Main rules of the game:
Although the rules are changing to keep up with the times and specific requirements of television and advertisers, the object of the game is still to pass the ball over the net so that the opposition players do not receive it. One player cannot touch the ball twice consecutively. A team cannot come into contact with the ball for more than three times in succession, but touching the ball during a block, the so-called soft block, does not count as a hit. It is allowed to hit the ball with any part of the body. If the ball touches the net during a serve, it is not considered a net foul. Long sets going up to 15 points and the so-called side-out scoring, a system in which a team could score points only when it had the serve, has been replaced by rally scoring with 25-point sets in which points are awarded to either team, regardless of serving.
A match still consists of the best three sets, the last of which complies with the tie breaking rule i.e. it goes only to 15 points. In each set the game continues until one of the teams is two points ahead of the opponents. The libero player has also been introduced. It is a player whose jersey is a different colour from the rest of the team. This player occupies the back row position and is only allowed to receive a serve and to defend. A libero cannot attack the ball. A team consists of 12 players including substitutes, but only half of them are on the court at one time.
Up to six substitutions and two time-outs are allowed per set. Furthermore, technical time-outs take place in the first four sets when the leading team reaches the 8th and 16th point. A court player is permitted to leave the court once per set and may return only to his previously occupied position. A substitute player is allowed on the court once per set and can only be replaced by the very same player he supplemented. The players' positions on the court include an outside hitter, an opposite hitter, a setter, a middle blocker and a libero. Before each set a coach submits a list of the starting positions of players. Players rotate during the game when the team receiving a serve gains the right to serve. In such a case players change their locations on the court by moving clockwise to the next position (the player in position 2 moves to position 1, the player in position 1 moves to position 6, etc.)
The court is a rectangle measuring 9x18 m divided into two 9x9 m fields of play by the centre line. Two lines are marked on each field parallel to the centre line at a distance of three metres from it. They separate the defence area from the attack area.
The net is 224 cm high for women including juniors, for girls under 15 years of age it is 215 cm high. For men including junior players the height of the net is 243 cm, for boys under 15 years of age it is 235 cm.
The playing area above the net is delimited by antennae. Antennae are posts placed over the side lines of the court. Their top 80 cm rise above the top band of the net. In volleyball competitions for children as well as in mini volleyball the net can be lowered to the height of 180 cm, the court size decreased to 3x4 m and the number of players per team reduced to three.
The spherical ball is made of genuine or synthetic leather, either monochromatic or featuring a combination of colours. It should be 65-67 cm in circumference, weigh 250-280 g and be inflated to a pressure of 0.30-0.325 kg per square centimetres.
The jerseys must be numbered from 1 to 18. Shoes should have soles made of leather or rubber without high heels. Wearing any objects which may cause injuries is not permitted. Players can wear glasses or contact lenses at their own risk. The use of knee and elbow pads is permitted.