TEAMPLAY: Volleyball Rules


Teamplay Sports' Volleyball is the ideal social sport in the Cambridge, Kitchener or Waterloo areas. Played on the sand and in the sun in our Summer seasons and indoors in the Fall and Winter seasons.

SPIRIT OF THE GAME - Paramount in all Teamplay Sports leagues.

It is the responsibility of every player to play fair and make their own calls - there are no referees. ONLY players on the field involved in the play can make calls -- NOT players on the sideline. Implicit in all Teamplay Sports' leagues is the assumption that no one will cheat to gain an unfair advantage no matter how competitive the game becomes. Players/teams can and will be ejected from the game/league, without refund, for not adhering to Teamplay Sports' "Fair Play Rule" (see League-wide Rules & Policies).



  • Co-ed leagues: The minimum of 2 females and 2 males must be maintained at all times on the court.
  • One round of rock-paper-scissors, OR, one rally to determine first serve. The other team serves first in the second game.
  • Serves that hit or graze the top of the net and go over the net are in play.
  • No blocking or spiking a) the serve or b) from behind the attack line.
  • No spiking permitted in REC level play; Spiking permitted in Inter/Adv. 
  • Players may contact the ball with any body part, but no "lifts" or kicking motion allowed.
  • A block does not count as a hit: if a player tries to block the ball but the ball stays on that player's side of the net, the team still has 3 hits to get the ball over the net, and the player that blocked the ball may make the first hit. (A spike still counts as a hit).
  • A ball hitting a boundary line is in
  • A ball is out if it hits an antennae, the floor completely outside the court, any of the net or cables outside the antennae, the referee stand or pole, the ceiling
  • After 5 consecutive Serves (5 serve mercy rule): 
    • For Recreational Leagues - players rotate and the ball is given to the opposing team.
    • For Intermediate & Advanced Leagues - players rotate and continue to serve.
  • Rally-scoring: a point is awarded after every play, regardless of which team served.
  • First team to 25 points wins; however, you must win by at least 2 points, up to a maximum of 27 points.
  • Teams switch sides after each game.


All games are self-refereed. Teams are responsible for calling their own fouls, and the closest player with a clear view of the play makes the judgment on scoring and in/out decisions. If there is a dispute or the teams are unsure of a ruling, please replay the point. We encourage competitive play, but never at the expense of good sportsmanship and enjoyment of the game. Always be respectful and ensure that your teammates and opponents have a great time. reserves the right to eject from the league, without refund, any player or team that is deemed to be verbally or physically abusive, or in any way threatens the safety, well-being, or general enjoyment of the game of other players or spectators.


  7. Intermediate Level Exceptions


Each team has one 60 second timeout per game. Player substitutions (subs) are only allowed after a point is scored. Subs are permitted if there is an injury. The opposing team is also allowed to substitute the same number of player(s) that are substituted due to injury. If you complete your games before your time is up, you are welcome to continue playing for fun until time expires.

Total court time by City / Indoor / Beach

Note, the below times may vary depending on the number of teams and the facility and may change without notice. 

  • KW & Cambridge INDOOR: 1.0 hour match time (with 15 minutes of warm-up time added in addition to the match time)

  • Cambridge Beach & KW BEACH: 1.5 hour match time (no additional warm-up time added)


  • (FOR CO-ED) Teams must play with the minimum of 2 females and 2 males on the court at all times.. If a team only has 4 players they are still permitted to play; however, the opposing team does not have to match the amount of players and can play with a full team of 6. Teams that do not meet the gender ration of 2 males: 2 females must forfeit the game, but can play for fun.
  • (FOR WOMEN'S) Teams must play with a minimum of 4 female players. Male players are not permitted on the team roster, they may not substitute or be on the court at any time. Teams that do not have 4 female players will be required to take a forfeit. The opposing team does not have to match players. The opposing team is permitted to play with a full team roster of 6 regardless if the opposing team only has 4.
  • If a team does not have the minimum number of players, including the minimum number of females and males at game time, the team forfeits. However, if both captains agree, the team may play shorthanded but may not field more than 4 males or 4 females in 6's league play.
  • Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum number of players but this must be specifically agreed upon before the game begins by both team captains -- the score in this case will count if it has been agreed upon.
  • If a forfeit occurs, teams are welcome to split up the teams and play for fun, but the score will not count.
  • Any team that forfeits more than once in a season may be asked to leave the league. A team that knowingly is going to forfeit must message the opposing captain  (via our site login > schedule > current week opponent team captain) well in advance to provide them notice as a courtesy.


  1. Captains, or a representative from each team, play one round of rock-paper-scissors. The winning team serves first and the losing serves first in the next game,


  1. Start first game by volleying for the serve. The team that loses the volley, starts serve for the next game.


  • Authorization of Service - After having checked that teams are ready to play the server will call out service prior to serving the ball.
  • Players serve from anywhere behind the baseline.
  • If the ball hits the net on a serve and drops over (called a net serve), the ball is in play.
  • A player may only serve five times in a row (5-serve mercy rule).
    • For Recreational Leagues after 5 consecutive serves players rotate and the ball is given to the opposing team.
    • For Intermediate & Advanced Leagues - after 5  consecutive serves players rotate and continue to serve.
  • If one team serves five times in a row and wins all five points, the other team gets the serve. Once the original team regains the serve, they must rotate as they normally would after gaining the serve.


