The ball is in play from the moment of the hit of the service authorized by the first referee.
Ball out of Play:
The ball is out of play at the moment of the fault which is whistled by one of the referees; in the absence of a fault, at the moment of the whistle
The bail is "in" when it touches the floor of the playing court including the boundary lines.
The ball is "out" when:
* The part of the ball which contacts the floor is completely outside the boundary lines;
* It touches an object outside the court, the ceiling or a person out of play;
* It touches the antennae, ropes, posts or the net itself outside the side bands;
* It crosses the vertical plane of the net either partially or totally outside the crossing space.
* It crosses completely the lower space under the net.
Playing the Ball
Each team must play within its own playing area and space. The ball may, however, be retrieved from beyond the free zone. The team is entitled to a maximum of three hits (in addition to blocking, for returning the ball. If more are used, the team commits the fault of: "Four Hits".
A player may not hit the ball two times consecutively.
Faults in Playing the Ball
* Four Hits: a team hits the ball four times before returning it.
* Assisted Hit: a player takes support from a team-mate or any structure/object in order to reach the ball within the playing area.
* Catch: the ball is caught and/or thrown; it does not rebound from the hit
* Double Contact: a player hits the ball twice in succession or the ball contacts various parts of his/her body in succession.
Ball at the Net
Ball Crossing the Net
The ball sent to the opponent's court must go over the net within the crossing space. The crossing space is the part of the vertical plane of the net limited as follows:
* Below, by the top of the net;
* At the sides, by the antennae, and their imaginary extension;
* Above, by the ceiling
Bail Touching the Net
While crossing the net, the ball may touch it.
Bali in the Net
* A ball driven into the net may be recovered within the limits of the three team hits.
* If the ball rips the mesh of the net or tears it down, the rally is cancelled and replayed.
Player at the Net
* In blocking, a blocker may touch the ball beyond the net, provided that he/she does not interfere with the opponents' play before nor during the latter's attack hit.
* After an attack hit, a player is permitted to pass his/her hand beyond the net, provided that the contact has been made within his/her own playing space.
Contact with the Net
* Contact with the net by a player is not a fault, unless it is made during the action of playing the ball, or it interferes with the play.
* A player penetrates into the opponents' court.
* A player touches the net or the antenna during his/her action of playing the ball or interferes with the play.
The service is the act of putting the ball into play, by the back right player, placed in the service zone.
First Service in Set
The first service of the first set, as well as that of the deciding set (the 5th) is executed by the team determined by the toss. The other sets will be started with the service of the team that did not serve first in the previous set.
The players must follow the service order recorded on the line-up sheet. After the first service in a set, the player to serve is determined as follows
* When the serving team wins the rally; the player (or his/her substitute) who served before, serves again;
* When the receiving team wins the rally, it gains the right to serve and rotates before actually serving. The player who moves from the front right position to the back-right position will serve.
Blocking is the action of players close to the net to intercept the ball coming from the opponents by reaching higher than the top of the net. Only front-row players are permitted to complete a block.
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