Beach Volleyball Rules


Match Start:

The first game will start with a coin toss by the Court Official. Winner chooses from Serve, Receive or Side. Serve and side then alternates between teams for each game thereafter.

Although this is a beach league, as there are 6 players on the court, VC Indoor Volleyball rules shall apply with some exceptions.

Match Duration

  • We play for 1hr.
  • Time begins right at your scheduled game time regardless if the teams are on the court ready to play or not.
  • This includes a 5min warm-up and 55min game time.
  • We play as many games as we can get in within the allotted time.
  • If time expires before the final game is complete there must be a total of 10 combined points for that game to count.
  • 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie


  • 6 vs 6 coed
  • A min of 1 female will be on the court at all times,
  • A max of 4 male players will be on the court for all evenings including Monday.
    If teams have 4 players they must have one female. (3 males 1 female)
  • If a team only has one female they have to play short handed (1 female, 3 males).
  • Teams must have 4 players on the court or they will forfeit the match, one of whom must be a female.
  • All players at the court must play.  Teams can not play with less than 6 if they have 4 males and 2 females eligible to play at the courts.
  • Everyone on the team plays. All eligible players on the team must rotate into the game and keep the rotation for the duration of the game.
  • Males can rotate with males and females with females, or teams can keep a constant circular rotation as long as the male female rules above are followed.
  • All players must be registered with Niagara Rec Sports in order to play.
  • If teams are short they can borrow players from another team ONLY if the opposing team captain agrees to it BEFORE the game begins.  Borrowed players must be registered with another team in the NRS league.  Outside players are not allowed and must fully register with the team before playing.
  • Based on the above rules the following male/ female combinations are allowed,
    extra players will sub on to the court in an order that meets one for the following:

4 males 2 females
3 males 3 females
3 males 2 females
3 males 1 female
2 males 4 females
2 males 3 females
2 males 2 females
1 male 5 females
1 male 4 females
1 male 3 females
0 males 6 females
0 males 5 females
0 males 4 females


  1. If a team for any reason is not able to start or complete a match they shall forfeit.  The opposing team will take their current score, or a 3-0 win (which ever is higher).
  2. We require min 24 hrs notice of a forfeit so we can inform the opposing team and referee.


  1. Server must serve from behind the restraining line (end line) until after contact.
  2. Ball may be served underhand or overhand.
  3. Ball must be clearly visible to opponents before serve.
  4. Served ball may graze the net and drop to the other side for point.
  5. Front row players can not attack the ball until the ball has dropped below the top of the net.
  6. Blocking a serve is not permitted. Blocking of a serve is defined as contacting the ball near the net on service reception when part of the players body has extended above the height of the net.
  7. Serves are capped at 5 consecutive per player. After the fifth serve, rotate to the next server.  Serving order must be followed.


  1. Unlike standard Beach rules, a block will NOT count as a touch. If you block a hit and the ball remains on your side, you still have 3 more touches to get the ball over.
  2. Back row players may not participate in Blocks


  1. Attack On a serve, it is NOT permitted to return (attack) the serve to the serving teams court on serve reception (first contact) when the ball was completely above the net height on attack contact.
  2. You may play the ball off any part of the body.
  3. You may not attack a ball in the opponent’s space.
  4. Unlike standard beach rules, open hand attacks/tipping shall be permitted.
  5. A back row player must be behind the player directly in front of him/her in order to execute an attack.


  1. Players are not to make contact with the net.  Slight touches by the hair, nets pushed into a player by the ball or nets blow into players by wind are not infractions.
  1. There is no center line rule in beach volleyball, therefore, crossing under the net into the opponents space is not an infraction unless it causes interference (such as, but not limited to contact with an opposing player).

Time outs: There are no timeouts.


  1. Games are to 21 (win by 2 no cap)
  2. The team that wins the most games wins the Match.
  3. Rally scoring will be used.
  4. There will be a point scored on every score of the ball.
  5. Offense will score on a defense miss or out of bounds hit.
  6. Defense will score on an offensive miss, out of bounds hit, or serve into the net.
  7. Must win by 2 points.
  8. A min of 10 total points must be scored for the game to be official.  At the final minute of game time the referee will let the teams know that the next serve is the last point to be played.
  9. Play as many games as possible within the time limit.
  10. One minute break between games.  If a game is tied at the end of the time limit, one more rally shall be played to determine the winner.

Late Penalties

  • If one team is at the court ready to play at the scheduled time (after the 5min warm up) and the other team is not ready to play, after 5 minutes one set will be awarded to the team that is ready to play.
  • After 10 minutes the team that is at the court ready to play will be awarded the win.

PLAYOFFS – Regency Leagues

  1. Best 2 out of 3 games
  2. Games are to 21 (win by 2 cap at 23)
  3. Tie breaker will be to 21 (win by 2 cap at 23)
  4. Some teams will play more than one game each night depending on if you win or loose.  Pay attention to the schedule to see when you play next after a win or a loss.

PLAYOFFS – Sunset Beach Leagues

  1. Single elimination – due to lack of light’s at the beach the season has to be slightly shorter (reflected in price to play)
  2. Games are to 21 (win by 2 cap at 23)
  3. Tie breaker will be to 21 (win by 2 cap at 23)

Playoff Late Penalties

  • Warm up is to take place on the grass next to the courts bring your own ball for warm up’s, games will start on your scheduled game time.
  • If one team is at the court ready to play at the scheduled time and the other team is not ready to play, after 5 minutes one set will be awarded to the team that is ready to play.
  • After 10 minutes the team that is at the court ready to play will be awarded the win.
  • If neither teams show up after 10min a coin toss will decide the winner.  Pay attention to the schedule and time.
  • Don’t be on the patio and miss your game.


