Wallyball Rules | Recreational Services
The University of Iowa

2019 Wallyball Rules

Rule 1: Facility | Rule 2: Player Eligibility | Rule 3: Team Composition | Rule 4: Equipment | Rule 5: Beginning a Match | 
Rule 6: Match Procedures | Rule 7: The Set

Recent rule changes appear in italicized font.

Rule 1: Facility

  1. All matches will be played in Field House Racquetball Courts four and five unless otherwise noted.

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Rule 2: Player Eligibility

  1. All Intramural Sports eligibility rules apply. Please check the Intramural Sports Rules and Regulations carefully.
  2. All players must check-in with their University ID cards or government-issued photo IDs with the Intramural Supervisor prior to playing in a match.

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Rule 3: Team Composition

  1. The match shall be played between two teams of four players each. A minimum of three players is required to prevent a forfeit.

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Rule 4: Equipment

  1. Caps with bills are not allowed during intramural play. Headwear with exposed knots is not permitted. Players may wear a headband no wider than two inches and made of non-abrasive single-colored cloth, elastic, fiber, soft leather, or rubber. Rubber or elastic bands may only be used to control hair.

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Rule 5: Beginning a Match

  1. A single rock, paper, scissors game will determine which team decides to serve or choice of court side.
    • If the captain chooses the serve, that team will serve the first set. The loser will serve the second set. After each set of a match, the teams will change playing areas. If a third set is necessary, another rock, paper, scissors game will determine choice.
  2. All matches will start at the designated time. However, 10-minute forfeit time is allowed from the time the event is scheduled.

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Rule 6: Match Procedures

  1. The first team to win the best 2-out-of-3 sets wins the match. Sets one and two will be played to 25 points with rally scoring, and a team must win by two. There is a cap of 30 points, meaning a team could win 30-29. Set three will be played to 15 points with rally scoring, must win by two, and the cap becomes 20 points.
  2. Timing: Games will be scheduled , but will not be limited to, 30 minutes at a time.
  3. Substitutions: Unlimited substitutions will be allowed. The player entering the court must replace the server position.
  4. Time-outs: Each team can call one 30-second time-out in each set.
  5. Self-Officiated: Games will be self-officiated by players on the court. Players are expected to be fair and resolve conflicts on their own. Intramural Sports Staff will not resolve in-game controversial plays. Intramural Sports Staff can only clarify rules to participants. All participants are expected to know the rules.
  6. Reporting Scores: The winning team must report the scores of the match to the Intramural Supervisor on-duty.

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Rule 7: The Set

  1. The Serve: The server shall stand as close as possible to the back wall. There are no restrictions as to how the ball may be served except that it must be clearly hit, not thrown or pushed. If the server catches the ball on service toss, the server can replay the serve.
    • Service order must be kept prior to serving.
    • If a ball on the first or second hit goes through a court opening, a replay is awarded.
    • Blocking or spiking the ball off of a serve is illegal.
    • A serve that hits two walls, or hits the back wall, before being touched by the receiving team, is out.
  2. Legal Contact: Legal contact is a touch of the ball by a player’s body, above and below the waist. Players are not permitted to scoop, hold, or throw the ball. The ball must not visibly come to rest on the player's hands, fingers, or any other part of the body. A ball cannot contact a player below his or her waist.
  3. A player shall not make successive contacts of the ball unless he/she has blocked a ball at the net.
  4. A ball, other than a serve, may be recovered from the net provided the player avoids contact with the net and does not catch or hold the ball.
  5. The ball must always be returned over the net by the third contact, unless a block is the initial contact in which case the ball must be returned by the fourth contact.
  6. No climbing or using walls or players assisting each other to gain height at the net.
  7. A ball can hit the back wall and travel over the net directly (when being played on your side)
  8. Blocking: Blocking is an act at the net which intercepts the ball coming from the opponent's side by making contact with the ball as it crosses the net, before it crosses the net, or immediately after it crosses the net.
    • An attempt to block does not constitute a block unless the ball is contacted during an attempt.
    • Two consecutive hits by the same player are only allowed if the first contact is a block.
    • The team that has blocked shall have the right to three more contacts with the ball in order to return it to the opponent’s side.
    • When the ball, after having touched the top of the net and the opponent’s block, returns to the attacker’s side, the team then has the right of three more contacts in order to return the ball to the opponent’s area. 
  9. Net play: A player may:
    • Reach under the net as long as one doesn't interfere with an opponent's attempt to play the ball.
    • Reach over the net to complete a spike which was begun on the player's own side of the net, providing the other team has made its third contact of the ball.
    • Reach over the net to block, but not interfere with the opposing team's play.
    • NOT touch the net, unless the ball is driven into the net and the net into the player. If two opposing players touch the net simultaneously the point is replayed.
  10. Out-of-bounds:
    • ALL walls on offense’s side are IN play. A ball can be played off multiple walls and the ceiling on the offense’s side to a teammate.
    • The offense can play the ball off a SINGLE SIDE wall or their OWN BACK WALL and over the net at any time.
    • A ball that goes OVER THE NET and touches the BACK WALL before any opponent or the floor is considered OUT.
    • A ball that goes OVER THE NET and touches TWO SIDE WALLS before any opponent or the floor is considered OUT.
    • A ball that touches the offense’s OWN BACK WALL then a SIDE WALL and goes OVER THE NET is also OUT.
    • A ball that touches the CEILING and goes OVER THE NET is considered OUT.
    • On hit number one or number two, if the ball passes between the net and the side wall (hole), the point will be replayed. If on hit number three, the ball is considered OUT.

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