Volleyball Rules - Sand

Any intramural policies not mentioned here may be found in the intramural handbook.  Unless specifically mentioned below, intramural play is governed by NFHS volleyball rules. By participating in intramural sports, the participant agrees to abide by all intramural rules and policies.

You may suffer physical and/or mental injury from participating in Intramural Sports. There are certain risks of injury that are inherent to participation in sports and recreational activities. These types of injuries may be minor or serious and may result from the actions or inactions of themselves or others. By choosing to participate in Intramural Sports, you do so at your own risk. It is understood that most activities require a certain level of fitness and health, and that each person has a different capacity for participating in these activities. Participants of Intramural Sports are highly encouraged to have a physical examination and procure health insurance prior to play. UC Campus Recreation does not provide health insurance.

Intramural Supervisors undergo concussion recognition training. In the instance a participant is exhibiting any signs or symptoms of a concussion as a result of a head injury sustained during intramural play, he or she will be removed from the activity. This individual must provide a physician’s note clearing the individual to play by a specific date. This note may be e-mailed to intramural@uc.edu or faxed to 513-556-0601.


Following each game, each team will receive a sportsmanship rating between 0.0 and 4.0.


In order to qualify for playoffs, teams must obtain a 3.0 or higher sportsmanship average during the regular season based on the table below:

Sportmanship Rating
Score Player & Team Behavior  
4.0 Always respectful to officials and opposing team.
No complaining or arguing.
Does not comment about officials’ calls.
3.0 Usually respectful to officials and opposing team.
Minimal arguing or complaining about officials.
Maximum one unsportsmanlike penalty issued.
2.0 Consistent dissent or disrespect to officials/opposing team.
Consistent arguing and/or complaining about officials’ calls.
Maximum of two unsportsmanlike penalties or one ejection.
1.0 Excessive complaining, dissent or disrespect to officials/opposing team.
Contact or provocation of officials or opposing team members not inherent to the sport.
Any player involved in a fight.
Maximum of three unsportsmanlike penalties or two ejections.
0.0 Team and/or players are unsafe/out of control.
Multiple players on team fighting.
Destruction or abuse of UC property.

* A team that receives a "0" rating will be suspended from competition until its captain meets with the Assistant Director or Coordinator of Intramural Sports. The team may be removed from competition.


In addition to team ratings, any unsportsmanlike actions may be forwarded to Judicial Affairs and may include but is not limited to revocation of Intramural Sports and/or Campus Recreation privileges.


To be eligible for intramural sports, each player must possess an active membership to the University of Cincinnati Campus Recreation Center AND be a current University of Cincinnati student (enrolled in at least one (1) credit hour), faculty, or staff member.


Uptown, full-time UC students receive a Campus Recreation membership through full payment of the Campus Life Fee. All other populations will need to purchase a membership in order to be eligible to play.


Participants may participate on one (1) mixed gender and one (1) non-mixed gender team (i.e. men's, women's, Fraternity, Sorority) per sport, per season. Substituting for another team in the same league is prohibited.


Every game, each participant must check in with the intramural official with a valid Bearcat card


Intramural particpants must additionally meet all requirements of Section 3.4:


Teams are limited to one (1) competitive club sport participant (in the same or similar sport) on its roster.


Current varsity athletes and professional athletes are not allowed to play on an intramural team of the same or similar sport as their varsity sport.


Former varsity athletes must sit out 365 days from last appearing on a varsity roster to be eligible to play in the same or similar sport as their varsity sport. Teams are allowed one (1) former varsity athlete (in the same or similar sport) per roster.


Jewelry is not allowed during intramural play. This includes earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and fitness trackers, among other things.


Medical jewelry is allowed but must be taped down.


Headwear is not permitted during intramural play. This includes hats and bandannas among similar items.


Athletic clothing is required. Prohibited items include but is not limited to: jeans, cargo pants/shorts, skirts


Shirts are required to participate


Any casts, braces, or other protective equipment must be padded and secure.


Knee pads are recommended, but not provided.


Prior to noon of the season start, a team must have at least three players confirmed on its IMLeagues roster. Teams that fail to do so will have two sportsmanship points deducted from its first regular season game.


