Baltimore Beach Volleyball ďBBVĒ


United States Volleyball Association (USAV) rules will be used as the basis for all leagues at Baltimore Beach.  USAV is the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of volleyball in the United States and is recognized by the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as our countryís leader in volleyball rules.  BBV modifications supersede USAV rules.

BBV Modifications:

Sex Rule:  Coed doubles and 6's "C" are the only divisions that do not delineate the difference in sex of a player.  (i.e. female is not required to touch the ball before it crosses the net)  All other Coed leagues & divisions, the "touch" rule is in effect (see Coed 4's rule 1 below)

Results:  Each team must be sure that correct scores have been posted after each match and must have a representative sign the score sheet at the end of every match. Results are not considered "official" unless signed by a team captain or representative from both teams.

Time Outs:  Each team may take two 30 second time outs per game for fours and sixes competition.  Doubles matches are entitled to only one 30 second time out per game.

Incorrect Service Order:  There is no penalty for serving out of order.  Correct the error when (if) discovered.

Out of Bounds:   If any player touches, comes in contact with another court while that court is being used or interferes with players of the other court it will be considered a fault. (competition or league play only - pickup matches are not considered official competition)                          

Forfeits:  If a team is incomplete and/or not prepared to play at the start of their match (game time) they shall be penalized a one game forfeit. This team will then be given 15 minutes to field a complete team and/or be prepared to play a 'legal' game. If after 30 minutes the team is still incomplete or unable to play, they will be considered in forfeit of the entire match. No show fees are used to pay opposing teams sponsor bar tab. All no show fees must be paid before the start of the teamís next scheduled match. NOTE:  Team players being utilized from a higher division or from another team within the same division must be approved by the opposing captain prior to play.  Any discrepancies should be brought to the attention of a league commissioner immediately for final disposition.  All forfeits are at the discretion of the opposing team, however matches time limits are still in effect (1 hr)Remember, it is far better to forfeit or reschedule a match than to be in an accident.


Protests:   Only interpretations of the rules may be protested.  Remember, these leagues are self-officiated.  If there are any discrepancies or questions about any rules in use, see a league commissioner immediately.  Printed rules and BBV exceptions will be available for review at the BBV field office as well as posted here on the website.

Playoff seeding:  In the event of a league tie for the top playoff positions, a one game tie-breaker match will be played.

Baltimore Beach Jerseys are Mandatory:  When your official Spring/Summer Session jersey is distributed to your captain it will be required wear at the beginning of any match.  It helps our staff/opposing teams identify players as being involved with the current season and officially on your team's roster.  Additionally jerseys are required wear at sponsor restaurants to help their staff identify patron discounts.  No other Baltimore area league garments are permitted on the courts. 

League Commissioner:  The League Commissioner will have the final decision on all matters. The Commissioner may and will do whatever is necessary to finish the league, including shortening or changing the number of games, etc.



T.G. Webster (410) 752-4805

Jim Holcomb (724) 504-6754


USAV Based Rules

2ís, 4ís, and 6ís


2-Player Rules


  1.Law 1 ----- Safety & Responsibility of the Participants


                             1.The safety of the participants is of paramount importance.

                             2.Any dangerous or potentially harmful hazards should be removed from the area

                                of competition.

                             3.If the hazard cannot be removed, the site of the competition should be


                             4.The participants are expected to know and understand the laws of the game of


                             5.Players shall call and enforce the appropriate penalties for their own infractions



  2.Law 2 ----- The Volleyball Court and Game Equipment


1.The court is rectangular in shape and is 18 meters x 9 meters or  30 feet wide by 60 feet long.  Open division will use a shorter court: 16 meters x 8 meters or 52' 6" x 26' 3"  All BBV Doubles leagues will use "short court"

                              2.The court is divided into two evenly sized sections by the net.

                              3.An unmarked centerline directly under the net separates the two sections of the


                              4.The court boundaries shall be marked in an appropriate manner.

                              5.The court lines or boundaries and the area inside the lines are IN.

                              6.The surrounding area is OUT.

                              7.The ball shall be spherical with an approximate circumference of 26".

                              8.The net shall be of an appropriate size and made of an appropriate material.

