Volleyball

All The Basic Volleyball Rules

all the basic volleyball rules

Volleyball is an exciting sport in which, among other things, our national teams have often gone very well. Practiced and loved, the harbinger of medals and excellent performances, in Italy it has always had excellent results. There are, however, also fans who may rarely approach us, only on the occasion of the Olympics. Or who followed him long ago, and find themselves lost in front of some news. In short, they need, and today we try to give it, a guide to the main rules of volleyball.

First of all, it must be said that there is an international body that presides over these rules. It’s called the International Volleyball Federation – or, in French, Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) – and is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

It organizes the men’s and women’s world championships, the World League, the World Grand Prix, and other international competitions. In addition, for some time it has also coordinated the growing movement of beach volleyball, which has more and more practitioners.

But how do you play volleyball? What are the main rules? What are the fundamentals and what do they foresee? And the fouls that can be committed?

All more than legitimate questions, to which we will try to give a quick answer, also providing an overview of the roles and strategies of the game, even if the rules of volleyball will remain the fulcrum of our article. Let’s start.

1. The score: how to calculate and how to win

The sets, the advantage points, the jokes

Let’s start with the points, the most important thing if you want to follow a game on TV without getting lost. In current volleyball, the teams score a point when they manage to drop the ball in the opposing half of the field, or when the ball leaves the field after the last to touch it is the opponents.

The games last five sets. Each set closes when a team reaches 25 points, with at least two points difference on the opponents. Otherwise, it continues until you have the advantage of two points. The game is won by the team that first takes home 3 sets.

If the two teams arrive on the score of 2 sets to 2, however, the last and decisive set is called tie-break and ends when one of the two teams reaches not 25 but 15 points. Again, however, the rule of discard points applies.

Last thing to say: when a team scores a point, it also acquires or retains the right to serve. If it was already beating, keep beating; if instead the opponents were the ones to beat, a ball change comes. But the point is awarded anyway.

2. The allowed touches

How many and what kind

The aim of the game, therefore, is to repel the opponent’s attacks and try to throw the ball on the ground beyond the net. To do this, you obviously have to take the ball when the opponents throw it and get it from there. Everything happens through a series of touches, which are regulated in detail.

In the meantime, let’s say this: each team has three touches to send the ball across the field. Exceeding this number, and for example, reaching four or five touches gives the point to the opponents. There are however exceptions.

For example, if the defending team goes to the wall – that is, one, two or three defenders jump in front of the net to try to create an obstacle to the opponent’s dunk – the possible deviation of the wall does not count and you have available three more touches.

And the network?

What if the ball ends up against the net? In fact, it may happen that during a defensive action the team that is building its passes sends the ball into the net. If this does not touch the ground and is raised, you can continue playing. Be careful, however: the network does not reset the touch count.

In addition, no player may touch the ball twice in a row, unless one of the two touches has been made to the wall. This rule is particularly important not only to prevent a player from doing everything alone. but also to regulate how the ball is hit.

The regulation in fact provides that you can touch the ball with any part of the body, but you cannot accompany it. The contact, which occurs with the hands, head or feet, must be dry and unique.

3. The roles on the field

From the setter to the opposite

As you probably know, six players per team are on the volleyball court. Each occupies a precise position, even if during the construction of the action you move and mix according to various schemes.

In addition, every time you return to the possession of the ball there is a rotation that causes all players on the field (or almost, as we will see) to have their own batting turn.

The rotation occurs clockwise. For convenience, it is an agreement to call each of the six areas of the field where the players have a number. So whoever is at the bar, in the right corner farthest from the net, occupies the position number 1.

The 2 is the subnet in front of the 1 because it is the one that will have to beat the next round. The 3 is on his left, under the net, in the center. Then come the 4th, 5th and 6th.

The dribbler

To rotate, however, are players with different specializations, which when the attack action is triggered move and go to cover a specific area of ​​the field. First, there is the dribbler, the director of the team. If possible, he does not receive the opposing line, but positions himself under the net, ready to make the second touch.

His job is to lift the ball for an attacker. He must, therefore, be quick, precise, able to call the patterns and to read the various game situations.

Then there is the central, that is, the attacker who goes to position himself in zone 3, subnet in the center. He, in the attack, mainly takes fastballs, that is, the close raises that the dribbler does from time to time to surprise the opponent’s defense. When, due to the rotation, it ends up in the second line, it is usually replaced by the free one.

