College Volleyball Rules and Regulations in 2023 Explained

College volleyball rules are the same as indoor volleyball, with minor differences. Throughout this article, I will delve into scoring, substitutions, rotations, serving, time-outs, and transfers. I will also cover common college volleyball rules violation, such as illegal contacts, double hits, foot faults, net violations, and illegal substitutions. Additionally, I will provide information on other college volleyball rules rules, such as the volleyball net rules, ball size, uniform rules, and time limits. Finally, I will explain the college volleyball libero rules, which allow a designated player to enter the game in a defensive role.

College Volleyball Scoring Rules

In college volleyball, the objective is to send the ball over the net and onto the opponent’s side of the court. Teams earn points by making the ball hit the ground on the opponent’s side or when the opposing team commits a fault.

But that’s not all there is to college volleyball rules for scoring. Here are some additional details to keep in mind:

  1. A point is awarded to a team if the ball lands on the opponent’s court or the opponent commits a fault, such as touching the net or crossing the centerline.
  2. A point is also awarded to a team if the opponent hits the ball out of bounds.
  3. If the ball hits the net on a serve but goes over to the opponent’s court, play will continue, and the serve will be considered reasonable.
  4. Suppose the ball hits the ceiling or any other object in the gymnasium and lands on the opponent’s court. In that case, the team that hit the ball retains the serve, and play continues.
  5. Each team is allowed six substitutions per set. Suppose a player is injured and cannot continue. In that case, a team may make a seventh substitution with the approval of the official.
  6. If a team wins a set, they will receive one point in the overall match. The team that wins three sets wins the game.

College Volleyball Rotation Rules

College volleyball rules for rotation dictate how players on the court rotate positions after each serve. Here are some key points to know about these rules:

  1. Rotation order: Players rotate clockwise around the court, with the server rotating into the right back position and each subsequent player moving up one spot.
  2. Serving position: The player in the right back position serves the ball and must remain there until the ball is served.
  3. Substitution: Substituted players must enter the game in the same position as the player they are replacing. They are then subject to the same rotation order as the rest of the players on the court.
  4. Penalties: Violating rotation rules results in a point awarded to the opposing team and a loss of serve for the offending team.

College Volleyball Recruiting Rules

College volleyball rules in recruiting are simple; Here are some key things to know about college volleyball recruiting rules:

When can coaches contact you?

College coaches are permitted to contact potential student-athletes on June 15th following their sophomore year of high school. Before that date, coaches cannot initiate contact with athletes or their families.

What can coaches say during recruitment?

College coaches are permitted to communicate with prospective student-athletes about their sports skills and the recruiting process. They can also provide general information about their program and answer any athlete’s questions. However, coaches are not allowed to make official offers until the athlete’s senior year of high school.

Official and unofficial visits

Prospective student-athletes can take both official and unofficial visits to college campuses. During an official visit, the college will cover the cost of transportation, lodging, and meals for the athlete and their parents or guardians. During an unofficial visit, the athlete and their family are responsible for all expenses.

What is the National Letter of Intent?

The NLI is a legal document that a prospective student-athlete signs to commit to attending a specific college or university. Athletes who sign an NLI agree to attend college for one academic year and to participate in their chosen sport. In return, the college agrees to provide an athletic scholarship for that year. NLIs are typically signed in the athlete’s senior year of high school.

What are the academic requirements?

The NCAA in college volleyball rules set minimum standards for academic eligibility in , which include achieving a certain GPA and scoring a minimum on the SAT/ACT. These requirements ensure that student-athletes are prepared to handle the academic demands of college while also excelling in their sport. Prospective student-athletes need to stay on top of their academic requirements throughout high school to ensure they are eligible to play at the college level.

What are the recruitment deadlines?

The recruitment process in college volleyball rules have several important deadlines that athletes must be aware of. For example, athletes must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to be eligible to play in college. Additionally, there are specific dates for official visits, the signing of the National Letter of Intent, and more. Athletes need to stay informed about these deadlines to ensure they take advantage of all important opportunities.

College Volleyball Serving Rules

Serving is the only time a player can score a direct point. Here are some important points from college volleyball rules to remember:

  1. Service order: The team with the serve must rotate in a clockwise direction after winning a rally and maintain their positions throughout the serve.
  2. Serving position: The server must stand behind the end line when serving the ball. The server may only step on or over the end line once the ball has been struck.
  3. Foot faults: If the server steps on or over the end line before striking the ball, it is considered a foot fault, and the serve is invalid. If the server commits a foot fault, the serve is replayed.
  4. Serve receive position: The receiving team must be in the correct position before the serve. Each team has three front-row players and three back-row players, and they must be in their respective zones when the ball is served.
  5. Service errors: If the ball does not clear the net or lands out of bounds, it is considered a service error. The opposing team will receive a point and the serve.
  6. Service violations: The server must serve the ball within eight seconds of the whistle, or it is considered a service violation. Additionally, the server must wait for the referee’s whistle before serving the ball.
  7. Service order: The first serve of each set is determined by a coin toss, and the team that wins the toss decides whether to serve or receive the ball. If the team that wins the toss chooses to serve, the opposing team will receive the first serve of the next set.

Time Outs In College Volleyball

Time outs in college volleyball can make or break a team’s momentum and strategy during a match. . Each team is granted a certain number of timeouts per set. Let’s take a closer look at how timeouts work in college volleyball.

