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Volleyball Rules - Winter 2023

2023 Updated Volleyball Rules

Stonewall Volleyball Philadelphia will operate under the competition rules and regulations as outlined in the 2021-2023 Indoor Rules Book as adopted by USA Volleyball. The rules below are specific to Stonewall Volleyball Philadelphia and supersede the rules in the USA Volleyball Rules Book.

1. Match Time and Number of Sets

    a. Each match will be allotted 40 minutes for play. We ask that all members be respectful of time. Please be assembled and ready to play at least 5 minutes prior to your scheduled match time. In the event a match directly before yours is running slightly over, please be patient and ready to play immediately upon conclusion of that match.

    b. During play, keep the match moving and avoid unnecessary delays. Intentionally stalling is not acceptable and may be penalized with a warning and then yellow cards for offending players at the discretion of the referee.

    c. Each match will be played as the best of 3 sets. The first 2 sets of a match will be played to 25 points, using rally scoring. If a third set is necessary, it will be played to 15 points, using rally scoring.

    d. The first team in a set to score 25 points (or 15 points for the third set) will be the winner of that set.

    e. If the set score reaches 24-24, the first team to reach a two-point advantage (e.g., 26-24 or 29-27) will be the winner of that set. Scoring is capped at 27 points for the first two sets and 17 points for the third.

    f. If a match reaches the time limit (40 minutes) before the completion of the deciding set, the teams will be allowed a maximum of 5 minutes to finish the current set. If that set does not reach a winning score by the end of the additional 5 minutes, the match will end and the team with the most points will be declared the winner of that set.

    g. A new set may not begin after the 40-minute mark; if teams are tied 1-1 at/after 40 minutes, the match ends in a tie.

    h. If a final set does not reach at least 10 total points prior to being ended for time, it will not be counted and the scores of the first two sets will stand. (Example: set 3 starts at the 38-minute mark. After 40 minutes and the additional 5 minutes, the score is only 3-5. The match will not be counted.)

2. Net Height

        a. As a co-ed, recreational league, Stonewall Volleyball will use a net height at or very near 7'9 5/8".

    3. Team Composition

          a. A team may consist of up to 12 members, including the captain.

          b. Only team members that are registered and paid members of Stonewall Volleyball are eligible to play on a team. If a non-registered player is used during a match, the opposing team may notify the referee and the match will be forfeited.

          c. A team must have at least 5 players present to play a match. Teams will be given a 5-minute grace period to present a full team of 5 players after the scheduled start time of the match. If at least 5 players are not present following the 5-minute grace period, the team forfeits the match. After the forfeit has been recorded, the teams may choose to play a friendly scrimmage match if both captains agree.

          d. A player arriving late may enter the rotation only if a complete rotation has not occurred in the current set. If the team has fully rotated through, the late player may join in the subsequent sets. Players may enter as late as the third set.

          e. In accordance with the recreational nature of Stonewall Volleyball, all players need to rotate through all games. Captains are responsible for ensuring that their rotations are fair and consistent. Deliberately excluding a player from a rotation for a competitive advantage will result in a red card for the team captain.

      4. The Uniform

            a. Every player must be wearing their current-season Stonewall Volleyball shirt.

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

            c. All players must wear athletic shoes with non-marking soles.

            d. Knee pads and other protective equipment are not required but can be worn.

        5. The Libero Position

              a. If a team wishes to use a libero, it is the team's responsibility to clearly identify the libero and to notify the referee of the method used to identify them. Some suggested methods include colored arm bands or a jersey worn over the regular Stonewall Volleyball shirt.

              b. If a referee feels that the libero is not clearly identifiable during game play, the referee may stop play and require the team to identify the libero more clearly.

          6. Playoffs/Final Tournament

                a. At the conclusion of the regular season, a final tournament will be held for the competitive teams. The seeding and structure for the tournament will be announced following the final week of regular play.

                b. Tournament structures will be designed to maximize playing time for all teams while still determining a league winner. To this end, the playoff structure may not include all teams, but all teams will play at least one game in the final week.

            7. Season Standings

                  a. Each week league management will update the league standings.

                  b. League standings are determined first by a team's win-loss record and then by the overall point differential.

              8. Referees/Line Judges

                    a. Stonewall Volleyball league managers or designated officials will act as head refs for each match.

                    b. Each team will be required to provide 2 individuals to serve as line judges. The schedule for line judges will be published prior to the beginning of the season. If a team fails to provide line judges as scheduled, the team will receive a paper forfeit for their match that week.

                      i. Line judges are to be attentive to play and should not be distracted by cell phones, other players, etc.

                  9. Forfeits and Scoring

                        a. If a team is assigned a forfeit for a match due to failure to present a full team at match time, the score for that match will be recorded as 2-0 and the score for each set will be recorded as 25-0. If the team notifies league management by 5:00 p. m. on game day of a forfeit, the score for that match will be recorded as 2-0 and the score for each set will be recorded as 25-15.

                        b. If a team is assigned a paper forfeit for failing to provide line judges as scheduled the score for that match will be recorded as 2-0 and the score for each set will be recorded as 25-0.

                    10. Game Conduct

                          a. If a player exhibits any behavior that deliberately subverts league rules or the mission of Stonewall Sports Philadelphia, verbal warnings and/or removal from the match can be issued by the referee.

                          b. Three levels of sanctions are available to the referee and may be issued at their discretion. Depending on the nature of the offense, these sanctions need not be issued in order:

                            i. Verbal warning to the player(s) and team captain.

                            ii. Yellow card to the individual player(s) committing the offense. A player issued a yellow card is removed from the current set, and service is given to the opposing team. Players issued a yellow card may return to play in a subsequent set.

                                  1. Yellow cards apply to individual players; however, they also serve as a verbal warning to the entire team. Teammates committing a similar infraction will not receive an additional warning but will automatically be issued a yellow card.

                                  iii. Red card to the individual player(s) committing the offense. A player issued a red card is removed from the match, and service is given to the opposing team.

                                        1. Players receiving a red card are disqualified for at least the remainder of play that evening. Red cards will be reviewed by the Volleyball Director and Director of Sports Operations who may impose additional sanctions based on the nature of the incident.

                                c. Captains may calmly discuss a play with the referee for the purpose of clarification or explanation of what was observed. Referees may discuss these plays with line judges, but captains may not approach line judges directly. Referees may consult league management regarding rules, but the final decision on a call rests solely with the referee.

                                d. Captains may also bring to the attention of the referee any opposing player they believe is intentionally violating the rules. In such cases the referee may pay specific attention to the player in question and may call upon a member of league management for additional support.

                                e. No player may argue with or berate any referee, official, or opponent. Violations will be subject to immediate sanction up to and including a red card at the discretion of the referee. Any player who exhibits overly or consistently aggressive behavior or who physically contacts or personally insults any referee, official, or opponent will receive an automatic red card.

                                f. Arguments between teams, up to and including fighting, will result in red cards issued directly to all involved players and may result in the immediate ending of the match at the discretion of the referee and league management.

                            11. Injuries and Player Safety

                                  a. Player safety must always be the priority of all referees, officials, and league managers. Referees have complete discretion to halt a game to ensure player safety. Referees have authority to take any necessary measures to ensure safe conditions prior to resuming play.

                                  b. In the event of an injury, the game shall be stopped by the referee and the injured player removed from the court when it is safe to do so. If the injured player is unable to return to play, a new player should be rotated into the game.

                                  c. All player injuries must be reported to league management.

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