ADV tournaments follow standard USAV rules. There are certain rules, however, that we either clarify or relax to make the games a little easier and less contentious for players to ref. There are some common rules across all formats and some specific. Please read on for details.


We are experimenting with a fun new twist of 4s rules to create longer and more frequent rallies:


  • Match format: A match is three games to 15, rally scoring, capped at 15, switch on 5. All games are played. Pool rank is based on total wins, then head-to-head, then point differential %.
  • Service fault: Any player committing a service fault must sit out for the next point (and only that point) while their team plays with three. You read that right.  If you miss your serve, you sit out the next point!  Let serves are legal.
  • Winning point: A game cannot end on a service fault.  If a player commits a service fault on game point that player would sit out on the next point per the Service Fault Rule and the game continues.
  • Super point: Before getting to 8 team points, the captain can call for a super-point before the initiation of the serving process. The winner of that rally is awarded two points.
  • Net overs: Players can contact the ball on the opposing side before it crosses the plane as long as they do not touch the net.



Rule clarifications for all outdoor formats:


  • A net is a net: If you contact any portion of the net during play, it is a fault.
  • Finger action over the net: Set overs are considered illegal even if the player is at 6 or 12 with the net or if the set inadvertently drifts over the net. Redirecting a block is a legal play as long as the player does not have extended contact with the ball. The block must be a single continuous motion without catching the ball.
  • Double contact on the first ball: Any first ball (including serve receive) can be doubled as long as it is a single continuous attempt to play the ball and there is no fingertip action. Hands do not have to be together. Fingertip action on a non-hard-driven ball must be a legal contact (e.g., a clean hand set).
  • Hard-driven ball: Finger action (beach dig) allowed for the first contact on a hard-driven ball. Hard-driven is defined as a ball you don’t have time to think about.
  • Court boundary: Entering any adjacent court that is scheduled for competition during play is a fault.
  • Continuation: When the ball is down, the play is over. No faults are to be called after the play is dead.
  • No centerline violations: If a player goes under the net during play, it is not a fault, unless it interferes with the other team's ability to play the ball.
  • Antennae: The standards (poles) are the antennae. If the ball touches or passes over the poles, it is out.
  • Time outs: A single one-minute time out per team per set is allowed.
  • Game-delay forfeiture: Any delay longer than 5 minutes creates a forfeiture of the current set, including those caused by injury. TD has the discretion to extend injury time-outs.
  • No courtesy rule: Any player can serve to any opposing player regardless of who was served previously.
  • Block as a touch: For any doubles format, a block counts as a touch. For all other formats, a block does not count as a touch.
  • Back-row attacks: For all reverse formats, a male player can attack the ball above the net if he jumps from behind the 3m line. If the male player is on or in front of the 3m line, a portion of the ball must be below the height of the net at contact, otherwise, it is a fault.