What Are Substitution Rules For Volleyball?

There are two types of substitution rules for volleyball: substitution on the court and substitution off the court. Each team has five players on the court during play. A player who leaves the game cannot return until they return to the bench. Each coach may substitute one player from their team during a time out. After a timeout, the other team may also substitute one player. Once both teams have replaced their fifth player, they must start over again.

Substitutions For Volleyball

Replacing a player on the field with another player from the bench is called substituting. All participating players must be listed on the scoreboard and included on the team’s roster. A substitute who goes into play from outside the penalty box must wait until he has crossed the halfway line before taking his place. After both players have been introduced, they must stand at the sidelines until the referee and scorers’ table allows them to be substituted.[1]

When substitution happens in volleyball, is it when a player replaces another player?

If a coach thinks their player needs a substitution, s/he may request one from the referee. It’s up to the second referee whether he wants to call a foul or not. You cannot substitute anything outside of the substitution zones. Typically, each side is given six substitutes every match, though the precise amount varies by competition.

You might see some teams holding up paddles with numbers on them during substitutions. Incoming substitutes usually hold these to let their teammates know who they’re taking out.

What is the maximum number of allowed substitutions?

You may play for as long as you want within each round. Once you’ve finished playing, you’re free to leave and return anytime. If a player returns to the board after being removed from play, he must reenter his original position. A substitute is considered illegal if it does not follow these criteria.

When an injury occurs, exceptions are made. If the person supposed to play the game isn’t available, substitute someone else. If not, any team member, except the libero (who plays at the back), can replace an injured teammate.

Depending on which league you’re playing, each set may have different substitutions. You may substitute players during youth volleyball matches. Meanwhile, in college volleyball, each team may substitute players up to 12 times during a game. Teams can substitute players up to six times during an official match.

Volleyball Substitution Rules


Substitution rules exist because they help keep the game interesting. They don’t hamper the game at all. Regulations ensure that the rules are followed. If substitutions could be made at any time and in every position, then teams would be able to substitute continuously.

A team can use the replacement rule to its advantage if they abide by the guidelines. It is essential to know how legal substitu­tions work. You can substitute players one by one or multiple at once, depending on the team’s needs. Here are some volleyball rules for you to consider:

Any player not in the starting lineup may be replaced once per set

According to the volleyball rules, if a team substitutes one of their players for another, they must replace them for that position. They cannot be covered for any other positions. When used as a substitute for a different player, the player cannot rotate back into his original position. This rule doesn’t apply to liberos.

All substitutions must occur outside the court-designated area

Where are substitutes on the court? Are they on a bench? In the waiting area? The volleyball court has an official substitute zone where substitutes for the players who are currently playing must wait until their turn comes up before they can enter the court. They won’t be considered game members if they don’t play by the rules.

Standard substitutes must cross the sidelines between the center lines and the attack lines in front of the scorers’ tables. It works a bit differently for libero substitutes (such as for volleyball). They can enter and leave the field from anywhere within the area between the end lines and the attacking team’s attack zone.

Players can re-join the game only in their original position

Players who have been replaced do not have to stay off-court until they return from their replacements. Substitutions can be used strategically to give players different tasks, not just to remove them from the game when they’re not playing well.

You can substitute them back into the game. However, they must return to their original positions. What does this mean for you? If you have two people playing one specific role in a match and you’ve subbed them both into the game at different times, then you cannot substitute any of those subs for another player who plays that role.

If new members join the game in different roles than their original ones, it is considered an illegal substitution, which may lead to penalties. Is there ever an exception to this particular rule? Yes! Rarely, but sometimes. If a player is hurt on the court or has some emergency, they may be replaced by another player.

If the team cannot legally substitute the injured players, they may choose to use an exceptional substitution. If a player has been substituted out of their normal position, they may be replaced by another player who the referee has given the green light.

