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2001-2001 NAGWS Official Volleyball Rules Modified
Click here for Printable Version  

Including Changes in Officiating Techniques and Event Management

Big Rule Changes 2001-2002

1. Scoring. Games rally scoring to 30 points.  Deciding game to 15 points.  Win by 2, no cap.
2. Officials arrival time.  Officials arrive 45 minutes prior to start of match (again).
3. Time to serve. 8 seconds to serve, only 1 toss per serve.
4. Net Serve.  Serve contacting net remains in play.
5. Lineups due. Both lineups due at end of all timed warmups.
6. Scorekeeping.  'T'/'Tx' no longer recorded on service line; point awarded to receiving team on winning rally is 'boxed' in running score, but not recorded on service line, unless it is the game winning point.

Big Rule Differences vs. USAV

1. Service Signal. Beckon for Service is still over the head vs. across chest.
2. End of Play. End of play signal technique is still:  whistle; fault; point for team winning the rally vs. whistle; next serving team, fault.  Sideout Signal no longer used.   (Sideout terminology no longer relevant, "loss of rally")
3. # of Subs, Libero. No Libero, 18 Subs vs. Libero, 12 subs
4. Pursuit Rule. Experimental Rule:  "Pursuit Rule" for balls passing completely outside antenna vs. no pursuit rule
5. Scoresheet.  NAGWS Scoresheet ('Old' USA Sheet - $15.00) vs. USA Scoresheet (FIVB based, Free)

Rule Changes

Rule 1.2         Commentary F  Adjacent Courts. It is illegal for a player to enter an adjacent court before, after, or while playing the ball.  The free space around an adjacent court is a playable area.

Rule 1.3         Commentary B(4)Serving is not allowed between games.

Rule 2.1         The Net, Size and Construction.  The width specifications for the band on the top of the net have been changed.

Rule 3.1         The Ball.  If a colored volleyball is used, at least one-third of the surface of the ball must be white or light.

Rule 3.1         The Ball.   All volleyballs used in a match must have the same specifications.

Rule 4.3         Team Spokesperson.  

Rule 4.3         Commentary B   Designated Coaches.  When the ball is out of play, the coach is allowed to address the referee for the purpose of quickly clarifying a ruling, or confirming the number of substitutions or time outs their team has used.

Rule 4.5         Commentary B  Coaching.  Coaches may not enter the substitution zone when instructing players on the court.  Also, entering or remaining in the substitution zone while the ball is in play may be considered disruptive coaching.

Rule Team Delays.  

Rule 5.2.1    Composition of Teams and Substitutions.  For game one, both team’s line-ups are due at the end of the final timed warm-up period on the court.

Rule 7.1.2  The Service.  The toss for service must be contacted within 8 seconds after the beckon for service.

Rule 7.1.3  The Service.  

Rule 7.1  Commentary B  The server is no longer allowed a second toss for service.

Rule 7.2.1  Serving Faults.

Rule 9.1  Ball in the Net Between Antennas.

Rule 10.2.5  Ball Out of Play.  A served ball that contacts the net and continues to the opponent’s side of the net will remain in play.

Rule 12  Scoring and Results of the Game.  Rally scoring will be used in all games of the match.  A non-deciding game is won when a team reaches 30 points and leads by two points; a deciding game is won when a team reaches 15 points and leads by two points.

The scoresheet and scorekeeping method has been modified to accommodate this change. The format of a play-off game (to break a tournament tie) will be the same as a deciding game.

Rule 13.2  Commentary C (5)  Non-tournament Protest Situations.  If a protest involves a possible scoresheet recording error, the protest must be decided before the next service. The protest will not be forwarded to the NAGWS Rules Interpreter for determination.

Experimental Rule

The NAGWS Rules Committee has authorized testing of the following rule(s), provided both coaches agree to use the modification prior to the start of the match. If either coach elects not to play by the modified rule(s), the rule will not be used.

Rule 9.6.1      Crossing the Center Line Outside the Court Boundaries.  After a team’s first contact, a ball that has crossed the net plane to the opponent’s free space, over or outside the antenna, may be played back, provided that:  the opponent’s court is not touched by the player.  the ball, when played back, crosses the net plane again over or outside the antenna.  

The opposing team may not prevent this action.  Prior to the match, the referees must deem the facility safe for this type of play before this rule can be implemented.

Rule Clarifications

Rule 1.2.4  Warm-up Area.  The warm-up area must be behind the end line.

Rule 1.2  Commentary F  Adjacent CourtsIt is recommended that, when adjacent courts are in use, the playing space for each court be defined with a partition.

Rule 4.4  Commentary C (1).

Rule 5.2  Commentary C (12)The situation when a coach requests a time out or substitution simultaneously with the beckon for service has been clarified.

Rule 5.1.2  Uniforms.  

Rule 16.2  Recording Information.  Once the line-up has been submitted for the first game, players may not change numbers for the remainder of the match.

