ASI Intramural Volleyball Rules

The National Federation of High School (NFHS) rules shall apply to all games played, except for the following adaptations and points of emphasis:


  1. The Match 
    1. Start Time
      1. All players must check in with the ASI Intramural Sports supervisor before the game with their unique IMLeagues Virtual ID Card and any valid photo ID.
      2. If the minimum number of players are not present at game time, the game will be forfeited. Please refer to the ASI Intramural Sports Handbook for a detailed description of our forfeit policy.
    2. The Players
      1. The game shall be played by two teams of six players. Four players are required at the start of game time to avoid a forfeit.
      2. If a team has three or fewer players at game time, that team will be assessed a forfeit fee.
      3. If at any time during the game a team has fewer than four eligible players, the game is over.
    3. Manager Meeting
      1. Prior to the start of the match, a meeting between the two team managers and the official will take place at the official’s stand. They will discuss rules and regulations which the manager must relay back to the team.
        1. Officials will determine which team chooses serve or side by an arbitrary method (i.e., coin flip or rock, paper, scissors). The winner chooses to either:
          1. Start the game with the serve OR
          2. Declare which side of the court they would like to start on.
          3. The other respective team manager shall exercise the remaining option.
      2. Third Set Managers Meeting
        1. If a third set is required, captains will arbitrarily determine the choice of serve or receive and side.
      3.  Team Spokesperson
        1. The team manager is the only person who may address the official and is the spokesperson for the team.
    4. Spectators
      1. Spectators who interfere with the court or play are subject to ejection from the Cal Poly Recreation Center.
      2. Teams are responsible for their spectators. Poor spectator behavior may cause a team to be penalized on their sportsmanship rating.
      3. Ultimately, it is at the discretion of the IM Volleyball Supervisor and/or Facility Supervisor(s) whether or not a spectator will be allowed to remain in the Recreation Center.
    5. Zero Tolerance Policy
      1. There is no alcohol or drugs allowed at ASI Intramural Sports games. If a player or fan is under the influence, they will be ejected immediately, and disciplinary action may follow. If an Intramural Sports Supervisor feels that there is a threat to participant safety or suspects that a team might be under the influence, they are required to stop the game immediately. If there is no proof of substance use, the game will be rescheduled for another time.
    6. Sportsmanship
      1. Sportsmanship Ratings
        1. Teams receive a Sportsmanship Rating of 1 through 5 for each of their games, rated by the officials managing the game. Teams begin the game with a score of 4, the baseline, and their score is affected by their behavior throughout the game. The Sportsmanship Rating scale is outlined in the following subsection “Sportsmanship Rating Scale.”
      2. Sportsmanship Rating Scale
        1. (5) Five: Excellent Conduct and Sportsmanship
          1. Team members cooperate with and demonstrate good sportsmanship toward teammates, opponents, and all members of the Intramural Sports staff.
          2. Team captain exhibits control over his/her teammates and spectators; they converses calmly and rationally with officials regarding the interpretation of calls.
          3. Team members demonstrate proper respect for all equipment and the facility.
          4. Team members honor the spirit and intent of the intramural sport game rules and/or program policies.
          5. Team members accept judgment decisions made by the officials during the contest.
          6. The minimum number of team members needed to start the contest is present, checked in, and ready to play prior to game time. Teams who do not meet this standard are ineligible to receive a 5.0 rating.
        2. (4) Four: Good Conduct and Sportsmanship (Teams Begin at this Level)
          1. Team members exhibit good conduct and sportsmanship for the majority of the contest.
          2. Team members verbally complain about some decisions made by officials and/or show minor dissension which does not merit a technical foul/unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
          3. Team members do not show aggressive dissent toward the Intramural Sports staff or the opposing team.
        3. (3) Three: Average Conduct and Sportsmanship
          1. Team shows verbal dissent toward officials and/or the opposing team which may or may not result in a technical foul/unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
          2. Teams who receive multiple technical fouls/unsportsmanlike conduct penalties may not receive higher than a 3.0 rating.
          3. Team captain demonstrates minor control over teammates/spectators and/or does not actively promote good sportsmanship.
          4. Team members occasionally use profanity, although it is not directed toward staff/opponents. At game time, the team is not able to produce the minimum number of participants, resulting in a forfeit. The opposing team will automatically receive a 4.0 rating in this situation.
