Grande Prairie Beach Volleyball League rules are based on Volleyball Canada rules which are based on FIVB rules. FIVB rules are international rules applying to the FIVB pro beach tour and the Olympics. Some of our rules have been created to work within our time constraints or to compensate for the fact that our leagues and tournaments are not refereed. Where there is a discrepancy between the three sets of rules, Grande Prairie Beach Volleyball League rules will be deemed correct. You can buy a copy of Volleyball Canada Rules at You can download a free copy of FIVB rules at

 ** Rules highlighted in PINK are new or updated for the 2024 Season **

League deposits ($50) are collected with registration fees and are returned at the end of the season. Teams will not receive their deposits back if:

a) they did not show up (default) for a scheduled league game

b) they do not rake their courts after last match (when assigned)

c) they do not play in playoffs during last week of play (without notice)

1. The Court

1.2 The net height is approximately 2.43m for Mens and Co-Ed 4s (top hook on posts) and 2.24m for Reverse Co-Ed 2s, Ladies 2s & Junior 2s (bottom hook on posts). Nets will be lowered slightly more for Junior 2s.

1.3 We will be using antennas on the nets. If antennas are not available, the net supports (posts) will act as the antennas. Inside the posts are considered live.

2. Player Behaviour

2.1 Players must not make derogatory remarks about or to opponents, other players or spectators.

2.2 Players must refrain from intentionally trying to distract an opponent who is playing or about to play the ball (ie: shouting, clapping, etc.)

2.3 Players may not commit any act that delays the game unnecessarily.

2.4 Players must refrain from intentionally kicking or hitting the ball out of the play area.

2.5 Players may not intentionally or unintentionally screen an opposing player and must move if asked to do so.

2.6 Players are expected to behave appropriately and abide by all rules set out by Grande Prairie Beach Volleyball League.

3. Player Responsibility

3.1 Players must be on the court for the scheduled start of the match.

3.2 Players must call their own infractions/faults (ie: net violations, carries, lines, etc.)

3.3 Each set/game will be played entirely on one side of the court. Teams will switch in the second set and may switch at 8 points in the third (if decided ahead of time).

3.4 Each team is allowed one (1 minute) timeout per game/set

3.5 Players must keep track of own score. Winners of each match must report scores to bulletin board on club shed. If no scores are reported, it will be assumed that the higher ranked team won. League volunteers will collect the score sheets each evening.


4. Substitutions & Players per Team

4.1 Teams may have additional players on their roster (max 8 for Co-Ed 4s & max 4 for 2s teams). Rosters must be updated & completed by June 1, 2024.

      *All Grande Prairie Beach Volleyball League participants (including subs) must read and agree to the GP Beach League Waiver Form in order to be sanctioned members of GPBVL. The waiver form needs to be submitted to league organizers prior to playing. Teams who are found with non-sanctioned players could be asked to leave the league without refund or warning. All participants (including subs) MUST complete both forms before playing any matches.*

 *It is the responsibility of the Team Captain to inform all players (including substitutions) of any league updates &/or  changes.  Team Captains are also responsible for making sure that every player on their teams' roster (including substitutions) has submitted our league waiver & declaration of compliance forms PRIOR to playing any matches.*

4.2 Substitutions (players on your teams roster) are NOT permitted during one game/set.

4.3 Substitutions (players not on your teams roster) can be used ONLY if they have signed the GP Beach League Waiver. This can happen when there is ONLY 1 player from your roster to start the match or a MAJOR injury. Upon arrival or return of the roster player from injury, the substitute must immediately sub out of the game. Again, if substitutions are used that are NOT on your teams' roster or don't currently play in our league, they are NOT covered by our insurance.

Substitutions (players not on your teams roster or who have NOT signed a waiver) cannot be used at any time.

4.4 Substitute players from the opposite gender (for 2's) will not be permitted to play in league matches (except in Junior 2s Division)

4.5 Substitute players may play on more than one team throughout the season (as long as they have signed our league waiver). However, a league player (player on a teams' roster) CANNOT sub for another league player who is in more than one tier below in that week's rankings.  In other words, you cannot sub any lower than one tier below your own teams' ranking for that week.

