Laws of the game

2017 Edition

1. Playing Area
The playing area includes the court and a free zone of 3,00m on each side line and 5,00m behind each end line.
1.1 Court Dimensions
1.1.1 Footvolley has traditionally been played on courts measuring 18,00m x 9,00m;
1.1.2 Court dimensions of 16,00m x 8,00m are currently being evaluated to generate more rallies and to level the competition internationally.
1.2 Court Surface
1.2.1 The court surface must be levelled and free of any unsafe object;
1.2.2 Official Competitions must be played on 40cm deep sand;
1.2.3 Other surfaces (ex. grass) may be used for development programs.
1.3 Lines
1.3.1 All lines must be 5cm wide, in a color which contrasts with the color of the sand;
1.3.2 The corner anchors must be laid into the surface to avoid any accidents;
1.3.3 The lines must be spray painted in surfaces other than sand.
1.4 Weather
1.4.1 The weather must not present any danger of injury to the players;
1.4.2 Winds above 15 knots and temperature above 100°F (38°C) are not recommended for an official competition.
1.5 Lighting
Night matches require 1,000 to 1,500 lux across the entire playing area, measured at 1 meter above the surface.

2. Net and Posts
The net is placed vertically over the middle of the court, separating both court sides evenly.
2.1 Net structure
2.1.1 The net is 9,00m long and 1,00m wide when extended across the posts;
2.1.2 It is made of 10cm square mesh with 10cm horizontal bands attached to its full length.
2.2 Net height
2.2.1 Footvolley has traditionally been played with the net height of 2,20m for men and 2,10m for women;
2.2.2 The net heights of 2,15m for men and 2,05m for women are currently being evaluated to generate more offensive plays and to level the game internationally;
2.2.3 The recommended height for youth competitions (16 and under) is 2,00m.
2.3 Side bands
Two bands measuring 5cm wide and 1,00m long must be fastened vertically to the net and placed above each side line.
2.4 Antennae
An antenna measuring 1,80m long is fastened to each side band to define the crossing space.
2.5 Posts
2.5.1 The posts supporting the net are placed 1,50m from each side line;
2.5.2 The height must be at least 3,5m, with 1,00m inserted into the ground.
– Each of them must include two holes (both used to attach the net): one at 1,00m and one at 1,50m from the ground
2.5.4 The top edge of the pole should include a V shaped cut to hold the net rope.

3. Ball Standards
3.1 The ball must be spherical, made of a flexible material that does not absorb moisture since matches can be played in the rain.
3.2 Any size 5 Football may be used; however, Mikasa FT-5 has been the option of choice by the majority of National Associations.
3.3 The inside pressure must be between 8 and 9 lbs. (0.56 – 0.63 kg/cm2).


4. Teams
4.1 Composition
4.1.1 A team is composed of two players;
4.1.2 One of them must be indicated as the team captain on the score sheet;
4.1.3 A team leader is allowed to assist during a match from the team’s bench area.
4.2 Uniform and Equipment
4.2.1 A player’s equipment consists of shorts and a jersey, numbered 1 and 2;
4.2.2 Any additional equipment relies on Tournament approval;
4.2.3 When shorts are not provided by the organizer, teams must wear same color;
4.2.4 The organizer must provide different color uniforms for each team.


5. Playing Format
5.1 To score a point
5.1.1 A team scores a point if the opponent fails to reach the ball, misses the boundaries of the court, hits the ball into the net, commits a fault or receives a penalty.

5.1.2 A fault is committed by making a playing action contrary to the rules (ex. Two consecutive touches by the same player).
5.1.3 A penalty is given for aggravated or repeated player misconduct.
5.2 To win a set or match
5.2.1 To win a set a team must win 18 points with a margin of 2 points;
5.2.2 To win a match a team must win 2 sets;
5.2.3 If a match is tied in sets, a 15-point tie breaker is played to define the winner;
5.2.4 Some tournaments may have one set matches until the final match.
5.3 Default and incomplete team
5.3.1 If a team does not appear on the playing court when the match is called, it is declared in default and forfeits the match with the result of 0-18 for each set;
5.3.2 When a team is declared incomplete after the start of a match, the opponent is given the win, but the incomplete team keeps the points scored.


6. Structure of play

6.1 Game calling
Teams may enter the court once they are called through the public announcement system.
6.2 Coin Toss
6.2.1          The coin toss is conducted by the referee prior to the official warm up to define who will take the first service as well as the court sides for each team.
6.2.2 The loser of the coin toss decides between service or court side for the second set

6.1.3 A new toss is conducted in case of a third set.

6.3 Warm Up
Following the coin toss, teams have a 3-minute warm up period prior to starting the match.
6.4 Service Order
The service order must be maintained throughout the set as determined by the team captain at the coin toss.
6.5 Side Switch
6.5.1 Teams must switch court side every time the combined score is a multiple of 6 (ex. 3 x 3, 12 x 6);
6.5.2 When switching sides, teams must walk around the net posts in a clockwise direction (left).
6.6 End of game
At the end of a game teams must display sportsmanship by greeting the opponent and the referee. Failure to comply may result in a penalty applied towards the team’s next game.
7. Playing actions
7.1 Ball in play
The ball is in play from the moment of the hit of the service authorized by the referee.
7.2 Ball out of play
The ball is out of play once it hits the ground or at the moment of a fault, both whistled by the referee.
7.3 Ball “IN”
The ball is in when it touches the surface of the playing court including the boundary lines.

