The detailed rules of the game are many and can be
found by following the link to the FIVB site below. However the abridged
rules here are enough to get you started:
Abridged Rules for Volleyball by Charlie Orton, EVA
Volleyball is a game played between two teams of at most 6 players.
Each team has a court 9m square separated by a net at 2.43m for men, 2.24m
The object of the game is to play the ball over the net and make it land
in the opponents court. The ball cannot pass round the posts.
A rally is won if the ball lands in the opponents court, or is lost if the
team fails to play the ball over the net, hit it out of court or a foul is
The ball is played by hitting it with any part of the body. The contact
with the ball must be a single hit, it must not be held or thrown.
Each team is allowed three hits before the ball must go over the net. No
player can play the ball to themselves.
A defensive block of an attack, by placing the hands above the net, does
not count as a first hit.
No player can touch the net while playing the ball or during an attack.
Players must not cross into the opposing court.
Only the three players on front court, may make an attack hit or defensive
block from above net height in the front 3m of the court.
The ball is put into play by a service. This is performed by hitting the
ball with hand or arm from behind the base line. During service the ball
may touch the net. Only one service attempt is allowed.
The team who wins the rally scores a point.
If the non serving team win, they rotate positions clockwise on the court
and the player moving to back court takes the next service.
The first team to score 25 points or more with a two point lead wins the
The first team to win 2 or 3 sets (according to the competition rules)
wins the match.
Unsporting behaviour or arguing with the referee is a foul.
Full Rules available from the FIVB web site.
According to the FIVB:
The 27th FIVB World Congress adopted the changes to the Official Rules of
No further modification to the rules will be made before 2004.
The changes are to be applied immediately in all official World and
International Competitions as well as in all National competitions
beginning on or before 1st January 2001 and become compulsory as from 1st
What are the dimensions of the court and net
The playing area: