Long Point Conference Centre

A girl holds out a yellow and blue volleyball

Making use of the volleyball courts on a warm, sunny day is a highlight for many of those that attend our Sydney conference centre.

Whether you’re a casual player gearing up for a friendly match or a more seasoned player getting ready for a tournament, understanding the rules is important. Read on to learn basic volleyball terminology and become more familiar with the volleyball rules in Australia in 2024.

Volleyball Terminology Explained

If you want to understand a volleyball game, ensure you understand the most common volleyball terminology:

  1. Rally. A rally is basically when the ball is in play. It’s the time from when the ball is served until a fault occurs or the ball touches the ground.

  2. Ace. When someone serves and the ball hits the ground untouched on the opponent’s court (basically an instant point).

  3. Dig. A defensive move where a player passes a low, spiked or rapidly hit ball. The aim is to control the ball and make it playable for the team.

  4. Kill. A successful attack hit that results in an immediate point.

  5. Block. The action of players jumping at the net with their arms extended to intercept or deflect the ball hit by the opponent.

  6. Set. A gentle, high pass usually made to position the ball for an attack hit.

  7. Rotation. The clockwise movement of players around the court after winning a rally (after a loss on the last one) and now gaining the serve.

  8. Side out. When the receiving team wins the point and gains the right to serve. In essence, it’s a change of possession.

  9. Joust. A situation at the net where two opposing players are simultaneously trying to push the ball onto the opponent’s side, most often during a block.

  10. Roll shot. A softer, finesse attack where the player aims to make the ball roll over the block and into the opponent’s court.

  11. Pancake. A move where a player puts their hand, palm down, on the floor to prevent the ball from touching the ground.

  12. Antenna. The vertical rods placed on each side of the net, helping to determine if the ball is in or out of bounds during play.

Australian Volleyball Rules Summary

How Do You Win a Volleyball Game?

A team wins a set when they reach 25 points with a lead of at least two points. If the score happens to be tied at 24-24, the game continues until one team establishes a two-point lead (e.g., 26-24, 27-25 and so on).

The match is won by the team that wins 3 sets first. In the case of a 2-2 tie, the deciding 5th set is played to 15 points with a minimum lead of 2 points.

Volleyball Team Roles and Layout

  • A volleyball team has 6 players – 3 on the front row and 3 on the back row. The team may also have substitutions.
  • The front middle player is the middle blocker. Their main task is to defend against the opposing team’s hits. Middle blockers may also set the ball to the hitters so that they can make successful attacks.
  • The front right and front left players are the hitters. Their goal is to both block attacks from the opposing team and execute attacks to gain points.
  • The back row players are primarily defensive and ensure the ball is passed to the front row players.

Serving and Receiving Rules in Volleyball

  • Serve from behind the end line – stepping on or over the line during a serve is a fault.
  • You may do an overhand or underhand serve. The ball must leave your hand (be in the air) before you hit it.
  • A player who’s within 3m of the net can’t block or attack the ball when it’s served by the opponent. They need to wait until the ball comes down below the height of the net before making a move.
  • The ball may touch the net while being served over – it’s an automatic ‘play on’.

Volleyball Rally Rules - How Many Times Can you Hit a Volleyball?

  • Teams are allowed a maximum of 3 hits per side. If contact 1 and 2 are passes, contact 3 should be a hit onto the opponent’s side.
  • A player may not hit the ball twice in succession, except during a block. A block does not count as a hit.
  • If two or more players contact the ball at the same time, it’s considered one hit, and either player may make the next contact (provided it isn’t the team’s 4th hit).
  • When blocking, a player can extend their hands and arms over the net, but it shouldn’t disrupt the opponent’s play. It’s illegal to touch the ball beyond the net before the opponent makes their attack hit.

Net Play and Court Boundaries

  • Players can touch the post, ropes or anything outside the antennae, including the net, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the play.
  • Touching the net between the two antennae is a fault.
  • If the ball was hit into the net on the opposing side so forcefully that the net touched a player, there is no fault – it would simply be a ‘play on’.
  • The ball may be played off the net during a rally and on a serve. I.e., if your teammate passes the ball and it hits the net on your side, you may continue playing as long as you haven’t used all 3 hits.
  • A ball hitting a boundary line is considered ‘in.’
  • A ball is ‘out’ if it hits an antenna, the ground/floor completely outside the court or any part of the net or cables outside the antennae.  

Hitting the Volleyball - Can I Only Use My Hands?

  • It’s legal to contact the ball with any part of your body.
  • Catching, holding, scooping or throwing the ball is strictly illegal.
  • Serves, digs, sets and spikes are the 4 most common hits in volleyball.
A volleyball flying through the air against a sunny, blue sky

Volleyball Violations

The most common violations leading to a lost point include:

  • Stepping on or across the service line while serving.
  • Failing to serve the ball successfully over the net.
  • Doing more than 3 hits as a team.
  • Illegal contacts with the ball (lifting, carrying, throwing, etc.) or a double hit.

Accommodation Venue with Volleyball Courts in Sydney

Understanding the volleyball rules in Australia adds a layer of structure to casual volleyball play, ensuring a good mix of fun and fair competition.

Are you organising an event where you require a group accommodation venue with sports facilities? Whether it’s a fitness retreatfamily reunion or a school camp, Long Point Conference Centre is the perfect location for your getaway. In addition to a soccer field, we boast 2 full-size, outdoor volleyball courts.

Contact us today to make a booking, schedule an inspection or simply ask about availability.