What is Volleyball?

Volleyball is an international sport, played by 2 teams of 6 players who hit a ball over a net to each other, predominately using their hands or forearms. 


A team can play the ball up to 3 times on their side of the net before playing it over.

Teams are encourages to use 3 contacts – firstly playing the ball towards the net using a forearm pass, then along the net using a set and finally over the net using a spike.

A player cannot have consecutive hits of the ball.

A block does not count as a contact, so a player can block the ball and then play it again.

The ball may contact any part of the body above the waist.

Kicking the ball is not permitted during play for safety reasons, although at Olympic level it is permissible.


Sets are played to 25 points, with at least 2 points clear to win the set.

Matches are played as best of 3 or 5 sets, or a time limit is applied.

Every rally scores a point

Teams change ends at the end of each set.

A point is scored if:

-          One team does not return the ball inside three hits

-          The ball lands out of the court

-          One team is successful in hitting the ball so it lands on the floor/ground in the oppositions court area

-          A fault is committed by one team

The winner of the rally not only scores a point, but also the right to serve to start the next rally.


Upon regaining the serve, the players rotate one position clockwise and the new server is the one in the right back position.

The server must serve the ball from behind the court baseline.

If the server wins 3 point’s straight, the team rotates for the next server to continue.


Two referees control the game and make decisions according to the rules and the skills of the players. Their aim is to make the game enjoyable, safe and as free-flowing as possible. To be qualified, referees have to pass practical and theory tests, but a good game can take place with responsible people acting as umpires for recreational games.