Rules

Beach Volleyball Rules

NPBVA uses double elimination/ Olympic cross-over brackets. On some occasions TD’s will use pool play/ single elimination brackets, with the following procedures used to determine the top teams in each pool:

Advancing teams within a pool:
• Win-loss record
• Head to head
• Points “for” only among the teams that are tied
• After initial tie is broken, go back to head to head if remaining teams are still tied
• Then, if needed, point differential among all teams in the pool

Seeding out of pools:
• Win-loss record
• Seed teams higher that had fewer points scored against them
• Seed 1st place teams first
• Seed 2nd place teams next (adjust as needed, always cross pool first round)
• Original seeding into pools breaks ties for low scores

1. PLAYING AREA

1.1 DIMENSIONS
The playing area consists of a rectangular playing court measuring 16m x 8m and a surrounding free zone which is a minimum 3m wide.

1.2 PLAYING SURFACE
The surface of the playing area must be as flat and uniform as possible, free of rocks
, sprinkler heads and any other objects which may cause injury. Sand courts consist of fine grained sand and should be at least 12″ deep.

1.3 LINES ON THE COURT
Boundary lines consist of two sidelines and two end lines which mark the playing court. They are made of 1/4-3/8” rope or 2-3 1/8” wide flat bands or tape. The center line divides the playing court into two square team courts, but is not marked. All lines are considered to extend indefinitely. It is the players’ responsibility to assure that all lines are in their proper location prior to the start of each play. Lines moved during play do not cause the rally to stop. If it cannot be determined whether a ball lands in bounds or out of bounds, it is a replay.

1.4 SERVICE ZONE
The service zone is behind the end line and between the extension of the sidelines and extends to the end of the free zone.

2. NET AND POSTS

2.1 HEIGHT OF THE NET
The height of the net is 7’115/8″ (2.43m) for men and 7’41/8″ (2.24m) for women, measured at the center. A net failure occurs when there is a sudden loss of net height or tension. If the net failure is the result of a fault or does not affect the outcome of the rally, the rally counts. Otherwise, it is replayed.

3. BALL

3.1 BALL
The ball must be spherical, made of a flexible leather or water-resistant leather-like cover and a rubber or rubber-like bladder. Its circumference must be 251/2-261/2″ and its weight 9-10 oz. It may be of any color or multicolored.

4. TEAMS

4.1 COMPOSITION
Two players on the court per team, with no more than two players on the roster. All competitions must involve teams with the required numbers of players. Teams with less than the required number of players must forfeit.

5. EQUIPMENT

5.1 APPROPRIATE CLOTHING
A player’s clothing must be presentable and appropriate for the competition. Players on the same team are permitted to wear clothing of different colors and designs. Players may wear hats, visors or sunglasses at their own risk. Players may play barefoot, in socks or in “booties.” Shoes may be worn but they cannot have any type of nonflexible cleats or spikes.

5.2 FORBIDDEN OBJECTS
It is forbidden to wear any objects that may cause an injury to a player, such as jewelry, pins, bracelets, casts, etc. Players may wear glasses or flat-band rings at their own risk.

6. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

6.1 PLAYERS
All participants must know the official NPBVA Beach Volleyball Rules and abide by them. Participants must behave respectfully and courteously in the spirit of fair play towards the refereeing corps, teammates, opponents and spectators. They must refrain from actions aimed at delaying the game or taking unfair advantage. Participants must accept referees’ decisions with sportsmanlike conduct. In case of doubt, clarification may be respectfully requested. A player may question the referee’s interpretation of a rule, but not the referee’s judgement.

6.2 PLAYER BEHAVIOR
• Players must not persistently address officials in regard to their decisions.
• Players must not make derogatory remarks about or to an official, opponents or spectators. Players must refrain from the use of profanity.
• Players must not commit acts with the intention of influencing the referee’s decisions.
• Players must refrain from intentionally trying to distract an opponent who is playing or about to play the ball (i.e. shouting, clapping, etc.).
• Players should not take any action tending to influence the referee’s judgement concerning ball handling.
• Players may not commit any act, which, in the opinion of the referee, delays the game unnecessarily.
• Players must refrain from kicking or hitting the ball out the area of play.

• Players must not intentionally damage tournament equipment.

