A Quick Guide to Newest Volleyball Rules

August 29, 2011
by Justin

While rules for high school volleyball are determined by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), high school volleyball rules follow suit when there are changes in college volleyball regulations. Both the NFHS and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have set out new rules this year. As a volleyball player, you ought to know what they are.

In their meeting in January, NFHS created Rule 3-1-1. White net sleeves with a width of no more than 3-3/8 inches are now allowed to cover the top net tape. The sleeves may have the school name, insignia and/or mascot as long as the height of the net is not affected. This rule is a move to adapt standard and metric measurements at college-level facilities. It also fosters school spirit.

Articles 9 and 10, which define which areas are playable and non-playable, have been added to Rule 2-1. Playable areas include the court and the visible unobstructed space beyond the boundary lines of the court, which is visible to volleyball officials and all team players. Non-playable areas include the space beyond and around the playable area– everything behind the benches of the team and areas the first referee deems as unsuitable for playing in).

For teams with fewer than six players, Rule 1-3-3 sets a protocol for scoring them. When a vacant position goes to serve in the right back position, the team with fewer than six players loses a rally or point.

The use of the illegal alignment signal is now expanded. When a coach doesn’t submit an accurate line-up before a set begins and a penalty happens at the beginning of the game, the referee does a slow circular hand movement while pointing a straight arm toward the violating team’s court. This is so the audience of volleyball matches know when it happens.

College regulations that have been pushed by NCAA Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee are the following:

Starting in 2013, every team’s libero must don a jersey that clearly distinguishes them from the rest of their teammates. Officials find it hard to locate the libero during games because of the different colors worn by players. A libero must always be in the back row for defense, so officials should make sure they stay there. The said rule is slated for 2013 because college volleyball players don’t buy uniforms yearly. An adjustment period of two years is just enough for preparing for a new set of uniforms.

Another rule that the committee set is a change in the sequencing of referees’ signals for when points are scored. In international volleyball matches, referees first signal which team is next to serve before signalling the nature of the call. The committee now implements this same sequence so communication for those who keep score and assure game statistics are recorded seamlessly.

The committee is also considering making new rules regarding college volleyball facilities. They might place a barrier between the playable area and the area for those watching the games in the future for the protection of the fans from the ball and the players from significant fan disturbances during the game.

Remember, understanding the rules and being aware of current rule changes gives you an extra step on your peers and ultimately getting recruited.

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