RTP Volleyball League Rules

The RTP Volleyball League uses the Official USA Volleyball rules for all league play with some exceptions, which are listed below.

Contact the Rules Committee Chair concerning any questions about league rules.


The RTPVL is a self-officiated league. Players are expected to call their own faults (nets, lifts, etc.) and not those of the opposing team. If you think that the opposing team has committed a fault, continue playing until the ball is out of play. Then your team captain should discuss the perceived fault with the other team's captain. If the captains cannot agree, replay the point.


A legal team is required on the court for all games. A legal RTPVL team for regular season and tournament games consists of:

With the exception of Sunday quads, when playing with 4 or 5 players the RTPVL requires a team to rotate into service position and maintain back-row rules just as in 6 player games. With 4 players in 6-player leagues, the server is considered the single back-row player.

Players must be listed on the team roster and must have submitted a signed waiver form in order to compete in RTPVL play.

Players must compete in at least 3 regular season matches in order to play in the season-ending tournament.


Teams play 2 matches per night. A match consists of 3 games scored from 0 to 25, rally score. Teams must win by at least 2 points. The visiting team has choice of side, and the home team has the first serve in the first game. Choice of side and serve alternate in the second and third games.  In the third set, once the leading team reaches the half-way point (11 if playing to 21, 13 if to 25, etc), the teams change courts without delay and the player positions remain the same.  If the change is not made once the leading team reaches the half-way point, it will take place as soon as the error is noticed.

In order to keep everyone on the same schedule, there is a cap of 27 in rally games.

The league issues volleyballs to every team. A non-league volleyball may be used for league play only if both captains agree.


These are some abbreviated rules. See the Official USA Volleyball Rules for more detail.

USAV Rules


A hit is any contact with the ball by a player in play. The team is entitled to a maximum of three hits (in addition to blocking, Rule 14.4.1), for returning the ball. If more are used, the team commits the fault of: “FOUR HITS.”


A player may not hit the ball two times consecutively (except Rules 9.2.3, 14.2 & 14.4.2). When two opponents touch the ball simultaneously over the net and the ball remains in play, the team receiving the ball is entitled to another three hits. If such a ball goes “out,” it is the fault of the team on the opposite side.


9.3.1 FOUR HITS: a team hits the ball four times before returning it.

9.3.3 CATCH: the ball is caught and/or thrown; it does not rebound from the hit

9.3.4 DOUBLE CONTACT: a player hits the ball twice in succession or the ball contacts various parts of his/ her body in succession.


11.1.1 In blocking, a blocker may touch the ball beyond the net, provided that he/she does not interfere with the opponents’ play before or during the latter’s attack hit.

11.1.2 After an attack hit, a player is permitted to pass his/her hand beyond the net, provided that the contact has been made within his/her own playing space.


11.2.1 It is permitted to penetrate into the opponents’ space under the net, provided that this does not interfere with the opponents’ play.


Adopted by all leagues for Spring 2014 season.

Any player involved in play action - attempting to make either an offensive or defensive attempt on the ball who comes in contact with the net will have committed a net fault.

Any contact with the net irrespective of the degree of contact, length of contact or whether the contact in any way influenced the result of the play (ex. even if the ball was already in trajectory to continue out of bounds or would not have cleared the net).

Any contact with the net which interferes with the play action or in any way disrupts the play action will be considered a net offending fault.

The team committing the offense will forfeit the point and the opposing team will be awarded the point, passion of the ball and assume the next service attempt.


11.4.1 A player touches the ball or an opponent in the opponents’ space before or during the opponents’ attack hit.

11.4.2 A player interferes with the opponent’s play while penetrating into the opponent’s space under the net.

11.4.3 A player’s foot (feet) penetrates completely into the opponent’s court.

11.4.4 A player interferes with the opponent’s play by (amongst others):

- touching the top band of the net or the top 80 cm (2’ 7.49”) of the antenna during his/her action of playing the ball, or

- taking support from the net simultaneously with playing the ball, or

- creating an advantage over the opponent, or

- making actions which hinder an opponent’s legitimate attempt to play the ball.


12.4.1 The ball shall be hit with one hand or any part of the arm after being tossed or released from the hand(s).

12.4.2 Only one toss or release of the ball is allowed. Dribbling or moving the ball in the hands is permitted.

12.4.3 At the moment of the service hit or take-off for a jump service, the server must not touch the court (the end line included) or the ground outside the service zone.