Once playoffs begin, players may not be added to the roster without direct approval of the Coordinator and/or Assistant Director of Intramurals.


Teams may have up to twelve (12) players on its roster.


No team shall participate with less than three (3) players at any time


If injuries or ejections cause a team to drop below minimum players required, the team may continue, as long as they started with the minimum number of players.


At the approval of the supervisor and opponent, teams may participate below the minimum number of players needed to start a game if deemed competitive by the staff and the opponent agrees to waive protest rights under Section 5.4


Mixed gender teams may not have more than two players of one gender on the court


Mixed gender teams must adhere to section 5.5 regardless of injury or ejection - even if it results in a short handed scenario


Teams are permitted one (1) checked-in coach on the bench. 


Teams may elect to substitute in accordance to Section 6.1.1 or Section 6.1.2. Teams may not use both methods of substitutions concurrently or switch methods mid-set:


Entire team rotation: Substitutes all enter the server’s position in the same order throughout the game.


Person for person: The substitute enters the same spot as the player leaving the court.The player leaving the court may only re-enter the game for the person who replaced them in the initial substitution.


Substitutions may enter the contest during any dead ball


There shall be no liberos.


A match will consist of the best two (2) out of three (3) sets. The third set will only be played if necessary.


The first two (2) sets will be played to 21 points, win by two (2)


The third set will be played to 15 points


Each team is allowed one (1) time-out per set. Timeouts do not carry over between sets.


All checked-in players and coaches have the authority to call timeouts on behalf of their team. These timeouts can only be called during a dead ball.


Teams that arrive late to games and/or are not ready with the minimum roster by start time will receive the following penalty:


1-4 minutes late = Other team starts up 5-0 and gets first serve


5-9 minutes late = Other team starts up 10-0 and gets first serve


10+ minutes late = Game is forfeited.


Teams that forfeit must pay a $20 non-refundable reinstatement fee prior to the end of the regular season to be eligible for playoff consideration [Refer to Section XII of the Intramural Handbook for more information]


In order to prevent forfeits, teams may also default once per season. Teams must give a minimum 48 hour notice of default to qualify by emailing intramural@uc.edu. [Refer to Section XII of the Intramural Handbook for more information]


Teams must win by two (2) points to win the set [Exception Sections 8.1.1, 8.1.2]


Sets 1 & 2 are capped to 30 points, making the first team to reach 30 points declared the set winner


Set 3 is capped to 15 points, making the first team to reach 15 declared the set & game winner


The official will hold a pre-match Rock, Paper, Scissors. The winner will receive first serve


In playoffs, the higher seed will receive first serve


Each team is allowed three (3) contacts on its side of the net.


A player may not have prolonged contact with the ball, nor may the ball visibly come to rest on the player’s hands, fingers, or any other part of the body.


Simultaneous contacts by two members of the same team will be counted as one contact, and either player is allowed to hit the ball again.


Simultaneous contacts by two opponents (i.e. – a ball above the net) will not count as a contact and either player is allowed to hit the ball again, provided the ball is not completely on one side.


Players may not contact any part of the net while the ball is in play.


A player shall not contact a ball which is completely on the opponent's side of the net unless the contact is a legal block.


The net height will remain the same for all divisions


Supervisors reserve the right to call games due to impairing conditions [Darkness, weather, etc.]. A game shall be considered complete so long as two (2) sets have been completed.


Should a game be called due to impairing conditions in the midst of a third set, the team currently ahead shall be declared winner.


The following plays are considered out of bounds:


Any ball that contacts the ropes and/or poles outside the netting, or any part of an official's stand if applicable


Any ball hit over the net, outside the net range


Any ball that strikes a wall, safety netting, lights, non-participating person, or object out of play 


A serve must be contacted within 10 seconds after the official’s signal to serve, otherwise a side-out is issued.


A replay will be called if a server releases the ball than catches it or drops it to the ground.


It is illegal to step on or cross the end line before striking the ball during a serve.


Players may not block or spike a served ball completely above the height of the net.


Prior to the ball being served, all players (except the server) must be in bounds. Once the ball is served, players may move anywhere on the court.


If a ball contacts the net and lands in play on the opposing side, the ball is considered live.