Volleyball Rules Changes 2016-17

By NFHS on February 25, 2016 volleyball Print


The time period between sets is defined as a part of a match and delineates the difference between the timed interval and timed intermission.

Rationale: Defines a required part of a match and draws distinction between the timed interval and an intermission.


The panels of the volleyball are defined as being of a basic rectangular shape.

Rationale: Clarifies the original intent of the standard shape of the panels of the volleyball.


Hair devices worn in the hair or on the head shall be no more than 3 inches in width.

Rationale: This rule limits the size and material of what a player may wear in the hair or on the head to preserve the integrity of the sport and risk minimization concerns. Permitting an item 3 inches in width allows for a more practical size and retains the original purpose of the rule.


Establishes a new mechanic, double whistle and raising coin in the air, for the first referee to use to summon the captains and head coaches to the officials table to conduct the prematch conference.

Rationale: This signal (double whistle and raised coin) will notify those required that it is time to attend the prematch conference at the officials table. This will eliminate the need to track down those required to attend the conference. This signal is consistent with the mechanic for the deciding set coin toss.


Clarifies when the lineup is due from each team for the next set when an intermission is used between sets Nos. 2 and 3.

Rationale:  Provides consistency as to the time for submission of the lineup for set Nos. 2 and beyond regardless of whether an intermission or standard timed interval is in use.


Reorganizes Article 4 and provides two options to correct a clerical error on the lineup when a player’s number is listed twice, including if one is the libero.

Rationale: Clarifies the two exceptions to the requirement of submitting a written, accurate lineup before each set and the procedure to correct the clerical errors.  The libero is now included as a possible option to correct the clerical error of listing a player’s number twice.


A tossed ball for serve contacting a backboard in a vertical position is a fault.

Rationale: The server is responsible to assume a position not located under an obstruction.

11-2, Penalty 2

A request for a third time-out is an unnecessary delay and penalized accordingly.

Rationale: Provides consistency in application of unnecessary delay penalties for request of a third or more time-outs regardless of whether request acknowledged by the second referee with a whistle and time-out signal.


Clarifies the timed intermission between set Nos. 2 and 3 may only be scheduled for use for promotional or special recognition activities.

Rationale: Clarifies that an intermission is used for promotional or special recognition activities but not for just an extended timed interval between set Nos. 2 and 3.


4-1 Penalty 2                 

Clarifies the language regarding an unnecessary delay penalty, administrative yellow or administrative red card, for a player wearing illegal equipment attempting to enter the set.

4-1 Penalty 3                  

Clarity in wording of the penalty and with the adoption of the new penalty for unnecessary delay last year the modification corrects a clerical error.