NYC Social Volleyball Rules


Any rule or situation not expressly defined here will default to MLB rules. At the end of the day, these calls will be made by the head ref. Whatever their call is, it stands, so don’t be a “rule nazi”.


  • Remember, this is a social league. Keep a relaxed attitude, meet some new people, and have a good time.
  • There should be equal playing time for all players, regardless of gender.
  • You always need your team T-Shirts. They are our only way of identifying you and not having them hurts your team’s ranking!
  • Please treat our referees with respect.
  • Referees will be judging your Sportsmanship; it’s best to be gracious whether you’re winning or losing.
  • Any aggressive behavior will not be tolerated and may result in suspension or expulsion from our leagues; let’s avoid that.
  • Please be on time. We recommend showing up at least 15 minutes early to avoid any confusion and the chance of Forfeiting.

Number of Players

A team consists of a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 14 players. 6 Players will play at once, at least 2 of which must be women.

A minimum of 4 players from your roster and/or pre-registered substitutes is needed to start or continue a game.

If a team is short of the required number of women, they may play down at 4 men/1 woman or down 2 Players at 3 men/1 woman. Teams may not play with 4 men/0 women. Teams may also invite Substitute Players to join them as per below:


If a team is short the required number of players in a regular season game, they may invite players from other teams within the division. Subs from within the division are subject to the Referee’s discretion. Teams can only invite enough Subs from within the division to meet the maximum number of players allowed on field (6) plus one additional player to rotate in. Substitute players from within the division should be the last one to cycle into the game (barring gender requirements). If players from a team’s roster arrive late, the Subs from within the division must rotate out.

Substitutions from outside the division are allowed; for more info and to register as a Sub, CLICK HERE. Substitutions during the Playoffs are not permitted. Teams using pre-registered substitutes may not exceed the headcount of their original roster, and individuals may not serve as a pre-registered substitute player more than 3 times during a Season.

Substitute players must check in with the Game Coordinator onsite to receive a league issued pinnie to wear in the Game. Substitute players must leave a form of identification with the Game Coordinator in exchange for the participation pinnie. The ID will be returned to the player when the pinnie is turned in after the Game.

Game Length/Structure and Scoring

Each match consists of 3 games played 25, 25, 15 points. Rally point scoring (point is awarded for each side- out, regardless of which team served) will be used. Teams must win by 2 points, cap at 27 points.

Beginning the Game/Serving

Service of the first game will be determined by a coin toss. The Team that did not begin serving the first game will begin serving the second game. The winner of the second game will begin serving the third game.

The serving Player shall not serve until signaled to do so by the Referee. Service may be either underhand or overhand with either a closed or open hand. If a Player serves before the whistle is blown, the serve shall be replayed. If a player is serving and catches a bad toss, the serve shall be replayed.

The server will continue to serve until the Referee calls a “side-out”.

Playing the Game

  • When a Team is awarded the serve, the Team will rotate one place clockwise.
  • A ball hit into the net, other than a serve, may be recovered provided a Player does not make contact with the net or cross the centerline.
  • A Player may not play the ball twice in succession unless the initial contact is a block.
  • A Team must return the ball across the net with three or fewer contacts. A block does not count as contact.
  • When the ball lands on the boundary line, it is considered in the court. It is legal for a Player to run out of bounds and play the ball; however, a Player may not enter another Volleyball court to play the ball.
  • When a ball hits the antennas attached to the top of the net it is considered out.


If a foul is committed, penalty will be side-out Point (dependent upon scoring structure at the time).

  • Contacting the ball in an underhand motion with open hand or hands (slapping or scooping).
  • Failure to return ball over the net in three or fewer contacts.
  • Serving illegally, or out of turn.
  • Touching the net or reaching under the net to interfere with an opponent playing the ball.
  • Spiking or blocking the ball in front of the 10’ line when playing the back row position.
  • Contacting the ball twice in succession, unless the first contact is a block.
  • Catching or holding the ball while playing it.


Each Team may call one one-minute timeout per match, if needed.


Substitutions can only be made into the server position upon rotation. There is no limit on the number of Substitutions per game.

The Court

No Player may have a foot entirely over the centerline at any Point. A foot on the line is legal.


All game equipment will be provided on site. Players may wear shoes, play baRefoot or play in socks. Cleats and spiked shoes are not permitted. Players must wear their League Shirts while playing, Shirtless game play will not be permitted.

