CBVA Rules

(revised May 01, 2016)
(revised Jan 16, 2024)

CBVA rules are based on Volleyball Canada rules, which are based on FIVB rules. FIVB rules are international rules applying to the FIVB pro beach tour and the Olympics. Some CBVA rules have been created to work within our time constraints or to compensate for the fact that our leagues and tournaments are not refereed. Where there is a discrepancy between the three sets of rules, CBVA rules will be deemed correct.

You can download a free copy of FIVB rules at fivb.ch/EN/Refereeing-Rules/RulesOfTheGame_BVB.asp

You can see Volleyball Canada rule exceptions at volleyball.ca/en/development/referee/rules-amp-guidelines

  1. The court

    1.1 The dimensions of the court should be 16m long by 8m wide.

    1.2 The net height is approximately 8′ (2.43M) for Men, 7’8″ (2.34M) for Coed 3′s and 4′s and 7’4″ (2.24M) for Women and Coed 2′s.
    For youth heights see Volleyball Canada link above.

    1.3 If antennas are not available, the net supports (posts) will act as the antennas.

  2. Player behaviour

    2.1 Players must not make derogatory remarks about or to opponents or spectators.

    2.2 Players must refrain from intentionally trying to distract an opponent who is playing or about to play the ball (i.e. shouting, clapping, etc.).

    2.3 Players may not commit any act that delays the game unnecessarily.

    2.4 Players must refrain from intentionally kicking or hitting the ball out of the area of play.

    2.5 Players may not intentionally or unintentionally screen an opposing player and must move if asked to do so.

  3. Player responsibility

    3.1 League players are asked to assist in putting up and taking down the nets.

    3.2 Players must be on the court for the scheduled start of the match. First match will start promptly at 6:30p.m.

    3.3 Players must call their own infractions when referees are not provided (i.e. net violations, carries, etc.).

  4. League – Players per team

    4.1 Teams may have additional players if these players are put on the roster upon initial registration. This does not apply to substitute players, but rather people who may be sharing a permanent position on a team. For example, a doubles team has three players on the roster, two (or all three) of who will alternate weeks of play or one player will play half a session while another player plays the other half of the session).

    4.2 Players must be on the roster and have played regularly throughout the session in order to compete in that session’s playoffs/finals unless deemed to be a qualified substitute (see point 4.3).

    4.3 A substitute player may fill in for any player on the roster. If a sub is competing in playoffs/finals, he or she must be deemed of equal or lower calibre than the person he or she is replacing.

    4.4 If a team is not comfortable with a substitute player on another team and feels that sub is not of equal or lower calibre, said team must address this with a board member present at the site before beginning any games.

    4.5 Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the CBVA board for special situations (i.e. injuries). In these cases, the board will decide whether the new player is of equal or lesser calibre than the player being replaced.

    4.6 Please be a good sport. Try to bring a team to playoffs that is of the same calibre as the team that landed you in that tier. All the above rules in section 4 are about making it fun for everyone.

  5. Tournament – Players per team

    5.1 Teams may have extra players on their roster. (Note: A package for a 4’s tournament will only contain four T-shirts no matter how many names appear on the roster, although teams may purchase extra t-shirts if available.)

    5.2 Players must be on the roster upon initial registration in order to play in the tournament.

    5.3 Players must be on the roster and have played at least one match to compete in playoffs.

    5.4 Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the CBVA board for special situations (i.e. injuries). In these cases, the board will decide whether the new player is of equal or lesser calibre than the player being replaced.

  6. Tournament and League coordinators

    6.1 The coordinator has absolute authority over players, officials and spectators on and off the court and may penalize players if necessary.

    6.2 The coordinator may cancel or change the format of the tournament or league if conditions warrant (i.e. shorten games due to weather or daylight).

    6.3 The coordinator has the authority to settle any and all disputes.

    6.4 The coordinator is responsible for timing all matches when necessary.

    6.5 The coordinator is responsible for arriving at leagues and tournament early so that equipment can be set out. Players are asked to assist with putting up and taking down the nets prior to league and tournament play.

    6.6 The coordinator is responsible for setting out schedules and collecting score sheets at end of play. Players are asked to record their own scores.

  7. Service

    7.1 The ball may be served from anywhere along the end line and between the outside edges of the sidelines.

    7.2 Teams must alternate servers in order when they earn a side out. This does not mean that each person must play a certain position on the court. You may play the same position at all times (i.e. setting) as long as you serve consistently in a certain order.

