Diocese of Pittsburgh Girls Volleyball 2024 Season
Rules and Code of Conduct

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The League will follow the National Federation of High School Association rules – including rally scoring and the use of the libero. Rulebooks may be found at this site: www.nfhs.com (Click on the 'Volleyball' link). The following rules apply for both the girls' and boys' volleyball programs.

Some important notes:

Each JV match will be best of three. The first two sets will be rally scoring to 25 win by 2. A deciding third set will be rally scoring to 15 win by 2. To give young players more experience, a third set may be played even if one team wins the first two. If time permits and the referee and coaches agree the third set may be played to 15 or played for a set amount of time at the discretion of the official.

The Varsity match will be best of three. The first two sets will be rally scoring to 25 win by 2. A deciding third set will be rally scoring to 15 win by 2. If a match is won in two sets, to give less experienced players playing time, a third set may be played to 15 if agreed on by the coaches.

Rule highlights:

  • The height of the girls net is to be 7' 0".
  • The height of the boys net is to be 7' 4".
  • Maximum of three (3) no-play dates per season.
  • There will be 18 substitutions per team per set for Varsity and JV competition.
  • A serve may not be blocked or attacked above the height of the net, but may be set.
  • Players must wear kneepads during all play (even during warm-ups).
  • Two time outs will be awarded each team per set.
  • The serving line will be the back line for all teams for the entire season of play including playoffs for both JV and Varsity. NOTE: No 'stepping in' will be permitted in JV.
  • Players ineligible to play for any reason – injury, illness (out of school), academic probation, disciplinary – must not dress for games.
Player Eligibility
  • Play in the league is open to all boys and girls grade 8 and under, and under age 15 (a player must not be 15 years of age before September 1). Varsity is grade 8 and under;
  • JV is grades 4 thru 6.
  • Players must be enrolled in the sponsoring school or another diocesan school that does not have a volleyball team. Players may not play on high school teams.
  • Players may play only 4 years in grades 5 through 8.
  • 4th graders may play JV only to the extent that they do not exclude 5th and 6th graders.
  • Likewise, 5th and 6th graders may play Varsity only to the extent that they do not exclude 7th and 8th graders.
  • If JV players play up on Varsity, they are still eligible to play in the JV match.
  • Players may NOT be switched from roster to roster at the same level of play. Roster violations will result in forfeiture of the match.
  • One copy of the complete player roster for each team, signed by the pastor or principal should be sent to the Commissioner prior to the start of the season.
  • Roster changes must be signed by the pastor or principal, sent to and received by the Commissioner before a player is eligible to play.
  • New players shall be added to the roster by notifying the Commissioner by email. Boys and girls are eligible only after official notice is received and confirmed by the Commissioner and verified by a school.
League Registration Fees
  • Team fees will be determined prior to the start of the season and released at the pre-season coaches meeting.
  • A nominal late fee will be assessed per team if registration fees are not paid by the due date. If a school's registration fee is not paid prior to the start of the playoffs, no teams from that school will be permitted to participate in the playoffs.
  • All schools must provide proper protective equipment (pole and base padding). If the official deems the equipment to be unsafe, the school will forfeit the match(es).
  • A referee stand must be used and must be safe and secured.
  • The Varsity game ball will be marked with the NFHS (National Federation) seal/authenticating mark. It is recommended to have two balls designated for official match play. JV players will use the Volley Lite ball.
  • Color requirement for all volleyballs: one-third of the ball’s panels must be white. (This follows the NFHS rule code, not the PIAA adoptions).
  • Players must have jerseys of the same color numbered legibly on the front and back of the jersey. Shorts do not have to be exactly the same, but should be the same color with stripes allowed. The stripes must be white or the color of the shirt. The jersey of the libero must be of a distinct different color than the team uniform colors.
  • Jersey numbers may run from 00 to 99.
  • No jewelry or other non-yielding material or metal apparel may be worn.
  • All matches must be played in the evening with the exception of Saturday and Sunday matches. The first match on a weekday starts at 6:30PM or 7:00PM.
  • No Sunday games before 1:00 PM. All matches should immediately follow one another (times listed on the schedule are used as a guideline for scheduling purposes only).
  • When JV and Varsity games are played on the same day, they will be scheduled 45 minutes to1 hour apart. The one hour difference is for scheduling only to ensure all athletes are present in case a JV match runs quickly. The Varsity match should start 20 minutes after the JV match ends.
  • Rescheduling Matches - The team requesting the reschedule must first contact the opposing coach(es) and must come to an agreement with all teams involved. It must then be approved by their section coordinator (girls' season) or official assigner (boys' season) before the changes are officially made on the website. The opposing team has the right to decline the proposed reschedule.  Therefore, the requesting team will be given a loss on the website. If a JV/Varsity double or tri-match is split into single matches by a team, the rate of pay for each single match will be $45 paid by the team requesting the changes.
