Volleyball Violations

Volleyball Violations

A penalty, violation, or fault is called on a player who breaks the rules of volleyball defined in a rulebook for the league. Each result in a side out, which is one point for the opponent in rally scoring and possession of the ball.

Centerline Violation

Volleyball Center Line Violation

Players are not allowed to cross the centerline that divides the court in half. This commonly occurs after spiking or blocking. This rule is made to prevent players from crossing the line with their feet or legs, as opponents can land on their feet, causing an injury. You may see the referee call a centerline violation by blowing his whistle and pointing to the line.

Game Delay

If a team causes any unnecessary interruptions or delays, they will be given a delay warning the first time and then a delay penalty the second time by the referee. Certain delays can include throwing the ball after a point, taking too long to complete substitutions, and anything else that can hinder the flow of the game. Repeated violations from the same player or coach may result in a yellow card or even a disqualification.

Net Violation

volleyball Net Violation

Players are not allowed to touch the net during a rally. Breaking this rule results in a net violation penalty. The most common occurrence of this is during a block when reaching over or a spike when following through. Touching the net while landing from a jump or spike is also illegal, so it is important to keep distance from the net when performing one of these actions. However, if a player hits the ball into the net, causing the net to touch an opponent, a net violation will likely not be called.

Illegal Substitution

Volleyball Illegal Substitution

In most leagues, players can only exit and re-enter the game once per set and must return to their original position. If teams go over the allowed number of substitutions or attempt to change a returning player’s position, they will be charged with illegal substitution. This counts as a game delay, and the players will be returned to their current positions.

Service Fault

Volleyball Service Fault

There are a few different ways service faults can be called. If a team serves out of order, they will lose the point automatically. Also, if the server fails to serve the ball over the net or in bounds, a service fault is called. Foot faults are another type of service fault that occurs when the server steps on or over the baseline before making contact with the ball on a serve.

Attack Hit Fault

Volleyball Attack Hit Fault

There are a few different attack violations that will result in a loss of point and service. The first and most obvious penalty is hitting the ball out of bounds. If the ball lands fully out of bounds without being touched by the opponent, a penalty is called. Also, players who are in the back row are not allowed to attack a ball that is above the net in front of the attack line.

Four Hits Violation

In volleyball, each team is only allowed to touch the ball three times before sending it over the net. If a team touches the ball a fourth time, the play will be immediately blown dead. Blocks do not count as touches, so a team can still hit the ball three times after deflecting off a block.


Volleyball Carrying Violation

Carrying, also referred to as lifting, is called when a player makes prolonged contact with the ball rather than having it bounce off of them. This commonly occurs with setters when they throw the ball rather than push it. It also is automatically called when a player attempts to underhand pass the ball with an open palm.

Double Hit

Volleyball Consecutive Contacts Double Hit Fault

A double hit violation occurs when the same player hits the ball twice in a row. This most commonly occurs when one of the setter’s hands makes contact with the ball before the other, causing side spin on the ball. If a player blocks the ball, they are allowed to make the next touch, as blocks do not count as touches.

Rotational Fault

Volleyball Rotational Fault

Rotational faults occur when a team rotates out of order. Teams must submit an official lineup before each set begins. If a team rotates out of order or lines up in the incorrect position, the referee will usually mention it to the team. However, if it goes unnoticed and the point begins, a penalty will be called.

Volleyball Misconduct Penalty

Volleyball Misconduct Penalty

As is the case with most sports, volleyball has penalties for indecent behavior. Any unnecessary actions, such as offensive language or aggressive behavior, can result in penalties, such as ejection from the game. Usually, players will be shown a yellow card as a warning, with any repeated offenses resulting in disqualification.

Assisted Hit Violation

Assisted hits occur when a player performs an attack with the assistance of an object or a teammate. Players are forbidden from using anything, such as the pole or a teammate, in helping them to elevate and hit the ball. If this occurs, a penalty is called, and the point is ended.

Blocking Fault

Volleyball Blocking Fault

Blocking faults can occur in a few different ways. The first blocking fault is when a player touches the net while performing a block. It can also occur when a player reaches over the net and touches the ball before being hit by the opponent. It is also important to note that any player in the back row is not allowed to block at the net. Regardless of which violation occurs, the result will always be a side out.


What are the most common types of violations committed in volleyball?

The most common violations in volleyball are attack and service faults, net violations, double hits, lifting, and four hits. Attack faults and service faults commonly occur when players serve or hit the ball out of bounds. Net violations are common during hitting and blocking. Double hits, lifting, and four hits are all violations that are commonly seen amongst less experienced volleyball players.

What is a violation in volleyball?

A violation in volleyball is any penalty that causes a play to end immediately or results in some other form of discipline. Violations can range from unnecessary actions to touching the net to mistouching the ball. Most violations result in a side out, which results in the opposing team gaining service and earning a point in rally scoring.