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All divisions will play by current FIVB/USAV Outdoor Volleyball Rules with the following clarifications. Any exceptions or alternate rule interpretations must be agreed upon between the players and Tournament Director before play begins.

  1. Self-calls are required. If you make a violation, you call it on yourself.

  2. Consecutive contacts are allowed on the first ball over the net, including the serve, except when using finger action (setting motion) and provided that the contacts occur during one action.

  3. Consecutive contacts off a hard driven ball are legal, even when using finger action. In defensive action of a hard driven ball, the ball contact can be extended momentarily overhand with the fingers, as well as doubled with fingers. Plays involving finger action require special attention. If the play is defensive and reactive in nature, as in the case of a hard-driven ball, momentarily held or double-contacted balls are not considered faults. Furthermore, this may apply to the second touch of a team if the block contact was slight and the ball is still a hard-driven attack or to the defensive action (team first contact) after a ball has been blocked. If the player decides/intends to use finger setting action to contact an off-speed attack, the contact must be “clean”. The hands must act together smoothly, or a “double-hit” should be called. Sets that visibly come to rest or are redirected are “held ball, lift, or carry” faults. The indicators which should affect the official’s judgement whether the contact is reactive or not are: the speed and trajectory of the ball. A “hard-driven” ball is considered to move too fast for a deliberate decision to employ setting action. A ball that rises before it falls should NOT be considered hard-driven (e.g.: a roll shot or an upward deflection of the ball off a block or the net). A ball that hits the net or a blocker could still be considered hard-driven if the defensive play is reactive in nature because the ball is still moving at a high rate of speed.

  4. A directional block is allowed. The ball can be redirected by a block provided that it satisfies the definition of a block and the contact time is not prolonged. (FIVB casebook 5.8.3) Blocking is the action of a player close to the net to intercept the ball coming from the opponent by reaching higher than the top of the net.

  5. Players may attempt to hand set the ball on serve reception; however, the ball must be handled cleanly, can never come to rest, be double-hit, lifted or carried. A served ball is NOT considered a hard-driven attack regardless of speed.

  6. All hand setting should be judged consistently and fairly from game to game within each division throughout the entire tournament by every officiating team. Some leniency should be granted to the Novice, Juniors, and Parent-Child divisions to allow for double contacts since individuals in those divisions may still be learning the game. The B divisions are called a little tighter because the basic skills should already be acquired. The standard for setting within A divisions is even higher since players usually have much more experience. Of course, the AA and Open divisions have the highest standard which are comparable to expectations found at other AA and Open tournaments across the country.

  7. A hand set where the ball crosses into the opponent’s court is only legal if the trajectory of the ball is perpendicular to his/her shoulders (where the ball lands, or would land) no matter what the intent. If the wind carries the ball over the net and you are not perpendicular it is a fault (in all grass divisions). A player must be forward facing and feet must be planted, with hips and shoulders square to the net BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER contact. Anything less is a fault.

  8. “Open hand tipping” in outdoor volleyball is illegal. You can NOT redirect or push the ball with an open hand like indoor volleyball players. To “tip” legally, all fingers in contact with the ball must be rigid and together. Knuckles are allowed.

  9. Any contact with the net is considered a fault (in ALL grass divisions) except when the ball pushes the net into you. All grass divisions play by the “continuation” net rule which means players may not touch the net even after the ball is dead. Player contact with the net is illegal even after terminating the ball as part of a hit or block. (Open divisions on the sand may play by the FIVB rule that if the ball is dead, then a player may contact the net without a fault.) If the ball is in the net on the opposite side of the court, the ball may not be contacted by the opposing player to deflect the ball or to interfere with the natural path of the ball.

  10. 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.

  11. The let serve is allowed in all divisions.

  12. 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 unsportsmanlike conduct.

  13. If no antennae are available, the posts holding up the net outside the line boundaries are considered the antennae.

  14. All the short court divisions will play the block as the first contact and any player may make the second contact of the ball after the block.

  15. As soon as the ball crosses the plane of the net outside the antennae it is considered a dead ball. The pursuit rule is NOT allowed in any grass division because of the type of net systems in use. The Open divisions may pursue outside of the antennae if the facilities allow adequate space for this. The ball must cross outside (or directly above) the antennae each time it crosses the plane of the net to be legally saved.

  16. Only one toss is allowed per serve for adults. Juniors are allowed 2 attempts in Juniors or Parent-Child divisions only.

  17. A co-ed team may not participate in a women’s division, but may compete in a men’s division (boys under 15 may play in women’s divisions or with a male in coed divisions).

  18. Injured players may not be replaced. No substitutions will be allowed for any reason in any division.

  19. The Wilson AVP® official game ball is preferred but not required if not available on your court.

  20. No refunds will be given after play has begun except for extreme extenuating circumstances approved only by the Tournament Director.

  21. During pool play, a 3-minute “on court” warm-up time is allowed.

  22. Teams typically change sides every 10 points in a game to 25, 7 points in a game to 21, and 5 points in a game to 15 unless each playing team agrees on a different arrangement with the officiating team BEFORE the match begins.

  23. Most divisions will participate in pool play, followed by a single-elimination tournament except the Men’s and Women’s Open divisions which usually play a double-elimination tournament format at the Tournament Director’s discretion.

  24. Pool play match format will be designated by the Tournament Director on each pool sheet. All games will be rally score. Each match will be either 1, 2, or 3 games to 15, 21, 25, or 30 points depending on the size of your pool. All pool play games usually have a cap at 2 points greater than the listed ending score.

  25. Pools usually have four to seven teams each. At least two teams from each pool should advance to a single-elimination tournament as specified by the Tournament Director.

  26. All teams should be required to officiate. Teams must officiate when scheduled, including playoffs, or find a suitable replacement, or they may forfeit their next game or match at the Tournament Director’s discretion. Officials should: call faults and resolve disputes, answer questions regarding rules (disputes with officials regarding rule interpretations should immediately come to the Tournament Director or MP Representative for resolution) keep the score and record the results and make the final decision on all judgement calls.

  27. To correctly keep score for a pool, the official must write the score in the correct box on the score sheet for the teams playing each other.
    For team Number 1, any score that is listed in the top row (from left to right) would need to have team Number 1’s score listed FIRST.
    For the Number 2 team, their scores would be listed FIRST in the second row and so on.

  28. It is each player’s responsibility to make sure the match scores are recorded correctly. If they are incomplete, a forfeit may be recorded.

  29. Bring your pool sheet to the Tournament Desk immediately after play if your pool is complete.

  30. The number of teams to advance to the playoffs will be designated by the Tournament Director on each pool sheet. Ties in a pool and between pools will be decided first by head to head match results (for two-way ties), second by game win-loss record, third by head to head (to head) point differential, fourth by total point differential, and lastly by a coin toss. A team will NOT be eliminated from advancing to the playoffs because of a lower point differential or coin toss. A playoff match (or two) to 15 points with NO CAP will determine who advances in this case.

  31. First, Second and Third place teams in most divisions are each responsible to properly take down a net and clean up the trash around that court before they can claim their prizes.

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