  • Gym doors should be open 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the match. The gym must be available for both teams to warm up simultaneously.
  • Teams should not interfere with their opponents warm up and should go directly to their designated side.
  • There will be a 15 minute warm-up period before the JV match and between the JV and Varsity match as follows:
    • 5 minutes half court warm-up – both teams
    • 5 minutes full court warm-up – serving team
    • 5 minutes full court warm-up – receiving team
  • The home team will provide the official scorekeeper and operator for the scoreboard, and will provide space for the visitor’s scorekeeper. Each team may provide one line judge or both can be from the same school if both coaches agree. Scoreboard operators, scorekeepers and line judges will be high school freshman or above for Varsity matches. 7th and 8th grade players are encouraged to line judge for JV matches with the approval of both coaches. The home team shall be the official clock and book. NOTE: All teams that may be using a libero in a given contest must have a competent libero tracker available for that match.
  • The Diocesan Sportsmanship Prayer will be a spoken at center court before both the JV and Varsity matches led by the home team.
  • Starting teams will line up at the back line and proceed to the net to shake hands before the first set of the match. Once the teams shake hands before the match, the 6 starting players stay on the court. The remainder of the team can take a seat on their respective benches. 
  • All players not on the court must remain seated during play.
  • At the end of each set, players on the court will traverse around the standards to their right on the court and proceed to the other side. Players on the bench will switch sides.
  • Coaches should submit lineups for the next set and play will begin.
  • There will be three (3) minutes between sets.
  • Ghost Rule – If a team does not have 6 players to start a match, they may play with a 'ghost player' until the 6th player arrives. The ghost player must start in position 6 and rotate around the court. Every time the 'ghost player' is to serve, the serving team automatically loses the serve and a point is awarded to the opposing team.
  • A system for reporting match results will be sent out before the start of the season. Each head coach is responsible for reporting his/her team’s home wins and/or losses. The results must be reported within 24 hours of the completion of each match – by the home team.
  • Any match(es) cancelled within 48 hour will be a forfeit for the team cancelling the match(es) and they will be responsible to pay the full official’s fee to the league. If the fee is not paid by the end of the season, NO team from that school will be permitted to play in the playoffs
  • All coaches and assistants will have Act 34 and 151 clearances as specified by the Diocese. (Criminal Record Clearance and Child Abuse Clearance) and must be on file with your athletic association. No one (with the exception of players) will be permitted to sit on the team benches without these clearances.
  • Coaches MUST be at least 18 years of age or older.
  • Only the head coach will be permitted to stand for coaching purposes during the match. The coach must remain four feet from the out-of-bounds line and will not be permitted inside the ten foot line. One warning will be given and further violations will result in a red card. A red card is a loss of service (if the penalized team is serving) and ONE total penalty point to the opponent.
  • All coaches must watch the video, “Protecting God’s Children” and read the accompanying brochure. This video and brochure is a mandatory viewing/reading requirement by the diocese and failure to be familiarized with either can result in dismissal.
  • Coaches must also be familiarized with the “Code of Conduct” found on the Diocesan website “www.2badcats.com”. Your principal is responsible for obtaining these materials and will be held accountable.
  • The pay rate for referees for a Double Match is $40 for JV, $40 for Varsity, for a total of $80.00. The rate of pay for a Tri-Match will be $115.00. The rate of pay for a single JV or Varsity Match will be $50. If a JV/Varsity Double or Tri-Match is split into single matches by a team, the rate of pay will be $55.
  • Officials must be notified of a cancellation at least 3 hours prior to match time. Therefore, the 48 hour rule will apply and the cancelling team must pay the full officials' fee to the league.
  • In the event that an official is not present 20 minutes prior to the beginning of a match, the home team should contact their section coordinator (girls’ season) or the official assigner (boys’ season). The home team should therefore perform the coin toss and begin the warm-ups. If the official has not arrived by the beginning of the match, the coaches shall agree upon who will officiate until the official arrives. The forfeit rule still applies for players.
  • All scheduling changes must be made directly through one of the section coordinators (girls’ season) or the official assigner boys’ season) in a timely fashion.
  • Officials shall be certified by the PIAA.
  • Scrimmages with diocesan or public middle school teams are permitted. Playing against high school teams regardless of level is forbidden by the WPIAL and could result in a player losing a year of high school eligibility.
  • Schools that have two teams at the Varsity or JV level must play scheduled head-to-head matches. Failure to play the match will result in a forfeit for both teams.
  • Teams that qualify for the playoffs, but refuse to attend, will become ineligible to compete in the playoffs the following year. They will also be responsible for the referee fee. A check for $40-$45 must be sent to the league commissioner made payable to Pittsburgh Diocesan Volleyball.
  • The final outcome of any protested match will be determined by the Commissioner of the Pittsburgh Diocesan Volleyball League.

