McLean Youth Volleyball MYV provides house, select and travel volleyball programs for Elementary School, Middle School, and High School athletes in the greater McLean Virginia VA area including Great Falls, Falls Church, Arlington, Vienna, Fairfax, Reston

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2023 Rules

McLean Youth Volleyball follows the official United States Volleyball (USAV) rulebook.  Some variances are made for the House leagues to foster more equitable games and encourage learning.

RULE COMPARISON:

 

4th-6th Grade (ES) House
Girls & Boys

7th-8th Grade (MS) House
Girls & Boys

Match Duration 60 minutes 60 minutes

Net Height

7’

7’ 4”

Ball Volley-Lite (softer & lighter) HS regulation

Service Line

25' with 20' alternative for 4th-5th; Foot faults not enforced

30' (regulation);
Foot faults not enforced

Warm-up Period 10 minutes 10 minutes

Scoring

3 sets/games to 21 points (win by 2 points) starting at 0-0 using rally scoring. If time is short, the winner of the last set/game is the one with the most points when the countdown clock expires (win by 2 points not required)

3 sets to 21 points (win by 2 points) starting at 0-0 using rally scoring. If time is short, the winner of the last set/game is the one with the most points when the countdown clock expires (win by 2 points not required)

Extra Point Incentive

An extra point is awarded for any multi-touch combination leading to an immediate win. 4th & 5th grades requires any 2 touches while 6th  grade is any 3 touches.

An extra point is awarded for a three-touch combination with the last touch involving an overhead arm swing leading to an immediate win

Substitutions

Continuous substitution

Continuous substitution

Re-Serve

Re-Serve if first service in a new rotation is bad

Re-Serve if first service in a new rotation is bad

Consecutive Service Wins

Maximum of 3 consecutive points per server rotation

Maximum of 3 consecutive points per server rotation

Time-Outs Two 30 second time-outs per set/game Two 30 second time-outs per set/game

Playing Time

Equal playing time policy

Equal playing time policy

 

 

9th-12th Grade (HS) House

MS Select & HS Select

Match Duration 60 minutes 90 minutes

Net Height

7’ 4”

7' 4"

Service Line

30' (regulation);
Foot faults are not enforced

30' (regulation);
Foot faults enforced

Ball

HS regulation

HS regulation

Warm-ups

10 minutes

15 minutes

Scoring

3 full sets/games to 21 points (win by 2 points) starting at 0-0 using rally scoring. If time is short, the winner of the last set/game is the one with the most points when the countdown clock expires (win by 2 points not required)

5 full sets/games to 21 points (win by 2 points) starting at 0-0 using rally scoring. If time is short, the winner of the last set/game is the one with the most points when the countdown clock expires (win by 2 points not required)

Extra Point Incentive

No extra points

No extra points

Substitutions

Continuous substitution

Positional substitution (unlimited); Libero permitted

Re-Serve

No re-serves

No re-serves

Consecutive Service Wins

Maximum of 5 consecutive points per server rotation 

No limit to service wins

Time-Outs Two 30 second time-outs per set/game Two 60 second time-outs per set/game

Playing Time

Equal playing time policy

Playing time at the discretion of coaches

 

BEFORE THE MATCH:

  • As soon as the previous match ends, both teams walk on the court to begin warm-ups
  • The warm-up period is 10 minutes for 60-minute House matches and 15 minutes for 90-minute Select matches.  Teams share the court including any hitting or serving.
  • During the warm-up period, referees call a captains meeting and flip a coin to determine which team serves first.
  • A countdown clock attached to the scoreboard is used to track the warm-up period.

 

DURING THE MATCH:

  • At the start of each match, players and coaches on both sides form single file lines to shake hands under the net. They can then hold a quick team huddle /cheer before starting play.
  • At the start of each set, the referee signals for players to take their positions on the court and start serving.
  • As the start of each point, the referee signals for the server to proceed. The referee also signals the end of the play and awards a point (or a replay if appropriate).
  • Each team is permitted to call two time-outs per set.  Timeouts are 30 seconds during 60-minute House matches and 60 seconds during 90-minute Select matches.
  • After the referee signals the end of a set, both teams first switch sides then take a 2-minute break.  
  • The team serving first with each new set alternates between the two teams. A new coin toss is not required before the start of the last set.
  • Referees utilize a countdown clock attached to the scoreboard to assess how much time is available to complete the match.

