Intramural Volleyball Rules

  1. Eligibility
    1. ID’s: All students, faculty, and staff must purchase a PEIF membership to be eligible to participate. You must show the Intramural Staff your NMU ID in order to participate. Community members are eligible to participate but must be 16 years of age, and must purchase a PEIF membership.
      1. Note: Students who are found to be participating without a current membership will be automatically charged the semester rate of $70.00 to their student account.
    2. Varsity Athletes: Varsity athletes may participate in intramural sports which are not sports/comparable sports that they represent at NMU. However, no more than three (3) varsity athletes will be allowed on the court at one time.
    3. League Rules: Due to multiple Co-Rec leagues in Volleyball (Class A and B), you can only have two players the same on your roster. If we identify that more than two people are playing on a team for Class A and Class B, one of the teams will be dropped.
      1. Players are also allowed to play on a Co-Rec and Women’s team.  
    4. Playoff Eligibility: Teams must average a 3.0 sportsmanship rating in order to qualify for the playoffs.
      1. Players must play in at least one regular season game in order to be eligible to play in the playoffs.
    5. Concussion: Any player who exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be immediately removed from the game and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate healthcare professional.
    6. Blood Rule: Any player who starts to bleed will not be able to re-enter the game until the bleeding has stopped. If the player’s clothes have blood on them, the player must change clothing in order to re-enter the game.


  1. Equipment
    1. Shirts and close-toed shoes are required.
    2. No black soled shoes or street shoes are allowed.
    3. Billed hats, metal bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, or watches are not allowed. Jewelry may be taped in the case that the jewelry cannot be removed.
    4. Any player who must wear a necessary metal brace must cover all metal parts of the brace before playing.
      1. Note: The head referee reserves the right to allow/disallow any piece of equipment in which they deem unsafe towards the participants.
    5. Game balls will be provided by the IM Department. The game ball will not be used for pre-game warm-ups.


  1. Playing Area
    1. Games will be played in Vandament Arena.  


  1. General Guidelines
    1. Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled game to sign in.
    2. Each player must provide their valid NMU ID to the scorekeeper/supervisor and sign in next to their name.
    3. All players must be on the roster. No write in names are allowed.
    4. If a team is unable to provide the minimum amount of players allowed (4) at their scheduled game time, they will be given 10 minutes to arrive after the clock begins. A forfeit will be declared if the team is more than 10 minutes late.


  1. Captains Responsibilities
    1. The captain is responsible for passing rule information on to their team.
    2. All players must be on the official roster on
    3. Late arrivals must sign in before they can play.
    4. Players must play in at least one regular season game to be eligible for tournament play.
    5. Captains are responsible of informing their teammates of the time and location of all scheduled contests.
    6. Captains are held responsible for their team and fan control.
    7. Discussion with officials may only take place between the designated team captain and the officials. These discussions must be made in an appropriate manner.


  1. Forfeits
    1. Teams are expected to begin on time. A team has 10 minutes to arrive after the clock begins. If a team is more than 10 minutes late, a forfeit will be declared and a $25.00 fee will be charged to the captain’s student account. Certain circumstances may apply.
    2. Teams who forfeit twice during the regular season will be dropped from further competition and will be charged a total of $50.00.
    3. Teams that are unable to attend their scheduled game time must contact the Intramural Sports Manager by emailing or calling 906-227-1561 at least 48 hours prior to your game time in order to avoid the forfeit fee. Make sure to leave your team name, game time, and league.


  1. Tobacco/Alcohol Policy
    1. Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and/or drugs are not permitted on or around the playing area. Contests will not be played and will be forfeited if alcohol, tobacco, and/or drugs are present. Any NMU Rec Sports employee reserves the right to remove participants and/or forfeit games if substance abuse occurs.
    2. A player that is removed for substance abuse will be indefinitely suspended, pending a meeting with the Intramural Sports Manager.


  1. Protests
    1. All protests must be filed by the team manager at the time the question occurs.
    2. Protests concerning rule interpretations will be settled at the game site by the officials or sport supervisor.
    3. If a team manager believes the decisions rendered to be in error, they must notify the officials and supervisors that the contest will continue under protest.
    4. A written protest and a $5.00 protest fee must be submitted to the Rec Sports office (PEIF 126) by noon the following day. The fee will be returned if the protest is upheld.
    5. Matters involving the official’s judgment will not be subject to protest.
    6. A protest concerning eligibility can be made before, during, or after a contest.
      1. Eligibility protest:
        1. If an eligibility question is before or during a contest, the player and team manager will be notified and given the choice of whether or not the player will play.
        2. If the player choose to play and is found ineligible, the contest will be forfeited and that player will be suspended from Intramural Sports participation.
        3. If the player leaves the contest and is found to be ineligible, the contest may be subject to review by the Intramural Sports Manager.
        4. A protest regarding the eligibility of players must be made before either team plays its next scheduled game.
        5. All eligibility questions will be investigated by the Intramural Sports Manager. Participants found ineligible will be penalized accordingly.