• Physical assault or intimidation of officials, opponents or spectators by players is prohibited. (see “Misconduct”, Article 22)

7. SCORING SYSTEM

7.1 TO WIN A MATCH
Matches
may either consist of a single game, or best 2 out of 3 games. A team wins a match by winning one or two games, respectively.

7.2 TO WIN A GAME
One game match to 25 points win by 2, no cap, side change on 7.
• Match 2 out of 3 to 21 points win by 2, no cap, side change on 7.
• Game 3 to 15 points win by 2, no cap, switch on 5.
• The tournament director may change game points or caps.

7.3 TO WIN A RALLY
Whenever a team fails to serve or return the ball, or commits any other fault, the opposing team wins the rally and the point.

7.4 7.4 DEFAULT AND INCOMPLETE TEAM
A team declared incomplete for the game or match loses the game or match. The opposing team is given the points, or points and the games needed to win the game(s) or match.

7.5 FORFEIT
If any team forfeits a match, all games that they have played, or will play, are scored “0”.

8. PREPARATION OF THE MATCH

8.1 COIN TOSS

Before the first game and before each deciding game, the referee conducts a coin toss in the presence of the team captains. The winner of the coin toss chooses either:
• to select to serve or receive service of the first ball or
• the side of the court on which to start the game.

The loser takes the remaining alternative and, for the second game in a 2 out of 3 match, gets to select from the above choices.

8.2 If a third game is required a re-toss of the coin will be done.

8.3 Any other alternate means may be used as long as agreed to by both teams.

9. TEAM LINE-UP

9.1 SUBSTITUTIONS
No substitutions or replacements of players are allowed.

10. STATES OF PLAY

10.1 BALL “IN PLAY”
The ball is in play from the service contact until the ball is out of play.

10.2 BALL “OUT OF PLAY”
The ball is out of play from the moment the ball lands or a fault is committed. The rally ends when a referee halts play or the ball is out of play.

10.3 BALL “IN” (OR “IN BOUNDS”)
A ball is in when its first contact with the ground is on the playing court or a boundary line.

10.4 BALL “OUT” (OR “OUT OF BOUNDS”)
The ball is out when:
• Its first contact with the ground is completely outside the playing court, or it does not touch the boundary line.
• It completely crosses the net outside the posts or under the net after the attacking team’s third contact.
• It touches an object out of play.
• It passes over the imaginary extension of the posts.
• If the boundary line is accidently moved, the referee will decide whether the ball is in or out by judging where the line should have been.

11. PLAYING FAULTS

11.1 DEFINITION
Any playing action contrary to the rules is a fault.
• If two or more faults are committed successively, only the first one is counted, except when the first fault is the ball contacting the ground and the second fault occurs during the continuation of the play. If two or more faults are committed by two opponents simultaneously, the rally is replayed.

12. PLAYING THE BALL

12.1 TEAM CONTACTS
Each team is entitled to a maximum of three contacts to return the ball to the opponents. A player may not contact the ball two times consecutively except during or after blocking or when digging a hard driven ball. Blocking does constitute a team contact and any player may make the first contact of the ball after the block.

12.2 SIMULTANEOUS CONTACTS
• If two opponents simultaneously and instantaneously contact the ball over the net, the ball remains in play and the team receiving the ball is entitled to another three hits. If such a ball lands out of bounds, it is the fault of the team on the opposite side of the net from where the ball lands.
• A joust occurs when players of opposing teams cause the ball to come to rest above the net through simultaneous contact. A joust is not a fault and play continues as if the contact was instantaneous.

12.3 ASSISTED HIT
A player is not permitted to take support from a teammate or any object in order to reach the ball. However, a player who is about to commit a fault may be stopped or held back by a teammate.