The free and the others

Let’s talk about this free, the most recent role since it was introduced only in 1997. It is a player specialized in defense, who always wears a shirt of a different color than his teammates. He enters to replace an attacker who is not particularly gifted in the defensive phase and always stays on the second line.

When the rotations would push him forward, in fact, he must give way to the partner he had replaced. The free, therefore, usually only has to receive, or get up in emergency situations. It cannot beat, crush or wall.

The masters and the opposite complete the package. The former has a defensive and offensive role because they must receive but also go to crush. Usually, on the field there is one stronger in the reception and one in the conclusion, to balance the team.

On the other hand, the opposite is always a spiker, which, however, is positioned exactly opposite to the dribbler. In general, he is the strongest striker on the team and must also be particularly resistant.

4. Dimensions and numbers

The field and the ball

Let’s now give some numbers or rather digits. Let’s start from the field. In general, it is a rectangle 18 meters long and 9 wide. Since the net divides it exactly in half, we actually have two squares of side 9 on both sides.

In addition, each half of the court is divided by an additional line parallel to the net, located 3 meters from it and 6 from the headland. The net reaches 2.43 meters in men’s competitions and 2.24 meters in women’s competitions. In turn, it is one meter high.

A free zone of at least 3 meters must then be left at the edges of the field, rising to 6.5 in international competitions. The roof must not be lower than 7 meters, which in this case too rise to 12.5 in the world competitions.

Finally, the ball must have a circumference of between 65 and 67 centimeters. The weight is 260-280 grams.

5. The changes in the rules of volleyball

The sets and jokes

Volleyball is a sport with a very long and interesting history. It was invented in fact at the end of the nineteenth century and crystallized its rules between the 30s and 40s of the following century. Nonetheless, even in recent times, its regulation has seen important changes.

The reason is to be found in the growth of the movement and in the growing media coverage of events.

Volleyball matches, in fact, have proved difficult to predict for a long time. They could not last long enough, with teams that quickly prevailed over their opponents, but also a great deal, with almost endless games.

This made their television broadcasting difficult, and we know how much TV and its money affects sports. For this reason, in the 1990s, changes were studied which were to shorten the duration of the races and make them more uniform.

The so-called Rally Point System has therefore been in force since 2000. Previously, sets ended when a team reached 15 points (with at least 2 of an advantage). And the points were awarded not in every action, but only when the batting team scored. Otherwise, a ball change was simply carried out, without awarding points.

Shorter matches

Since then, however, each act ends with a point, which can be given both to the team that beat, and to the one that received. In addition, the sets end at 25 and no longer at 15, with the exception of any tie-break (shorter).

Finally, in those years the figure of the free was introduced, as mentioned, useful to guarantee a better defensive approach. This – combined with the new score – meant that the tactics also evolved, especially in batting.

Without the change of ball, he could impose a more cautious style of service, made not to risk too much since a mistake in the batting now involves a point for the opponents.

In reality, the introduction of the libero instead forces the batsmen to force the hand again. In fact, a free person cannot be left with the opportunity to calmly build an offensive action.

5 other clarifications, in addition to the 5 rules already reported

There would be much more to say, to want to be complete and precise because volleyball is a complex and intriguing sport. Below we try to give you a quick overview of other aspects that deserve to be explored.

The joke

We have referred several times, in the previous lines, to the measure and how it affects the players’ scores and rotations. But how should we fight, according to the regulation? And what is the best technique to put in place to perform it at its best?

Without the change of ball, he could impose a more cautious style of service, made not to risk too much since a mistake in the batting now involves a point for the opponents.

In reality, the introduction of the libero instead forces the batsmen to force the hand again. In fact, a free person cannot be left with the opportunity to calmly build an offensive action.

5 other clarifications, in addition to the 5 rules already reported

There would be much more to say, to want to be complete and precise because volleyball is a complex and intriguing sport. Below we try to give you a quick overview of other aspects that deserve to be explored.

The joke

We have referred several times, in the previous lines, to the measure and how it affects the players’ scores and rotations. But how should we fight, according to the regulation? And what is the best technique to put in place to perform it at its best?