 

AFTER THE MATCH:

  • The match ends when all games are completed or the countdown clock expires
  • At the end of match, the referee signals both teams to the baseline. Players and coaches on both sides form single file lines to shake hands under the net.  They then leave to court so the next teams can begin their warm-up.
  • Match scores are reported by referees to the referee coordinator and uploaded to the MYA Volleyball website

 

BASIC RULES OF VOLLEYBALL:

  • Each team is entitled to a maximum of 3 touches to return the ball to the opponent.
  • A ball may NOT be caught, thrown, held, or lifted.
  • A player may not double contact the ball except for the first contact.
  • A block of the ball at the net does NOT count as one of your three contacts and the blocker can touch the ball again after the block.
  • Contact with the net between the antennae by a player during the action of playing the ball is a fault.
  • A ball driven into the net may be recovered within the limits of the 3 touches, so long as the contact with the net is within the antennae.
  • A ball touching the antennae is a fault.
  • It is permitted to penetrate into the opponent’s space under the net, provided that this does not interfere with the opponent’s play.  However, completely crossing the center line with the foot, feet, or hands, or encroachment with other body parts, is not permitted if it presents a safety hazard to opponents.
  • A ball hitting the net and going over the net is legal and in play, even on the serve.
  • HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULE: To promote learning, referees do not call double contacts or other mishandled ball touches.  However, catching, throwing, holding or lifting the ball is not permitted.  

 

THE PLAYING AREA:

  • The lines on the court are considered part of the playing area.  If any portion of the ball falls on any portion of the line, that ball is IN.
  • If during a volley, the ball hits the rolled-up gym divider, rafters, ductwork, or ceiling, and comes back to the team that hit it, they may continue to play it, as long as they are still within their 3 hit maximum.
  • If during a service, the ball hits the rolled-up gym divider, rafters, ductwork, or ceiling, it is out-of-bounds.
  • All basketball backboards, rims, and anchoring equipment attaching them to the ceiling are out-of-bounds. If the backboards are raised, they become part of the ceiling and balls touching them are playable.
  • Walls, deployed court partitions and bleachers are out-of-bounds.
  • The rest of the gym is considered playable.

 

TEAM RULES:

  • Players and coaches are the only ones allowed on the court and sidelines.
  • During game play, coaches may stand on the sideline with the rest of their team and give instructions to players, but cannot distract, disturb or delay the game. A coach who purposely delays the game to gain an advantage is issued a warning or loss of point penalty. Coaches and players on the bench should not stand or sit within six feet of the court when the ball is in play.
  • Teams normally play with 6 players on the court. A minimum of 5 players are required to start a set. If a 6th player arrives, that player may enter the set immediately. When playing with 5 players, the team does not lose the serve when the 6th player “hole” goes to serve. The next player in the rotation simply serves.
  • If a team has less than 5 players on the court 10 minutes after the scheduled start time, the first set is declared a forfeit and recorded as 21-0 for the opponent.  If a team cannot place 5 players on the court 20 minutes after the scheduled start, the entire match is declared a forfeit with each set recorded as 21-0 for the opponent. In a forfeit situation, teams are encouraged to split up available players and use the remaining match time to play for fun.
  • There is an exception to the minimum of 5 players rule when one of the 5 players on the court sustains an injury during the match.  In such a situation, the current game and subsequent games are considered valid even if the team has less than 5 players.  However, this rule does not apply when a player voluntarily leaves the match early bringing the number of players on the court below 5.  In such a situation, the current set and any subsequent sets in the match are declared forfeits.

 

MATCH FORMAT:

  • House matches are allocated 60 minutes to accommodate 3 full sets. Select matches are allocated 90 minuts to accommodate 5 full sets. For league standings, the winner of a regular season match is the team that wins the most sets during the allotted time.
  • During the regular season, all 3 sets or 5 sets of the match are played, regardless of how many sets each team wins.  During playoffs, all matches are best 2-of-3 with the decisive third set played only if both teams have won one set.
  • Matches begin on time throughout the day. Teams must arrive at the playing site at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled match start time.
  • Referees are the official timekeepers and responsible for matches starting and ending on time. A countdown timeclock attached to the scoreboard is used to track the warmup period and the amount of time remaining to play all sets.  
  • The 1st referee is located on wall-side of the court. The 2nd referee serves as the score flipper opposite the 1st referee.

 

SCORING:

  • In rally point scoring, every play results in a point being awarded, except when the referee determines a replay. A serve into the net or out-of-bounds is a point for the other team. Let serves are considered good.
  • 60-minute House matches play 3 sets to 21 points (win by 2 points).  90-minute Select matches play 5 sets to 21 points (win by 2 points). All sets start at 0-0. 
  • A set is won by the team which first scores at least 21 points with a minimum lead of two points. In the case of a 20-20 tie, play is continued until a two-point lead is achieved (22-20, 27-25, etc.).
  • If the final set of the match is not completed when the countdown clock expires, the team with the most points is the winner of the set -- win by 2 points is not requried.  If tied when time expires, the winner of the next point is the winner of teh set
  • 4th-8th GRADE HOUSE SPECIAL RULE: At the discretion of the referee, an extra point is awarded to a team that executes a multi-touch combination that leads to an immediate win where the opponent does not legally return the ball over the net into play.  This includes situations when the opposing team initially controls the ball but fails to legally return the ball over the net and into play.
    • For 4th & 5th Grade House Leagues, ANY two legal touches that lead to an immediate win earns an extra point. 
    • For 6th Grade House, ANY three legal touches that lead to an immediate win earns an extra point. 
    • For 7th/8th House leagues, three legal touches that lead to an immediate win earns an extra point. However, the third touch must involve an arm swing above the shoulder and can be executed by a front-row or back-row player.  Rolls and tips/dinks are counted as hits, while forearm passes/bumps and two arm hand sets are not. 
    • The opportunity to earn an extra point on a multi-touch combination is nullified once the opposing team legally returns the ball over the net and into play.