                              9.The net shall extend completely across the width of the court at a

                                predetermined height.

                                     For men's competition the height from the ground to the top of the net

                                     shall be aprox. 8'.

                                     For women's competition the height shall be aprox. 7' 4".


  3.Law 3 ----- The League Commissioner  


                        1.The League Commissioner shall enforce the Laws of the Game.

2.The Commissioner may warn or penalize (by the awarding of points or service to the opponents, ejection of a player or team, or disqualification of a team) a team or player for infractions of the laws (faults) or for unsportsmanlike conduct.


  4.Law 4 ----- The Game


                             1.The game shall consist of two opposing teams of two players per team.

                             2.Each team attempts to keep the ball from contacting the IN area of play on

                                their section of the court and to direct the ball over the net to contact the

                                opponent's IN area of play by striking or hitting the ball.


  5.Law 5 ----- The Rules of Play


                                          (Interpretations of the rules are in bold print)


          1.Rule 1   Hitting the Ball


                                  1.The ball must be struck or hit.

No setting into the Opponent's court


           2.Rule 2   Service


                                  1.Service is the act of hitting the ball from behind the endline and between

                                     the sidelines at the start of play in an attempt to direct the ball into the

                                     opponentís in area of the court.

                                  2.The same player continues to serve until the serving team commits a fault.

                                  3.Teammates shall alternate service sessions for their team.

                                  4.The ball must be tossed or dropped before being hit for service. (Once

                                     the ball has been tossed or dropped for service it must be hit. Should

                                     the ball strike the ground without being hit it is a fault and service is

                                     awarded to the other team.)

                                  5.After being tossed or dropped, the ball must be hit with one hand or any

                                     part of the arm.


           3.Rule 3   Play


                                  1.Once the ball is put into play by service, play continues until one team

                                     commits an infraction of the laws or rules (fault).


           4.Rule 4   Infractions of the Laws or Rules (Faults)


                                A. The commission of a fault results in the stoppage of play.

                                  1.Simultaneous faults by opponents will result in a replay.

                                  2.A player involved in the action of Hitting or Blocking shall be penalized

                                     for the commission of a fault, even after the ball has contacted the

                                     ground, if he contacts the net prior to getting his body under control,

                                     before or after returning to the ground.

Example: A player, after blocking the ball to the ground in the opponent's court, lands, then contacts the net, even though the touch of the net occurs after the ball has struck the ground, will still be charged with a net fault.


                                B. Infractions (Faults) occur when:


                                  1.The ball does not pass over the net and completely between the net

                                     supports when directed to the opponent's side of the court.

Net Boundary: The ball must be played between and not over the poles. If any part of the ball touches the pole, its hardware, or goes over the pole it is a fault.


                                  2.The ball contacts the ground, floor, net poles and/or hardware, referee,

                                     or any area deemed out of play.

                               Court Boundary: If the line moves, the ball is in, unless the

                                          ball lands clearly outside the line.


                                  3.The server during the service action touches the endline, sideline, the IN

                                     area of the court, or the area not behind the endline and between the


                                Foot Fault: If the line moves, it is a fault, unless the server

                                          clearly and obviously did not touch or move the line.

                                          Service Area: You may serve from anywhere behind the

                                          endline and between the sidelines. The last contact with the

                                          ground for both feet of a server prior to contacting the ball

                                          must take place behind the endline and between the sidelines.


                                  4.The ball after being contacted by the server contacts anything prior to

                                     completely passing over the net and into the opponent's side of the



                                  5.The ball is not clearly and cleanly hit.

                                Lift: Any ball that comes to a rest is a fault.

                                          Soft Shot (Dink): Any open hand soft shot that is directed by

                                          contact with the pads of the fingers is a fault. The ball must be hit.


                                  6.A player or his clothing contacts the net.

                                          Hair: Hair contacting the net is not considered a fault.

                                          Net Movement: If the net contacts the player due to the ball

                                          contacting and moving the net it is not considered a fault.



7.A team contacts the ball more than three times before returning the ball to the opponent's side of the net with the following exception.

