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Wallyball Rules





AWA Wallyball rules govern national and international Wallyball play. They're what most of the planet uses, To get your copy of the officia rulebook, CLICK HERE

























Copyright ©  The American Wallyball Association®. All Rights reserved



Situation: The referee and visiting coed doubles teams arrive at the match site and discover a sagging net that is less than eight (8) feet above the floor.
Ruling: The match shall be conducted.
Comment: Every effort should be made by the host team or Tournament Director to make the sagging net legal, but neither the visiting team nor the referee may cancel the match.
Situation: Team A, on their second play, hits the ball between the side wall and the edge of the net.
Ruling: Replay is called.
Comment: On the first or second hit, a replay is called bythe referee, on the third hit a sideout or point is awarded to Team B


Situation: Team A has just received their ninth (9) point and with the next service, Team A loses and a side-out is call.  Team B receives one point and their score is frozen giving Team B twelve (12) points.  Team B loses service and side-out is called.  Team A receives one point and their score is now frozen giving Team A ten (10) points.  Team A loses service and side-out is called.  Team B does not receive a point for side-out.
Ruling: Team A and Team B can only score points during side-outs before their scores are frozen, after which points must be earned by winning the service.

Situation: Team A has just served their fifteenth (15) point with the score resulting in Team A fifteen (15), Team B fourteen (14).
Ruling: Team A must score one more point to be declared winner of the game..
Comment: Play shall continue until one team has a two (2) point advantage and a minimum of fifteen (15) points.

Situation: During a volley a player from Team A:
a.     Loses a contact lens.
b.     Breaks a knee brace.
c.     Hits a ball that shatters a light fixture over either Teams side.
Ruling: In (a), (b) and (c) the referee will call for time-out to make repairs.  This would not be charged to either team.  After repairs and corrections are made the referee shall declare a replay.
Comment: At all times the player's safety is the primary importance.

Situation: Team A calls it's second time-out and after twenty (20) seconds Team A terminates the time-out period before the sixty (60) second time-out had expired.  Team B decides not to resume play until the entire sixty (60) second time-out has expired.
Ruling: Illegal.  Team B must return to play after Team A terminates it’s time-out.
Comment: If Team B did not return to play immediately after Team A terminated it’s time-out.  The Team B would be at fault and the referee could penalize Team B with rule “3.10 DELAYING THE GAME”.FAILURE TO RETURN TO GAME AFTER TIME-OUT EXPIRES:
Situation: Team B calls it's first time-out and after the sixty second time out expired the referee charged Team B with and additional sixty (60) second Time-out.
Ruling: The referee should call a delay of game on Team B.  Team B did not return to the game immediately after the signal ending the first time-out, therefore Team B was sanctioned with a delay of game.
Comment: If Team B was calling it’s second time-out and did not return to the game immediately after the signal ending the second time-out, Team B would be penalized with a side-out, if Team B was in position of serve  Team A would receive a point if it was in position of serve.

Situation: Team A requires a two (2) minute time-out to go over a defensive move..
Ruling: Legal.  Team A is then charged with two (2) time-out periods.
Comment: If Team A was already charged with a time-out during that game, then point or side-out is awarded Team B for delay of game by Team A.

Situation: A player on Team B injures her ankle, the referee interrupts play.  Team B’s player is ready to play:
a.) Within five (5) minutes.
b.) After five (5) minutes.
Ruling: Both (a) and (b) are legal.  (a) No time-out is charged; (b) a time-out is charged Team B.
Comment: If the coach realizes the player will not be able to play within the five (5) minute time allotment, he must substitute to avoid the charged time-out.

Situation: Team A discovers an error in their service order after the line-ups have been verified by the referee but before the start of the games.
Ruling: Illegal.  No changes can be made once the line-ups are officially verified.


Situation: Team A and Team B split, and each has one win, the referee calls the captains for the coin toss to decide choice.  Team A wins the toss and takes the choice of side, giving Team B the first service.
Ruling: Legal.  All deciding games in a match, must be have a coin toss to decide which team will choose side or service.
Comment: In the case a coin is unavailable any fair deciding method acceptable by the Tournament/League Director or the two play team captains may be substituted.

