How We Play Grass Volleyball

Some more about how we get our volley on!

Basic Rules

  • Each team consists of no more than 6 players on the court at one time. A full team plays with 3 guys and 3 girls. If you have less than this of either gender, you may play with up to 3 of each gender on the court. A team may play with a minimum of 3 players and must include at least 1 of each gender to be considered a legal team.
  • Matches consist of 3 games to 21. Team must win by 2 and there is a cap at 25 points.
  • Teams will have an hour to play 1 match (3 games). All 3 games will be played each night and count toward your record for the season.
  • All games will play using Rally Scoring Rules. This means that your team scores on every point won whether or not you were serving.
  • Games will be self-reffed. Players will make their own in/out/etc calls during the game. Please be honest. This is just a fun league!

Beginning of Games

To start the game, teams will send a representative to the net to do rock, paper, scissors to pick sides. Best 2 out of 3. Winner of this gets to pick sides. The team that loses this can either elect to serve or allow the other team to serve.

Gameplay Rules

1. Players must rotate clockwise in the order that they are on the court as each new service is begun on your side. Before the ball is served, you must be set up in this order. Once the ball has been served, you may reposition yourselves around your side in any order that you’d like.
2. Players must rotate in and out of the game at a specific spot chosen by the team. For example, some teams rotate in and out at server so at every rotation of the team the person rotating to server goes out and the new player comes in. Other teams do this at a position in the front row. Whatever you like, but you can’t keep taking people in and out all over the place.
3. A legal serve is one that crosses the net and is either touched by an opposing player or lands within the opposing team’s area of the court within the boundary lines. A serve that makes contact with the net and carries over to the opponent’s side of the net is a live serve and must be returned.
4. The serve may not be blocked or spiked, but setting the serve is legal as long as the ball is not caught or carried.

5. A defensive block does not count as one of the allowable contacts. A player may reach over the net to block a ball if: a. Any portion of the ball breaks the plane of the net or b. After the offense has come in contact with the ball on the third attempt.

6. The ball must be cleanly hit when spiking with an open hand. Guiding, carrying or lifting is illegal. A carry or lift is any use of an open hand(s) while making contact with the ball that is not in a firm manner.

7. Out of bounds is the area outside the rope line laid down around the court. Balls that land on the rope line are in bounds.

8. The ball can contact any number of body parts down to, and including the foot. Shoes are allowed to be worn. No spikes.

All games will be self-reffed

If there are any discrepancies between the two teams that need to be addressed, our on-site staff will be available. Our staff will provide constant reminders with regards to this process. To coordinate and run the league, our staff will be available at all times to help the league run as smoothly as possible. If you have questions regarding schedules, policies, rule interpretations, etc. please email us and ask.

Game Play & Playoffs

Matches must be completed within the allotted hour, (warm up must be concluded before game start time). All games are played to 21 win by 2 or first to 25. Rally/speed scoring will be used.
If there is a tie in records going into the playoffs, strength of schedule with games won will be used to determine seedings.
For playoffs in all of our leagues, teams are placed into multiple divisions based on regular season records where there is a winner of each division. Because these are super social rec leagues and many teams were made at random, some teams end up not as good at winning game as they are at just having fun and consuming lots of drinks at the bar after playing. This method creates a more balanced playoffs system in a league where players and teams can range from professionals to those not quitting their day jobs. It allows similarly skilled teams to play each other in the end while still giving a first round benefit to those teams with a higher ranking, and makes it so that any team can get one of the champion prizes!

Full Team

If you do not meet the minimum team requirements (3 players total), the first game will be forfeited 10 minutes after start time. Entire Match will be forfeited at 20 minutes after start time. Subbing is allowed in between points. All subs must be made in a consistent manner throughout a game. Traditional subbing rules will not be followed, as long as the team does not gain an unfair advantage from a type of substitution.


Teams may use fill-in players during the season to field a full team, but only bring subs if you need them for a full team so those that paid to play don’t lose out on playing time. Also, subs are only allowed in playoffs if you email to get it approved in advance in certain situations.
If your team forfeits a match during the season, the following rules apply:

First Offense: 10-0 loss of game and warning issued.

Second Offense: 10-0 loss of second game and S3 reserves the right to remove team from the league or playoffs with no refund for games not played.

Third Offense: Automatic removal from the league with no refund for games not played.

The reason for the harshness of this is because we want all teams to be able to play. If your team is a no-show, then the other team also doesn’t get to play, and that’s not cool. So just get subs or at least let us know if you’re not going to make it!

If you know in advance that your team will be forfeiting a match, you are required to email us at so we can let your opponent know that you won’t be showing up.


The idea of this league is to have fun. We hope that all participants keep that in mind when becoming involved. Although the games may become intense, you still can be competitive while maintaining good sportsmanship. With this said, any behavior deemed unacceptable by staff may result in suspension and/or ejection from a game or the league. S3 reserves the right to remove a player from a game or a league if they are considered to be bringing down the quality of the league.