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Pickup Play Rules

Recreational or Competitive Pickup for All Levels

Players and Substitutions

  • All players must complete registration, which includes filling out a league waiver to be eligible to play.

  • Players will be placed on a roster upon arrival.

  • Team requirement - A team consists of 6 players. A team must have at least two women on the court at all times. A team cannot play without any females. There is no maximum number of females that can be on the court.

Pre-game Preparation​

  • At the beginning of the game, rock, paper, scissors will be played to determine a winning team, with the winning team choosing to either select to serve or receive first ball.

Length of Matches and Games

  • 25 point-games will be played against each opponent before rotating.

  • Rally Scoring Format is used for all games.

  • Games are to 25- must win by 2 in all games, unless cap of 30 is reached.

  • Each team gets one time out of 30 seconds duration per game.

  • Intermissions between games will be a maximum of 1-minute.

  • Teams switch sides and service each game.

Hit Characteristics

  • The ball may touch any part of the body (kicking IS allowed).

  • The ball must be hit, not caught or thrown.

  • Plays involving finger action - if the play is defensive and reactive in nature, as in the case of a hard-driven ball, momentarily held or double-hit balls are NOT faults. If hitting with the fingers in cases of off-speed hit defense or setting, the action must be clean with no holding or double hitting.


  • Four hits - a team hits the ball the ball 4 times before returning it.

  • Assisted hit - taking support of teammate or any structure/object in order to reach the ball.

  • Held ball - player does not hit the ball (unless when in defense of a hard-driven ball or when simultaneous contact by two opponents over the net leads to a momentary held ball).

  • Double Contact - a player hits the ball twice in succession or the ball touches two different parts of his/her body.

  • Back row spiking or blocking in front of the attack line.

Other Playing Rules

  • Ball may contact any part of the body during a block.

  • Blocking does NOT constitute a team contact, and any player may make the second contact of the ball after the block. The blocking team will have 3 contacts after the blocking contact.

  • Any front row player can block.

  • Players, including their clothing, cannot touch the net during play. It is NOT a fault if a ball driven into the net causes the net to touch the player.

  • Players may go completely under the net to play a ball, but may not interfere with an opposing player.

  • If a serve hits the net and goes over, it is in play. ("let serve rule")

  • Players may not block or attack-hit a serve when the ball is entirely above the top of the net.

  • If any foreign object enters the court during play, the ball becomes dead. Replay the point.

  • The ref and/or site supervisor shall call violations involving unsportsmanlike conduct.

  • A ball may be played out of the net.

  • A player may go outside the court to play the ball.

  • Balls in the rafters are still in play when over a team's own court and falls back into team's own court, provided they still have any hits left to get it across. Balls may NOT be played off of the side walls and/or curtain.


  • Teams may utilize a traditional substitution format or a continuous rotation, as long as each player does not occupy more than one position in the service order in a single game.

  • Rotation order must stay the same throughout the game, but can be changed between games in the same match.


    • Teams may utilize a male-only rotation format when there are only 2 females present. Or the males may sub for each other in the traditional format. Rotating only the females out is not allowed.

    • Players must start in their rotational positions, but may switch right after the serve.


  •  Profanity and unsportsmanlike conduct can result in ejection and/or disqualification from future matches.

  • Refunds will NOT be issued for ejections or suspensions for unsportsmanlike conduct.

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