    7.3 Starting server must be determined for the first and third games. We recommend spinning the ball to determine choice of serve. Winner of the spin has a choice of serve, receive, or side. Loser of the spin gets second choice. Loser also gets first choice on second game. (Spin again for third game).

    7.4 No service tossing errors are allowed. If you toss the ball and drop it, your team loses service.

    7.5 No player is allowed to screen the serve. If an opponent asks you to move because you are screening the serve, you are obligated to do so.

    7.6 Let serves are permitted (i.e. the ball hits the top of the net and goes over is a good serve).

  8. Ball contact

    8.1 A ball may be contacted no more than 3 times per side.

    8.2 A block does not count as a contact EXCEPT in doubles.

    8.3a Hard driven balls (first contact) may be contacted multiple times if executed in one motion.•

    8.3b Non hard driven balls (first contact) may not be received with a set (overhand pass) but may be contacted multiple times from any other part of the body if executed in one motion.

    8.4 Service reception may not be a set (overhand pass).

    8.5 Service reception may not be a block, or an attack made when the ball is entirely above the top of the net.

    8.6 The ball may contact any part of the body.

    8.7 The ball may not be lifted, held or come to rest in a players hands. This will be called a carried/held ball. This does not apply when in defence of a hard driven ball which can be held momentarily overhead with fingers.

    8.8 Open hand tips are not permitted. An open hand tip is any ball that is played over the net with the fingertips of one hand.

  9. Setting (Overhand pass)

    9.1 The ball must be contacted simultaneously by both hands and not come to rest. (first, second, or third contact)
    All sets must be clean, except in defence of a hard-driven ball where the ball may come to rest momentarily.
    This differs from indoor volleyball where any first contact including an overhand pass can be a double contact.
    Please also note that in beach, receive of service with an overhand pass is not allowed (see 8.4 above)

    9.2 Players in all divisions may set the ball over the net provided their shoulders are perpendicular to the ball’s line of flight (front or back sets apply)
    EXAMPLE #1: You set a ball deep into the back of the court.
    The ball is live provided it is pushed forward or backward perpendicular to your shoulders.
    EXAMPLE #2: You set a ball at a sharp angle to the net and it just goes over.
    Your partner may or may not be near.
    The ball is live provided it is pushed forward or backward perpendicular to your shoulders.

    9.3 If a player sets the ball towards their partner with a line of flight not necessarily perpendicular to his/her shoulders and the ball passes over the net, play will continue provided the player is trying to set his/her partner and not making a deliberate attacking shot.
    The wind plays absolutely no relevant role here since the player is either trying to set his/her partner or deliberately attacking the opponents court. Whatever role the wind might play in the subsequent trajectory of the ball is irrelevant.

  10. Play at the net

    10.1 A player, through his own momentum may not contact the net.

    10.2 Net contacts will be permitted provided it was caused by a force other than the player’s momentum. (i.e. wind, opponents ball hitting the net, etc.)

    10.3 Hair does not count as net contact.

    10.4 Contacts with net supports are not faults.

  11. Play around the net

    11.1 A ball completely crossing the net below the net or entirely outside the antennas (posts) may be recovered within the limits of the 3 team contacts.

    11.2 A ball completely crossing the net above the net and within the antennas (posts) may not be recovered.

    11.3 Players do not have to intentionally avoid a ball that their opponent has passed under the net to play. However, they cannot intentionally contact the ball or opponent or interfere with any playable ball.

    11.4 In Coed 2′s men can not contact the ball above the net unless they left the ground behind the 3 metre attack line. It is your teams responsibility to draw the attack line in the sand and the women must watch their partner for foot faults. You can remind the other team to redraw their line and to watch closer but remember that teams must call their own faults.
    Reserve if there is any dispute.

  12. Reaching beyond the net

    12.1 A player is permitted to pass his/her hand beyond the net after his/her attack hit, provided that his/her contact has been made within his/her own playing space.

  13. The Block

    13.1 A block is defined as an attempt by a player(s) to interrupt the ball before, as, or just after it crossed the net. The blocker must be within arm’s length of the net with his hand(s) over his shoulder.

    13.2 A blocker may block a ball on the opponent’s side of the court:
    a. After the opposing team has made it’s final contact.
    b. Any time the attacking team has directed the ball towards the opponent’s court.

    13.3 Players reaching over the net to block their opponents attempt to set up the ball will result in a fault.

    13.4 A ball may be directed by a blocker but may not come to rest in the blocker’s hands.

    13.5 Blocking the serve is not permitted.

    13.6 In Coed 2′s men can not reach above the net to block (even if they are tall enough to do so without leaving the ground). It is considered a block if you are less then 1 metre from the net.