12.5.1 The players of the serving team must not prevent their opponent, through individual or collective screening, from seeing the server or the flight path of the ball.

12.5.2 A player or group of players of the serving team make a screen by waving arms, jumping or moving sideways, during the execution of the service, or by standing grouped to hide the flight path of the ball.


13.1.1 All actions which direct the ball toward the opponents, with the exception of service and block, are considered as attack hits.

13.1.2 During an attack hit, tipping is permitted only if the ball is cleanly hit, and not caught or thrown.

13.1.3 An attack hit is completed at the moment the ball completely crosses the vertical plane of the net or is touched by an opponent.


13.2.1 A front-row player may complete an attack hit at any height, provided that the contact with the ball has been made within the player’s own playing space (except Rule 13.2.4).

13.2.3 A back-row player may also complete an attack hit from the front zone, if at the moment of the contact part of the ball is lower than the top of the net.

13.2.4 No player is permitted to complete an attack hit on the opponents’ service, when the ball is in the front zone and entirely higher than the top of the net.


13.3.1 A player hits the ball within the playing space of the opposing team.

13.3.2 A player hits the ball “out.”

13.3.3 A back-row player completes an attack hit from the front zone, if at the moment of the hit the ball is entirely higher than the top of the net.


14.1.1 Blocking is the action of players close to the net to intercept the ball coming from the opponents by reaching higher than the top of the net, regardless of the height of the ball contact. Only front-row players are permitted to complete a block, but at the moment of contact with the ball, part of the body must be higher than the top of the net.


In blocking, the player may place his/her hands and arms beyond the net, provided that this action does not interfere with the opponents’ play. Thus, it is not permitted to touch the ball beyond the net until an opponent has executed an attack hit.


14.4.1 A block contact is not counted as a team hit. Consequently, after a block contact, a team is entitled to three hits to return the ball.

14.4.2 The first hit after the block may be executed by any player, including the one who touched the ball during the block.


To block an opponent’s service is forbidden.


14.6.1 The blocker touches the ball in the opponents’ space either before or simultaneously with the opponents’ attack hit.

RTPVL rules:

Since outdoor nets do not have antennas, the ball must pass between the poles.

All leagues except Doubles are allowed to open-hand attack or “dink” over the net.  Doubles league(s) observe “beach rules” which require the attacker’s shoulders to be perpendicular to the net when using open hand attacks.

Opposing teams must rotate after every side-out, including the first serve.

Because the RTPVL is a self-officiated league blockers are expected to call their touches of balls that are hit out of bounds, even if the contact is not obvious.


RTPVL: Players must call their own net violations. If there is a disagreement on the fault, replay the point.


We do have a forfeit rule, and it is 10 minutes just like the official USAV rules.

·         No legal team by 5:40, set 1 is forfeit.

·         No legal team by 5:50, set 2 is forfeit.

·         No legal team by 6:00, set 3 is forfeit.


RTPVL courts have no center line under the net. It is not a fault to cross under the net, but it is a fault to interfere with an opponent's play of the ball. It is also dangerous to cross under the net and therefore discouraged.

The boundary lines are part of the court. The ball is considered "in" if it strikes a boundary line or causes the line to move. Note that a players foot, and not the ball, may at times cause the line to move. If there is a disagreement, replay the point.

A team may call 2 time-outs per game.

Legal contact of the ball, particularly during a hand set, is probably the most difficult part of the game to self-officiate. The ball must be contacted cleanly (one contact on the second and third hit) and not held, lifted, pushed, caught, carried or thrown. The ball cannot roll or come to rest on any part of a player's body. Rotation of a set ball may indicate a held ball or multiple contacts during the set, but in itself is not a fault. Since the RTPVL has different categories of skill, there are differences in how strictly this rule is applied. The more strict you are with your team, the more likely the team's skill will improve. If a captain feels that another team is constantly setting the ball illegally and not calling it, it is better for the captain to point out the fault early in the game and not wait until the score is 14-14.

We want to reemphasize that a team calls it's own faults. If the opposing team believes there was a fault, only the team captain may ask if one a fault has occurred. If there is a disagreement over the call, replay the point.