Grass Rules

Read up on the local rules for grass (old school rules)

Eastern Pennsylvania is home to the Pottstown Rumble, the largest grass volleyball tournament in the country. One of the things that makes Pottstown unique is playing by “Old School Rules.” These rules have been adopted for most grass tournaments in the eastern Pennsylvania area, and most Philadelphia Volleyball events are run by similar rules.


  • Games are played on a 60x30 court
  • The Yellow Optix Volleyball is the official ball for Philadelphia Volleyball events
  • At no time may a player touch the net or poles.
  • If you touch the net after the ball is down and it's part of your follow-through, it's a net violation, even if the ball has touched the ground.
  • Hair and clothing is may touch the net. Hats and shoes are NOT permitted to touch the net.
  • Any equipment issues with the net or court (lines) results in an immediate re-do of the point.
  • A player may not purposely cause such an issue (judgement by the ref in a competitive environment.)
  • If there are no antennas, the poles are considered the boundary line. If a ball passes outside of the poles, it is considered out of bounds.
  • A player may enter the opponents space, court, or free zone, provided that the player does not contact the net and it does not interfere with the opponent's play

Serving/Serve receive

  • Let serves (ball contacting the net on the serve) are not permitted
  • You cannot open hand pass a serve
  • No "finger acton" may be used while in serve receive. The ball must "pop" off the receiving surface, and may not come to rest in any fashion. If using two hands; Hands must be touching or together when receiving the serve
  • The service toss may be dropped anywhere with no fault once per point
  • A subsequent drop of the service toss results in a loss of serve
  • In Doubles, Triples and Quads there is no rotation required however you must serve in order
  • A team determined to be out of serving order will lose that serve


Many pickup events will use rally scoring to 21, win by 2 points with a cap of 23. Teams switch sides on multiples of 7

Many competitive events (and some pickup events) will use sideout scoring, meaning teams only score a point on their own serve. Games are usually played to 11, win by 2 points with a cap of 13 (except playoffs). Teams switch sides on multiples of 4

Many tournaments will use sideout scoring


  • No open hand tips/dinks are permitted. You may send the ball over using closed knuckles or other rigid hand action, but you may not use finger tips to redirect the ball over the net
  • You may not hand set/push the ball over the net.  If the wind blows a hand set over the net, it is a violation


  • A block does not count as a touch
  • No directional blocking (redirecting the ball with fingertips)


  • A ball cannot be received with open hands, unless the ball is “hard driven”
  • An attack is only considered “hard driven” if the ball is hit on a continuous downward path. If the offensive driven ball arcs at all, or deflects off a block, and you use your open hands to pass it, it is a violation
  • For pickup events at B and BB levels, there is usually a blanket "no open hand receive" rule as players are rarely hitting true hard driven balls, and it tends to cause arguments


  • You may not contact the ball twice in succession. This can happen when setting the ball overhand. If a player uses two hands to play the ball and the contact or release is not simultaneous, it is a violation (colloquially known as a "Double")
  • A ball spinning is casually used as an indicator of a double contact, but at competitive events, refs should watch a players hands for double contacts
  • The ball may not come to rest in your hands while setting
    Compared to indoor volleyball, there is more leniency for a longer contact/lower contact point when setting. You still may not allow the ball to come to a stop while setting the ball. Once you contact the ball it must be released in a continuous motion — you may not bring the ball downwards once you contact it.

Local rules

For anything not specified here, reference the rules used for the Pottstown rumble.

Additional rules for Revco (Reverse Coed)

  • Women's Height Net
  • Men may not make contact with the ball to send it over the net from above the height of the net in front of the 10ft line
  • Only one male player can jump and attack the ball behind the 10ft line each set
  • Only one male player can jump serve each set (any serve in which both feet are off the ground when contacting the ball is considered a jump serve)