The dribble

Another fundamental of volleyball is dribbling, and it is worth spending a few words on him too. Obviously, it is a fundamental technical gesture especially for the dribbler, who is able to build his entire career on this ability, but all players must be able to perform it well as needed.

From the technical point of view, the best dribble is the one in which all the fingers are used, keeping the elbows pointed outwards (but initially not too open) and the hands under the ball. The push is mostly given by the arms, but the legs can help in the case of a long dribble.

Using your fingers properly you can modulate the trajectory of the ball, which is useful when you need to lift the ball precisely for a hitter but also when you want to direct the ball to the other side of the field, catching the opposing team by surprise or after an action complicated.

The risk, when dribbling, is to run into some infractions. The most common is that of the accompanying ball (in which in a certain sense there is a tendency to hold the ball between the fingers, not releasing it immediately) and double-touch (when the hands are too far apart and therefore touch the ball not simultaneously ).

The yellow card penalizes repeated misconduct. However, it has no immediate consequences. More serious is when using the red card: this implies a penalty for the team, that is, the attribution of the service and a point to the opposing team.

It is important to note that, unlike in other sports, this incorrect conduct does not concern aspects that are inherently violent. In fact, volleyball is not a contact sport, in which violence against an opponent can usually be used. Rather, rude conduct is sanctioned towards referees, opponents or the public.

In this way, there is also the possibility of also incurring an expulsion and disqualification. The expulsion is sent when the referee shows the yellow and red cards at the same time, holding them in the same hand. It involves the removal of the player who receives it from the field until the end of the current set.

Finally, as mentioned, there is also the disqualification, which is always reported with both cards, but held on two different hands. It is imposed in case of aggressive conduct and involves the removal of the player not only until the end of the set, but the entire game.

The summary of the basic rules

We have given a fairly complete overview of the rules of volleyball. However, a rather long overview, which went into the details of the issues, considering that the game is now complex. What if you wanted a faster and more agile summary instead? Let’s try to make a summary.

Volleyball is a team sport that is played by opposing two teams of six members each. Each team occupies one half of the field, and to separate them there are a net 243 centimeters high in men’s volleyball and 224 in women’s volleyball.

To win the games you have to win three sets. To win a set you need to get to 25 points, with at least two points ahead of your opponents. In the event that the game reaches the fifth set, the decisive set (called tie-break ) ends at 15 points.

To score a point you must drop the ball into the opponent’s half. To try to do this, each team can touch the ball three times before sending it to the other half of the field (any eventual touch to the wall must be kept out of this count).

The history of volleyball and its rules

Before saying goodbye, let’s also give a quick overview of how volleyball has come to formalize these rules during its not very long history. This sport has a date of birth in fact positioned not too far back in time, in 1895.

Although there were sports that could be considered as precursors of volleyball, volleyball was officially born on February 9, 1895, in Springfield, Massachusetts. There, a trainer from nearby Holyoke college, William Morgan, staged the first demonstration game of a game he created.

The rules of that sport – which Morgan had provisionally called Mintonette – were still quite different from those of current volleyball. Suffice it to say, for example, that the teams consisted of five players. But the foundations of the game had basically been laid.

In short, volleyball – renamed volleyball just two years later – spread to various US colleges of the YMCA association and then began to cross the country’s borders. Already before the end of the century it began to spread in South America (especially Brazil and Argentina) and in the Philippines.

The worldwide spread

From the Far East came the first news in terms of regulation and game tactics. For example, it seems that the Filipinos were the first to invent and then use the dunk, so spectacular and decisive to win the games.

In Europe, the arrival of this sport was instead slower. In fact, it took the First World War for the Europeans to discover volleyball, thanks to the matches that the American soldiers organized among themselves. Even in Italy volleyball arrived in this way.

Soon the sport spread all over the world and contributions from its definition arrived from all over the world. In Eastern Europe, the fundamental of the wall was refined, then replicated by all the other nations. With regard to the east and west, the rule of three touches was defined, not without discussion.

Finally, after the end of the Second World War, the various leagues and federations finally began to define common written rules. Thus in 1947 the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, or FIVB, was born in Paris, now based in Lausanne, has 220 affiliates and organizes all the main international championships.

About the author

Daniel Johnson

I started this blog to provide advanced tips and information to raise your sports knowledge.

Leave a Comment