12.4 CHARACTERISTICS OF CONTACT
• A player may touch the ball with any part of the body.
• A player may have successive contacts with a hard driven ball.
• The ball must be contacted cleanly and not held (including lifted, pushed, caught, carried or thrown). The ball can not roll or come to rest on any part of a player’s body.
• An exception is allowed during the defensive play of a hard-driven ball, which is an attack-hit or blocked ball traveling at a high rate of speed (as judged by the referee). In that case, the ball may be momentarily lifted or pushed, providing that the attempt is one continuous motion.
• A contact of the ball with two hands, using the fingers to direct the ball, is a set. A player may set the ball in any direction towards his/her team’s court, provided that the ball is contacted simultaneously by both hands and does not visibly come to rest.
• Rotation of the ball after the set may indicate a held ball or multiple contacts during the set, but in itself is not a fault.
• A legal set directed towards a teammate that unintentionally crosses the net is not a fault.
• If the ball is intentionally set into the opponent’s court, the player must contact the ball above his/her shoulders and must direct the ball perpendicular to the direction his/her shoulders are facing.
• When contacting the ball with one hand, it must be cleanly hit with the heel or palm of the hand (a “roll shot”), with straight, locked fingertips (a “cobra”), knurled fingers (a “camel toe”) or the back of the hand from the wrist to the knuckles. One-handed placement or redirection of the ball with the fingers (a “dink” or “open hand tip”) is a fault.

13. BALL AT THE NET

13.1 BALL CROSSING THE NET
A ball directed to the opponent’s court must go over the net and fully within the poles or their extensions.

13.2 BALL TOUCHING THE NET
The ball may touch the net while crossing the net, even during the service.

13.3 BALL IN THE NET
A ball driven into the net may be recovered within the limits of the three-team contacts.

13.4 BALL TOUCHING THE POSTS
A ball touching the posts or hardware inside the posts is a fault.

14. PLAYER AT THE NET

14.1 REACHING BEYOND THE NET
• While blocking, a player may touch the ball beyond the net, provided they do not interfere with the opponent’s play, before or during the attack-hit.
• A player is permitted to pass his/her hand(s) beyond the net after an attack-hit, provided that the contact was made within his/her team’s playing space.
• Within the limits of the three-team contacts, a player may contact a ball that has crossed the net below the net (or outside the posts) in an attempt to recover a ball that has not been contacted by the opponents. The recovered ball must cross the net below the net (or outside the posts).

14.2 PENETRATION INTO OPPONENT’S PLAYING AREA
• Players may partially or completely cross the center line below the net or outside the poles, either before, during or after a legal play of the ball, provided that this does not interfere with the opponent’s play. Incidental contact with an opponent is ignored, unless such contact interferes with the opponent’s opportunity to play the ball. While opposing players are not required to avoid the ball or the player, they cannot intentionally interfere with any legal attempt to play the ball on their court.
• If a player crosses the centerline and interferes with an opponent during the continuation of a play, it is a fault.

14.3 CONTACT WITH THE NET OR POSTS
• It is a fault for a player or a player’s clothing to touch any part of the net. Exceptions are:
• Incidental contact of the net by a player’s hair
• If a player’s hat, visor or glasses fall off during play and then contacts the net
• When a ball is driven into the net and causes the net to touch a player, no fault is committed. Once a player has contacted the ball, the player may touch the posts, ropes or any other object outside the total length of the net, provided that it does not interfere with play.

15. SERVICE

15.1 DEFINITION
The service (or serve) is the act of putting the ball into play by the serving player in the service zone.

15.2 SERVICE ORDER
• If the serving team wins the rally or a replay is directed, the player who served the previous rally serves again. If the serving team loses the rally, the next server on the receiving team serves the ball.
• If a player is discovered serving out of order, after the ball is dead, that player continues to serve with no loss of points. The opposing team remains in their service order, but the offending team will reverse their original order of service to ensure that no player will serve three consecutive terms of service. Excessive misuse of this privilege is un-sportsman like conduct.

15.3 AUTHORIZATION OF SERVICE
It is the responsibility of the server to assure that both teams are ready for service. A player on the receiving team may stop play when not ready for a service as long as no attempt to play the ball is made. In this case, the rally is canceled and replayed. Misuse of this privilege is unsportsmanlike conduct.

15.4 EXECUTION OF SERVICE
The server may move freely behind the end line. At the moment of the service or take-off for service, the server must not touch the ground outside the service zone. The player’s foot may not go under a boundary line. If the end line is moved by the server it is a fault. After the service contact, the player may land on the court or outside the service zone.
• The server contacts the ball with one hand or any part of the arm after clearly tossing or releasing the ball and before the ball touches the playing surface.