  14. Scoring

    14.1 Matches will be best of 3 games, rally point scoring, 30 to 40 minute time limit at discretion of night coordinator.

    14.2 Winner of a game will be the first to 21 for the first 2 games and first to 15 for the third game. Third game is only played if teams split the first two games. There is no win by 2 rule in league play. During league playoffs and most tournaments games are win by 2 no cap.

    14.3 If the time expires while the ball is in play, the rally must be played out. Any team stopping play prematurely will be penalized with a loss of point.

    14.4 If time expires in the middle of a game, the combined score must be 8 or greater in order to count. If the score is tied, one more rally is played to determine a winner of that game. A tie in the match can still occur if the teams split the first two games and the third game either is not played or does not reach 8 combined points.

  15. Defaults

    15.1 If a team does not show up for league play, they will default all matches scheduled for that night of play. The opposing teams will win the match 21-0 and 21-0.

    15.2 If a team defaults three (3) league nights during a Session, that team will be disqualified from the league and a team on the waiting list will replace them. League fees will not be refunded.

    15.3 Co-ed 3’s teams can not have more than 2 men on the court.
    Co-ed 4′s teams can not have more than 3 men on the court. Open 4’s can play with any combination of players (including 4 men).

    15.4 Co-ed 3′s & Co-ed 4′s teams will default unless they have min 2 players (1 of them female). Open 4’s will default unless they have min 3 players.

    15.5 If a team is not present when the clock starts, this is considered a default of the first game in the match.

    15.6 If a team is not present 15 minutes after the clock has started, the second game and match are now forfeit. The offending team is charged a $10.00 default fee for each match missed.

  16. Standings

    16.1 All matches will be worth 6 points. 2 point will be awarded to the winner of each of the first two games. If a team wins two games straight they receive the remaining 2 points for a total of 6 points. If the teams split the first two games a third game is played with the winner receiving another 2 points. In the event of a tie, 3 points will be awarded to each team. A tie occurs when the teams split the first two games (No matter what the scores) and the third game has a combined score of less than 8 points. Total points for and against are not considered when determining winners of individual matches.

    16.2 If teams are tied in the standings after any tiering round, the following criteria will be considered to determine position in next tier or playoff round. Playoff positions are determined by standings from the last tiering round only.
    1. Head to head match records
    2. Head to head point differential
    3. Point differential for all league play

    16.3 Playoffs will run on the last week night of your league play at the end of each session.

  17. Rainouts

    17.1 All players must show up for league night. At the start time of that league night, a group decision will be made as to whether or not to play that night. If the teams decide to play any teams not present will default. On occasion, the Board will make a decision regarding extraordinary weather conditions, and a league night may be cancelled with a posting on the website, and or an email to team captains by 5:00 pm the day of the cancellation.

  18. Tiering

    18.1 All divisions are tiered for session start and re-tiered every week.

    18.2 The top team from each tier (except the highest tier) will move up to the next highest tier and the bottom team from each tier (except the lowest tier) will move down to the next lower tier.

    18.3 If there is a rainout on a Tuesday and Wednesday, Men’s and Women’s 2’s teams will play that week’s schedule the following week (date will be updated on CBVA website schedule by the Scheduler).

    18.4 If there is a rainout on a Tuesday but not Wednesday (or vice versa), the rained-out night will play that week’s schedule the following week (date will be updated on CBVA website schedule by the Scheduler). The night that played will be retiered as normal except that teams will not switch nights, meaning the lowest ranked team on Tuesday will not move to Wednesday, and the highest ranked team on Wednesday will not move to Tuesday.

  19. Official volleyballs

    19.1 Mikasa balls are the official standard ball for Calgary Beach Volleyball Association.

  20. Switching sides

    20.1 Switch sides every 10 points (combined scored) for games to 21 and every 7 points for games to 15.
    If both teams agree to switch at some different points total or at the end of each game they may do so. If there is no agreement then the above standard applies.

  21. Match timing

    21.1 The matches will vary in length from 25 to 40 minutes depending on the amount of light available.
    The night coordinator will make this call based on the time of sunset for that day.

    21.2 No matter how long the matches are for a certain night, they will start at 6:30pm.

Join the Team!

As a non-profit organization, CBVA is always looking for members and volunteers to help out. Lots of perks! If interested, please contact volunteer@cbva.ca

Partners and Sponsors

Bonasera Pizza - Serving the beach volleyball community:

Mikasa Canada - Canadian distributor of Mikasa's brand balls (mikasasports.ca)Mikasa Canada