Situation: A substitute player from Team A accidentally drops a knee pad down onto the playing court from the viewing area above, during a very important play.
Ruling: Replay.
Comment: Play shall stop immediately, object removed from the court, therefore, no apparent danger to players.TIME BETWEEN GAMES AND DELAYING THE GAME:
Situation: Following the first game, Team A returns to the floor and is ready to play after 30 seconds has elapsed.  Team B is not in position to play until:
a)  One (1) minute has expired.
b)  Two (2) minutes have expired.
c)  Two (2) minutes and five seconds have expired.
Ruling: Both (a) and (b) are legal, but (c) is unnecessary and a delay of game by Team B.
Comment: If both teams are ready, the referee may begin play before two (2) minutes have elapsed between games.  In situation 3, a time-out is assessed Team B with only one time-out remaining during that game.

Situation: On their third hit, Team B sends the ball into the spectators' gallery..
Ruling: Point or side-out will be called.
Situation: On their second play, Team B hits the ceiling during a volley to the opponent before leaving the court area.
Ruling: Point or side-out will be called.
Comment: The ball hitting the ceiling during a volley to the opponent is out-of-bounds.

Situation: In  four (4) person coed play, due to an injury, a team is forced to play with one (1) woman and two (2) men.  During a play, the two (2) men with two (2) hits send the ball across the net.
Ruling: Illegal.  Even though the team is forced to play with one (1) woman, the four (4) person coed rules still pertain.

Situation: Team A is serving.  The player on Team A makes the first play, a teammate sets the ball and the server spikes the ball over the net to the floor.
Ruling: Illegal.  The server cannot block or spike the ball.

Situation: After Team A scores a point, it is brought to the attention of the referee, by the captain of Team B, that during a rally a player from Team A touched the net during an attempted block.
Ruling: Even though it is illegal the foul was not seen by the referee, so no penalty shall be assessed.  The point stands.
Situation: The referee notices the captain of Team B requests to have the serving order checked several times during the game.
Ruling: Legal.  It is the captain’s right to check serving order.
Comment: The referee may refuse on the basis he/she thinks Team B is doing this to interfere with the momentum of Team A, or Team B’s using this as an additional time-out to plan game strategy.

Situation: The server is acknowledged with the score from the referee.  The server, bounces the ball two (2) times and then lightly the server tosses the ball in the air to serve.
Ruling: Legal, as long as the server executes the serve within five (5) seconds..
Situation: The server is acknowledged with the score from the referee.  The server tosses the ball and decides it is not a good toss.  The server catches the ball, bounces it two (2) times and tosses the ball the second time prior to the serve.
Ruling: Illegal, the moment the ball is caught after the first toss, there is a service fault and point or side-out is called.
Comment: After the ball is tossed, the next contact is the service action.

Situation: In an attempt to block the ball, a player's shoulder on Team B hits the net.  The net was pushed into the player from Team B by a shot from Team A.
Ruling: Legal.  The net contact with the player’s body was due to the ball driven with such force that it caused the net to touch the player.

Situation: A player on Team A reaches over the net to execute a block.
Ruling: Legal.
Comment: Players attempting a block may reach across the net but shall not contact the ball until an opponent strikes the ball in an attempt to send it back into the opponent's court.

Situation: Team A’s second play has caused the ball to have passed partially under the net, when it is interfered with unintentionally by Team B.  Team A is attempting to play the ball a third time.
Ruling: Illegal, net foul if  is called, interference on Team B.

Situation: On Team B’s second hit a player sets the ball directly above the net allowing Team A’s player to spike the ball to the floor.
Ruling: Legal.  A ball directly above the vertical plane of the net may be played by either team.

Situation: A player on Team A saves a spiked ball so it deflects off her hand to her biceps and shoulder..
Ruling: Legal.  Successive contact is permitted when recovering a hard driven spike..
Situation: A player on Team A spikes the ball.  it is deflected by a player on Team B and saved by another player on Team B who allows the ball to deflect from hand to shoulder..
Ruling: Illegal, double hit is called.
Comment: Multiple contacts by the player in an attempt to save the spike is permitted only if it is the first play for the player’s team.

Situation: A player blocks a ball, then hits it again to their teammate, who sets it back to another teammate, who then spikes the ball.
Ruling: Legal.  The play was executed with three (3) hits.

Situation: A player on Team A spikes the ball, but at the instant the ball hits the floor on Team B’s side of the court, the spiker contacts the net.
Ruling: Double fault.  The referee shall call a replay.
Comment: Team B’s failure to return the ball is a foul, as is the net foul by the player,  Because they occur at the same instant, the proper call is double fault.