15.5 SERVICE ATTEMPT
The server may only have one attempt to serve the ball.

15.6 SCREENING
The server’s teammates must not prevent the opponents, through screening, from seeing the server or the path of the ball. On an opponent’s request, a player must move sideways, bend over or bend down.

16. ATTACK-HIT

16.1 DEFINITION
All actions to direct the ball towards the opponent’s playing area, except in the act of serving and blocking, are considered to be attack-hits. An attack-hit is completed the moment the ball completely crosses the vertical plane of the net or is touched by a blocker. A player may contact an attack-hit at any height, provided that contact with the ball is made within the player’s own playing space.

16.2 ATTACK-HIT FAULTS
It is a fault when a player completes an attack-hit on the opponent’s service, if the ball is entirely above the height of the net.

17. BLOCK

17.1 DEFINITION
Blocking is the action of player(s) close to the net to deflect the attacked ball coming from the opponent by reaching above the height of the net.

17.2 HITS BY THE BLOCKER
The first hit after the block may be executed by any player, including the player who touched the ball at the block.

17.3 BLOCK WITHIN THE OPPONENT’S SPACE
In blocking, the player may place his/her hands and arms beyond the net provided that action does not interfere with the opponent’s play. The player is not permitted to touch the ball beyond the net until the opponent has made an attack-hit.

17.4 BLOCKING CONTACT
• A blocking contact is counted as a team hit. The blocking team will have two hits after a blocking contact. Consecutive, quick and continuous contacts may occur by one or more blockers, provided that these contacts are made during one blocking action.
• There are no restrictions on which players may participate in a block.

18. TIME-OUTS

18.1 DEFINITION
• A time-out is a regular game interruption. It lasts for 1 minute. Each team is entitled to a maximum of two time-outs per game. Successive time-outs may be requested without resumption of the game.
• Injury time out is 5 minutes.

19. DELAYS TO THE GAME

19.1 DEFINITION
A delay is an improper action of a team that defers resumption of the game and includes:
• Prolonging time-outs, after having been instructed to resume the game;
• Repeating an improper request in the same game

19.2 SANCTIONS FOR DELAYS
The first delay by a team in a game is sanctioned with a delay warning. The second and any subsequent delay of any type by the same team in the same game constitutes a fault and is sanctioned with a delay penalty, which is the loss of a rally.

20. EXCEPTIONAL GAME INTERRUPTIONS

20.1 INJURY
If an injury occurs as the result of a fault or does not affect the outcome of the rally, the rally counts. Otherwise, the rally is immediately canceled and replayed. An injured player is given a five-minute injury time-out.

20.2 EXTERNAL INTERFERENCE
If external interference does not affect the outcome of play, the rally counts. Otherwise, the rally is immediately canceled and replayed. A shouted warning (such as “Ball on!”) is sufficient to affect the outcome of play, provided that a player had a chance to make a legal play of the ball. Misuse of this privilege is unsportsman like conduct. A ball that is rolling near the court is not necessarily interference with play. The referee will make a final determination if a “ball on” call is disputed.

21. COURT SWITCHES

21.1 COURT SWITCHES
Court switches are team exchanges of playing courts which occur at specified times during a game:
• 25-point games, when the total number of points is a multiple of 7.
• 21-point games, when the total number of points is a multiple of 7.
• 15-point games, when the total number of points is a multiple of 5

22. MISCONDUCT

22.1 CATEGORIES
• Incorrect conduct by a team member towards officials, opponents, teammates or spectators is classified in four categories according to the degree of the offense:
• Unsportsmanlike conduct: arguing, intimidating, taking unfair or inappropriate advantage of player privileges, etc.
• Rude conduct: acting contrary to good manners or moral principles, interfering with an opponent’s ability to play, expressing contempt.
• Offensive conduct: defamatory or insulting words or gestures.
• Aggression: physical attack or intended aggression.

22.2 SANCTIONS
• Depending on the degree of the incorrect conduct, according to the judgment of the referee, the sanctions to be applied are:
• Misconduct warning: For unsportsmanlike conduct, no penalty is given but the team member concerned is warned against repetition in the same game.
• Misconduct penalty: For rude conduct, the team is penalized with the loss of one rally.
• Expulsion: Repeated rude conduct is sanctioned by expulsion and the player must leave the playing area for the remainder of the game.
• Disqualification: for offensive conduct and aggression, the player is sanctioned by disqualification and must leave the playing area for the remainder of the match. Disqualified players may be subject to further sanctions by the Tournament Director.
• Expulsion and/or disqualification will be the responsibility of the tournament director.

