Sand Volleyball Rules

2022 Raleigh Stonewall Sand Volleyball

Stonewall North Carolina Sand Volleyball Tournament will operate under the competition rules and regulations as outlined in the Beach Domestic Competition Regulations as presented by USA Volleyball and available at and at  Stonewall Raleigh Volleyball Rules page. The rules below are specific to Stonewall Raleigh Sand Volleyball league and  supersede the rules in the USA Volleyball handbook. 

  1. League Details 

    1. The Stonewall Raleigh Sand Volleyball League will be a 4v4 league. 

    2. All games will be played with equipment provided by the Stonewall Raleigh Sports organization.

    3. Team minimum is 5 and max is 8 players 

    4. All games will be played on the sand volleyball courts at Jaycee Park in Raleigh, NC 

      1. Due to venue availability and limitations, the designated free area around the competition area may be smaller than outlined in the USAVB rulebook. 

      2. For the purposes of a co-ed, recreational league, Stonewall Sand Volleyball will utilize a net height of 7'11 5/8" (or whatever net heights are preset at Jaycee since they cannot be changed)  

    5. Each captain must fill out a roster before every match that includes the full name of every player. The match score will also need a captain signature showing agreement with the score and the agreement of players who were in attendance. 

    6. A picture after each match will be required as proof of attendance and must be sent to the director ( or in the captain's groupme within 24 hours. This should be taken with both teams together to make the identification of the match easier. Players are required to have on the current season provided team shirts FOR THE PICTURE. 

  1. Match Time and Number of Sets 

    1.  Each match will be played as three complete sets. 

      1. The first two sets of a match will be played to 21, utilizing rally scoring. 

      2. Third set will be played to 15, utilizing rally scoring. 

    2. The first team in a set to score 21 points (or 15 in the third set) will be the winner of that set. 

      1. Teams will change sides at the completion of the 1st set. If a 3rd deciding set is necessary, teams will switch sides after the first team reaches 8 points. 

    3. If the set score reaches 21-21 (or 14-15 in the third set), the first team to reach a two-point advantage (e.g. 23-21 or 17-15) will be the winner of that set. No cap on sets. 

    4. Matches are limited to 45 minutes of playing time. 

    5. If a match reaches the time limit before the completion of the deciding set, the teams will finish the current set. If the conclusion of that set does not determine the winner of the match (a 1-1 match score), then the third set will be played, but the score needed to win the set will be reduced to 10 and no game interruptions will be permitted (including substitutions). 

  1. Team Composition 

    1. A team will consist of a minimum of five (5) players and a maximum of eight (8) players, including the captain. 

    2. A team must have at least four (4) players present at match time. 

      1. Teams have a 5 minute window to have a complete team for the match (4 players) 

      2. If a team does not have four (4) players, the match will proceed if 3 or more players are present. The team with less than 4 players will begin the match down 7-0 for each set. 

      3. If the team does not have 3 players at match time, that team will receive a forfeit. 

    3. The team captain should present the lineup to the opposing team at the beginning of each set. The team  must maintain this serving rotational order throughout the set. 

    4. If a player is not present at the time when lineups are exchanged, the player cannot play until the next set. The opposing team's captain must be provided an updated lineup. No players can be added after the beginning of set 2. 

  1. The Uniform 

    1. Every player must begin match play with the current season provided Stonewall Raleigh Volleyball shirt. Players may remove  shirts after play begins. 

    2. Shirts may be modified for comfort, but the Stonewall logo, websites, and any sponsor logos must not be  altered or obscured in any way. 

    3. Knee pads, sand socks, and other protective equipment are not required but can be worn as long as it is not a hazard to other players.  

  1. Referees/Line Judges 

    1. Each team must have at least one (1) head referee, (3) down judges for all games that are scheduled for refereeing. 

    2. The referee schedule will be released with the season schedule.  

  1. Starting the game 

    1. The winner of a single Rock, Paper, Scissors game will have the choice of service or side of court. The opposing team makes the remaining decision. 

    2. The team not serving first in the first game shall serve first in the second game. 

    3. Service and side of the court will be determined for the third game will be determined by an additional game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. 

    4. Teams change court sides after the first game. 

    5. The referee sounds the whistle and signals for service before each serve. Note: An individual will receive only one warning per game for serving before the whistle. 

      1. Scoring will be tracked on a scoreboard at the court. 

      2. Service may be underhand or overhand.  

  1. Substitutions 

    1. No change will be made in the position of other players when substitutions are made. 

    2. There is no limit on the number of players permitted to substitute at one time. 

    3. There is no limit on the number of times a player may enter and re-enter the game, but may only play and re-enter in the same rotation order listed at the beginning of the game. 