7.4 Ball “OUT”
The ball is out when:- it falls on the ground completely outside the boundary lines; – touches an object outside of the court- touches the antennae, net ropes or posts- crosses the net outside the crossing space (between antennas) – crosses the lower space under the net
7.5 Team hits
Each team is entitled to a maximum of three hits before returning the ball over the net.
7.5.1 A player may not hit the ball two times consecutively
7.5.2 When two teammates touch the ball simultaneously, it is counted as two hits
7.5.3 When two opponents touch the ball simultaneously over the net and the ball remains in play, the team receiving the ball is entitled to another three hits.
7.6 Hit characteristics
The ball may touch any part of the body with the exception of the arms and hands.
7.7 Faults in play
A fault is committed in play when a team exceeds the three-hit limit, a player hits the ball twice in succession or touches it with the arm/hand.
7.8 Ball at the net
7.8.1 The ball must be hit to the opponent’s side over the crossing space (between antennas);
7.8.2 The ball may touch the net while crossing it at any given time of a game (service included);
7.8.3 A ball hit into the net bay be recovered within the limits of three team hits;

7.9 Player at the net
7.9.1 During an attack, a player is permitted to touch the ball beyond the net, provided that he/she does not interfere with the opponent’s play;
7.9.2 If a player touches the net during the action of playing the ball, that is considered a fault;
8. Service
The service is the act of putting the ball into play by the correct serving player within the service zone.
8.1 Service Zone
The service zone is the area within the sidelines and up to one meter behind the end line.
8.2 Service Order
8.2.1 The players must follow the service order determined by the coin toss.
8.2.2 After the first service in a set, the player to serve is determined as follows: – When the serving, team wins the point, the player who served remains- When the receiving team wins the point, the player who did not serve last time will serve.
8.3 Authorization of the service
The referee authorizes the service, after having checked that both teams are ready to play.
8.4 Execution of the service
8.4.1 The server must hit the ball within 5 seconds after the referee whistles to authorize it;
8.4.2 The sand mount must be positioned behind the court boundary line
8.4.3 A player of the serving team must not prevent the opponent from seeing the server and the flight path of the ball.

9. Interruptions and Delays

9.1 Interruptions
The only regular game interruptions are time-outs. Teams are required to proceed to the players’ area for the duration of the time out.
9.1.1 Team time outs must be requested by showing the corresponding hand signal, when the ball is out of play and before the whistle of service. All requested time-outs last for 30 seconds. Each team is allowed one time out per set.
9.1.2 Technical time out are applied automatically in sets 1 and 2, when the sum of the points scored by the teams equals 18 points.
9.1.3 Medical time outs are applied upon player’s request. Should an injury occur while the ball is in play, the referee must stop the game immediately and permit medical assistance to enter the court. The rally is then replayed.
An injured player is given 5-minute medical time out one time in a match, starting at the moment the medical staff arrives to the court. If a player does not recover at the conclusion of the medical time out, the team is declared incomplete.
9.1.4     A one-minute set break occurs automatically following the completion of set 1 and 2. During the interval before a deciding set, the referee carries out a new coin toss.
9.1.5 If unforeseen circumstances interrupt the match, the referee and the tournament organizer shall decide the measures to be taken to re-establish normal conditions.


9.2 Delays
The improper action of a team that defers resumption of a game may result in a penalty. Delays include: prolonged time outs, repeated improper requests, excessive recover time between points (12 seconds shall be the maximum).
The first delay in the match by a team member is sanctioned with a delay warning, followed by a delay penalty for second and subsequent delays of any type. Delay warnings constitute a fault and result in a point and service to the opponent.

10. Player Conduct

10.1 Participants must know the “Official Footvolley Rules” and abide by them.
10.2 Participants must accept referees’ decisions without disputing them.
10.3 Participants must behave respectfully towards referees, other officials, opponents, teammates and spectators.
10.4 Misconduct offences are subject to sanctions, starting with a verbal warning.
10.5 According to the judgement of the referee and depending on the seriousness of the offence, the sanctions to be applied and recorded in the score sheet are:
10.5.1 Penalty 1 (yellow card) – For single repetition of rude conduct in the same set by the same player. The team is sanctioned with a point and service to the opponents.
10.5.2 Penalty 2 (red card) – For a continuous repetition of rude conduct in the same set by the same player. The team is sanctioned with a set loss.
10.5.3 Disqualification (yellow and red card jointly) – The first physical offence or threatened aggression is sanctioned by disqualification. The player and his/her team is declared incomplete for the match.


Diagram 1 – Playing Area


Diagram 2 – Net Structure