2020 Spike & Dig Rule Sheet

August 1st & August 2nd; Dwight Merkel Park, Spokane, WA 

(a) Before each match, every player must legibly sign their name to the match score sheet (which includes a waiver of liability).  Important: this means the Team Captain can’t sign for all & the match can’t start until completed.

(b) Teams must have a minimum of two women on the court at all times (no exception for the junior and senior high teams); teams may play with less than six people as long as the two women minimum rule is followed.

(c) As usual, there will be Court Marshals (wearing an orange vest) rotating through the entire playing area.  All Court Marshals are local certified volleyball referees volunteering their time.  For questions, injuries, problems or disputes, please find the nearest Court Marshal or send a team member to the Master Scoreboard area.  They will in turn find someone to help with injuries or fix equipment; they will answer your questions or resolve issues.  Appeals of decisions given by a Court Marshal may be made to the Head Court Marshal (HCM), whose decision is final.

 (d) All matches should start promptly at the top of the hour and must be completed by 5 minutes before the top of the next hour (even if they get a late start---except for special circumstances with the approval of the HCM).  Please be sure that both Team Captains have decided who serves first (rock/paper/..) and who is keeping score prior to the top of the hour.

(e) Following the USA rules format, all SETS (no longer called games) will be rally scoring (ie, a point is scored on every serve; eg, a point & the serve goes to the receiving team when the serving team commits a fault).  Each match will be two out of three SETS with the first two SETS scored to 25 and the third SET, if necessary, to 15 (switch sides when either team reaches 8 points in the third SET only).  One variation from the usual rules---it is not necessary to win by 2 points at Spike & Dig---the first team to 25 (15 in SET 3) is the winner even if only ahead by 1 point.

(f) The third SET (if necessary) will begin immediately after the second SET and after the Team Captains have determined serve/side; if match time is over, (ie, 55 minutes after the hour) the team that is ahead is the winner, even if by 1 point.  If even the second SET is not finished, then total points will determine winner.  If still tied, next point wins.

(g) Volunteer Court Monitors (lime green vests) will be provided when possible for groups of courts; however, the two Team Captains should initiate getting the score sheet signed by their players, getting a person on the sidelines to keep score, keep time, etc.  Please get play started on time (top of the hour)---if not, it just reduces your playing time.

(h) Court Monitors and Court Marshals are not available to keep score; each team should have an extra person who can.

(i)  Court Monitors are asked to advise both teams when there are 5 minutes left in the match (ie, 50 minutes after the hour).

(j) Each team should provide a ball and the first serving team will decide which ball to use; the ball can change for each SET.

(k) A 30 second time out per team will be allowed in SETS 1 and 2; either team can take the full 30 seconds when a time out has been called; there will be no time outs in the 3rd SET.

(l) If a team is not ready to play by 15 minutes after the hour, they forfeit the first SET; the second SET and thus the match will be forfeited at 30 minutes after the hour.  Be sure to confirm your next court assignment after each match.

(m) Substitutions are allowed freely between serves, so long as no rotation advance happens & 2 women are on the court.

(n) The court lines are in---if the line moves, the ball is in-bounds; try to keep the lines as straight as possible (lift & snap).

(o) Please call out the score before each serve; if you do not, then you have no basis to dispute a later scoring issue.

 (p) Any attempted or actual blocking/spiking of the receipt of serve by the receiving team is an automatic point for the serving team; please note this includes a serve which is clearly going long or wide.

(q) Players can serve from anywhere behind their end line but must stay within the extensions of the two sidelines; at the time of serve all other players must have both feet within court boundaries.  It is permissible to step back into another court in order to serve but only if the other court is between serves and not actively playing at the moment.

(r) There are no antenna, center lines, or 10 foot attack lines; call your own team for obvious violations and replay any close calls or disputes; if you call a Court Marshal over, that is all he/she is going to do since they did not see the play.

(s) Since there is no center line, it is legal for players to step under the net so long as there is no interference or physical contact with the other teams’ players.  There should never be any contact with the net or poles during play.  Note:  USA rules allow incidental net contact but due to the fragile nets and poles, Spike & Dig does not.

 (t) Players cannot step into an adjacent court to hit a ball in play (even if empty); if they do, it is their opponent’s point.

(u) Players are strongly encouraged to wear shoes for their own safety (sprinkler heads, etc.); no spikes or cleats are allowed.

(v) One re-serve per service term (not per serve) will be allowed; this is to allow for the outdoor wind and sun conditions.   You may either catch the ball or let it drop to the ground on a re-serve.  A replay/re-serve when another ball or player comes onto your court does not count as your one allowed re-serve.  Net serves, where the ball still goes over the net, have been permissible for the last several years in USA Rules.

(w) Players are asked to play on the honor system and call themselves for violations---especially nets, double hits and carries; the Court Marshals are not there to referee; if there is a dispute, it should be decided by replay.  For serious questions about rule interpretation, a Court Marshal should be found by one of the extra players or spectators (not the Court Monitor) and play should continue unless it is a SET determining issue. 

 (x) Stop play if there is any blood or serious injury; notify a Court Marshal or Court Monitor who will get help from the first aid station which is located near the Master Scoreboard area.

(y) Immediately following the match, the winning Team Captain (not the Court Monitor) is responsible for bringing the scoresheet to the Master Scoreboard area.

(z) Rules not specifically addressed above will be governed by current USA Outdoor Volleyball Rules (the HCM has a rule book at the Court Marshal tent near the Master Scoreboard; again, his interpretation for Spike & Dig is final).

(aa) Only players on the official team roster are allowed to play on one team; be sure to bring ID to the tournament in case there is a challenge; if you cannot prove that you are that person on the roster for that team, then you cannot play.


(cc) Think safety---bring plenty of water (stay hydrated) and sun tan lotion (pace your exposure over the two days).

(dd) If there are any questions, please bring them to the Captain’s Meeting on Saturday at 8:30am.  Thanks for your support of Spike & Dig.  ABOVE ALL, BE A GOOD SPORT, BE SAFE & HAVE FUN.     Phil Robinson, HCM