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Advanced Rules of Volleyball

Rules of volleyball can be hard to learn if you aren't experienced with volleyball. Understanding the following situations will make coaching and playing volleyball more fun.

Learn Rules and Enjoy the Game

Understanding the official volleyball rules will make coaching volleyball a more enjoyable experience. 

   Using Good Judgement During Play at the Net

It's often frustrating watching volleyball because you don't understand the rules of the game. The following are common misunderstood situations. 

Back Row Setter Attacking

In the rules of volleyball, an attack is defined as any ball that is sent over the net or legally touched by a blocker. 

There are situations where a back row player can't attack. For example, let's say a back row player is attacking from inside the attack line. In this situation, at the moment of contact, part of the ball must be below the top of the net. If the entire ball is above the height of the net, then this is an illegal back row attack. 

If the back row players feet are behind the attack line, then it doesn't matter where the ball is at the moment of contact. Anyone can attack from beyond the attack line except for the libero. 

Now, let's think about the situation where the setter is making a play on a ball inside the attack line. 

If the setter contacts the ball with the ball entirely above the top of the net and sends the ball over the net, then this is an illegal back row attack. 

Even if the setter is attempting to set a teammate, if the teammate doesn't touch the ball in this situation, it's an illegal back row attack. 

Rules of Volleyball

Back Row Setter Blocking

Probably the biggest frustration a coach ever has is when an official calls a setter for a back row block. 

Hitter/Blocker Volleyball Joust

In the rules of volleyball, the block is defined as, "a player is near the net, reaching higher than the net, deflects a ball coming from the opponent." 

There isn't any rule that states that if the setter isn't trying to block, then it's not a block. When blocking, it doesn't matter what the player is trying to do, all that matters is what actually happens. For example, lets say the setter is back row and goes up to save the ball in an attempt to set it to a teammate. If the ball enters the vertical plane of the net and the ball is hit by the opponent into the setter while the setter is reaching higher than the top of the net, then this is an illegal back row block. 


The Setter Doesn't Have a Right to Play the Ball

Once the ball enters the vertical plane of the net, it's anyone's ball. 

Do you the rules for the back row setter situations?

So, even if the setter is attempting to make a play on the ball, when the ball enters the vertical plane, any front row player can legally touch it. 

However, let's say the ball hasn't entered the vertical plane and the setter is there to make a play. If a player reaches over the net in this situation and touches the ball before the setter does, then the player is illegally reaching over the net. 


Overlapping

It's amazing to me to see that after years and years of playing volleyball, many players still don't understand the rules for overlapping. 

Don't make the mistake of being out of alignment. Being called out of rotation at a critical time can be very costly. 

Learn your volleyball lineup and understand where on the court players need to be. 

The most common overlap is when the setter is middle back in serve receive. The setter commonly will overlap with the right back and other times the left back players. 

This overlap is common because the players are focused on where to stand to pass in serve receive rather than focusing on not overlapping with the setter. 


Players Not Being Called in the Net

Rules of volleyball for net violations differ from organization to organization. 

For example, in USAV, any part of the net can be touch except for the top of the net. It's the top tape that's illegal to touch. 

This is different than NFHS and NCAA rules for the net. 

In NCAA, if a player is attempting to make a play on the ball and touches the net, this is a violation. 

In NFHS, all net contacts are illegal. 

Not understanding the different rules for touching the net can making playing and coaching the game extremely frustrating. So be sure to always learn the rule differences between organizations. This will save you from many headaches in the future. 

It can be difficult explaining the most complicated rules of volleyball and common situations. Just keep trying hard and you'll soon become a good, confident official.


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