Standard 6s Rules


Team Composition
Scoring & Standings
Game Play
Weekly Team Responsibilities

Team Composition

1) Rosters – Any number of players may be added to a team’s roster before the start of the end-of-season tournament by having the player(s) sign and date the team’s liability release form, which is part of our online registration. If there are players in the end-of-season tournament that are not on the team’s roster, the team forfeits. Additionally, players must have played at least once during the regular season to be eligible to participate in the end-of-season tournament. Forfeits or addition of players after the deadline are left to the discretion of the commissioners.

a. All players must register online before playing in the league.
b. All team members and team captains are responsible to ensure compliance.

i. Failure to have a player registered online and with your team will result in 1 loss for each set played for your team regardless of the actual play results.
ii. A second offense will result in a 3 losses penalty.
iii. Penalties for any subsequent offenses will be decided by the commissioners.
iv. Referees should remind captains to have all players sign the liability release form prior to match play.

c. A player is not eligible to play in more than one division or on more than one team per season.
d. Minors must be at least 14 years old and have parent or guardian complete release form before playing.

2) Co-ed – In order to field six total players, a team must play with a minimum of two women and a minimum of two men on the court at all times.

a. In the event that a team has less than 6 players, teams may play with 4 or 5 players, as long as there is at least one woman and one man.
b. Teams will forfeit all games when they do not have any women or men or if they have fewer than four players.

3) Front row attackers – In the event that a team has fewer than 6 players, they may designate up to three player positions that are considered front row and may attack and defend accordingly. In Division 1 only, in the event that a team has fewer than 5 players, they may designate up to two player positions that are considered front row.

Scoring & Standings

4) Regular Season Scoring – A match will consist of three games to 25 points, win by 2, with a cap of 27.

a. Rally scoring will be used.
b. Each game counts toward the league standings.
c. The match should be called during the third game if the total match time has reached 1 hour. At that point, the team with the most points wins (even if there is only a one-point difference). Working teams should note the time the match started and be able to wrap up the match after 1 hour has passed. The start of this timer should begin when teams begin warming up.
d. Coin toss or equivalent to start match – winner may decide either who serves first or court side, and the loser makes the other choice.

5) Deciding Games – During the regular season, there will be no ‘deciding’ game.

a. All three games count toward the league standings.
b. There will not be a coin toss or equivalent for game 3.

i. Teams will NOT switch sides halfway through game 3.

6) Standings

a. Standings are calculated as a percentage based on the total games won throughout the season over the total games played.
b. Penalties assessed to a team are assigned as a loss and count as a game played.
c. If, at the end of regular-season play, two teams are tied for a place in the standings (same win/loss record), the places will be determined in the following way:

i. Games won in head-to-head competition
ii. If head-to-head games are even, then teams will be seeded based on a coin flip.
iii. If multiple teams are tied, any team with a winning record against all other teams will get the higher seed. When that condition is satisfied, another check will remain until there are two teams remaining.


7) Playoffs

a. Format: Double-elimination
b. Scoring: Best 2 out of 3 games to 25. Win by 2.  There is no cap on any games that go into overtime.
c. There is no time limit for any playoffs match.
d. Deciding game has another coin toss or equivalent.

Game Play

8) Warm-Ups

a. Must be done in the assigned gym and not in hallways / adjacent areas.

i. No one should play with balls outside of the gym.

b. The ref should allow approx. 5 minutes of warm-up before starting the match.
c. The earliest match of the night MUST start on time. The only exception will be issues related to access to the gym or equipment.

i. If there are issues, play for 1 hour from start time.

d. Captains and refs are responsible to keep matches on time.

9) Adjacent Courts are available for warmups if it does not have a match scheduled. Absent of that, players may not enter adjacent courts. More about that is in the Game Play section.

a. Exceptions: if there is a forfeit and no one is warming up for the next match OR if the last scheduled match ends early, the referee(s) and captains may mutually agree to allow play on the center court.
b. Unless it is discussed and agreed upon by both captains, always assume that adjacent courts are out of bounds.