 

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULE: To promote equally playing time, continuous substitution is played in all house leagues. Continuous substitution is defined as using the players on the bench and the players on the court as one continuous line-up with a player in a specific position leaving the court and the next available player on the bench entering the game into that position.  Substitution continues in this manner every time there is a rotation of players on the court, with the order of players in the entire line-up remaining constant throughout the game.  Substitutions can be made in the same location either in the front row or back row, or both simultaneously.  If the coach elects to keep the same line-up for the next game, players on the court at the end of the previous game must start in the new game at the same exact positions.  If the coach elects to change the line-up for the next game, the first 3 servers cannot be any of the first three servers from the previous game.  Violations of this rule will result in the cancelation of all points scored by the serving team while the illegal substitute was in the game or a game/match forfeit.
  • SELECT & TRAVEL LEAGUE RULE:  Follows standard USAV substitution rules with the exception of unlimited substitutions per game.  For those new to positional substitution, players from the bench can be substituted in for players on the court between points after making a request to the referee.  A re-entering player cannot be placed anywhere on the court for a given game – he/she must assume the original position in the serving order in relation to the other teammates (typically for the same player that replaced him/her on the court). Only if a player is injured can a substitute assume a different position on the court, regardless of where he/she substituted before.  If a team is using a libero, the coach needs to inform the referee and opposing coach prior to the start of the match.  The libero must wear a shirt with colors that clearly contrast with the team's uniforms. A libero is a defensive specialist restricted to performing as a back row player. However, the Libero cannot block or attempt a block, and is not allowed to complete an attack if at the moment of the contact the ball is entirely higher than the top of the net.  

 

SERVICE:

  • The server must always wait for the referee to signal for serve, prior to the serve. If a serve is executed before the signal to serve, the referee will signal a re-serve.
  • Servers must always be positioned behind the end line prior to contacting the ball. The entire width of the court is available to the server. A foot on the line at the time the ball is contacted is a foot fault violation and will result in loss of serve and a point for the opposing team.
  • If the ball, after having been tossed or released by the server, lands on the floor without touching the player, the server is allowed to re-serve. This is called a service tossing error. The server is allowed one service tossing error per serve.
  • A team serving out of rotation will forfeit the serve and result in a point being awarded the opposing team. The rotation must be correct at the time of the serve.
  • 4th-6th GRADE HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULES:
    • Elementary School servers are allowed to use the modified service line which is 25’ from the net.  An alternative service line which is 20' from the net will be available during the first half of the season and should only be used by underpowered players. 4th Grade House can use the alternative service line throughout the season.
    • Foot faults are not enforced. 
    • Each player on his/her first serve in a new service rotation is allowed a first bad serve and then one re-serve.
    • With each rotation to the service position, a player is permitted a maximum of three (3) consecutive points won on his/her serves.  After reaching the maximum, the serve goes to the other team, with no point awarded to the other team.
  • 7th-8th GRADE HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULES:
    • Middle School servers must serve from behind the 30’ end line.  An alternative service line which is 25' from the net will be available during the first half of the season and should only be used by underpowered players.
    • Foot faults are not enforced.
    • Each player on his/her first serve in a new service rotation is allowed a first bad serve and then one re-serve.
    • With each rotation to the service position, a player is permitted a maximum of three (3) consecutive points won on his/her serves.  After reaching the maximum, the serve goes to the other team, with no point awarded to the other team.
  • 9th-12th GRADE HOUSE LEAGUE SPECIAL RULE:
    • With each rotation to the service position, a player is permitted a maximum of five (5) consecutive points won on his/her serves.  After reaching the maximum, the serve goes to the other team, with no point awarded to the other team.
    • Foot faults are not enforced

 

FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT

  • Net height is no higher than 7 feet for the Elementary School leagues and 7 feet 4 inches for the Middle School and High School leagues.
  • The standard court dimensions are 9 meters x 9 meters (about 30' x 30') on each side of the net.
  • Teams are responsible for the set-up and takedown of the equipment.

 

SPORTSMANSHIP

  • As a recreational youth program, MYA Volleyball expects all players, coaches and spectators to demonstrate respect for others and behave with good sportsmanship at MYA Volleyball events in accordance with the MYA Code of Conduct signed by all participants during registration.
  • Any attempt to intimidate a player or team including making distracting noises during serves are considered a sportsmanship violation and have team consequences.  During any match, the first violation by a player, coach or spectator -- as determined by referees and league offices -- results in a warning. Subsequent violations are a misconduct penalty with the opposing team receiving a point.  Repeat offenses could result in a match forfeit, expulsion from the gym, and a ban from participating in MYA Volleyball events.

 

REFEREE HAND SIGNALS: