Every player has to stay in his position and may not violate the positioning rules until the opponent's server has touched the ball (of course, assuming that the referee has blowed his whistle).

Every setter in every game I've attended on FIVB level leaves his position earlier.

I think this is due to the velocity of the serve, so the setter has enough time to get to the net.

What are the rules in this "violation"? In particular, I am asking for

  • How many seconds before serving the setter may leave his position?
  • Is this standardese or FIVB-specific?
  • Does this only apply to the setter?

1 Answer 1


Your first statement is incorrect:

Every player has to stay on his position

There is no restriction on players moving before the serve (at least on the receiving team; the serving team will have to be careful of the screening rules). However, your second statement is correct:

may not violate the positioning rules until the opponent's server has touched the ball

The specific rule is 7.5.1 in the 2015-2016 rules:

The team commits a positional fault, if any player is not in his/her correct position at the moment the ball is hit by the server

with the rules for determining whether a player is in his/her correct position in section 7.4. So long as the setter and all other players are in their correct positions at the moment of the service hit, there is no fault even if they are running around like crazy.

  • I don't mean the spot but the position, that is, 1, 2, 3, etc., so my first statement is correct, IMHO. I'm well aware of the positioning system. I am asking for the rules describing setters leaving their position prior to the server touching the ball.
    – cadaniluk
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 10:09
  • There are no such rules; see 7.5.1 as I've quoted.
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 10:11
  • On YouTube, there are plenty of matches and you can see the setter walking toward the net before the server has hit the ball. I'll provide you a link where it's clearly visible.
    – cadaniluk
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 18:19
  • My answer apparently got deleted. Can you tell me why? My question was based on false assumptions, so I do not expect anybody to answer it. And IMHO, your answer does not answer my question. The most expressive comment was "There are no such rules [...]." Anyway, what about the spot - position thing?
    – cadaniluk
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 18:28
  • 1
    And responding would be kind of you, just so that you know. :-)
    – cadaniluk
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 20:46

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