Nine-man volleyball is a variation of volleyball utilizing nine players and a slightly larger court (10 by 20 meters) originated in Asia in the 1920s when American missionaries introduced the game in China. The variant became popular within the Chinese-American communities in largely US and Canadian cities, and continues to grow with a rotating popular tournament called the North American Chinese Invitational Volleyball Tournament (NACIVT). Aside from the larger court and additional players, major differences from indoor volleyball include:


  • A lower net (235 cm rather than 243).
  • Players don’t rotate–front players stay in front (and thus never serve), and back players in back.
  • If the ball touches the net between two contacts by the same team, those two contacts only count as one of the three allowed before the ball must be sent over the net. The same player may legally make both contacts.
  • It is permitted to briefly carry the ball during a spiking motion.
  • Players may not penetrate the plane of the net while blocking.
  • If a player touches the ball while blocking, it counts as one of the three allowed contacts.
  • Jump serving is illegal.
  • It is illegal to touch the ball with any body part besides the hands and arms.
  • A served ball which hits the top of the net and falls inside the boundaries of the opponents’ court entitles the server to a second chance (like tennis).
  • There is no “ten foot line”: any player may attack the ball from anywhere on the court.


Program Rules Book (PDF)

Reiterating the Player Eligibility rules, as previously defined by the Committee.

“All teams must have at least 2/3 of the players on the court at all times who are 100% Chinese in order to participate in any of the games of the tournament. The remaining players must be of Asian descent. Asian players that had competed in prior tournament(s) before 1991 on an established team are exempt from the 2/3 limitation requirement stated above and are permitted to play at any time. Any questions regarding the eligibility of any player must be presented before a game to the Tournament Committee. Once the game starts, the game becomes official and non-contestable. At the request of the Tournament Committee, any competitor may be required to show proof of compliance to the above requirement.

Burden of proof shall be the responsibility of the player. If, in the opinion of the Committee that the protest is valid, the player will not be eligible to play and/or said team will be required to modify its line-up. In the event that a protest cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the protest can be submitted to the National Tournament Committee for decision. The decision of the National Tournament Committee will be final.

(Asian – origins from: Myanmar (formerly Burma), Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam).”


PLAYER ELIGIBILITY: Will apply the same rules on the Women’s side


Women’s court

The Women’s tournament at the 69th NACIVT in DC will be following USAV rules, with the following exceptions and highlighted rules:

  • “Old” net rules will be in effect which means any contact with the net by a player IS a fault, whether it interferes with opponent’s play or not.
  • Players may NOT touch the ropes or poles outside the antennae
  • Player’s foot, hand, body may NOT penetrate completely into the opponent’s court beyond the center line, whether it interferes with opponent’s play or not
  • No “Pursuit”, which means any play outside the antennae, beyond the plane of the net is out of bounds
  • Libero may serve in one rotation after replacing player in Position 1
USAV Rules can be found at: