Volleyball Rules for Kids

Updated February 21, 2017

Kids play volleyball in the gym at school, outside in the yard and at the beach. The volleyball game has been around for about 100 years after a man named William G. Morgan combined three different games; tennis, baseball and basketball; to create the new game of volleyball. Two teams of six volley a soft ball back and forth until one team loses control, giving the other team a point.

The Game

Get at least six people to play on your volleyball team. There are six players on each side of the court at all times. The idea of volleyball is to hit the ball back and forth until one side misses the ball. If the team that served misses the ball, neither side gets a point. The serving team must keep returning the ball to the opposing team until they miss or hit the ball out of bounds to gain a point. The first kids' team to 15, with a lead of at least two points wins the game. (Adult games play to 21.) Each team may only hit the ball three times before hitting it over the net, otherwise the opposing team gains control of the ball.

The Serve

Serve the ball from behind the back line. Where players once stood to the far right of the court, kids now have the option of using the entire back line to serve from. The child may choose to serve underhand, using his fist, or overhand, using the ball of the hand. The ball must completely clear the net to be in play. Some kids' teams allow the server to reserve the ball in the case of a net ball, but coaches must agree on this before the game begins. The ball must also be within the parameters of the court. If a ball lands outside the court lines, the opposing team gains control of the ball and the serve.

The Hands

Keep the hands together when hitting the ball with a bump in volleyball. Kids use their forearms when hitting a bump and must keep their hands tightly interlocked or else the other team gains control of the ball. Players must not slap the ball when hitting the ball over their heads. Use only the ball of the hand. When setting the ball, the player uses his fingertips with a quick tap to the ball. Slapping the ball with an open palm results in the other team gaining control of the ball.

Court and Net

The court for kids' play is smaller than a regular volleyball court. The kids' court measures 19 feet 8 inches by 34 feet 4 inches, approximately. The net for the adults is set at 6 feet 6 inches high, but the net for the kids sits at 6 feet 2 inches high.

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