10) Substitutions – There are three methods. Each team may sub using one method per game.

a. Regular USAV substitutions: Players and teams have an unlimited number of entries per game, and any player may sub for another player.

i. An example: Player 1 plays all three front row positions. Player 2 substitutes in for Player 1 and plays all three back row positions. Player 1 substitutes back in and plays in the front row.

b. Queue method of replacement: A team may choose a position and replace any number of players when they get to that position. Each player will play all 6 positions and then rotate out waiting in the queue to rotate back in. As long as the required number of players of either sex is on the court, replacements do not need to be male for male and female for female. Alternately you may have a female only queue and a male only. A team must decide to have one mixed queue or two separate queues (male queue and female queue).

c. Libero – Substitutions involving a libero are not counted as regular substitutions and their number is unlimited. A libero cannot take part in normal substitutions and may only enter or leave the game while the ball is out of play and before the whistle for service. It is necessary to have a rally between replacement of two different players involving a libero. As a reminder per USAV rules, liberos may not attack the ball above the plane of the net.

11) Injuries – Anyone may sub for an injured player as long as the required number of players remain on the court.

a. The injured player may return to the game whenever they are able.

12) Late Players – If a team is playing with less than 6 players, late players may enter the game at any time and in any position – assuming the required number of women are on the court.

13) Forfeits – If a team cannot be fielded by 15 minutes into the scheduled playing time, the team forfeits all three games.

a. If a team is less than 15 minutes late but the match does not start on time the late team will forfeit 1st game. The 2nd game will be played. If a 3rd game cannot be completed in 1 hour, the team with the most points will win the game.

14) Refereeing – Teams will be required to referee according to the schedule set at the start of the season.

a. Teams who do not supply a required ref will have one loss added to their record, per game missed. (if reasonable accommodations can be made to share working responsibilities such that no team takes extra losses, they will be made)
b. Additional responsibilities will be assigned for the end-of-season tournament.
c. Referees are expected to stop play (whistle) when a violation of the league rules has occurred.
d. Referees are required to have a whistle to run a match.
e. It is suggested to have two refs during a game (one with the whistle and one for the scoreboard).
f. During playoffs, you must have two refs.

15) Serving – The ball must leave the server’s hand before it is struck for a legal service.

a. A serve only counts as a serve if the player attempts to make contact with the ball in a manner that reflects a serve. A player may catch the ball or allow it to drop in or out of the court and that is no longer counted as a serving fault.
b. Net serves are not a fault, and the ball is in play.

16) Hit (Attack) Characteristics – All body parts used to return the ball is legal.

a. This includes any foot play or “kicking” the ball over the net.
b. An attack may not be performed with two hands.

17) Lifts (Carries) – A lift is called only when the ball is caught and/or thrown, it does not rebound from the hit, or otherwise comes to rest.

a. A lift or carry does not occur every time a player contacts the ball with an open palm in an upward motion. A lift is called only if the ball comes to rest in the players palm.
b. On an attack or block, a player may maintain contact with the ball so long as the contact is above the ball.

18) Multiple Contacts – A “double-contact” is called on a player that hits the ball twice in succession or the ball contacts various parts of his/her body in succession on the second or third contacts of a play.

a. A double-contact can not be called if one player contacts the ball multiple times on the first contact on his/her side, regardless of how the ball is played over the net (serve, spike, pass).

19) Net Violation – Any touching of the net that is not incidental is a violation.

a. The definition of incidental contact is only hair and clothing.
b. Any body contact with the net at any time is a violation.

20) Center Line Violation – This rule has changed recently. Any hand or foot or any other body part that penetrates across the center line AND interferes with a player on the other side of the court is a violation. Below is the official wording from USAV:

Official Rules: 11.2.1 It is permitted to penetrate into the opponents’ space under the net, provided that this does not interfere with the opponents’ play. 11.2.2 Penetration into the opponent’s court, beyond the center line: To touch the opponent’s court with a foot (feet) or hand(s) is permitted, provided that some part of the penetrating foot (feet) or hand(s) remains either in contact with or directly above the center line. To contact the opponent’s court with any other part of the body is forbidden. 11.2.3 A player may enter the opponent’s court after the ball goes out of play. 11.2.4 Players may penetrate into the opponent’s free zone, provided that they do not interfere with the opponents’ play.

21) Net Play

a. Attacking the ball over the other team’s side is a fault (ball is NOT in the plane of the net, but COMPLETELY on the other team’s side).
b. Blocking (not attacking) is legal if the other team has already used their 3 hits or if there is no one able to make a play on the ball.

