rules

Explore general volleyball rules. Volleyball regulations explained in easy to understand format.

Don’t forget to check the section in which rules are explained in real game situations. They help to use the rules to your advantage on the court. To see the volleyball rules cases, go to the Home Page and Cases section.

The Most Wanted Basic Volleyball Rules


Team will rotate, switch positions clockwise every time they "side-out", win the rally after opponents serve.

When the receiving team has won the rally and got the right to serve, the team rotates clockwise: a player from position 2 moves to serve to position 1, the player from the position 1 moves to position 6, etc. etc.

How to Count the hits
  • Three hits per team is allowed to deliver the ball to the other side

  • Player is not allowed to hit the ball twice in a row. (Expection: a block is not a hit, which means after the block, the player is allowed to play the ball second time)

  • Two (or even more) players can touch the ball simultaneously. Simultaneous touch between two player counts as a two hits. Simultaneous touch between three players count is three hits, etc. (EXCEPTION: block)

General Volleyball Rules about Double Hit on Setting and Defense

Double Hit (or various contacts) - on volleyball defense
  • A double hit(or various contacts)is allowed on the first hit when 1) receiving the serve, or 2) playing defense AS LONG AS CONTACTS HAPPEN DURING ONE ACTION

    • On the defensive play when the ball contacts for example arm, following with a contact to the shoulder (remember you cannot carry, throw or catch the ball)

Double Hit II - Overhead serve receive
  • On overhead serve receive, player is allowed to double hit the ball. (In other words when player "finger sets" the serve, it doesn't have to be clean.)

    • In the past double hit when receiving the ball with fingers was not allowed and it was called a double hit.
Double Hit III - Double hit on volleyball setting
  • Sets have to be clean. However, a double hit can be allowed, only if the player is trying to finger set the ball from extreme position (for example while diving the ball)

More General Volleyball Rules

Ball crossing the net outside the antennas

A ball which crosses the net outside the antennas to the free zone is allowed to play back to the team's playing area - if the ball is returned back the same route (outside the antennas).

In other words if defensive play or pass flies outside the antenna past referee, team is allowed to run after the ball and play it back. Notice that ball have to be returned back outside the antennas.

Opposing team is NOT ALLOWED to prevent opposing team getting that ball.

General volleyball rules about back row attack

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Back row player cannot step on the attack line (10-feet line or 3 meter line) when attacking the ball from the back row.

It is a false if libero performs a back row attack when the ball is COMPLETELY ABOVE the net level. (In other words, if the ball is not compeletely over the net, libero player is allowed to attack the ball)

Kicking the ball

It is allowed to play the ball with any part of the body. (In the past players were not allowed to play with the foot or leg.)

"General Volleyball Rules" Related Pages

Basic Volleyball Rules

Official Volleyball Rules

Rules of Volleyball - Cases

Check our volleyball rules cases. Knowing these cases will benefit you in the matches. You find Cases- section from our Home Page.

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