Example: A league player who's team is in Tier 5 for that week can substitute for another team who is ranked in Tier 6 or higher ONLY.

4.6 Players must be on the roster and have played at least 2 matches to compete in playoffs.

4.7 A player may substitute for more than one team throughout the regular season, but can play for ONLY ONE team during playoffs.


5. Service

5.1 The ball may be served from anywhere along the end line and between the outside edges of the sidelines.

5.2 Teams must alternate servers in order when they earn a side out. This does not mean that each person must play a certain position on the court. You may play the same position at all times (ie: setting) as long as you serve consistently in a certain order. Otherwise, it will result in loss of rally.

5.3 Starting server must be determined for the first and third games/sets. We recommend spinning the ball to determine choice of serve. Winner of the spin has a choice of serve, receive, or side. Loser of the spin gets second choice. Loser also gets first choice on second game/set. Spin again for the third, if necessary.

5.4 No serving tossing errors are allowed. If you toss the ball and drop it, your team loses service and a point.

5.5 No player is allowed to screen the serve. If an opponent asks you to move because you are screening the serve, you are obligated to do so.

5.6 Let serves are permitted (ie: the ball hits the top of the net and goes over is a good serve).

5.7 Eye contact will ensure opponents are ready before the serve.


6. Ball Contact

6.1 A ball may be contacted no more than 3 times per side.

6.2 A block counts as a contact EXCEPT in Co-Ed 4s.

6.3a Hard-driven balls (first contact) may be contacted multiple times if executed in one motion.

6.3b Non hard- driven balls (first contact) may not be received with a set (overhand pass) but may be contacted multiple times from any other part of the body if executed in one motion.

6.4 Service reception may not be a set (overhand pass).

6.5 Service reception may not be a block, or an attack made when the ball is entirely above the top of the net.

6.6 The ball may contact any part of the body.

6.7 The ball may not be lifted, held, or come to rest in a players€™ hands. This will be called a carried/held ball. This does not apply when in defense of a hard driven ball which can be held momentarily overhead with fingers.

6.8 Open hand tips are not permitted. An open hand tip is any ball that is played over the net with the fingertips of one hand.

7. Setting (Overhand pass)

7.1 The ball must be contacted simultaneously by both hands and not come to rest (first, second, or third contact). All sets must be clean, except in defense of a hard-driven ball where the ball may come to rest momentarily.

7.2 Players in all divisions may set the ball over the net provided their shoulders are perpendicular to the ball’s line of flight (front and back sets apply).

Example #1: You set a ball over the net, deep into the back of the court.

The ball is live provided it is pushed forward or backward perpendicular to your shoulders.

Example #2: You set a ball at a sharp angle to the net and it just goes over. Your partner may or not be near.

The ball is live provided it is pushed forward or backward perpendicular to your shoulders.

8. Play at the Net

8.1 A player, through his/her own momentum may not contact the net. NO CONTACT WITH THE NET IS PERMITTED AT ANY TIME.

8.2 Net contacts will be permitted provided it was caused by a force other than the players momentum (ie: wind, opponents ball hitting the net, etc.)

8.3 Hair does not count as net contact.

8.4 Contacts with the net supports (posts) are not faults.

9. Play Around the Net

9.1 A ball completely crossing the net below the net or entirely outside the antennas (posts) may be recovered within the limits of the 3 team contacts.

9.2 A ball completely crossing the net above the net and within the antennas (posts) may not be recovered.


10. Reaching Beyond the Net

10.1 A player is permitted to pass his/her hand beyond the net after his/her attack hit, provided that his/her contact

has been made within his/her own playing space.


11. The Block

11.1 A block is defined as an attempt by a player(s) to interrupt the ball before, as, or just after it crossed the net.

The blocker must be within arms length of the net with his hand(s) over his shoulders.

