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Beach volleyball league rules

The City of Ottawa Beach League will mostly follow FIVB Beach Volleyball Rules.

Please see Click Here  for a pdf copy

The rules printed below are league modifications and frequently disputed rules.

Match settings

Each team will play two matches a night, best two out of three sets.

The first two sets are played to 21 points (cap 23), and the third set (if necessary) is to 15 points (cap 17) (If time permits). Only submit scores from the third set if teams are tied 1-1 after the second set. The third set is a tiebreaker and must be played.

Teams must win by two points, unless the horn sounds or cap is reached. When the horn sounds, if the game is tied, the next point made wins the set.


Time default: Teams not arriving within the first 10 minutes after the horn will default the first set. After 15 minutes, teams still not in attendance will default the entire match. Please notify staff if a team does not show up.

Teams will also default if they do not have enough players on the court or the minimum amount of female players on the court for all coed leagues.

All 6’s teams must have a minimum of five players, 4’s teams must have three, 3’s teams must have two and 2’s must have two.

  • Coed 4’s teams need one female must be present on the court at all times
  • Coed 6’s teams need two females must be present on the court at all times

Please send an email if you know that your team will not be attending any nights.

*If your team decides to play against a team that is short of players, the game will count. Please contact the staff on site if you have any questions.

Teams that default two full nights without contacting the league administrators in advance (two matches x two weeks) will not make the playoffs.

When the blow horn sounds, it signals the end of the current game and the beginning of the next game. Please leave the ball on the court, and move as quickly as possible to your next court.

Teams made of two, three and four players have no restrictions on what position they play on the court, as long as the server rotates in order. Teams of five or six players are restricted to indoor volleyball rotation.


Teams must follow a regular substitution system (one in and one out) or ongoing rotation from the same position throughout the game is acceptable, as long as teams remain consistent in their chosen method. Please remember that everyone must have equal playing time. Teams can only substitute when they score a point or replacing an injured player.

Teams are asked to register spare players on their team roster in case of emergencies.


All teams are responsible for refereeing their own matches. The league encourages honesty, sportsmanship, and fair play. Call in/out, doubles, touches, and lifts. Call a reserve or contact staff if there are any disagreements.

If a foreign object (e.g. a ball, a person) comes onto the court, play should be stopped and then resumed with a re-serve.

Two 30-second time outs per set are allowed. A water break does not count as a time out. (Four time outs per match)

Teams are responsible for checking the schedule online for any time changes throughout the season. Teams will be notified when there is a change in the schedule no later than 3 p.m. Game times will be modified at the end of the season as a result of the sun setting early.


When the serving team wins a rally, the player who served to start the rally serves again. Otherwise the serve rotates to the next person. When the receiving team wins the rally, they need to rotate and serve.

Men can only attack, tip, or roll shot from the front row in coed 6's leagues. Otherwise in 2's, 3's and 4's it is from the back row.  


Spiking is allowed for both male and females; however, males must jump before the three-meter attack line in 2's, 3's and 4's (marked by tape on the sidelines). During the spike, a player is allowed to land in front of the line as long as the jump started before the line. Men cannot jump in front of the back row line to do a roll shot or tip. Only in COED 6's men are allowed to hit in the front row. 

Tipping is aloud as per FIVb rule


There is no restriction on the number of males able to block a female hitter.

A touch from the block counts as one of the team’s 3 hits if you are playing in the divisions of all 2’s, 3’s or 4’s.

For all 6’s divisions, the indoor rule that a block does not count as a contact will be followed. However, it does count as a touch (in case the ball goes out).


Both teams are responsible and required to help with the take down of the net.

Step one. Loosen the guylines on both sides.

Step two. Separate the poles from eachother, (poles will be stuck together if you push them in)

Step three. Unclip the guylines from the net, roll the net up.

Step four. Take the pegs out of the sand; wrap the boundaries on the boundary holder, not around the shoulder. Place the net, poles, pegs, guylines and boundaries in the bag. Return ball, scoreboard, and shovel to designated area or staff.

City Wide Sports reserves the right to amend rules in collaboration with team contacts at any time. Teams will be notified of any changes made.

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