  1. Team will rotate each time they win a serve.
  2. Players shall rotate in a clockwise manner.
  3. After 5 straight points while serving players will rotate.


  1. Officials shall call the lines to the best of their ability but may require the honest assistance of players as view of ball contact is often blocked when there are 6 players on the court.
  2. Officials have sole discretion as to whether they conduct a Ball Mark Protocol.
  3. Team Captains may respectfully request an explanation of an Official’s call but shall not delay the match in so doing and must do so respectfully.
  4. Maximum of three hits per side.
  5. Player may not hit the ball twice in succession (A block is not considered a hit).
  6. Ball may be played off the net during a volley and on serve.
  7. A ball touching a boundary line is good.
  8. A legal hit is contact with the ball by a player body which does not allow the ball to visibly come to a rest.
  9. The ball may touch any part of the body.
  10. IF two or more people contact the ball at the same time, it counts for a hit each, unless it’s a block, which can be a combination block considered as one contact, which is not considered one of the three “hits” on each side


  • We play rain or shine.
  • If there is lightening at the courts the referee will call the game at the courts at that time.
  • If there is lightening teams can wait 10min to see if it passes, if not the game will be called.
  • If 35min or more has been or 3 matches played the game will count as a full game.
  • If less than 35min has been played the game will be made up at a later date.

Overall Standings Tie Breakers

  • If there is a in the standings based on points the following will be used as a tie breaker.
  • Total Most Overall Points (standings 3 points for a win, 1 for a tie)
  • Plus minus
  • Points for
  • Points against
  • Head to Head (if applicable)
  • If everything is equal a coin toss

Player Eligibility

  • All players must register online and sign the online waiver in order to be eligible to play in the league.
  • Once registration is complete (fully) the name of the registrant will appear under the team name on the roster section of the website.  Only people that are on the roster can ply for the team.
  • If teams are caught playing with unregistered (illegal players) they will loose their existing game and the next.
    Team captains are responsible to ensure all players are eligible to play.
  • If teams are short they can borrow players from another team ONLY if the opposing team captain agrees to it BEFORE the game begins.  Borrowed players must be registered with another team in the NRS league.  Outside players are not allowed and must fully register with the team before playing.

Process for challenging player eligibility

  • Play does not stop during this process.
  • All players must carry some form of picture ID and be ready to show the referee or the opposing team captain if asked.
  • The team captain of the team challenging the eligibility of an opposing team’s player(s) must pull up the team rosters on the phone and approach the opposing team’s bench and speak to the team captain regarding the player in question with the roster.  This process does not stop the game from being played.
    If the team captain refuses to do so the team will get an automatic loss and the player in question will be removed from the field immediately.
  • The team captain (of the team in question) must verify the player in question is in fact on the roster and ID must be shown by the player to verify they are in fact the person listed on the roster on the website.
  • If the player is found not to be on the team roster and/ or does not show ID to prove they are who they say they are, notify the referee and they will be removed from the game and the offending team will take a loss for that game.
  • Teams have until the beginning of their game to register players.  All registrations are time stamped in our back end.
  • This process can take place until 5 minutes after the game is complete (if in playoffs once the team begins the next game the team they are playing must take up the process and the previous game can not be challenged.)

Forfeit Fine – Less than 24hrs notice

All teams must give min 24hrs notice if they are not able to field a team or they will be charged a $50.00 late notice forfeit fee.  The team will not receive any league points in the standings until the $50.00 fee is paid.  Points not received during this time will not be reinstated.  No team can play in the playoffs with an outstanding fine.  If you owe a fine at the time the playoff schedule is being made/ updated your game will not be scheduled.

If a team fails to pay the $50.00 fine within a week the league can look for another team to take their place.

This is to ensure we are able to give opposing teams and referees enough notice that your team will not be able to make it to the game.  No one likes going to a game only to find out the other team did not bother to show up.

This normally is not an issue as most teams respect each other enough to give proper notice, this fee is for those that don’t.

We are very lenient with this policy and as long as you have a few people show up and can form a team with other players playing before your game at the diamond, field and/ or court so the opposing team has a game to play your team will not be fined.

At the end of the season any money collected from the forfeit fine will be donated to a local charity such as project share.

  • If a team forfeit’s 3 times during the season they risk removal from the league.
  • If a team does not pay the fine within a week they risk removal from the league.
  • No points will be awarded to to the team in the standings until the fine has been paid.
  • A one week grace period may be implemented for teams to pay the fine.

Niagara Rec Sports reserves the right to remove or disallow any player from the league at any time throughout the year.  No refunds will be given if/ when players are removed from the league.

Niagara Rec Sports reserves the right to add, alter, remove rules either verbally or on any rules page at any time as we deem fit, any rule changes will be effective immediately.  Rules discussed at the team captains meeting are to be considered part of the league rules.

For other league rules visit this page.


  • Understand, appreciate and abide by the rules of the game.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of game officials and NRS staff.
  • The referee has final say in all calls.
  • Respect your opponent and congratulate them in a courteous manner following each match whether in victory or defeat.
  • Be responsible for your actions and maintain self-control.
  • Refrain from using foul or abusive language.
  • Have fun!