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First Team Contact (was: simple rules question from a beginner)

"Edward D. Collins" <> writes:

> Greetings to one and all,
> I have a simple volleyball rules question.
> My volleyball knowledge and experience has been limited to pick-up games at
> the beach or at picnics, barbecues, family get-togethers, etc.  During all
> of these games, when the ball is hit over the net, say to someone in the
> back row, the person in the back row always has been able to "bump" it (to
> someone in the front row) OR can simply set it by simply hitting it with
> their hands over their head.
> Is this second way actually legal or MUST one "bump" it?  And if so, does
> only the first hit have to be a bump or does the second hit have to be a
> bump as well?  


There are no unusual restrictions on the first team contact of the
ball.  In fact, with respect to multiple contacts, the first ball is
subject to looser rules than the other two team contacts.

The first ball can be received using a forearm pass ("bump"), a "set",
two hands overhead in a "tomahawk", kicked, head balled, etc.  So long
as the ball is not caught, carried, held, or thrown, it is legal under
USA Volleyball Rules.

Indoors on the first team contact, you can double contact the ball in
a single attempt to play the ball.  So if you bump a serve incorrectly
and it ricochets off your forarms into your forehead, it's legal and
considered ony the first team contact.  You can also set the ball with
a gross double contact on the first ball provided you don't carry it.

Here is the text on playing the ball from the 1997-98 USA Volleyball
Indoor Rules:

  14.4 Characteristics of the hit
  14.4.1  The ball may touch any part of the body.
  14.4.2 The ball must be hit, not caught or thrown.  It can rebound in
  any direction.
  14.4.3 The ball may touch various parts of the body, provided that the
  contacts take place simultaneously.  EXCEPTIONS:
 During blocking, consecutive contacts may occur by
          one or more blockers provided the contacts occur during one 
 During the first hit of the team (not blocking), the
          ball may contact various parts of the body consecutively,
          provided that the contacts occur during one action.
         Commentary The first hit of the team includes
                  reception: (a) of the serve; (b) of an attack hit
                  by the opponent [this may be a soft or hard
                  attack-hit]; (c) of a ball blocked by one's own 
                  team and (d) of a ball blocked by the opponents.
                  During the team's first hit successive contacts
                  with various parts of the player's body are permitted
                  in a single action of playing the ball.  These
                  include contacts involving "finger-action" on the ball 
                  and contact with the foot.  The ball, however, 
                  may not be caught and/or thrown.

Best Regards,
                  Todd H.
USAV Regional Referee, Great Lakes Region, Palatine, IL
Todd's Volleyball Referee Page
"So you're a Ref and an engineer? Oh that explains it...."

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