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NJ Play Sports 6v6 Co-ed Volleyball Rules

NJ Play Sports - Volleyball Rules


  • 6’s: 6 players on the court maximum, including a maximum of 4 male players at any time

  • Team must have 4 players, including 1 non-male required to start a game (can play 4 males/1 non-male)

  • Each volleyball game consists of 3 head-to-head games (to 25 straight, rally scoring). Games must be completed within the allotted time.

  • There may not be any warm-up time on the court. Please come early and warm up on the side, if permitted

  • Games called after 20 accumulated combined team points will be considered final

  • A team may rotate any number of players into the game in set order or player-to-player and may choose to have a designated sitter for each game. See “Rotations” section below.


  • Scheduled start time of your game is when the clock will start. 

  • We allow a 10 minute grace period. This grace period is for teams that are still getting ready, teammates running late. (Please keep in mind that the game clock will be running during the grace period)

  • If a team does not have the required minimum of 4 players as described above ready to play at 10-minutes after the scheduled start time, the game is officially ruled a forfeit. If the teams still want to play after the grace period is up, the officials and site managers will still run a game, but the game will still count as a forfeit for the standings.

  • If an official is late or doesn’t show up, teams have a choice to self-officiate, mutually agree upon an official (team member or spectator), or allow a Site Manager to officiate the game. Games will not be rescheduled and will count as an official game.

  • Games are rescheduled or refunded/credited in the event that NJ Play Sports specifically cancels a game. Reschedules and refund/credits do not apply in events outside of NJ Play Sports control (i.e. excessive rainouts, forfeits, etc.) 

  • All subs must fill out a waiver in order to participate in games. At least 50% of the players on the team must be on the roster. You may have no more than 1 bench player available, if you are inviting subs/guest players to the game. 

  • Rosters: Team can have as many players as they choose, as long as they meet the league fee and qualifications. The roster deadline for every league is the date of the last regular season game. Once the last regular season game is played, no changes may be made to the schedule.

  • NJ Play Sports does reserve the right to make an exception for extreme cases, in order to avoid forfeits. 

  • Roster checks will be conducted before the start of games. Substitutes are allowed during the regular season.

  • Registered players who have met all roster requirements for participation are allowed to play on multiple teams in the playoffs. Playoff Substitute player exceptions will not be made if a player chooses to play on a specific team during a conflicting time slot in the playoffs. These considerations must be made prior to the roster deadline.


  • 6v6 volleyball games are officiated by an NJ Play Sports official. Volunteer refs are only required if the league ref becomes unavailable for any reason.

  • 4v4 volleyball games are self-officiated. There will be a Site Manager in the area to support any rule clarifications.

Game Time

  • Rock, paper, scissors winner will determine starting choice to either serve first OR choose which side of the court they prefer to play on for the first game. Teams switch sides and serve between games.

  • Each Volleyball match will consist of three games. Each game will count in the overall standings for regular season standings (if you win all 3 games in a match, your record is recorded as 3-0 for the evening, not 1-0)

  • One time-out is allowed per team, per game (one minute duration).


  • Shirts must be worn by all team members.

  • Players can wear shoes or play barefoot by choice.

Game Cancellations

  • Leagues may be canceled due to dangerous weather conditions, facility constraints or other unforeseeable reasons. NJ Play will not cancel games unless absolutely necessary, so you should always assume games are on unless you receive notification. If the games are canceled, NJ Play Sports will notify all team members via email.


  • Once Once ready for play, and after the ref beckons for the serve (whistle/arm wave) the server will have a 10 second time frame to serve the ball.  Servers may have 2 tosses per serve attempt.  The first attempt is allowed to drop to the floor without being hit.  If this happens twice, the point and serve will be awarded to the opposing team.. The ball must be released from hand before contact is made. Play continues until a stoppage is called by the official for a violation (i.e. double-hit, 4-hit, carry/lift, player touching the net, etc.) or the ball hits the floor.  

  • Let serves are allowed: the ball can be played, hitting and clearing the net on a serve.

  • The server may not step on/over the end line until the ball has been contacted. The width of the service area is from sideline to sideline. The depth of the service area is infinite. If a player steps on or over the end-line, a fault will be called and it will be a side out.

  • The serve receive may never be blocked/spiked/attacked by the serve-receive team with an overhand gesture towards the ball when sending the ball back to the serving team.

Service Receive:

  • Players can return the serve by

    • Bump pass

    • Clasping hands together

    • Closed fist

    • Open-hand receive – You are allowed to set the serve

  • Players cannot return the serve by

    • An upper hand attack on the ball on the first hit. Contact with the ball must be made below the height of the net if it is to be brought back to the opponent's side of the court.

    • Blocking


  • There is no gender hitting order.

  • A player may reach over the net to block a ball:

    • If any portion of the ball breaks the plane of the net.

    • After the offense has made their third contact with the ball.

    • If, in the ref’s judgment, the offense is not in position, to make a third contact.

  • Hitters may follow through over the net after legal contact as long as they do not make contact with the net before the ball becomes “dead” by hitting the floor. The ball must be cleanly hit when spiking with an open or closed hand.

  • Guiding or carrying is illegal. A carry is any use of an open hand(s) while making contact with the ball that is not in a firm manner, but can be called with a closed fist at the official’s discretion.