11.2 A blocker may block a ball on the opponents side of the court:

                     A. After the opposing team has made its final contact.

                     B. Any time the attacking team has directed the ball towards the opponents court

11.3 Players reaching over the net to block their opponents attempt to set up the ball will result in a fault.

11.4 A ball may be directed by a blocker but may not come to rest in the blockers hands.

11.5 Blocking the serve is not permitted.

12. Scoring

12.1 Matches will be best of 3 sets, using rally point scoring (except in Junior 2s Division).

12.2 Winner of a set will be the first to 21 points for the first 2 sets and first to 15 for the third set. Third set is only played if teams split the first two sets. There is a CAP on scoring - first team to 21/21/15 (if needed). You no longer need to win by 2 points.

12.3 Reporting Scores - WINNERS of each match (including default wins) must record scores on schedule that is posted on our shed each night. Failure to do so, may result in a loss. If no scores are recorded, it will be assumed that the higher ranked team won. Please circle the team name that won the match, followed by scores of each set.


13. Defaults

13.1 If a team is 10 minutes late from the start of the scheduled match time, the team will be forced to default the first set. The team that is present will win 21-0. If a team is late an additional 5 minutes (total 15 minutes late from scheduled match start time), the team will also default the second set. The team present will also win the second set 21-0 and will win the match by default. Team that is present still MUST report scores (21-0, 21-0) .

13.2   If a team fails to show up for a league match, they will receive a warning from league organizers and a $50 default fine. If the same team repeats this offence by not showing up for a second match, the team may be disqualified from the league & possibly replaced by a team on the wait list. That team will loose their default deposit and get NO refund.

13.3   Reverse Co-Ed 2's will default unless they have 2 players on the court at all times (maximum of 1 guy).

13.4   Co-Ed 4's will default unless they have a min of 3 players on the court at all times (maximum of 2 guys).

14. Schedule & Tiering

14.1 Sundays: Reverse Co-Ed 2s

        Mondays: Junior 2s & Co-Ed 4s

        Tuesdays: Ladies 2s (Tiers 7-12)

        Wednesdays: Ladies 2s (Tiers 1-6)

        Thursdays: Mens 2s

14.2 League match time slots are 40 minutes each (except for Junior 2s, 20 min each).

14.3 Teams will play 2 matches each league night/week (except Junior 2s, they play 3 matches). League will run for 10 weeks and conclude with playoff matches for 1 additional week.

14.4 All divisions are tiered and most have five teams in each tier. Teams will move or re-tier every 2 weeks (except Junior 2s, every week))

14.5 Top 2 teams from a tier will move up to the next highest tier and the bottom 2 teams will move down to the next lower tier. Teams that finish 3rd in each tier, will stay.

14.6 Teams will be moving (re-tier) after weeks 2, 4, 6 & 8

14.7  League schedule will be posted every 2 weeks as we re-tier. 

14.8 Schedules & all league information is posted online:


15. Equipment

15.1 Official GPBVL ball is: Mikassa VLS300

15.2 League balls will be set out prior to the first match & must be put into shed at the end of the evening and/or collected by league volunteer.

15.3 League balls are for league matches & teams warming up for the next match ONLY. 

15.4 Team uniforms are encouraged, but not mandatory.

15.5 Nets will be up prior to first match but please check that it is set on the correct height.  Bottom hooks for Junior 2s, Reverse Co-Ed 2s & Ladies 2s, Top hooks for Co-Ed 4s & Mens 2s. Please treat our nets with respect and DO NOT hang on them or overtighten them

15.6 Raking: Teams will be scheduled to rake the court after the last match of the evening. Teams that do not comply with this rule will be fined.

16. Standings & Tie-Breakers

16.1 If teams are tied after any tiering round, the following criteria will be considered to determine position in the next tier or playoff round.:
1. Head to head match record
2. Head to head game/set record
3. Head to head point differential
4. Point differential for all league play in that tiering round

16.2 Playoff positions are determined by standings from the last tiering round (week 10). Teams will playoff on their regular night of play.

