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Volleyball/2 questions re service receiving


I play regularly in several adult co-ed leagues.  Several questions have come up with respect to "official" rules on the issues stated below. [Please state in your reply whether the rules differ for USA VB or FIVB]

Please confirm my understanding of the following:

1.  If a player returns a serve on the first hit, the player must use an arm hit. (There was a dispute when a player returned the serve on the first hit with his foot. In a different league, this would have been illegal.  "Official" rules apply in the league in question, but the ref did not know this rule.)

2.  Double contact by a player is allowed by the first player receiving a serve or hard-driven ball, provided that it is part of one motion (i.e., the first contact need not be "clean").

Your response is appreciated. Thanks.

Hello Steve!
Welcome to  It's great to hear from you!

A) I don't know a lot about the FIVB rule book.  When I was younger, I spent a lot of time watching international vball; but, no longer, b/c it's rarely available.  I'm sorry.

B) You want to know "official," yet you say that "In a different league, this would have been illegal.  I'm not being critical of your comments; but, I'm just pointing out that rules vary depending on the city, state, etc.  :)  I know, b/c even after doubles on first contact became legal, the "outdoor people" here in Roanoke wouldn't change their local rule:  "NO HANDS on first contact.  Period."  Ok, whatever.  

Now to your questions:
1.  Incorrect call.  Foot contacts have been legal on any hit in both FIVB and USAV as long as I can remember.  The rule book that many high schools use (National Federation) has just made contacts below the waist legal in the past ..... about 5 years.  I think the NCAA is like FIVB and USAV, but I'm not 100% sure.  (See? What is really "official"?)

2.  Correct call.  But, let's be clear:  
* The lift/carry/throw rule hasn't changed any since I started coaching in 1985.  It really hasn't even evolved any, as far as I can tell.  "Power dinks" or slams have been legal and still are legal.  According to the NF rule book, a lift is a "prolonged contact," and "the ball visibly comes to rest."  
* The rule allowing doubles on first contact now appears to be universally accepted.  Yes, provided that the double contact is part of one motion.  
-> Scenario 1: A player is attempting to dig a ball with his hands, it passes through his hands, hits his face, rebounds to a teammate, who takes the next hit.  No whistle.  It's all legal.    
-> Scenario 2: A player is attempting to dig a ball with his hands, it passes through his hands, hits his face, is about to hit the floor, and the same person touches it.  Nope, illegal.  That's a double contact, b/c the final touch wasn't in the "one motion" of making the dig.  

I hope this helps.  It may have actually created more questions that it solved.  :)  
If so, please follow up here, or email me at

I hope you have a great day!  
We already have 8 summer volleyball site camps scheduled for 2013.  Vball is what my staff and I do 24/7/365.  If you want to see why the number of STAR Volleyball Site Camps increase each summer, please visit us at  


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