1998-1999 Official United States Volleyball Rules

Rule 2. Net and Posts
Rule 2.6.2 will be changed for the year 2001 to eliminate all wires that support posts from the floor or if that is not possible, then all exposed wires must be padded at least 1.25 cm (1/2") thick, resilient shock absorbing material throughout the entire length. The padding must be clearly identifiable.

Rules 2.6.3 and 2.6.4 (padding of the poles and referee platforms) are recommended for all levels of play in USA Volleyball. By the year 2001, this will be required for all USA Volleyball sanctioned play.

Rule 12. States of Play
Commentary will be added for a replay for any interference from official(s), media, equipment, personnel or spectator(s).
Rule 14. Playing the Ball
14.2.3 has been edited by removing the last sentence so that a new Rule could be entered.

14.2.4 is a new Rule concerning the Joust, which is a ball held between opponents over the net. This will no longer be considered a double fault (caught ball). The new Rule is the same as played in Beach Volleyball. This eliminates a referee's decision in this play. Play will continue, and the side on which the ball falls after the contact over the net will have three additional contacts. As with any other ball simultaneously contacted by both sides over the net and if it goes out after the contact, it will be considered the fault of the team on the opposite side. If during the Joust a net fault occurs that infraction will be whistled and play stopped. If there is a simultaneous net fault, then a replay will be indicated.

Rule 17. Service
17.6 Service tossing error Rule is no longer in effect. This eliminates the last two sentences of Commentary 17.5.3 as well. This means the server will only have one toss of the ball to execute the service. Allowing the ball to fall to the floor after tossing, whether it was touched by the server or not, will result in an illegal service and loss of the rally (Hand Signal #18). This Rule change will help to eliminate delays and clarifies that a team may not request a line-up check, substitution or time out after the beckon for service signal. If the wrong player is in the service zone with the ball, the server can no longer toss the ball for service to receive an opportunity for the correct player to serve. Additionally, no extra time will be granted nor interruption for a line-up check will be granted once the beckon for service has been given. For nationally sanctioned USA Volleyball competition in the 14 and younger age divisions, the current service tossing error rule WILL be used. It may be adopted for developmental purposes at all age levels by volleyball sponsoring organizations using USA Volleyball rules.
Rule 18. Attack Hit
Commentary 18.1 This commentary has been eliminated. The back-row attack rule will be interpreted in the same manner as it is in FIVB competition. Under this interpretation, if a back-row player in the front zone contacts the ball completely above the height of the net, directs the ball toward the opponent's court and it is legally blocked, the action will be considered a back-row attack even if the ball had also been directed toward a teammate. This removes judgement by the referees on the intent of the player(s). The current Rule does not change if the ball crosses untouched completely across the net. It remains an illegal back-row attack.
Rule 19. Block
Commentary 19.1 and Rule 19.1.3 added a phrase to the definitions of blocker and collective blocker respectively. These sections now mean that the blocker or collective block ceases to be a blocker or collective block when a player(s) satisfies two conditions. One that the player(s) are in contact with the floor and also has no part of the body above the height of the net. The Rule did not change if the player(s) makes a subsequent attempt to play the ball then the player(s) ceases to be a blocker or collective block.
Rule 20. Regular Game Interruptions
Commentary 20.7 A request for first or second time-out may be honored immediately subsequent to an improper request for substitution because of wrong player or excess individual or team substitution. A proper request for substitution may be honored immediately subsequent to an improper request for excess time-out.
Rule 23. Intervals and Changes of Courts
Commentary 23.1.2 An extended interval may be used between games two and three, provided the teams competing in the match have been advised of the extended interval prior to the match.
Rule 24. Misconduct
Rule 24.2.3 No additional penalty (point or loss of service) will be charged. If an expelled team member continues to engage in misconduct, he/she is subject to further individual sanctions.
Rule 29. Line Judges
Commentary The decision whether a ball that returns to the attacker's side did or did not touch the block is that of the first referee with the assistance of the second referee. This decision is not a responsibility of the line judge.
Game Procedures
Game Procedures 4.a) As soon as the line-ups are verified and the teams are ready, the whistle is blown and a visual sign is given by the first referee for service to begin. This marks the time the game officially begins.

Game Procedures 6.a) A game officially ends when the whistle is blown for the fault resulting in the winning point. The game interval begins at this time.

Game Procedures 6.c)  The first referee will blow a whistle indicating the end of the prior game, and then whistle and motion the players to line up on the end line of their team court. The captains for each team then immediately meet at the center of the court where the first (or second) referee will conduct the coin toss for the deciding game. Once the choice of sides has been determined, the first referee signals the teams to the appropriate team areas, using the procedure specified in 6.a) if a change of court is necessary. Procedure for the start of the deciding game is the same as stated in 6.b).

Reversed Mixed-Six Rules
Rule 2.2 When the ball is played more than once by a team, at least one of the contacts shall be made by a male player. There is no requirement for a female player to contact the ball, regardless of the number of hits by a team.

Rule 2.2.1 A ball contacted more than once by a team, without a male player having contacted it, remains live and does not become an illegal hit until it fully crosses the plane of the net or is contacted by an opponent.

Rule 2.2.2 If an attack-hit that is illegal under Rule 2.2 is contacted by an illegal blocker, a double-fault occurs, and a playover is directed.

Rules 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5 and the sub-sets of rules within 2.2 and 2.3 would be re-numbered to 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 and 2.6.

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