FIVB rules apply to all matches. However, some specific rules are introduced to support administration and competition in the South London Volleyball League. Please read carefully because you will need to enforce them when your team has Court Manager duties or officiates matches.


The league is a mixed competition with at least one female player required on court at all times.

How the Local League works?

In the Mixed Division teams play each other twice during the season. The top 5 teams will contest the Division 1 finals. Teams placed 6th to 8th will contest the Division 2 finals. Teams placed 9th to 11th will contest the Division 3 finals.

On the match evening, each team plays TWO matches against other teams in their division (i.e. triangular matches).

Who officiates the games?

All league matches are refereed by participating teams. Each team must provide a 1st referee, a 2nd referee and a scorer on their match day. You will need to fill scoresheets and hand it to the Court Manager Team at the end of the game you officiated. It is desirable for referees to be qualified, although experienced players with competence in the rules can be first officials. Don’t forget to bring your own whistle!

How League Points are Assigned?

2 points for each match won
+1 bonus point per team if all three of the following are criteria are met:
1)  team starting the match on time
2)  fielding a team with at least 1 female
3)  completing a match with a full team
-1 point for not fulfilling a match fixture or fielding an incomplete team (less than 5 players)
-1 point for not having a female player on court at any time (Junior teams excluded)
-1 point for failure to provide all officials
-1 for failure to fulfill court management duties and notify results promptly

Who are the Court Managers?

2-3 times during the season each team will be assigned as Court Manager on their match night. The Court Manager Team will have to ensure that all equipment is safe at the start and put out safely at the end, all matches start and finish on time, score sheets are handed out to officials and are collected at the end of the evening, and that the results are texted or emailed to the League Secretary no later than the following Wednesday.


Team Coordinators must register all players committed to the team by the first fixture. Players can join local league teams at any time during the season provided their registration details are added to the initial registration list for this team. Team Coordinators are responsible for keeping the list updated. Court Managers must check if new players are joining on the day and request their registration. Teams are not allowed to share players with the teams in the same Division to make up numbers on a match day.

In the League Finals only registered players for the team are allowed to represent this team – no sharing is allowed (even if the other teams from the same club are not playing in the finals).

Gender Ratio

Teams must have at least 1 female player on court at all times. Junior teams (all players need to be under the age of 18) are excluded from this rule and can field all boys or all girls teams.


All matches consist of 3 sets. 2 sets are played to 25 and the third is to 15. You do not require 2 clear points to win (ie the final result can be 25:24 or 15:14). Matches are limited to 1 hour including 10 minutes warmup. If 3 sets are not completed in 1 hour, the match stops and the final score of the last set played is recorded on the score sheet. A team with the highest score in this set wins.


The teams that have less than 6 players at the start of the match are considered incomplete. The teams can start playing with 5 players but the “phantom player” rule will apply – a team has to maintain rotational order and will lose a point when a missing player is due to serve. If the team finishes the match with 5 players, it should be recorded on the score sheet and the team does not get a bonus point for starting the match on time.

Teams CANNOT start playing if they have less than 5 players. If a team still has less than 5 players after 30 minutes past the official start of a match, this team defaults the match, a 0-3 result is recorded and one point is deducted for not fulfilling the fixture. The teams can use the allocated time for a friendly game.

Player Transfer During the Season

A registered player wishing to re-register with a different team requires a formal transfer.

All transfer requests must be by email to the League Secretary from each of the player and the team captains of the two teams involved.

The transfer will not be deemed to have taken place until the communications have been received by the League Secretary.

No player may transfer to another team after 1st February, unless there are exceptional circumstances and prior written permission has been given from the League Secretary.

A player owing money to one team will not play for another team in any of the RVB & South London League competitions unless permission has been granted by the Committee.

No player may be approached by any member of another team except with the permission of that player’s team captain. If any player contacts another team with a view to transferring, the team approached must inform the player’s existing team captain.

Teams fielding a player who was previously registered with a different team and without a completed transfer request, default the match, a 0-3 result is recorded and one point is deducted for not fulfilling the fixture.


A player or coach who receives a personal warning (yellow card) will have one team point deducted.

A player or coach who is sent off (red card) will have three points deducted and will be ineligible to participate in their team’s next match in that competition.

The referee shall record the circumstances on the back of the scoresheet and the case shall be considered by the League Committee for possible further action.

If in the course of a season a player or coach accumulates six points, they will be ineligible to participate in their teams’ next match in that competition and their case will be considered by the League Committee for possible further action.

Action involving dissent and/or ungentlemanly conduct towards any of the officials will be regarded seriously. Teams are encouraged to apply internal discipline in such cases.

The League Committee shall be entitled, at its absolute discretion, to impose disciplinary points, suspension or disqualification on players, coaches, or teams.



If you have any questions about the League rules please send your enquiry to League Secretary

Richmond Volleyball is a Clubmark 2 Accredited Club under Volleyball England’s Volley 1-2-3 programme. To ensure that National accreditation guidelines are met all clubs playing in the South London Volleyball League need to adhere to Richmond Volleyball policies to support good structure and practice.

To view Richmond Volleyball procedures and policies that are currently in force click here.