  • Touching the net - Players are prohibited from touching the net. Contact with hair or clothing will not be considered a fault.

Double Contact

  • Two people hitting the ball at the same time, or a single player hitting twice, is allowed on the first hit attempt of a ball over the net, as long as it is one attempt to play the ball. It does not matter if the other team served, spiked, bumped, or set the ball over the net. Double contact is not allowed on any contact following the first hit attempt.


  • Teams must rotate after every side-out. This includes the first side-out of the game.  (i.e. the first receiving team’s first server must start in Position II and then rotate into Position I for the team’s first service).

  • Teams may rotate in either one of the following manners, which must remain consistent for the entire game (teams may change rotation method from game to game within a match)

  • Player for Player– A player who is out may substitute for a player who is on the court. These two players may only substitute for each other during the course of the game. Once you substitute in for someone, you may not substitute for anyone else. These two people may substitute an unlimited number of times

  • Rotating In– All substitutes may rotate into one position on the court. You may not skip anyone unless it is due to gender rules. Teams cannot have a separate gender rotation. Rotation must do so in the same order throughout the course of the game.


  • Crossing the centerline - Players may partially or completely step into the opponent's side of the court during a rally, so long as it does not interfere with the opponent’s play on the ball or cause a safety concern (judgment of the official). If a player interferes with an opponent’s play on the ball, it will result in a fault. Interference can occur with or without contact with an opposing player or the opponent’s court. Contact between opponents is not always a fault.

  • If a player's attempt at a ball, toward the net, causes the player to slide/land across the centerline, it is a violation.

  • Reaching over to block a set is prohibited unless, in the judgment of the official, there are no players in position to make an attempt at the 3rd available hit.

  • Reaching over the net - You can reach over the net as long as you do not touch the net, but the ball must break the plane of the net before you can make contact with it

  • Reaching over to block a set is prohibited.

  • Back row players - cannot spike from the front row or run up to block at the net. If a back row player wishes to spike a ball over the net, they must jump from their playing zone (before the 10’ line).  If their jump starts on or past the 10’ line, it is a violation/fault.


  • Playoffs begin immediately following the end of the regular season

  • No players will be allowed to be picked up during playoffs

  • Registered players who have met all roster requirements for participation are allowed to play on multiple teams in the playoffs. Playoff Substitute player exceptions will not be made if a player chooses to play on a specific team during a conflicting time slot in the playoffs. These considerations must be made prior to the roster deadline.


  • All players must have completed the waiver and be on your team’s roster in order to be eligible for playoffs.

  • Teams that have violated the forfeit policy during the course of regular season will not be eligible for playoffs.

  • Playoff matches are single elimination and games are a best 2 out of 3. Games will be played with the same scoring as the regular season (to 25 straight, rally scoring).


  • Ranking Points (Win: 3, Tie:1, Loss: 0)

  • Win Percentage 

  • Head to Head

  • Points Against

  • Power Index (Strength of Schedule Metric)

  • If none of the above tie breakers resolve seeding issues, there will be a coin toss to break the tie.

Forfeiture Penalties/Notification

  • First Offense: Loss of game.

  • Second Offense: Loss of game and removal from the playoffs.

  • Third Offense: Removal from the rest of the schedule.

  • If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, you must contact us by 3 pm, day of game, at nj@playsportsco.com. If your decision is not made until after 3 pm, you should still try to reach us, and we will make efforts to contact the other team. If we can reach them in time to keep them from showing up, no extra penalty. 

  • Once NJ Play receives notification of forfeiture, it is final, and the other team will be notified.

Player Protests

In the event that a team feels that the official does not acknowledge or incorrectly assumes a written rule in the NJ Play Sports Rule Book, the team captain can protest said rule. The captain is protesting the fact that the rule exists or is different than what the official is applying to the game. They are NOT protesting the interpretation of said rule or protesting any judgment calls on the field/court.

When a team protests a rule, they must declare they are officially protesting the rule. The game will pause while the site manager and/or team captain confirm that the rule exists, or that the rule is being read correctly. If the rule exists and/or was being read incorrectly, it is considered a successful protest (see below). If the rule does not exist or was being read and applied correctly on the field/court, it is considered a failed protest (see below).

Successful Protest

  • Protest must take place on site before the next serve begins, no alterations to the game can take place after the next serve begins. Play will continue using the accurate rule.

Failed Protest

  • A timeout will be deducted from the team’s allotted timeouts (1 per game). If no time-outs are available, a point will be rewarded to the opposing team.



  • NJ Play's ultimate goal is for you to have fun. Please keep this in mind while participating. While games may become intense, please maintain sportsmanship. Any behavior or abusive language to another player or official, and is considered unacceptable by the official, may result in suspension or ejection from a game or the league.

  • Players must respect calls of the Official and shall be polite if asking clarifying questions. Players may not argue calls or use foul language.  This can lead to an unsportsmanlike conduct violation, including point and serve award to the opposing team, and possible disciplinary action to the player or team involved.



  • If a player is ejected, an automatic suspension will be enforced for one or more subsequent games. This includes any double headers or picking up for other teams.

  • Any player/team involved in a fight will be suspended from all of NJ Play activities, indefinitely. All teams involved will be forced to forfeit remaining games, without refund or credit.