Situation: A player on Team B sets the serve with an open hand finger set to a teammate who then spikes the ball across the net.
Ruling: Illegal. A player cannot receive the serve with an open hand finger set to set the serve.
SCORE: Situation: Team A has just received point ( 13 ) with an ace on Team B.  Team A calls out the score, "13 to 7.  Team B sides out and calls out the score incorrectly, "12 to 8".  It should have been called out, "13 to 8" but nobody caught the call.  Team A sides out and calls the score, "12 to 8".  Another player corrects him and reminds the players about the ace. Ruling: The score is corrected to the correct score. Comments: You can not change the score by calling it out incorrectly even though play has continued.
Situation: Team A is getting ready to serve to Team B.  There are 3 players on each team.  A player on Team B stands on the center line under the net with part of his body in Team A's court making it so Team A can not stand at the net. Ruling: Interference. Comments: Both teams have the right to stand at the net as long as they don't block the view of the serve receiver and you can not place any body part in the other teams court to move the opposing players.

Situation: In the first game of a coed match, Team A loses a female player due to an injury.  There is no substitution..
Ruling: Team A is permitted to finish the match, but must still abide by the rules governing coed play.

Copyright ©  The American Wallyball Association®. All Rights Reserved



DOUBLE FAULT: When two (2) opposing players commit faults simultaneously, a double fault shall be called and the point replayed.

OPPONENTS COMMITTING FAULTS AT THE SAME TIME: When opposing players commit faults at approximately the same time, the team that committed the fault first shall be penalized.  If the referee cannot decide which team committed the fault first, a double fault will be declared.

PENALTY FOR A FAULT: A fault called on the serving team will result in a side-out and the ball turned over to the receiving team commits a fault, the serving team shall score a point.

DURING PLAY FAULTS: Any of the following committed during play by a player or a team shall count as a fault:
a) The ball is played more than three (3) times consecutively by a team.
b) The ball touches the ceiling on the opponent’s side.
c) The ball hits two (2) or more walls consecutively on the receiving team’s side.
d) The ball hits the back wall on a fly or volley on the receiving team’s side.
e) The ball hits the floor on the court.
f)  The ball is hit twice by the same player consecutively.
g) The net is touched by a player while the ball is in play.
h) A player crosses the center line and touches an opponent.
i)  The ball contacts a player below the waist.
j)  A player illegally handles the ball, such as holding, throwing or pushing.
k) The ball lands outside the court or in the spectator’s gallery.
l)  A personal penalty is called on a player.
m) A game is delayed.
n) A substitution is made illegally.
o) An illegal block is attempted.
p) Players purposely distract the opponents.
q) A time-out exceeds 60 seconds.
r) A player illegally assists a teammate.
s) A player attempts to spike the serve.



Before the start of the tournament or league, a well-balanced team draw needs to be lined up and posted on a draw sheet (official AWA draw sheets are available (Free) through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for each division.  If any of the division’s need to have more than one pool, each division’s pool will be balanced so to have the same number of top and bottom level teams in each.  Referees and court locations shall be posted in advance for all matches.

Before the first game of a match the referee will call team captains together and conduct a coin toss to decided selection of choice of side or service. In the case a coin is unavailable any fair deciding method acceptable by the Tournament/League Director or the teams play captains may be substituted.

The referee will supervise warm-up periods.  If the captains elect to have separate warm-up periods the serving team having use of the court for the first three (3) minutes and the receiving team for the second three minutes.  If the captains elect to warm-up together on the court, the referee shall allow six minutes.  If a team decides not to use its time on the court, the court shall remain unoccupied.
The referee will record and verify serving order.

When the lineups are verified and teams are ready, the referee will call the score to beckon the first service to begin.

Substitutions shall be requested by either the head coach or the team captain, when the referee accepts the substation the substitute may enter the court and the referee records the action.

At the end of the game, if another game is needed, there will be a two (2) minute rest period.  If the next game is a deciding game a five (5) minute rest period will be allowed.

For a deciding game, the referee will toss the coin to decide choice of side or service.  During the play the first team to reach eight (8) points, the referee will require the teams to switch sides.

The referee will verify points on the score sheet, acknowledge game to teams, record final scores and then return the score sheet to the draw sheet organizer.

Copyright ©  The American Wallyball Association®. All Rights Reserved


NUMBER OF CONTACTS WITH THE BALL: Up to three (3) successive contacts with the ball are allowed each team in order to play the ball over the net and into an opponent’s court.  Contacting the wall does not count as a set or play.

CONTACTED BALL: Any player that makes contact with the ball shall be considered as having played the ball.

