Portland Volleyball Association - Playing Regulations

USA Volleyball Rules will be followed, with the following differences:


Players must be at least eighteen (18) years of age.


Uniforms are not mandatory. Appropriate gym attire should be worn (i.e. gym shorts, sweats. etc.) SHOES MUST BE WORN, NO BAREFOOT NO STREET SHOES OR BLACK SOLED SHOES ALLOWED. No hats, only sweatbands or bandannas used as sweatbands.


Each match will consist of 3 sets: the first 2 to 25 points, and the third to 15 points. All three games will always be played, and all games will use RALLY SCORING. In all games, the winning team must win by at least 2 points, with no cap on the score.


Forfeits: If at game time a team does not have sufficient players to start that team will forfeit the first game of the match. ( 15 point game )

A waiting time of up to 10 minutes shall be allowed for the team to have sufficient players to play the next game. ( 25 point game )

If the team that forfeited the first set has sufficient players present, prior to the expiration of the waiting time, play shall begin.

If after the 10-minute waiting period, the forfeiting team does not have sufficient players present and ready to play, the second game will be declared a forfeit and the match is over.

If neither team has sufficient players, the match is a double forfeit and both teams take a loss.

If both teams forfeit the first game of a match, but can put sufficient players on the court before the 10 minute waiting period is over, the winner of the third game wins the match.

In case of a forfeited match, the official will call a non-counting series of games as time allows.

If the first game of a match is forfeited, but both teams can field players for the second and/or third games, the second and/or third games shall be played to 25 points, rally scoring.


The matches must begin as scheduled. Teams may warm up only if time allows. Teams and officials must be ready to start on the court at the completion of the coin toss. There will be a 3 minute break between sets, and no ball handling between sets.


Each team is allowed two (2) time-outs of 30 seconds in length per game.


Anyone can sub for any team without restriction on skill level during regular season play. For playoffs, players cannot sub for a team that is in a lower letter league (i.e. AA/A level players cannot sub for a BB/B or C level team, BB/B level players cannot sub for a C level team).

LEAGUE LEVELS: (ordered from highest to lowest skills)

  1. AA
  2. A
  3. BB
  4. B
  5. C


Can serve one position, female can replace either, male only male, USAV rules.


Only one toss or release of the ball is allowed. No re-serve is permitted. At most 8 seconds may transpire from whistle to contact of the serve.


Teams consist of 6 players. In order to reduce forfeits, when necessary, teams may play with 4 players. If fewer than 4 players are present, set is forfeited to the opposing team. If both teams fail to have 4 players present, both teams will receive a loss in the standings. This will include playoffs. Players will still have to rotate in position and therefore serve in the correct rotation. Server will be the back row player with the other 3 being front row players.


The player positions must alternate man/woman/man/woman. When a ball is hit two or more times and crosses the plane of the net, one hit must be by a woman.

Coed teams are legal as follows:

Teams of six, five, or four players are considered legal as long as there is an equal or greater number of women than men. The only exception is when a team is playing with five players and there are three men and two women. This is allowed but the Ghost Player Rule must be followed as described below:

Ghost Player Rule: This rule automatically goes into effect for a coed team any time that team chooses, or is forced by circumstance, to play with only five players, and those players consist of three men and two women. The team playing with three men and two women must leave a space in their lineup where the missing woman should be. If the missing woman would be in the front row, there would be only two front row players for that rotation. When the missing woman would normally serve, the serve goes to the opposing team, like a side-­out but without any point awarded.

A back row male may block if two women and one man are at the net.

If a team has 4 players (i.e. 2 men + 2 women or 3 women + 1 man), the service rotation must stay in order (male, female, male, female), and players still must rotate in their positions. There will be 3 front row players and 1 back row player (the server). So, when rotating, the server moves to the left front position and the right front moves to the serving position as the only back row player.

If a team has 5 players consisting of 3 women and 2 men they will always rotate so that 3 players are in the front row and 2 are in the back row--no ghost rule.

If a team has 4 women and 2 men, the men must still be lined up as though there are 3 men (they CANNOT be opposite each other in the lineup). In addition, the extra woman does not count as a man touching the ball when there is more than one contact.

If a team has 3 men and 3 women present at the match, the team must play them; the other scenarios apply only when a team is short players.


Officials have the right to request one piece of I.D. from players. Players refusing will be ejected. Teams playing illegal players will forfeit the match.


Final league standings will be determined by:


Match points are awarded according to the following:


Awards will be given to the overall winner in each league.


At the end of the season, the top four teams in each league will be eligible for playoffs. Number 1 will play number 4, and 2 will play 3, with the winners playing for the league championship, and the losers playing for third place. PLEASE NOTE: if a team qualifies for the playoffs in two different leagues, that team will play in the playoffs of the higher league.


Medical insurance for players will NOT be provided by the Portland Volleyball Association.


ONLY the playing captain may address the official. Any problems to be discussed will be resolved by the captain and the official.


The officials authority begins when the official enters the playing area and remains in force until the official leaves the same area.


Officials will give a player a verbal warning for a first offense (this used to be a yellow card). A yellow card will result in a point or side-out, and a red card will result in a disqualification for a game or match.


Ceilings are 'live'. Exceptions will be defined at the captains meeting prior to the match. Ball motionless overhead is a 'replay', unless third hit.


The home team calls all coin tosses, unless the home team does not have a scoreboard. In that case, the visiting team automatically wins all coin tosses during the match. Scoreboards are only allowed if they are large enough to be visible by both teams. Phones are not allowed as a scoreboard. If a team has a larger electronic device (e.g. tablet) and someone to operate it, it will be allowed.

All jewelry, which in the official's judgment could cause injury, is illegal. Hats and bandannas that cover the top of the head are illegal and must be removed. Bandannas worn as a headband, around the forehead, are acceptable.

Springtime, sunlight, problem. Switch sides every 8 points until sundown.


$10 refund for no ref; all seasons

$35 refund for matches cancelled by PVA if they are unable to be rescheduled for that season; Fall, Winter and Spring seasons only