  • A ball hitting a boundary line is in
  • A ball is out if it hits
    • an antennae,
    • the floor completely outside the court,
    • any off the net or cables outside the antennae,
    • the referee stand or pole,
    • the ceiling
  • If two or more players contact the ball at the same time, it is considered one play and either player involved may make the next contact (provided the next contact isn't the teams 4th hit)
  • A player cannot block or attack a serve from on or inside the 10 foot line
  • After the serve, front line players may switch positions at the net
  • Switch sides at the end of every match. The losing team serves.
  • It is legal to contact the ball with any part of a player's body


  • Teams will play 1 match per night. Each match consists of 3 sets.
  • A rally point system will be used. All sets are to 25. EACH SET COUNTS TOWARDS STANDINGS (e.g. If a team loses 2 sets but wins 1, then they would get 1 point towards their standings)
  • First team to 25 points wins; however, you must win by at least 2 points, up to a maximum of 27 points.
  • The Rally Point System - A point is given to the team that does not commit a fault during each rally (with every serve, one team or the other is awarded a point).

7. Attack hits:

  • Advanced and Intermediate divisions (Upper Tiers): Male & female players may carry out spike-type attack hits from both the front and back zones (lines).
  • Intermediate Division (lowest tier): Males are permitted to carry out a spike-type attack hit from the back zone (line) ONLY. Females are permitted to carry out attack hits from both the front and back zones. PLEASE NOTE: Front row/line players are permitted to run to the back zone to spike. Exception: The only exception to the back line spiking rule for males in the intermediate division (lowest tier) is if two teams agree to permit front line spiking for both males and females. Both teams must clearly agree at the start of a match.  Once agreed, teams cannot change the rule half way through a match. The rule stands. If both teams do not agree prior to the start of the match, then league rules apply for intermediate (lowest division) and it is back line spiking only.
  • Recreational Division: There is no spiking permitted in the recreational division. Any downward motion of the wrist when hitting the ball is considered a spike. Players are permitted to serve over-hand as long as there is an arch on the path of the ball. The ball should not have a direct downward motion on a serve. Players are permitted to tip the ball. There should be no movement of the wrist on a tip ball.  If the wrist snaps downward, then it is not a tip.  That would be considered a spike (illegal hit).


Performing any of the following violations results in the immediate stoppage of play and loss of the point (point is awarded for the opponent):

  • Touching the net with any part of the body while the ball is in play. Exception: If the ball is driven into the net with such force that it causes the net to contact an opposing player, no foul will be called, and the ball shall continue to be in play.
  • Contacting the ball illegally (lifting, carrying, throwing, with any body part etc. ) You may not lift or scoop the ball.
  • You may not reach over the net
  • Your team may not hit the ball more than 3 times in a row (not counting blocks)
  • Failure to serve the ball over the net successfully
  • When blocking a ball coming from the opponent's court, contacting the ball when reaching over the net is a violation if both:
    1. your opponent hasn't used 3 contacts AND
    2. they have a player there to make a play on the ball
  • When attacking a ball coming from the opponents court, contacting the ball when reaching over the net is a violation if the ball hasn't yet broken the vertical plane of the net.
  • Crossing the court center-line with any part of your body. Exception: if it's the hand or foot, the entire hand or entire foot must cross for it to be a violation.
  • Serving out of order.
  • Back row player blocking (deflecting a ball coming from their opponent), when at the moment of contact the back row player is near the net and has part of his/her body above the top of the net (an illegal block).


Players must start in standard court volleyball positions (3 players at the net, 3 at the back), rotating clockwise after gaining the serve. If a team has more than six players, the last player to serve must rotate out and the players sitting out the longest rotates in. The only exception is when the minimum of 2 males and 2 females would not be maintained by rotating out normally.

Player rotation is to be set and flow without change for each entire set, order of players is to remain constant.  Players arriving after any set has commenced must be announced by their captain to the opposing team before joining the set in progress.


A tie can occur in the regular season and will count as a tie in the standings. A tie cannot occur in the playoff game - play must continue until the final point is made. All teams make the playoffs, which occur the final week of the season.


In a season you must have played in at least 1 game with a team to be eligible to play a playoff game. Players must be on the team roster via the league platform online and have accepted the online Teamplay Sports' waiver via their online account. In the spirit of sportsmanship, captains are expected to replace players with a person of a similar skill level. Bringing in ringers for regular season and particularly playoff games is discouraged.


Volleyball has traditionally relied upon a spirit of sportsmanship, which places the responsibility for fair play on the players. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the fun-first, winning second motto. Such actions as taunting of opposing players, dangerous aggression, intentional fouling, or other win at all costs behavior are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players. If a foul is committed and not called by the opposing player, the player committing the foul should call it on themselves. If there is a dispute or confusion about the rules or a particular play on the field, it is good practice to stop play and resolve the matter. If a novice player commits a foul out of sincere ignorance of the rules, it should be common practice to stop play and explain the foul in a friendly manner.

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