22.3 SANCTION SCALE
Repetition of misconduct by the same person in the same game is sanctioned progressively. Disqualification due to offensive conduct or aggression does not require a previous sanction.

22.4 MISCONDUCT BEFORE AND BETWEEN GAMES
Any misconduct occurring before or between games is sanctioned and the sanction(s) apply in the following game.

23. REFEREEING

23.1 PROCEDURES
• Referees shall position themselves at the base of one of the poles or on the referee stand.
• The referee shall make all calls governing play.
• The players have the responsibility to make “honor” calls on themselves in regards to a net touch or touch while blocking the ball. The referee should also make these calls.

24. REFEREE

24.1 AUTHORITY
The referee has the authority to make all calls during the match. Players may not protest referee’s judgement calls. Players may request a rules interpretation by the tournament director.

25. TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR

25.1 AUTHORITY
The tournament director has the authority to alter rules and make decisions not covered in the rules.
• If the tournament director does alter the rules, the tournament director must advise the participants of those changes prior to the start of the event if possible.
• The tournament director has absolute authority over players, game officials and spectators, on and off the court at a tournament, where the maintenance of order is concerned, and may impose disciplinary measures as needed.
• The tournament director has the authority to make any necessary decisions regarding entries and seeding.
• The tournament director may change the format of the tournament if, in his opinion, conditions warrant it (i.e. loser’s games played to 11 point because of limited daylight).
• The tournament director has the authority to settle any and all disputes.
• The tournament director is the sole authority who determines if weather conditions warrant a suspension or cancellation of play.
• The tournament director is the final authority in determining if courts are safe and playable.
• The tournament director shall assign the players to referee matches. Normally seeded players with a bye or next up on court will be assigned to start refereeing. After the first round, losers have the responsibilities to referee the following match.
• Players not completing their refereeing assignments will be reported to all other tournament directors. Players not completing their refereeing assignments may lose their right to play in all NPBVA events.

26. VARIATIONS ON DOUBLES RULES FOR TRIPLES, FOUR AND SIX PERSON TEAMS:

26.1 PLAYING AREA COURT LINES
(6,R) Attack lines are marked 9’10” (3m) from the centerline.

26.2 TEAM COMPOSITION
• Triples: 3 players on the court per team, no more than 3 on the roster
• Four-person: 4 players on the court per team, no more than 6 on the roster
• Six-person: 6 players on the court per team, no more than 12 on the roster
• All competitions must involve teams with the required numbers of players. Teams with fewer than the required number of players must forfeit.
• Mixed teams are composed of male and female players competing on a men’s height net and Reverse Mixed teams compete on a women’s height net. Mixed teams must contain equal numbers of males and females on each team, except in triples (where there must be at least one of each) or if otherwise specified.
• Mixed teams are composed of male and female players competing on a men’s height net and Reverse Mixed teams compete on a women’s height net. Mixed teams must contain equal numbers of males and females on each team.

26.3 TEAM SUBSTITUTIONS
• Unlimited substitutions are allowed as long as one player does not occupy more than one position in the service order during a single game.
• If a player becomes injured and no legal substitute is available for that position in the service order, a player on the roster not playing at the time of the injury may enter the game as an exceptional substitution for the injured player. This substitute may not be replaced for the remainder of the game unless he/she also becomes injured. If no team members are available to make a legal or exceptional substitution, an injury time-out may be granted in accordance with rule 21:1.2.

26.4 PLAYERS’ POSITIONS
For Triples or Four-person competition only:
• Players are free to position themselves anywhere within their court. There are no positional faults.

26.5 BLOCKING
• (R) Male players may not participate in a block.
• When a ball is blocked back into an attacking player, the attacker is not considered to be a blocker. Therefore, that contact counts as the first of the team’s three hits.
• (6) Back row players may not participate in a block.

26.6 ATTACK HIT DEFINED
(6 back row or R male) If a player contacts the ball completely above the height of the net, and the player’s foot is touching or has last touched the ground on or in front of the attack line, the attack-hit must have an upward trajectory.