Rule 7.1.1  The Service.  The server must be in the service zone or the free zone beyond the end line to receive authorization to serve.

Rule 10.2   Commentary B.  An inadvertent horn is treated as an inadvertent whistle.

Changes/Clarifications to Event Management

1.      Officials should arrive courtside 45 minutes prior to the start of the match.

2.      The front and sides of the first referee’s stand and its supports must be padded.

3.      Cheerleaders are allowed to use megaphones in a non-disruptive manner.

4.      Warm-up protocols:

Sample for 7:30 Match

NOTE:  The protocols described below will be used at the 2001 NCAA Championships, the NAIA National Championships, and the NJCAA National Championships, and are recommended for use in the regular season.  Adjustments will be made as necessary for televised matches.  The host administration should start a continuous, visible countdown clock one hour prior to match time.  Under normal circumstances, that clock will not be stopped between segments of the warm-up.

NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA

Time Allotted

Actual Time

Visible Clock



6:30 – 7:11

:60 - :19

Court available for shared warm-up




Coin toss


7:11 – 7:15

:19 - :15

Visiting Team Court


7:15 – 7:19

:15 - :11

Home Team Court


7:19 – 7:24

:11 - :06

Visiting Team Court


7:24 – 7:29

:06 - :01

Home Team Court


7:29 – 7:30

:01 - :00

Team Huddle/ Announcements




Match begins with National Anthem & Introductions

Techniques of Officiating

Preliminaries for the Game – 1.  Referees will arrive at courtside 45 minutes prior to match time to begin their duties.

Preliminaries for the Game – Note.  The recommended format for media time outs is to take one when the leading team reaches 15 points in a non-deciding game and 8 points in a deciding game.

Duties of the First Referee, During the Match – C.  The first referee will beckon for service when the server has the ball and is on the playable surface, either in the service zone or the free zone behind the end line.

Duties of the First Referee, During the Match – C.  During the execution of the service, the first referee no longer needs to place his/her hand on the cable.

Duties of the First Referee, During the Match – C.  If a served ball contacts the net, the first referee will blow the whistle when (s)he is certain that the ball will not cross the net. 

Duties of the First Referee, During the Match – C.  If the server fails to contact the ball for service within 8 seconds after the beckon, it is a delay of service.   

Duties of the Second Referee, Before the Match – E.  Referees will collect line-up sheets for both teams at the end of the final timed warm-up period on the court. 

Duties of the Second Referee, During the Match – M.  

Duties of Line Judges – 6d.  If Experimental Rule 6.1.1is in effect (see Summary of Rule Changes), the referees and the line judges should not immediately indicate that a ball is ‘out’ when, after a team’s first contact, the ball travels over or outside the antenna.

Duties of the Second Referee, During the Match – R.  Verify that the 29th point has been recorded in a non-deciding game, and the 14th point has been recorded in a deciding game.

Officials Signals.

1. There is no longer a signal indicating a side out or change of service. The referees will always signal point after signaling the fault.

2. To differentiate between a ball crossing the center line under the net and a center line fault by a player, the referee will point to the center line with an open hand to indicate that the ball crossed, and will point with an index finger to indicate a center line fault by a player.

3. To signal delay of service, the referee will raise the forearms toward the side at fault with eight digits extended.

When a served ball contacts the net and the referee is certain it will not cross, or when a served ball touches a teammate or fails to reach the net, the referee will whistle immediately and use the ‘net serve’ signal to indicate the fault.


For the 2001 women’s collegiate volleyball season, the match format has been changed significantly.  All games will be played using the “rally-score” format – each time the ball is served, the team that wins the rally will score a point.  If the team that received the serve wins the rally, they score a point, rotate, and serve to start the next rally.  A non-deciding game (typically, games one through four) is won when a team scores 30 points and leads by two points.  The deciding game (typically, the fifth game) is won when a team scores 15 points and leads by two.  Most matches will consist of the best 3 of 5 games (although a best 2 out of 3 game format is still allowed).

The previous scorekeeping methods, described in “2000-2001 NAGWS Volleyball Rules”, will continue to be used with the following modifications.  A full description of the changes and a sample game can be found in the ”2001-2002 NAGWS Volleyball Rules”, which will be available around June 1, 2000.  Both the rule book and new scoresheets (available now in .pdf format or hardcopy) may be ordered from NAGWS at 800/321-0789.

Overview of Scorekeeping Changes for 2001

1.  It is no longer necessary to denote a time out with a “T” or “Tx” in the body of the scoresheet. 

2.  When the receiving team scores a point (that is, when the serving team loses the rally), an “R” is still placed inside the circle that was drawn on the serving team’s side of the scoresheet at the time the serve was contacted.  The next point in the receiving team’s running score is squared.  No other marks are made on the receiving team’s side of the scoresheet until they contact the next serve.

3.   If the final point of a game is made by the receiving team, the final point in the receiving team’s running score is squared, as usual, and a square is made in the body of the scoresheet where then next circle would have been made, with the final point number placed in the circle.


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