Game Cancelled

League Rules

League Manual – Updated 3/2/23

Tired of finding tangled ropes when you get to your court?

Ask your players to watch this video about how to properly wind up the boundary ropes at the end of the night:

Recording Results:

Circle winning team letter on schedule for each game played, scores are not necessary. Do not mark top area (win/loss column for office use only); only wins circled on schedule will be counted. Please verify before leaving that all wins are properly recorded, this is the only way we know the results. Please cross out any games that were not played. Results are recorded on the honor system. Please do not abuse this system.

Here are some points about reporting league results:

  • It is the winning team’s responsibility to circle your wins on the results sheet. We cannot give you the proper credit for wins if it is not marked on the sheet.
  • Please keep the sheet as neat as possible to make it easier to see your results. You would be amazed at how messy and confusing some of the sheets are that we get back.
  • If you do need to make a change please write a note on the sheet explaining what happened.
  • Do not write any extra info on the sheets such as scores or your record. We only go by what is circled and do not pay attention to any written records.
  • When a team forfeits every team on the net gets 3 wins against that team. The 2 teams should then play each other 4 games. On a 4 or 5-team pool, each teams gets 1 win against the forfeiting team. Then continue to play the schedule until dark. Please write FORFEIT next to any missing teams.
  • Not every game listed on the schedule needs to be played. We have it set up so that you can play 6 games a night. During the first half of the season you should get all the games in but later on as the sun sets early you may get not get all of the games in. That is OK, the standings are based on winning percentage and not total games played
  • The schedule sheet will list a time after which no new games can be started. If the weather is bad it may be dark earlier so some teams may not want to play the last game due to darkness. We expect that all teams act like responsible adults and can figure when it is not feasible to play due to darkness.
  • If you do not get all of your games in please make sure that they are crossed off on the schedule sheet. Write DARK next to any games not played.
  • To inquire about a results discrepancy please send an email to mentioning:
    • The night you play
    • Your division and captain
    • What the question is
      • I will then refer the message to the person handling results for your league who will then check and correct the result or bring the result sheet to the next league night to show you what was recorded.
      • Or you can ask the SOVL staff member at the check in table. They have the past results sheets with them and can show you the sheet to see where the problem is.