  1. Game Play
    1. Teams shall consist of six (6) players.
      1. Teams can play with a minimum of four (4) players.  


  1. Co-Rec Rules:
    1. Teams shall consist of 3 males and 3 females. A game may start with four players. Acceptable combinations of players include: 3M/3F, 2M/2F, 3M/2F, 2M/3F, 3M/3F, and 1M/3F.
    2. If any extra player arrives late during a game, they can be used a substitute and can substitute in if listed on the game roster. The team must continue to play that game with only 4 or 5 players on the court. The late player may be added to the regular rotation on the next game.
  2. Length of game:
    1. (NEW) In league play, all three games will be played.
    2. In postseason play, matches will be best two out of three.
    3. All games will be played to 15, with rally scoring. Teams must win by 2, or first to 21.
    4. Each team will be allowed one 30 second time-out per game.
    5. Each full match will have a 45 minute time limit. If the game is still taking place at the 45 minute time limit, the team that is leading will receive a victory.


  1. Substitutions/Rotation:
    1. Players may only rotate in for their gender.
    2. Substitutions can only take place when the ball is dead.
    3. Players can only substitute 1 for 1. No full lineup substitutions.
    4. Players will rotate clock-wise.
    5. Players may move spots on the court once the ball is put into service, but must start out in their normal rotation prior to the ball being put into play.


  1. Starting the game:
    1. Rock, paper, scissors or a coin toss shall be conducted prior to the start of the game. The winner will get to determine whether or not they’d like to serve/receive. The other team will get to choose which side they’d like to start on.
    2. Teams will switch sides after each game.
  2. Signing In:
    1. Players must have their name on the scoresheet in order to play. Players must sign in and provide their NMU ID.
    2. NO ID, NO PLAY.
  3. Playing the ball:
    1. The ball must be clearly hit. When in the judgment of the official, the ball comes to rest on any part of a player’s body; he/she shall have committed an error.
    2. A player cannot block or spike a serve.
    3. A player cannot play the ball more than once consecutively, unless the first contact is a block. (Officials judgment)
    4. A ball may be recovered from the net provided the player avoids contact with the net.
    5. A served ball is dead if it touches the floor of the serving area, or if it touches a teammate of the server. Let serves are playable.
    6. A player shall not contact any part of the net while the ball is in play.
    7. A player may touch the center line, but may not have any part of their body cross the center line while the ball is in play.
    8. When blocking, you cannot reach over the net. No more than two players may block the ball.
      1. A player may follow through on a spike over the net, but shall not come in contact with the net.
    9. A team shall not set or play the ball more than three times. The ball must clear the net on the third hit.
    10. The ball can be hit with any part of the body above the waist. If the ball hits a planted foot, the ball is still in play.
      1. No kicking the ball before, during, or after the game. A warning will be given to the team, and any instances after that will be an automatic point to the other team.
    11. A ball on the vertical plane above the net is open to both sides.
    12. If the ball hits the ceiling while going over the net, it is a point. If the ball contacts the ceiling on your side, it is a playable ball, provided it’s not the 3rd hit.
    13. The wall will be considered out.
    14. If the ball is played into an adjacent court, it will be called out.
    15. A back row player must be behind the ten foot line in order to spike the ball. If playing with 4 players, back row attack is allowed.
    16. When serving the ball, players will only get one miss toss per rotation. The ball must drop to the ground if you are declaring a miss toss.
    17. A ball on the line is considered in bounds.
    18. Players may bump/set a serve, but cannot spike/block.
    19. If the ball touches the net outside the markers on either side of the net, it is out of bounds.
  4. Errors:
    1. An error will be called when the following occurs:
      1. A player reaches over the net and blocks a set.
      2. A player reaches under the net and interferes with an opponent or ball.
      3. A player touches the net, cable, or supports.
      4. A player touches the opponent’s court beyond the center line.
      5. A player plays out of position when the ball is put into service.
      6. A back row player spikes the ball forward of the ten foot line, unless only 4 players.
      7. A player touches the service line while serving the ball.
      8. A player spikes or blocks a serve.
      9. A player lifts, scoops, or pushes the ball. The ball may never be contacted with an open-hand, underhanded motion.
      10.  A bench player enters the court while the ball is in play.
      11.  A player delays the game.



The NMU Recreational Sports Office reserves the right to modify and/or remove any of these guidelines or rules for the improvement of the sport. All participants are expected to comply with these rules and policies that are stated within this publication.