        4. (2) Two: Poor Conduct and Sportsmanship
          1. Team members continuously show dissent toward staff/opponents or use abusive/inappropriate language toward staff/opponents.
          2. Team members are continuously “trash talking” opponents and/or intimidating staff/opponents or playing dangerously/maliciously.
          3. Team captain is unresponsive and uncooperative in helping staff members to control teammates.
          4. Teams that have a player ejected may not receive higher than a 2.0 rating.
        5. (1) One: Disqualifying Conduct and Sportsmanship
          1. Threatening/making physical contact in an aggressive manner toward staff/opponents. Team members are out of control, intoxicated/under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or show a complete disregard for authority.
          2. Team captain shows no control over the actions of his/her teammates.
          3. Multiple players are ejected from the contest.
          4. A team member misrepresents him/herself by using another student’s ID card.
          5. Team members damage/attempt to damage equipment or the facility.
          6. An ineligible player participates in the game.
          7. Any team whose member(s) take part in a fight, instigates a fight, or throws a punch (whether connected or not) will receive a 1.0 and those individual players will be indefinitely suspended from all Intramural Sports events. Those members must meet with the Intramural Sports Coordinator before they will be allowed to resume participation in any intramural sports event. Any team that receives 1.0 is subject to disqualification from participation for the remainder of that sport and possibly the semester or academic year. All players on a team receiving a 1.0 may be put on probation or suspended indefinitely and may be subject to further sanctions through Judicial Affairs.
    7. The Court
      1. Games will take place in the Main Gym at the Cal Poly Recreation Center.
      2. The height of the net for competitive play shall be 7’ 11 5/8” (11th pin from the top). The height for recreational play shall be 7’ 4 1/8” (8th pin from the top).
      3. To ensure the safety of participants and staff, the maximum capacity for each team, including spectators, is 20 people. Only during playoffs may this number be exceeded at the discretion of the supervisor.
      4. ASI Recreational Sports staff reserves the right to stop a match if any team exceeds this capacity.
    8.  Player Restrictions
      1. Participants may only play on one team per League, with a maximum of two leagues per sport (e.g., one Competitive and one Recreational League). If a league folds due to an insufficient number of teams or is not offered, the participant will be allowed to play on two teams in the same league, so long as they are in separate divisions. This is the only time a player may play in multiple divisions within a sport (e.g., Open Division I – Competitive and Open Division II – Competitive or Open Division II – Recreational and Open Division III – Recreational).
      2. Club sports players are only allowed to play in Division 1, or the highest division offered. There may only be two club players on the court at a time, but there is no limit to the number of club players on a team roster.
      3. A participant who appears on a club sports roster at any time during the academic year will be considered a club player for the sport similar to their Cal Poly club sport the remainder of that academic year.
      4. Intercollegiate athletes may not participate in a sport similar to their Cal Poly sport until a minimum of three academic quarters (not including summer) after they have been removed from that sport’s active roster. They are, however, eligible to play an intramural sport dissimilar to the sport they play for Cal Poly.
  1. Equipment/Dress Code 
    1. Uniform
      1. A player with blood anywhere on their jersey will be instructed to leave the game until the uniform has been changed or approved after an evaluation by an ASI Intramural Sports Supervisor or an ASI Facility Supervisor.
    2. Dress Code
      1. Closed-toe shoes must always be worn during play.
      2. Athletic attire must always be worn during play.
      3. Wearing a hat is not allowed during play.
      4. Intramural officials can remove a player for improper dress code at their discretion.
  1. Volleyball Rules  
    1. The Match
      1. A match shall consist of a best of three series. The first team to win two games wins the match. Matches are limited to 60 minutes of playing time.
    2. Scoring
      1. The first 2 games shall be played to 25 points (a cap of 30); a team must win by two points—or reach 30 first—to finish a game. The third game is played to 15 points (cap of 20), and a team must win by 2 points or reach 19 first.
      2. Rally scoring will be used for all games, meaning a point is awarded on every serve no matter which team wins the rally.
    3. Substitutions
      1. Substitutions are allowed only during a dead ball. The sub must check in with the referee before entering the court.
      2. Substitutions shall be made in the left-front position and the right-front position.
      3. Substitutions may be made only after a dead ball.
  1. During Play 
    1. Service and Team Rotation
      1. A serve is specified when a player contacts the ball to initiate play.
      2. The server shall hit the ball with one hand, fist, or arm while the ball is held—or after it is released by the server. The ball shall be contacted within five (5) seconds after the referee signals to serve.