22) Court Boundaries

a. Players (except server) must all be in the court when service occurs.
b. Do not move into another court to continue play when the other courts are in use.

i. This will result in the end of play and the point awarded to the opposing team. Additionally, any captain or ref from either court involved can have that player removed from the rest of the set. The removed player will be treated like an injured player and teams can adjust accordingly. That player can return at the conclusion of the set.

To expand on this, the league has taken a firm stance on this rule in order to ensure that injuries do not occur from collisions between players from adjacent courts. To reduce ambiguity, we encourage players to interpret this rule as follows: “If the result of my attempt to play a ball could cause me to enter an adjacent court, I should not attempt to play that ball.”

23) Overhead Objects – All overhead objects are in play.

a. Play continues as long as it doesn’t cross the net and if the contact was over a playable area.
b. All wall objects are out no matter what height.

24) Stray Balls – A play-over is NOT called every time a ball enters the court.

a. Play-over is only called if the ball affects play on the same side of the net as the ball is on, or if you feel the ball is a hazard to the players near it.
b. Examples:

i. A ball that is rolling under the hitter’s feet should be whistled long before it gets to that dangerous spot.
ii. A ball that rolls in front of a player trying to play a ball causing them not to be able to make the play should be called a play-over.
iii. A player on the other side of the net watching a ball that has entered their opponent’s court should NOT call “ball on” to distract others unless the ball is a hazard. If they do call “ball on” it is NOT automatically a play-over.

c. Captains are responsible to bring issues of stray balls to the attention of the referee. They may also make the final decision about a replay if they agree.

25) Antennas – Unless antennae exist on the net, this will be a judgment call.

a. Given the quality of the nets and the lack of tightness that we are able to get from the equipment it is very difficult to make an accurate call on whether or not the play was inside or outside the line of the antenna.
b. If both teams disagree with the call and the referee(s) cannot say for sure, this should result in a ‘replay’ of the point.

26) Replays – In officiating volleyball, replays are a valuable tool. There is a lot to watch, so it is okay if a call is missed. In this case, replay the point.

a. When NOT to call #1: If the ref doesn’t see a fault happen and allows play to continue and then when the rally is over they learn and agree that the fault happened it is NOT a play-over. The team at fault losses the rally and the other team gets a point and serves.

b. When to call #1: When the proper call cannot be determined. The ball hits the floor and the referee cannot tell if it is in or out. Some people think it’s in and some think it’s out. This is a replay. If both captains agree on what to call, they may override the ref.
c. When to call #2: The ref blows the whistle before they should have, they must make a decision that will not penalize either team. Example: The up ref thinks a player enters the adjacent court, so they blow the whistle to stop play, but the down ref says they got a clear view of the play and the player did not enter the court. The ball was still in play when the ref blew the whistle. Since no one can foresee the real outcome of the play, a play-over is directed.

27) Conflict Resolution

a. The referee’s decision is final unless both captains agree to veto.
b. Captains (or the assigned designee) should be the only player communicating with the referee.
c. Do not yell at the referee. See Unsportsmanlike Conduct section.
d. If there is doubt regarding a call, the referee can decide to replay a point.

28) Unsportsmanlike Conduct – If a player exhibits any unsportsmanlike behavior (in the judgment of the referee), they, along with the captain, should be given a warning.

a. The first warning is a finger shake.
b. If the player is warned once and repeats the behavior, it is up to the discretion of the referee to award either a point or a side out and a point.
c. If unsportsmanlike behavior continues, the player can be ejected from the match at the direction of the working team.
d. Keep play light. These are not certified referees and this league is intended to be both fun and competitive.

Weekly Team Responsibilities

29) Equipment

a. All teams scheduled to the play the first match of the evening need to assist with net setup.
b. Teams that are scheduled to play the last match should assist with taking down and storing the nets. This will include the following responsibilities:

i. Place all scoreboards in our cart.
ii. Place balls and anything else owned by the league in our cart.
iii. Hang the nets on the shelf provided by C3.
iv. Place poles in corner of the closet.
v. Place our cart back in the closet.

30) Score Reporting

The captain or a team member must enter a score submission via our website at the end of a match. If a team records a result and the other team does not, we will take that as truth. If neither team records a result, the match will not be counted to season standings.