How many time outs are allowed per set?

In college volleyball, each team is given two timeouts per set.  Either the coach or players on the court, and can be taken at any point during the set.

How long are time outs?

Timeouts in college volleyball are longer than in high school, lasting 60 seconds each. The coach or player must request a timeout from the official, and once granted, the team has 60 seconds to regroup and discuss strategy.

Can time outs be carried over between sets?

Unfortunately, there is no way to carry over unused timeouts from one set to the next in college volleyball. Each set begins with two timeouts for each team, regardless of how many timeouts were used in the previous set.

Can time outs be used for any reason?

Yes, timeouts can be used for any reason, whether to regroup after a long rally, adjust the team’s strategy, or give the players a moment to catch their breath. It is essential to use them strategically to gain an advantage over the opposing team.

Can the opposing team call a time out?

In college volleyball, only the team currently in possession of the ball can call a timeout during play. However, if the opposing team notices a problem with the court or equipment, they can request a time out to address the issue.

College Volleyball Transfer Rules

College volleyball players may consider transferring to another school for various reasons, such as seeking better playing opportunities, being closer to home, or pursuing a different academic program. Transferring to another college as a volleyball player can be a complicated process, as there are specific college volleyball rules and regulations that players and coaches must follow.

  1. Notification of Intent to Transfer: The first step in transferring as a college volleyball player is to notify your current coach of your intent to transfer. This notification can be verbal or in writing, but informing your coach before contacting other schools is crucial.
  2. Permission to Contact: Once you have notified your coach, you must request permission to contact other schools. With this permission, coaches from other schools can legally communicate with you about transferring. The NCAA allows a one-time transfer exception. An athlete can transfer and immediately play at the new school without sitting out for a year.
  3. Deadlines: Following the transfer deadlines set by the NCAA and your current and potentially new schools is essential. A deadline can result in eligibility issues and delay your ability to play.
  4. Academic Standing: To be eligible for a transfer, you must be in good academic standing at your current school and meet the academic requirements of the new school. If you have yet to complete at least one year of college, you may also need to meet high school academic requirements.
  5. Athletic Scholarships: If you receive an athletic scholarship at your current school, transferring to another school may affect your eligibility. Discussing scholarship options with your present and potentially new schools is essential.
  6. Sit-Out Period: In some cases, transferring college volleyball players may have to sit out for a year before being eligible to play for their new school. However, some exceptions may apply, such as graduate transfers.
  7. Transfer Portal: The NCAA transfer portal is a database of college athletes who have expressed their intent to transfer. Coaches from other schools can access the portal to contact and recruit players interested in transferring.

College Volleyball Rules Violations

Illegal Contacts, Double Hits, Foot Faults, Net Violations, Illegal Substitutions, and Back-Row Attacks are common college volleyball rules violations.

Other College Volleyball Rules

Aside from the basic rules of volleyball, college volleyball has some specific rules you should know as a player or a fan. Here I will go over the laws that apply to the net, ball size, uniforms, and time limits in college volleyball.

College Volleyball Net Rules

The height of the net in college volleyball is standardized across various levels of competition. For men’s volleyball, the net is set at 7 feet 11 ⅝ inches (2.43 meters), while for women’s volleyball, the net height is 7 feet 4 ⅛ inches (2.24 meters). The net is also wider than in high school, measuring 36 feet (11 meters) in length and 39 inches (1 meter) in height.

A player can touch the net as long as it does not interfere with the play or the opposing team’s ability to play the ball. However, it’s considered a fault if a player touches the net and affects the play. If a player touches the opponent’s court or their side of the net, it’s also a fault.

College Volleyball Ball Size

The ball used in college volleyball is the same as in high school and international competitions, which is a leather or synthetic ball measuring 65-67 cm (25.6-26.4 inches) in circumference and weighing 260-280 grams (9.2-9.9 ounces).

Uniform Rules in College Volleyball

The NCAA has specific college volleyball rules regarding uniforms. The uniform must be a one-piece or two-piece uniform, and the jersey must have a visible number on the front and back, measuring at least 4 inches in height and 2 inches in width. The libero (defensive specialist) must wear a uniform that contrasts with the rest of the team’s uniform.

Time Limits in College Volleyball

College volleyball matches are usually played in a best-of-five format, with each set played to 25 points (and a two-point advantage). If the match goes to a fifth set, it’s played to 15 points. Each team is allowed six substitutions per set, and the coach can request up to two timeouts per set. Each team is allowed one additional timeout if the match goes to a fifth set.

College Volleyball Libero Rules

This player has specific rules and restrictions that are different from other players on the court.

What are the limits for a libero?

    • The libero has several restrictions that differentiate them from other players on the court. Here are the main rules:
    • The libero cannot serve, block, or attempt to spike a ball while jumping from anywhere on the court.
    • The libero cannot play the ball above the net’s height in front of the attack line if the ball is coming from the opponent’s side of the court.

The libero cannot play the ball with their hands if they are above the net and the ball is coming from the opponent’s side of the court.

What Are The Uniform Rules for a Libero?

The NCAA has different rule regarding the libero’s uniform. The libero’s jersey must have a different color than the rest of the team’s jersey, and the sleeves must be a different color than the jersey’s body. The libero’s shorts or pants must also be a different color than the rest of the team’s uniform.