Rules updated Monday, August 28, 2023, 9:28:50 AM


Code of Conduct

1. Offensive Actions

No coach or athlete is to:

  1. Refuse to abide by a official’s decision or use profane language or gestures which results in a technical foul or other penalty. This will result in a written report submitted to League Coodinator by the game officials. The League Coodinator will call the coach on the first occurrence to discuss the coaches behavior and on the second the League Coodinator will notify the school’s principal.
  2. Exhibit objectionable behavior, (e.g. throwing equipment or any other forceful action).
  3. Verbally abuse an official for any real or imagined unjust decision or judgment, or verbally abuse a Athlete, Opposing Coach, or Spectator.
  4. Physically touching, pushing, shoving, striking, or threatening to strike an Official, Coach, or Spectator.
  5. Physically attacking any athlete.

For any of the above occurrences, a written report will be submitted to the League Coodinator by the game officials, school Athletic Director, or coach. Once this report is received, the school’s principal will be notified by the League Coodinator.

2. Penalties

Penalties for the above Offensive Actions include:

  • Violation of Articles A, B or C - one (1) to five (5) game suspension. No one may serve as a coach in a different class (varsity or junior varsity) of the same sport while under suspension. Nor are they permitted access to gym facilities. (NOTE: Clarification of the above suspensions: one (1) technical foul - League Coodinator will contact offending coach to give warning. Two (2) technical fouls which result in a coach being ejected from a game/gym - Penalty as follows: 1st offense is a one (1) league game suspension with letters being sent to School's principal and Pittsburgh Diocese; 2nd offense is a five (5) league game suspension; 3rd offense is a one (1) calendar year suspension. If a person coaches both JV and Varsity teams the suspension goes for both teams.)
  • Violation of Articles D by a coach or player - suspension of offending coach or player for one full calendar year.
  • Violation of Article E by a player - suspension for 3 to 5 games accompanied by a letter defining the meaning of sportsmanship as well as an apology to team member and offended individual that is to be sent to their school’s principal, and copies sent to offended individual and League Coordinator.
  • If suspended coaches or players disregard stated penalties, when properly notified by the League Coodinator, the team is to be permanently suspended from league competition for one full calendar year beginning immediately after the violation.
  • If necessary, suspensions will carry over into the next season.

3. Use of Tobacco, Alcohol or Illegal Drugs

Smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages and using illegal drugs are strictly forbidden and are grounds for immediate termination.

4. Parent or Fan Behavior

  1. Any parent or fan whose behavior is deemed objectionable (i.e. offenses similar in nature to those in the coaches and athletes code of conduct) by any game official, pastor, school principal, or appointed person in authority at that event, should be asked to leave the premises. The Pastor/Athletic Director/Coach/Principal of the school(s) involved should then make a further determination as to whether or not the individual(s) should be banned from additional games. (Severe situations).
  2. If objectionable parent or fan behavior becomes a continuing occurrence it can result in the league director having the offending team(s) conducting their games with a closed gym. This means that only team members, their coaches, and school officials are permitted on the premises.

Code of Conduct updated Saturday, July 20, 2019, 6:18:33 PM

Complaints - Any complaint against a school, coach, fan or official is to be written and forwarded to the Diocesan Athletic Director only after exhausting all local attempts to solve the problem.

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