Substitutions for liberos are limitless; however, there are restrictions

Libero positions were first introduced into volleyball games in the late 1990s. They are now a staple of any competitive indoor volleyball squad. Every team can have two dedicated liberos. A libero is a player whose sole responsibility is defense and who starts and finishes each game at the defensive back line.

We call the libero a “libero replacement” when we’re talking about substituting one player for another. A libero can replace another libero but cannot replace a front row forward. They must be returned before rotating into the front row.

A libero cannot block or hit the ball; he has to stand there and wait for his team to pass him the ball. Due to the limited set of plays in a volleyball match, liberos are often freely interchangeable at any time. There is no upper limit. There is no limit to the number of players who can play libero at any given time, but there must be a match between two liberos.

When a substitution occurs, the ball must be out of bounds before the new player enters the field. Before a match begins, the libero cannot enter the court until the second referee has verified the starting lineup.

Can libero substitutes be used normally? Yes, libero player substitutes cannot be used during regular play and must be used before the whistle blows for service. If there is a possibility of late substitution, verbal approval must be obtained, and sanctions may be applied.

Substitutions should be made at the appropriate times

When substituting players during a volleyball match, should it be done at a particular time? A volleyball game can be played without substitutions. Do you need permission to substitute ingredients? A team may ask for a sub when they’re out of bounds or at the beginning of a set. You can substitute multiple players simultaneously – you don’t need to send them out individually.

A substitute cannot be used until the referee approves and the scorer notifies of the change. To prevent illegal substitutions, we recommend using the ingredients listed here. You can substitute liberos at any point during a match, whether before the service whistle, after the service whistle, or just before the start of the next set. If an unforeseen accident occurs during the match, substitutes may be used at any time without the referee’s consent.

How many times can a player be replaced?

There are different types of volleyball substitutions depending on the kind of game and the number of players involved. Here’s an overview:

High school and collegiate volleyball:

You may substitute any items from the list provided for each item. Teams often use big forwards and centers who play well at both ends of the court for their team’s front line.

Club volleyball:

There are 12 substitutions for each set. That’s still many substitutions, but as Dean notes in the interview, coaches must be somewhat selective—especially when running a 6-to-2 offense, where they would replace a front-row setter with an opposing player. “If it’s a close game,” he says, “you will run out of substitutes at 17-all or 19-all.”

International volleyball (Olympics):

You need six substitutions for each set. The top players must be versatile because six subs per set don’t allow for many specializations at the elite levels.

(The international version of volleyball has slightly different subsiding rules than the U.S., club, and collegiate versions.) International players who were mainly hitters/blockers in their college teams must learn to pass and defend better if they want to be successful at the international level.

Where and how does a substitute enter a game?

A substitute player stands up from the sidelines and enters the substitution box — an area outside the playing field where players change ends during play. When more than one participant enters the game, the additional players must wait beyond the 10-foot line outside the court (the baseline). The second substitute enters the game after the first has already gone in, moving to the spot where the first substitute was standing.

What are some common substitution strategies?

To maximize your points, it’s essential to understand which rotations best suit your team’s offensive and defensive strengths. Coach Mark Rosen shows some moves in this video that can help boost a vicious attack or bolster a defensive unit.

Substitution Limit

According to section 15.6 of the USAV rules, each team may substitute up to twelve players per set. The USA Volleyball Rule Guide suggests this deviation from the FIBA rules to encourage continuity of play in domestic competitions.

The FIVB rule dictates that each team may substitute players for any reason during a match. Teams may use the same player multiple times during a game if they don’t go over their 12-player substitution cap. Only players originally in the starting lineup for their teams can enter the game from the bench.

Substitution Zone

During a regular substitution, players who enter or leave the court from the side where the ball is located must cross the sideline between their own team’s attacking line and the scoring table.

A libero must enter and exit the playing surface between the attacking team’s attack zone and their defensive zone.

Substitution Timing

You can ask for substitutions anytime during a game and substitute multiple players at once. The referee must authorize all substitutions before they take place. You can substitute a libero anytime during a set, during a timeout, or before the service horn sounds.

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