In my recent question, I received the answer to whether a 1-point penalty was actually applied in official rules. Philip Kendall provided that it was considered impolite conduct and the offending team could lose service and be deducted a point.

That brought up whether a player is allowed to influence the referee's decision of punishment for rude conduct. Philip explained that a player is supposed to refrain from influencing a referee's decision in volleyball.

Now, is there any consequences if a player were to argue with the referee?

Philip Kendall's actual comment:

That's almost a separate question, but... Rule 20.1.3: "Participants must refrain from actions or attitudes aimed at influencing the decisions of the referees"


Arguing with the referee would run through the same sanctioning scale as other misconduct offences:

  1. A verbal warning delivered through the game captain
  2. Yellow card (no other consequences)
  3. Penalty - loss of point and service (red card)
  4. Expulsion (red + yellow card together)
  5. Disqualification (red + yellow card separately)

Reference: Rule 21 of the Official Volleyball Rules 2013-2016. Note that there is no requirement for a player to necessarily go through all the sanctioning levels - for example, if a player argues in a way such that the referee deems their conduct to be offensive ("defamatory or insulting words or gestures or any action expressing contempt."), then the player will be expelled from the set even if they haven't received any of the less severe sanctions.

  • Would it be possible to expel a player from both teams at once if they were both arguing very severely? – boxspah Nov 30 '14 at 23:16
  • 1
    Yes. If you really want the gory details of what happens when there are multiple sanctions between one point and the next, see Ruling 6.4 in the 2014 Casebook - and even that doesn't deal with the case of two sanctions given to members of the same team between points. – Philip Kendall Nov 30 '14 at 23:30

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