Defensive Rotation

There must be a fair rotation of all Players through court positions. This means both men and women get time both on the bench and on the court. Referees may require Substitutions to ensure this.


Teams should report to the courts at least 15 minutes before their scheduled starting time of the match. A game will be ruled a forfeit if any of the following occur:

  • No one from one of the Teams is present at Game Time
  • The minimum number of Players are not present (4)
  • Not enough female Players are present
  • Improper conduct by one or more Players on any Team

Teams will receive a forfeit loss of 3-0 in the official standings, if they have not shown up by the scheduled game time.

Teams will forfeit the first game of the match if they have not shown up by their scheduled time. If the Team still cannot meet the minimum requirement after 10 minutes, the entire match will be called a forfeit.. Exceptions can be made if a Team is waiting on a couple of Players (e.g. transit issues) with the understanding that the delay will cut time from the end of their match, and that the final decision is Subject to the Referee’s discretion.

Inclement Weather

In the event of heavy rain, that results in the conditions of the game being unsafe or travel being unsafe, NYC Social Sports Club will update the Weather Line (347.491.7001) with any postponements 90 minutes before match time.

In the event the matches have been started and then have to be postponed due to inclement weather while underway, the matches will be restarted from the beginning if less than half of the first game has been played and will be called or resumed from the stoppage of play if play has entered second half of the first game or the second or third games . Any matches postponed for weather will be rescheduled and information on the rescheduled game will be sent to all Players and Gamestaff by email.

Season Abandonment

Registered Teams that miss two weeks of play will be considered to have abandoned their place in the League. Teams in this category will be contacted by a NYC Social Sports Club staff member to confirm their status. Teams failing to respond within two business days will be removed from the Season schedule and will forfeit their registration fees. Teams that do respond will be required to supply reasoning for lack of attendance and petition the League for reinstatement. Season abandonment and reactivation decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of the League management and must be resolved before returning to play in the current Season or in Subsequent Seasons.

Team T-Shirts

Each Player on an official Team roster will receive a League-issued Shirt at the start of the Season. The Shirt must be worn and visible during each and every game of the Season.

League Shirts are also used by staff at the sponsor bar to determine whether a Player is eligible to receive League discounts.

While Shirt customization is allowed, Teams/Players must abide by the following rules when personalizing Shirts:

  • No company names or logos
  • No offensive language
  • No design that obscures or alters the NYC Social Sports Club logo

Names, nicknames, numbers, and Team logos are all welcome additions to the T-Shirts. Please also feel free to bedazzle, tie-dye, or apply patches to them, if you are so inclined.

Alcohol, Controlled Substance, and Safety Policy

Individuals (Players, fans, or friends of Players) will, at the discretion of NYC Social Sports Club, be ejected immediately if any of the following are true:

  • found bringing alcohol, weapons, or controlled Substances to any venue or sponsor bar in use by NYC Social Sports Club
  • suspected of excessive pre-game alcohol consumption
  • suspected of abusing a controlled Substance
  • deemed unruly or a danger to themselves or others at any time

Anyone who is ejected from one of our venues or sponsor bars will be required to petition the Club for reinstatement before participating in or attending any Subsequent NYC Social Sports Club event.

These policies are in place for the safety, enjoyment, and continued camaraderie of all Players, the sponsoring venues, sponsor bars, and the entire Club.

Ejected Participants

Any ejected individual must get approval by NYC Social Sports Club prior to attending or participating in future Club games, Leagues, or hosted events, including Post-Game Parties. Attempted participation without approval is Subject to further penalties. Rulings may include, but are not limited to, probation, game/League suspension, or permanent expulsion.


THIS IS A SOCIAL League: Have fun and make new friends. The game may or may not go your way, but the beer is still cold and cheap afterwards.

COVID Safety Updates

Mask Enforcement

  • Volleyball is self reffed as is this rule
  • Game play will stop until all players put on their masks back on 
  • If staff are notified of no masks, game play will stop until masks are on
  • Penalty is loss of game play time that will not be given back

COVID Safety Updates

Mask Enforcement

  • Volleyball is self reffed as is this rule
  • Game play will stop until all players put on their masks back on 
  • If staff are notified of no masks, game play will stop until masks are on
  • Penalty is loss of game play time that will not be given back