    4. If a player is injured and there are no remaining eligible substitutes in that serving spot, then the opposing team must pick a substitute from a different serving spot on the injured player's team to take that spot in the line-up. 

      1. Bleeding players, or players with blood on their uniform, must be replaced or the bleeding stopped completely. 

  1. Playing the Ball 

    1. A legal hit is contact with the ball by any part of a player's body, including the head or feet, which does not allow the ball to come to rest even momentarily. 

    2. The ball must be clearly hit: throwing, lifting, or shoving the ball are illegal. 

    3. A team has three hits to return the ball over the net.  

    4. One player may not hit the ball twice in succession 

    5. Simultaneous contact by two or more players on the same team is considered one play, and any player is eligible to play the ball again. 

    6. Positions: 

      1. Players are free to position themselves, there are NO determined positions on the court and  players do not have to rotate positions between serves. 

    7. Service:  

      1. Service order must be maintained throughout the set 

      2. When the receiving team has gained the right to serve, players do not have to rotate positions 

      3. Only one toss or release of the ball is allowed. The server must hit the ball within 20 seconds after the 1st referee whistles for service. 

      4. The server may move freely within the service zone. At the moment of service hit or take-off for a jump service, the server must not touch the court. The server's foot may not go under the end line. 

    8. Consecutive Contact: A player may not hit the ball two times consecutively.

      1. At the first hit of the team, provided it is not made overhand with fingers, consecutive contacts are permitted provided that the contacts occur during one action. During the first hit of the team if it is played overhand using fingers, the ball may NOT contact the fingers/hands consecutively, even if the contacts occur during one action. 

      2. At blocking, consecutive contacts may be made by one of more players, provided that they occur during one action.

      3. Extended contacts: In defensive action of a hard driven ball, the ball contact can be extended momentarily even if an overhand finger action is used. 

      4. Open hand sets are allowed if there is no fast spin or rotation and if the ball is set over the net the player must be doing it while square to the ball position. 

    9. Blocking

      1. Blocking is the action of players close to the net to intercept the ball coming from the opponent by reaching higher than the top of the net. 

      2. To block an opponent's service is forbidden. 

      3. In blocking, a player may touch the ball beyond the net, provided that the player does not interfere with the opponent's play before or during the attack-hit. 

      4. After an attack-hit, a player is permitted to pass hands beyond the net, provided that the  contact has been made within the player's own playing space. 

    10. If two opponents simultaneously contact the ball above the net, the ball remains in play, and the team receiving the ball is entitled to another three hits. 

      1. If the ball lands out of bounds, it is the fault of the team opposite the net from where the ball lands.

    11. The ball is allowed to hit the net while traveling over the net, this includes on the serve. 

    12. A player may not touch ANY part of the net while the ball is in play. 

    13. A player may not enter the boundaries of a neighboring court to play a ball. If the boundaries of a neighboring court are entered, it will result in a stop in play and loss of point. 

    14. Players may go around the net (not under) to play a ball back to the team as long as the play is not the third touch 

  1. Interruptions 

    1. Each team may request a maximum of one time-out per set. All requested time-outs last for 30 seconds. 

    2. If a ball from a neighboring court enters the play area, play will be stopped ONLY if it is judged to be a hazard to active play. Game interruption is at the discretion of the officials. The rally will be replayed. 

    3. Should a serious accident occur while the ball is in play, the referee must stop the game immediately  and permit medical assistance. The rally will be replayed. 

      1. An injured player is given a maximum of 5 minutes recovery time. If a player is unable to return to play at the conclusion of recovery time, the player is ineligible to return during that match. 

  1. Misconduct 

    1. During the game, if a player(s) exhibits any behavior that breaches a rule of the league or the Stonewall Sports organization, verbal warnings and/or removal from the match can be issued by the game's referee.  

    2. Warnings will be issued in 3 stages: 

      1. Verbal warning to the Captain 

      2. Verbal warning to the individual(s) committing the discretion, but enforced for the entire team.  Service will be given to the opposing team.  

      3. Player is removed from the match by the referee. The player must be legally substituted. 

        1. If a legal substitute is not available the team will immediately forfeit the remainder of the match. Results will count toward advancement. 

        2. Any player removed from a game may be removed for the remainder of the season at  the volleyball director and Stonewall sports directors discretion.

****Updated 7/15/22****

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