League Play: All teams should bring their own volleyballs

    1. Court Assignments: Report to check-in table for court assignment clipboard.
    2. Format: 3 teams are assigned to each court. First 2 full teams to arrive at court should begin play. Play games to point total circled on schedule. 1st game winner stays on and plays 3rd team, then game 1 loser plays 3rd Continue this order until dark. Teams always play 2 games and sit one. You do not have to finish every game listed on the schedule. At the end of the year when it gets dark earlier most nets will not finish all 9 games in a 3-team pool. Teams may only play each other 3 times per night in games that count towards the standings. If there is still time left teams may play pick up until the sun sets.
    3. Game Starting Times: The leagues are supposed to start at 6 pm. SOVL realizes that many players have to rush from work in order to make it to the beach on time so we allow the 1st game on a court to start as late as 6:30 pm. Teams should follow the schedule as listed in Format If 2 full teams are not present at 6:30 pm then the 1st 2 teams listed on the schedulesheet must start playing regardless of how many players they have. If no one is there for one team then a forfeit will be awarded to the team ready to play. The 2nd game will then start at 6:40. If the one team is not ready at 6:40 then a forfeit will be awarded.
    4. Last Game Starting Times: No Games will start after 8:30 June, after 8:30 pm in July and after 8:15 in August (starting times may be adjusted in late August)
    5. Forfeits: If a team forfeits for the entire evening, each team on the net will receive 3 wins against the missing team. The remaining teams will then play against each other the rest of the night with all games counting towards the win-loss records of each team. In a 4 or 5-team pool, each team will receive 1 win by forfeit against the team that forfeits and the forfeiting team will receive 1 loss for each team in the pool. SOVL reserves the right to not award forfeits if we feel that teams did not show up due to weather conditions. Only SOVL staff will make that decision.
      1. Note: If a team is missing only the female players and all the male players are present, the team will be allowed to play their scheduled games even though all games played will be forfeits as described above.
      2. Teams must show up every week or they will receive forfeits. If away on vacation please find substitutes for that week.
      3. You only need 2 players to avoid a forfeit (in coed divisions there must be at least 1 female). Teams can play with less than the required # of players. The goal is to play games not award forfeits.
    6. Forfeit Policy: Teams that forfeit need to pay a $20 re-instatement fee the following week before they are allowed back on the schedule. Second forfeiture & re-instatement will be $30. Third forfeiture will result in removal from league. You can avoid a forfeit by having at least 2 players show (must be male/female in coed divisions)
    7. M: F Ratio and Team Make-up:
      1. Sixes format: Minimum 2 women on court for coed 6s. If only 1 female is available to start play only 4 males can fill out the team. At no time can a team have 5 males on the court. Any team that starts play with 1 female and 4 males will begin the game minus 3 pts every game, even if the missing female arrives during the game (she can still join in right away). One female and 1, 2, or 3 males will not be penalized (score starts at 0:0). No female players results in a forfeit.
    8. Ropes and Nets: Last losing team on court rolls ropes up boundary ropes and brings them to check-in area.
    9. Rain: In case of cancellation by rain we will post a message on our Facebook page and send out a message to all players onSOVL’s email list after 4 pm if the league is cancelled.Be sure to get on the SOVL email list. We make our decisions based on the radar map on the Weather Channel and not on anything written or broadcast elsewhere. Most of the time when the weather is bad in the afternoon it will clear up by the 6 pm starting time. Rainouts are unusual.
      GET ON THE SOVL TEXT RAIN UPDATE LIST: DETAILS ARE POSTED ON WEB SITEPLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL NOT MAKE PLAYERS COMPETE IN UNSAFE CONDITIONS. ANY TEAM CAN STOP PLAY AT ANYTIME IF THEY FEEL CONDITIONS ARE UNSAFE. Wetreat players as adults who are capable of making a decision about whether they think it is safe toplay or if conditions call for suspending play. Rainouts are part of the season and we figure therewill be one or two per season. There are not any make-ups for rainouts.
    10. Subs: Teams short players may borrow from another team on their court only. Any team borrowing a player will start the game down 3 pts. The goal is to have teams play games all night and not to get forfeits. This rule only applies during the regular season and not for the last night or any playoff or championship match
    11. Rules (Official rules can be downloaded from
      1. Hitting the net: You cannot hit the net at any time. The only time you can touch the net is if it was hit into you or if the play is over.
      2. Running onto adjacent court: Players may not run onto an adjacent court. If a player steps into another court or on the boundary line of another court, even after playing the ball, the ball is ruled out.
      3. DOUBLE HIT BALLS: All divisions During play, double contact allowed only on any 1st ball over the net (including the serve). It must be a double hit and not a carry.
      4. Double hits are allowed in serve receive attempts, unless finger action is employed. In that case, judge the contact as you would any set.
      5. It is legal to use techniques such as clenched fist(s), or the heels of the hands, in serve receive attempts
      6. This is legal whether the hands/fists are together or apart.
      7. It is also legal to receive serve “open‐handed with finger action,” but strict hand‐setting judgment must be applied to the contact.
    12. Play Under the Net, and Interference:
      1. There is no centerline. Players may contact any part of the opponents’ court as long as they do not interfere with the opponents.
      2. A player who interferes with an opponents’ ability to make their next play must be called for the fault.
      3. Point to the court under the net with your index finger, and say “interference.” (this will generally require explanation)
      4. Interference is a fault that results in a point, not a replay.
      5. Note that this is sometimes a delayed call (the referee must wait to see if the opponents are truly hampered in their next action)
      6. Incidental contact between opponents does not constitute interference, (bump knees, step briefly on toes, etc)
      7. Interference can occur without physical contact. (ex: fallen player under net prevents defendercovering short).
    13. Ball On The Court:Play will stop if a ball comes on the court.
      1. If a ball comes on from another court a player seeing it should call “ball” and the play is replayed. Sometimes the ball comes on just as a play ends or skirts through the far corner not affecting play and does not results in a replay.
      2. If a ball comes on and a team quickly knocks if off the court and continues playing but the other team sees the ball and stops playing, the teams will have to make an adult decision about whether play was affected and should the point count or replayed.
      3. The reason behind this rule is to avoid injury caused by a player stepping or landing on a ball they do not see. This can cause serious injury and you should always error on the side of safety. This being said I have seen many times when a ball from another court barely grazed the corner of the court totally away from the play and the team who would benefit most called ball right away. We request that teams handle this situation in an adult manner and do not try to get an easy point or replay from a situation that does not affect play. Every player knows when there is an unsafe condition and when the call is made for a partisan result.
    14. Sixes:(Note: Competitive 6s are called competitive for a reason. Rules should be enforced in this division. If you want to play with a minimum of rules you should be in the Recreational 6s Div.)
      1. Rotation: Teams must rotate in a clockwise manner. Players subbing in must sub into the same position. Most teams sub in at the server position.
      2. No centerline. There is no centerline in beach volleyball. You can penetrate under the net provided you do not interfere with your opponent.
      3. Back-row players must be 10 feet away from net to attack ball. Back row players cannot block. Since there is no 10 ft line on a beach court, players need to use an approximation. We expect players to determine in a civilized manner whether a player jumps in front or behind the imaginary 10 ft line
      4. On opponent’s request, a player must move or bend over to prevent screening
      5. No mandatory rule that female must touch the ball if more than one contact f. Only 1 toss per serve
      6. You cannot attack or block serve
      7. Players must be in proper rotation when serve is contacted but can switch positions at the time the ball is contacted for service
      8. Team receiving serve must rotate before their 1st service
      9. Block does not count as a touch in 6s
      10. Carry: The ball must be clearly and cleanly hit, not lifted. As a general rule any ball hit upward with open hands will be a carry 99% of the time. Here is how carries are defined in the official FIVB Rule Book:

13.4.2 The ball must be hit, not caught or thrown. It can rebound in any direction.


      1. In defensive action of a hard driven ball. In this case, the ball can be held momentarily overhand with the fingers.
      2. If simultaneous contacts by the two opponents leads to a “held ball”.


  1. 13.5.3 HELD BALL: a player does not hit the ball (Rule 13.4.2) unless when in defensive action of a hard driven ball(Rule 13.4.2 a) or when simultaneous contacts by the two opponents over the net lead to a momentary “held ball”(Rule 13.4.2 b).
  2. 13.5.4 DOUBLE CONTACT: a player hits the ball twice in succession or the ball touches various parts of his/her body successively (Rule 13.1.3, 13.4.3).
    • It is legal for any first‐team‐contact to strike two or more parts of a defenders’ body during a single attempt to play the ball. o Includes serve‐receive (hands do not have to be together) o    Includes a double contact without finger action
      • Player’s action: “reactive” (double allowed) or “intentional handset” (not allowed)  Speed and trajectory of the ball
      • Distance between attacker and defender.
      • A serve is not an attack; therefore, the “hard‐driven” exception does not apply.
      • First‐team‐contact with finger action should be judged just as any setting contact. (The referee can call double‐hit.) o Exception: …unless the double contact was in defense of a “hard–driven attack”. o         It is legal to momentarily catch or double‐contact a “hard driven” ball. o        In judging an attack as “hard‐driven,” the referee must consider the following:



Generally a bad set occurs when the ball visibly comes to rest or if clearly double hit; rotation does not indicate a bad set. There are two types of ball handling faults: “Catch Balls” and “Double Contacts.”

      • The ball must be played with one quick motion.
      • Balls which significantly move downwards, or visibly come to rest, are “Catch Ball” faults. (aka “deep dish,” “held-ball,” or “lift”)
      • Clearly distinct and separate contacts of the ball constitute a “Double-Hit.”
      • Spin is not a fault… but spin may be an indication that a “double-contact” fault has occurred.


      1. League Championships and Playoffs:
        1. Playoffs will be held on your scheduled day at East Islip Beach.
        2. Prizes will be awarded to top 4 teams in all divisions
      2. Beach Cleanup: We ask that you please leave the beach cleaner than you found it.
      3. League Fees and Special Promotions:
        1. All players receive a league t-shirt &team beach volleyball.
        2. Check regularly for new updates and exciting promotions.
      4. Suggestions: Please send any suggestions or clarification requests to SOVL at com