         Playoff schedule will be available after Week 10.

16.3 After the playoff round, league championship awards will be given to teams winning GOLD in each division.


17. Weather & Rain Outs

17.1 League matches are played in RAIN or SHINE. Weather can change very quickly so do not assume that your scheduled match has been cancelled.

17.2    Teams must show up for their scheduled league match times. In extreme weather cases, a decision may be announced ahead of time. League matches will be cancelled ONLY if lightening or extraordinary weather conditions is threatening the area surrounding the South Bear Creek beach volleyball courts at the start time of league & not before. DO NOT play in lightening. If you start your match and then it begins to storm, STOP PLAYING and get shelter immediately. 

Lightning 30/20 Rule during game play: set out by the Canada Safety Council

If thunder is heard within 30 seconds of seeing lightning, games will be postponed. All participants must leave the playing area and seek shelter in a building or an automobile. Never stand under trees, in an open field, or under an umbrella. Games will resume 20 minutes after the thunder and lightning have moved away. If thunder and lightning are still present 20 minutes after, the game will be cancelled and the score counts as it was when the game was stopped. Halfway point of the game must be reached (11 points by one team) for the game to count towards the league standing.

17.3 Air Quality Policy 

*If the AQHI is above 10, league play will be canceled or rescheduled

*If the AQHI is 7-10, adjustments can be made such as: using additional timeouts or modifying match play (modify points from 21 to 15 or 1 set match instead of best of 3). If teams are not comfortable playing when the AQHI is 7-10, teams can decide not to play without penalty (default fines) ONLY IF they contact league organizers a minimum of 1 hour before their match start time.

Please use the CONTACT US page on our website or email: Thank you!

18. Coaching

18.1 League organizers & volunteers are not responsible for supervision of players during league matches (exception is Junior 2s Division).

18.2 Coaches and/or supervisors are not directly assigned to players and/or teams of this league (exception is Junior 2s Division) Parents & spectators are encouraged to watch during league play but must allow THE PLAYERS to referee and keep track of their own scores WITHOUT interfering. Video and scoring apps CANNOT be used to determine points. ONLY the players on the court can keep score.

18.3 If you wish to learn more about how to play beach volleyball, check our website for beach clinics, camps and tournaments that may be offered. 

19. Reverse Co-Ed 2's Rules:

19.1 Will be played on bottom hook (ladies height net)

19.2 Men must hit behind "attack line" (will be marked on side boundary lines), ladies can hit from anywhere on the court

19.3 Men (or players designated as men) CANNOT attack the ball in any way before the "attack line". A free ball can be sent over the net, but it must travel (at minimum) the height of the antenna. 

19.4 Men can only block men, ladies can block men or ladies

19.5 All other GPBVL 2's rules apply

20. Junior 2's Rules: 

20.1 Scoring:  teams will play 1 set to 25 points matches (cap at 25) and play 3 matches each day

20.2 Net Hight: nets will be set on bottom hooks on posts and lowered slightly for Junior 2s Division

20.3 Substitute Players: teams must start 2 players for each match and can sub players into the game once your team has 15 points. Players are only allowed to enter the game once per set (not enter the game, then sub off again).

20.4 Modified Rules: Organizers reserve the right to modify any rule for Junior 2s Division. Example: Tiers 4-6 may have 1 step into the court while serving

20.5 Tiering: Tiers will each have 4 teams. Teams will move up or down based on how they finish in the tier that week. For example:

Tier 1

1st, 2nd & 3rd teams will stay

4th team will move down to Tier 2

Tier 2

1st team moves up to Tier 1

2nd & 3rd teams will stay

4th team move down to Tier 3

Tier 3

1st team moves up to Tier 2

2nd & 3rd teams will stay

4th teams move down to Tier 4 (played on Thursdays)

20.6 All other GPBVL 2's rules apply

 Please report any concerns or questions you have by submitting the Contact Us form found on our website. Thank you!