Rules of Play

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MUD Volleyball Rules of Play


1.Team Composition: A team consists of a maximum of 12 players (or up to 14 for additional costs) and a minimum of 6 players (maximum of 8) on the court during play. Three female players must be on the court at all times during the match.

2. Forfeits: Teams that do not show up on time are subject to a forfeit. There is no grace period for any game throughout the Tournament. Forfeits count as a victory for the team that was present and a loss for the team that failed to show.

3. First Service: The team listed first in each match-up will serve first.

4. Team Sides: Teams do not switch sides during pool play. Teams may switch sides during the Playoff Round at the referee’s discretion.

5. Scoring: Rally Scoring will be used. During pool play, score begins at 0-0. The first team to score 15 points or more, with a 2-point advantage, is the winner of the game. If the game goes 15 points, the team first scoring 17 points wins. During the Playoff Round, score begins at 0-0. Rally scoring with the first team to 25 points. Team must win by 2 points. There is no point cap.

6. Pool Play Time Limit (15 minutes): Teams and referees must keep the games on their courts moving quickly in order to complete morning play. Games will be determined based on who scores 15 points or who has the highest score at 15 minutes, whichever comes first. Winning team must bring score sheet to ref tent immediately after game.

7. Playoff Round Time Limit: There is no time limit. All games are played to their conclusion.

8. Rotation: The rotation must be in a clockwise direction. All rotations must eventually bring each player to the front and back rows in a predictable fashion.

9.Front Row: A limit of three designated front row spikers/blockers is in effect at all times.

10. Time Outs: One thirty second time-out is permitted per game by each team.

11. Injury Time-Outs: If play is temporarily suspended due to an injury, the injured player must leave the court for at least one serve. A team may drop below the minimum player requirements for the current game in case of an injury.

12. Serving: Teams rotate when receiving the serve, even the first serve.

13. There will be a competitive division and a recreation division. The first 36 teams to register for competitive division will be accepted in the competitive division automatically.  

Team Play

1.Serves: The server is the back right player. The server must be positioned within 3’ of the back line (either in front or behind). This means the server may be on the court. Men must serve underhand. Loading the ball with mud is not permitted.

2.Serve Reception: All serves must be taken with a legal hit. In general, this implies a bump(pass). A very easy serve may be taken with a setting motion, but that motion must be executed perfectly. A serve may not be spiked or blocked by the opposing team.

3. Body Hits: A ball may be played by any part of the body except below the knee.

4. Number of Hits: Each team may touch the ball up to three (3) times while the ball is ontheir side of the net. Touches off of blocks do not count as hits. The ball may be hit by any combination of men and/or women. Unlike standards of co-rec, it does not have to be touched by a woman.

5. Spikes: Spiking is performed with one hand. Two handed “spikes” are a violation. Only front row players may spike in front of the 10’ line. Again, men or women may strike.

6. Blocks: Blocking is normally performed with two hands. Blockers may penetrate the plane of the net and may execute a “power” block. However, directed blocks are not permitted(catch and throw the ball down). Only the three front row players may block.

7. Net Violations: It is a violation to touch the net once the ball is in play. Incidental touches that do not affect the play may be overlooked, but clear net violations will be called.

8. Ball Handling: It is a violation to carry, lift, hold or throw the volleyball.

9. Substitutions: Substitutions can be made at any time, but not to the point that they slowdown the game. Each team may select one of the following substitution patterns for each game:

a. Standard Volleyball: Same gender players can replace one another but cannot also replace other players. For instance, if Tom replaces Fred, Fred may only go back in place of Tom. Tom and Fred can replace each other as many times as they wish.

b. Mud Variation: Players can rotate in a predictable position, usually either the serving position or at the front left position or both. Players may only enter when their team receives a side-out. Men must substitute for men and women must substitute for women.



1. Court Dimensions: The court is 30’x60’ (official volleyball size) and consists of genuine Central Ohio MUD! Only a general midline is in effect. For safety sake, players should not invade adjacent or opposing courts. The referees will estimate the 10’ line.

2. Shoes: All participants must wear shoes at all times. It is advisable to use duct tape to secure your shoes.

 3. Nets: Nets are installed per regulation guidelines. Due to the MUD surfaces, expect somenet sag. Referees may request that the nets be tightened. The nets will be as close to co-recheight (7’ 4 ¼”) as resources allow.



1.Pool Play Referees:

All games will be self refereed during morning pool play games. Winning team must submit score sheet to red tent immediately after game.


2. Playoff Round Referees: All games will have at least one referee assigned to them.

3. Refereeing: The rules are subject to the referee’s interpretation. All referee decisions arefinal. Protests may be directed to the Head Referee.

4. Referee Abuse: Any player or fan abusing or arguing with a referee will be asked to leave the immediate area. Failure to leave the area will cause his/her team to forfeit that game. A player ejected from a game will not be permitted to participate in any future games during the tournament.



1. Honor and fair play are the guidelines for the day.

2. Referees may award a side-out or penalty points for poor sportsmanship at his/her discretion.

3. Intentionally splashing or throwing mud or water is not permitted and can result in penalty points, forfeits or dismissal.

MUD Volleyball Rules of Play

Pool Play – Playoff Round Competition

After pool play, the winner of the pool advances to Division 1 for the Playoff Round, the runner-up in the pool advances to Division 2 and so on. All teams, no matter where they finish, advance to a division in the Playoff Round. If two or more teams in the pool have identical records, ties are broken in the following manner:

Prizes are awarded to the 1 and 2 placed teams in competitive division 1.


Pool Play Tie-Breaking Rules

1. If two teams are tied, the winner of their head-to-head meeting during pool play is in the higher division.

2. If three or more teams are tied, the team with the best record against the other tied teams advances first. Eliminate teams and re-compute as needed. Revert to Rule #1, if necessary.

3. If ties cannot be broken by Rule 1 or 2 (teams have identical records against each others), then a random method supervised by the Head Referee determines the order of finish. Pool play game scores are never considered in the process.

4. Space permitting on the scoreboards, teams with tied pool play records may both be placed into a higher division at the discretion of the Head Referee. This rule supercedes 1, 2 or 3. This rule is likely to be invoked when no clear-cut pool play winner can be determined.