      3. Before serving, the server shall wait for the referee’s whistle. If a player serves before the referee’s whistle, a replay will be declared, and the team will receive one warning. If a second violation occurs in the same match, the team will be penalized a point and side-out.
      4. The server shall not touch the end line with any part of their foot until after the ball is contacted.
      5. A re-serve shall be called when the server releases the ball for service, then catches it or lets it drop to the floor.
      6. Players may not screen the opposing team’s view of the server during the service.
      7. Players may not overlap at the time of the serve:
        1. Each right-side player shall have at least part of one foot touching the floor closer to the right sideline than both feet of the center player in the corresponding row.
        2. Each left-side player shall have at least part of one foot touching the floor closer to the left sideline than both feet of the center player in the corresponding row.
        3. No back-line player may be as near the net as a corresponding front-line player.
      8. A serve contacting and crossing the net shall remain in play provided contact is entirely within the net antennas.
    2. Contacting the Ball
      1. A team shall not have more than three hits before the ball crosses the net into the opponent’s playing area or is touched by the opponent. When the team’s first contact is simultaneous contact by an opponent (a blocking attempt), the next contact is considered the team’s first hit.
      2. Legal contact is a touch of the ball by any part of a player’s body (above or below the waist) that does not allow the ball to visibly result in prolonged contact with that player’s body.
      3. A player may have successive contacts of the ball during blocking.
      4. Finger action is allowed during the effort; however, the ball may not be held or thrown. Any other player contacting the ball more than once will have committed a double hit.
    3. Net-Play
      1. A ball contacting and crossing the net shall remain in play provided contact is entirely within the net antennas.
      2. Recovering a ball hit into the net shall be permitted
      3. Blocking a served ball is not permitted
      4. A net foul occurs while the ball is in play and a player contacts any part of the net—including net cables or net antennas
    4. Blocking
      1. Only front-line players may participate in a block.
      2. Blocking a ball that is entirely on the opponent’s side of the net is permitted when the opposing team has had an opportunity to complete its attack. The attack is considered complete when:
        1. The attacking team has completed its three allowable hits.
        2. The attacking team has had the opportunity to complete the attack, or, in the official’s judgment, direct the ball toward the opponent’s court.
        3. The ball is falling near the net, and, in the official’s judgment, no member of the attacking team could make a play on the ball.
      3. No back-line player may contact the ball above the plane of the net and direct it to an opponent’s side unless the player is behind the attack (10ft.) line or has taken off from the back of the attack line.
      4. No player may contact the net while the ball is alive and in play.
  1. Special Rules
    1. A ball contacting a wall, poles, antenna, or the official’s stand shall be declared dead.
    2. Where competition (including warm-ups preceding a match) is being conducted on adjoining courts, no player may cross into an adjoining court before, during, or after playing a ball.
    3. When playing with the ball near a wall, players may not use the wall to gain a height advantage. Chair, benches, etc. are treated the same as bleachers and walls when playing the ball.
    4. A ball touching any part of the line is in bounds. If a ball touches a basketball hoop, which resides folded-up over the playing area, the referee shall determine if the ball could have been played and direct a replay or determine point or side out.
    5. A ball contacting the ceiling is still playable unless it then crosses over into the opposing team’s side of the net, then it shall be determined out of bounds. (The backboards fall under this rule. Rulings and interpretations regarding these circumstances are at the discretion of the official).
    6. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW ABOUT SPECIAL RULES: these calls are made at the official’s discretion. There is no arguing with their decision.



Individuals should play and participate with integrity and respect for others while engaging in ASI Intramural Sports. Good sportsmanship is vital to the success of the intramural sports program and the quality of experience for all participants. A team is responsible for the actions of individual team members and spectators related to their team. Organizations shall be held responsible for their behavior before, during, and after the match. In order to encourage proper conduct during the game, Supervisors and administrative personnel shall make decisions on whether to warn, penalize, or eject persons and/or teams for poor sportsmanship. These decisions shall be final. Any team receiving an unacceptable sportsmanship rating is required to have their manager meet with intramural staff before they are considered for continued participation. Any individual ejected from an intramural contest will have to meet with the intramural advisory committee before they can be considered to continue participating in intramural events.