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Forum.Volleyball.Com >> Main Forums >> Rules of Volleyball >> Substitutions- I feel stupid
Substitutions- I feel stupid
Author Topic


Join Date: 9/13/2009
Posts: 1

Posted: 9/13/2009 2:10:17 PM

Hi- I have just gotten back into the swing of things after a long hiatus and have gotten confused about some substitution patterns I am seeing. When I played club ball (way back in the day) I would swear that we were restricted in our substitions to subbing back and forth between 2 players. For example 6/8/6/8/6/8/ and so on. I am now seeing different patterns like 3/11/5/7/9...meaning 11 in for 3, then 5 in for 11, then 7 in for 5 and so on. What is happening here? what did I miss? I have looked at the rule-book and can't quite interpret the rule in such a way that this subbing pattern makes sense. Thanks for the help.


Active Member

Join Date: 1/21/2007
Posts: 25
Location: Roanoke, VA

Posted: 9/18/2009 3:03:19 PM

I've been coaching & reffing under the National Federation rule book since 1985. The situations you have described are legal and have not changed since then.

The subbing pattern of 3/5/3/5/3/5 is still legal. Yet, the subbing pattern of 3/4/5/6/7/8 is also legal. Always has been. The coach must remember that all six of those players can only play in that one spot. And if Coach tries to put one of them in for #9, then she's in trouble.

I believe that the USAV and NCAA rule books are the same as the NF with this situation. I'm not sure about FIVB.

Coach Tom Houser
Director, STAR Volleyball Site Camps.
Author "I Can't Wait" Drill Collection and Ebooks
Head Coach, NRV 16 Nationals, Roanoke, Va


Join Date: 9/20/2009
Posts: 1
Location: Foster City, CA

Posted: 9/20/2009 8:55:56 PM

Nicky, I was going over that yesterday and my memory goes along your thinking... I remember the substitution pattern being 6/8/6/8/6/8 as well...I don't know if that comes from playing high school volleyball in 1979 which would pre-date TomHouser's post (which was an excellent post and I assume the sub pattern can also be 3/4/5/4/7/5 where players can be subbed in any order and have the ability to come back in, in any order, yes?)...out of curiosity, does anyone else out there know if there ever was a rule that substitutions had to be 6/8/6/8/6/8?
Thanks for any feedback!

Very Active Member

Join Date: 11/12/2006
Posts: 148
Location: Brisbane

Posted: 9/24/2009 6:14:55 AM

not sure about the straight swap, that may have been when rally point scoring was still around. But with the 12 sub rule, you can have group substitutions through the one position. so it can go 3/5/11/7/8/3/9 etc as long as none of the players have been on the court before in a different substitution.

Active Member

Join Date: 9/30/2009
Posts: 14

Posted: 10/5/2009 10:45:57 AM

The rules must be different in Canada. Up here, you can only do the 6/8/6/8/... subbing at both school and club matches. Also, during last year's club season you were only allowed to do 6/8/6 and then 6 had to stay on for the rest of the set. They were trying to stop coaches from only playing certain players in the front or back court.

However, at lower levels such as under-12, we do a full bench rotation. The server comes out every rotation and a new person from the bench goes into position 6.

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