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Basics of Volleyball Rules - Recently Changed Rules of Volleyball

Read about basic volleyball rules that have been changed recently. Simple and easy to understand rules for fans and players.

Volleyball Rules - Players in the team, Libero

The size of the team varies in different leagues, but most often team can have 12 players on the roster.

One of the players is called a libero, defensive specialist who is wearing different color shirt. (soon according to international rules roster can include 14 players in international matches, 2 of them being liberos).

The court is divided to front row and back row. 3 of the players are front row players and other 3 are back row players.

Players are rotating on the court clockwise (everytime team wins a rally after opponent's serve.)

Volleyball Libero Rules

Libero is a player who plays on the back court only. Libero wears a different color shirt.

Libero cannot serve as a captain, or team captain for the team.

Libero is NOT allowed to attack the ball (perform a swing above the net level).
  • Notice that libero is able to perform a swing, if the ball is below the net. (You see younger junior teams using this rule and placing the sets to the libero.)

  • One more time in other words: if the ball is completely above the net, libero is not allowed to swing the ball over.

It is LEGAL, but still Libero should not finger set the ball in the front row (inside 3 meter or 10 feet hitting line) because after the set other players are NOT ALLOWED to perform an attack.

  • When libero finger sets in front row, it becomes a mistake if attacking player hits the ball, which is completely above the net level. In other words if libero commits to front row finger set, next player is NOT ALLOWED to attack the ball above the net.

Bump set of the libero is allowed anywhere.

A substitution is not needed when placing a libero to the court. Libero can enter and exit the court between the rallies. When libero exits the court, libero needs to sit out one rally before entering in again.

Libero is not able to serve the ball according to international rules (Some leagues in United States allow libero to serve).

Volleyball Rules - Scoring Changes

Scoring according to international volleyball rules:

Each game is played until 25 points, except the fifth game which is played until 15 points.

Difference of two points is required to the winning team, which means the game cannot end 25-24, or 15-14. The game is played as long as either team has a two point lead, which ends up the game. In United States some leagues play the games until 30 points.

Rally scoring is in use. Point follows after each rally to the winning team. (Before the rule changes a point was given only if the serving team won the rally and the games were played until 15 points.)

Rules of Volleyball - Ball Handling

You must have read on “very basic volleyball rules” that same player can not hit the ball twice in a row. (EXCEPTION I: block doesn’t count a touch.)

It is important to notice that double hit or even various contacts are ALLOWED on the first hit, for example on the defensive or serve reception play (for example when ball hits the player first to the arm and right after that to any part of the body).

Overhand serve receive or defensive play double hit is also ALLOWED.

Double hit on the set is ILLEGAL.

  • EXCEPTION: However, referee has a right to allow a "bad" set, if the player is setting from extreme position (for example setting while diving).

Volleyball Rules - Reaching over the Net

Rules of Volleyball that most often cause confusion are the “reaching over the net” situations.

  • Attacker can hit the ball when is coming over the net, when it breaks the plane of the net (when a little piece of the ball is on attacker’s side)

  • IMPORTANT! If the ball breaks the plane of the net and opponent’s setter is setting the ball, opponent is ALLOWED to play the ball. The reason is because the ball is on the plane, the ball is there for both teams to play. (It is never a false for a blocker to touch the ball, if the ball is on the plane of the net.)

    • In the last scenario if the setter is back row player and both players touch the ball at the same time, the back row setter performs an ILLEGAL back row block.

    “Basic Volleyball Rules" Related Pages

    Volleyball Basic Rules

    Volleyball Official Rules

    Volleyball General Rules

    Rules of Volleyball – Cases How to Use Rules in the Match
    Be sure to check how to use rules to your advantage in the match. You find them from the Home Page under Cases section.

    Volleyball Beginner Drills Info



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