SUCCESSIVE CONTACT WITH THE BALL BY A PLAYER: A player shall not make successive contacts with the ball except when playing a hard driven spiked ball, provided there is no finger action used during the effort and the ball is not held or thrown.  Successive contact with the spiked ball shall count as one attempt to play the ball.  A hard driven spike can be played off the wall(s).

SIMULTANEOUS CONTACT WITH THE BALL BY BLOCKERS: A player who participates in a block and makes only one attempt to play the ball during the block, may make successive contact with the ball during such play even though it is not a hard driven spiked ball.  Players participating in a block may participate in the next play; this second contact shall count as the first of three (3) hits allowed a team.

SIMULTANEOUS BODY CONTACT WITH THE BALL: Any part of the body including or above the waist can hit the ball simultaneously so long as the ball rebounds quickly after such contact.

PLAYING TWO OR MORE WALLS: Contacting two (2) or more walls with the ball are allowed only by the team in possession of the ball on their own side provided a player on that team touches the ball first.  If the ball crosses the net after contacting two (2) or more walls without making contact with a player, a side-out of serve will be called.

CONSECUTIVE CONTACT: Each contact with the ball shall be made by a different member of the same team.  If consecutive hits are made by the same player, a fault will be called.

MISHANDLED OR HELD BALL: A ball coming to rest momentarily in the hands, arms or any other area above the player's waist, or against the wall(s), shall be considered as having been held.  The ball must be hit in such a manner that it rebounds cleanly after contact with a player. Scooping, lifting, pushing or carrying the ball with one or two hands or arms either underhand or overhand, shall be considered to be a form of holding and is a fault, and a side-out or loss of serve will be called.

SIMULTANEOUS HOLDING BY OPPONENTS: A double fault shall be called and the point replayed when the players from opposing teams simultaneously hold the ball.  If holding is not called, play shall continue.  Which ever side of the net the ball falls after simultaneous holding, that team shall be allowed up to three (3) contacts with the ball.

SIMULTANEOUS CONTACT BY TEAMMATES: If two (2) players on the same team hit the ball simultaneously, one contact with the ball will be called and either player may contact the ball on the next play.

TEAM OR PLAYER ASSISTANCE: Teammates shall not hold or assist one another while making a play.  It shall be legal for a player to hold a teammate not making a play on the ball in order to prevent a fault.

BLOCKING: Any player in 2 or 3 person team play may raise his hands above his shoulders close to the net and attempt to intercept the ball coming from an opponent's side by making contact with the ball before it crosses the net, as it crosses the net or immediately after it has crossed the net.  A block does not count as one of the three successive contacts allowed a team.  A block is good only if the ball is touched by the player attempting the block.  A blocked ball counts as having crossed over the net.  A team may attempt a block if:
a)  A player on the attacking team spikes the ball.
b)  The opponents have made three (3) contacts on the ball.
c)  The ball falls near the net but no player on the attacking team can reasonably make a play on the ball.

BLOCKING AND SPIKING THE SERVE: It is Illegal for player to block  or spike a served ball.

CLIMBING THE WALL: No player shall climb the wall(s) to gain a height advantage while making a play on the ball.

MULTIPLE CONTACTS WITH THE BALL DURING A BLOCK: Multiple contact with the ball between players participating in a block is legal.  A player who participates in a block may contact the ball on the next play, since blocking is not considered one of the three (3) hits allowed a team.

DEFLECTION THE BALL OFF THE BACK WALL: If a player contacts the ball in such manner that the ball deflects off the back wall on his side of the court and goes over the net, the ball shall be considered good.

ATTACK SPIKING THE BALL: Any player may spike the ball in 2 or 3 person team play.  A player may not attack spike a ball on the opposite side of the net.  If the ball is hit above the spiker's side of the net and then the follow-through causes the spiker's hand and arm to cross the net without contacting an opponent, such action does not constitute a fault.

THE BALL SPINNING INTO THE OPPONENT’S COURT AND RETURNING: A ball that spins off the net into an opponent’s court and subsequently returns to the team originally in possession of the ball shall be good, provided it occurred on the first or second contact by the team.  If the ball spins off the net on the third hit allowed a team, a side-out will be called.  Any team member other than the last player to hit the ball can participate in the second or third hit after a ball  that is spinning, enters an opponent's court and returns.

DINKING: A player may dink the ball in any form except with an open hand with finger control of the ball.

Copyright ©  The American Wallyball Association®. All Rights Reserved

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