FIVB Rules Changes (2008-2012)

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FIVB Rules 2008 to 2012- summary of important changes


Touching the opponents’ court with any part of the body above the feet is permitted, providing that it does not interfere with the opponents’ play.

This means that, for example, a hand or knee can cross over the centre line; now only the foot remains prohibited from making contact completely across the centre line. There must, however, be no “interference” with the opponents’ play, or a significantly increased health and safety risk.


Contact with the net by a player is not a fault unless it interferes with play.

Examples of net contacts which are still considered as faults would include any contact with the top band of the net (or antenna) during any action of playing the ball. Contacts which either create an unfair advantage, or which hinder an opponent’s legitimate attempt to play the ball, would also continue to be penalised as net contacts. However, a setter who gently brushes the mesh of the net whilst playing the ball should no longer be penalised. Similarly, a blocker or hitter who brushes the net (on the way up or down) is no longer considered to be making a net fault, unless there is contact with the top band. Any “taking support” from the net – leaning into the net, or holding the mesh, or any action which significantly distorts the position of the top band of the net – is still a fault, as is any contact which prevents the opponent from being able to play the ball.


In matches where numbered paddles are being used during the substitution process, the coach or captain no longer needs to make a request for substitution. The request is assumed at the moment a player crosses into the substitution zone, when the ball is out of play and before the whistle for service; at this moment, either the scorer or second referee will acknowledge the substitution (using buzzer or whistle respectively).

This procedure does not replace the existing substitution process, it is additional – captains and coaches may still request substitutions in the normal way. Note that, for 2008-09, this “quick substitution” process is not to be used unless numbered substitution cards (“paddles” or “plaquettes”) are available.


The second referee may signal and whistle illegal back-court attack hits and blocks.


This rule is not being implemented in NVL this season.

(For FIVB and World Senior events, teams may declare up to 14 players and include the addition of a second “libero” player into the squad.)


Volleyball England have issued the following 4 minute presentation of video clips regarding the rule modifications, please follow the following link:

During the video clips, in the bottom left hand side of the video, it is stated whether the highlighted play was a fault or not under the 2005-2008 rules, while in the bottom right hand side of the screen, stating whether it is a fault for the 2009-2013 rules.