                                Blocking: You may block the ball on the opponent's side of the net by reaching over the net.
                                           You may only block a ball that has been directed by the opposing team into your court

                                          or if the opposing team has contacted the ball their allotted  three times. The block does not
                                          count as one of the team's
three hits.

8. A player contacts the ball two or more times in succession. If contact of the ball is played overhand using the fingers, double, successive, or prolonged contact with the ball is a fault.

                                Double Hit: You may not play the ball with an open handed setting motion and have
                                           multiple contacts except in defense of a hard driven ball. In defense of a hard spiked ball
                                           a "beach dig" is allowed. You may only "beach dig" a hard spiked (hard driven) ball.
                                           A Served ball is never considered a hard spiked ball. A hard spiked ball is defined

                                          as a ball that has been hit from above the height of the net directly toward the ground
                                          with NO UPWARD ARC in the trajectory of the ball and with significant velocity.


9.A player contacts the ball when the ball is completely on the opponent's side of the court, except during a legal block.

 You may not play a ball once it has passed completely over or under the net between the poles. A player may retrieve a ball that has passed the centerline either over or outside of the poles. The ball *must* be returned to the player's court either outside or over the poles.


10.A player crosses the centerline and interferes with his opponent's ability to play the game.

                               Centerline: You may cross the centerline as long as this does

                                          not interfere with your opponents ability to make a play on the ball.
                               Contact with the opponent is not a requirement for

                                          interference to occur. If a collision appears likely Stop Play!


                                11.The ball is hit before being tossed or dropped for service.

                                12.The ball is caught or strikes the ground after having been tossed or

                                     dropped for service before being hit.

                               Once the ball is tossed you must serve it. If the ball strikes

                                          the ground or is caught without being hit after being released

                                          for service it is a fault and service is awarded to the other

                                          team. You are no longer permitted a second attempt to serve

                                          if you don't like your toss.


5.Rule 5   Points or Awarding of Service (Sideout)

                               1.A point is awarded to the serving team when the receiving team commits a fault.

                               2.Service, and point is awarded to the receiving team when the serving

                                  team commits a fault.


           6.Rule 6   Substitution:

Unlimited substitutions are permitted.  A player is only permitted to play for one team per/division/season.


           7.Rule 7   End of the Game

                              1.Each team attempts to accumulate a predetermined number of points

                                 before their opponents.

                              2.When the point total is reached the game is ended.


          8. Rule 8    Rotation of Position: You need not rotate position


9. Rule 9   Changing sides: 

       change sides when the score total from both teams equals 25
       *Note:  Rule not in effect at BBV.  Side changes occur at intervals of 7 points.



4ís-Player Rules


The laws of 4-player volleyball are the same as the 2-Player volleyball laws with the addition of a third and fourth participant on both teams and with the following changes:


1.If there is more than one contact by a player on a side, a female touch must be included.
(coed divisions A & B only)


2.Service Order: Once a service order has been established for the three players they must follow the same service order throughout the game.


3.Soft Shot (Dink): An open hand soft shot that is directed with the pads of the fingers is not a legal play. (Dinks are not allowed)

                            *New Rule for 2007 for all BBV OPEN, A, BB, and B divisions (all coed 6's divisions exempt from this rule)


4.Co-Ed Requirements: Mixed Fours (Co-Ed) rules require an equal number of male and female participants/team.  Play may begin with a minimum 3 players provided there is a minimum of one female participant.   


5.Open handed serve receive is permitted. Lifts or carries are not!


6ís-Player Rules

The laws of 6-player volleyball are the same as the 4-Player volleyball laws with the addition of a fifth and sixth participant on both teams and with the following changes:


1. Players rotate after every side-out (change of serve)


2. Co-Ed Requirements: Mixed Sixes (Co-Ed) rules require that three female participants be on the court at all times, play may begin with a minimum of five players. (two females and a maximum of 3  males) Exception: C division may play with a minimum of 2 females and maximum of 4 males


 *Substitutions:  When rotating in for service, please rotate male-for-male, female-for-female.


A complete set of USAV Outdoor rules, as well as BBV exceptions are located in the field office.

 Thanx, Todd  

Baltimore Beach Volleyball Club
Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved.
Revised: February 02, 2020