4.2.3. Order in a New Game - The process stated in 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 occurs each game so the serving order does not need to stay the same for multiple games.
4.3. Serving Position - If the serving team wins the point, the server switches positions with their partner and serves to the other member of the opposing team.
4.4 Characteristics of the serve
4.4.1. Before serving, the server must set their position with all points of contact behind the 7-foot service line.
4.4.2. After setting the service position and during the act of serving - including the swing, the follow-through, and the momentum from the action - all points of contact must remain behind the 7-foot service line.
4.4.3. At least one foot must maintain a single point of contact with the ground until the ball hits the net.
4.4.4. The server may take one step in any direction. This action establishes the pivot foot. Once the non-pivot foot touches the ground, that foot must also maintain one point of contact until the ball hits the net.
4.4.5. The ball must travel at least 4 inches away from the point of release before it is struck. Note: the spirit of this rule is to make sure the receiving team can tell the ball has been released and can see that it has been legally struck. If neither of these aspects are in question then the toss is aligned with the intention of the rule.
4.4.6. Serves must be struck. The ball cannot be caught or thrown.
4.4.7. Serves may be struck with any amount of force; short serves are allowed.
4.4.8. Serves may not be higher than a receiver's shoulder when in an athletic stance. (see 188.8.131.52 and 4.6.8) There is no limit to the angle at which serves can be hit.
4.5 Execution of the service
4.5.1. The server must set their feet centered over their correct position (see 3.8.2). Before starting their serving motion, the server then calls the score to the receiver, placing the serving team’s score before the receiving team’s score and pausing momentarily (max 2 seconds) to ensure the receiver is ready and the score is agreed upon. The receiver may move from their position once the server has set up.
184.108.40.206. If the server does not call the score, calls the wrong score, or calls the score while in the act of serving, the receiving team can call for a replay of the point before their second touch. Note – the spirit of the rule is to make sure the other team is ready and to settle any score discrepancies before points begin. Don’t be a jerk.
220.127.116.11. Receivers must set an athletic stance which establishes the serving zone. An athletic stance is defined by slightly bent knees, feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart, and chest positioned over feet.
4.5.2. If the server commits a Service Fault (see 4.6) the serving team has one more attempt to hit a legal serve.
18.104.22.168. If the server commits a service fault, either player on the receiving team has until the ball is hit for a second time, there is a change of possession, or immediately (i.e within ~3 seconds) after a dead ball to call “fault.” The server is then allocated a second serve. If a second “fault” is called, the receiving team is awarded a point.
22.214.171.124.1. If a fault occurs and then an infraction by the receiving team occurs before the ball is hit for a second time or there is a change of possession, the fault takes precedence over the infraction.
126.96.36.199. The receiving team may choose to play through a fault. Exception 4.6.9 – 4.6.13. Unless a call is made by a player or observer, the play is live. The receiving team is not required to say anything if they choose to play through a fault.
4.6. Service faults
4.6.1. The ball is struck before traveling 4 inches away from the point of release.
4.6.2. After setting the service position or during the act of serving - including the swing, the follow-through, and the momentum from the action - the server makes contact on or within the 7-foot service line. This includes contacting a player who is on or within the 7-foot service line. (see example)
188.8.131.52. It is a fault even if the ball is declared dead before the server makes contact on or within the 7-foot service line.
184.108.40.206. The server may only make contact within the 7-foot service line after demonstrating the momentum from the action has stopped and reestablishing bodily control.
4.6.3. The ball is caught or thrown. See 5.3.2.
4.6.4. The server does not maintain one point of contact with their pivot foot until the ball hits the net.
4.6.5. After taking a step, the server does not maintain one point of contact with their non-pivot foot until the ball hits the net.
4.6.6 The ball hits the rim or legs directly.
4.6.7. Side Pockets (Note: Back and Front Pockets are legal with exception 220.127.116.11.3)
18.104.22.168 Side Pocket - after hitting a side section of the net, the ball's horizontal trajectory changes toward the opposite side.
22.214.171.124.1. A ball hitting within the left third of the net and moving right or a ball hitting within the right third of the net and moving left is a pocket.
126.96.36.199.2. Left or right side of the net is determined relative to a center line parallel to the ball's horizontal entry angle.
188.8.131.52.3. A ball hitting within the side pocket area and not moving the opposite direction is legal.
184.108.40.206. Back Pocket - after hitting the back or side section of the net, the ball's vertical trajectory gets steeper. (Note - this is based on where the ball leaves the net, not where it initially contacts.)
220.127.116.11.1. A ball hitting within the back third of the net and exiting at a steeper angle than it entered or a ball hitting within the side section of the net and exiting at a steeper angle than it entered is legal.
18.104.22.168.2. Back of the net is determined relative to a center line perpendicular to the ball's horizontal entry angle.
22.214.171.124.3. It is a fault on a back pocket if the ball does not move forward. Every part of the ball must land beyond the farthest point of the set relative to the ball’s horizontal angle of entry.
126.96.36.199. Front Pocket (commonly called near net) - after hitting the front section of the net, the ball's vertical trajectory gets lower.
188.8.131.52.1. A ball hitting within the front third of the net and exiting at a lower angle than it entered is legal.
184.108.40.206.2. Front of the net is determined relative to a center line perpendicular to the ball's horizontal entry angle.
4.6.8. Every part of the ball is over the highest point of the receiver’s shoulders when they contact the ball or when the ball passes them. If, in the act of receiving, the receiver lowers their shoulders, the shoulder height will be judged off their prior athletic stance. If, in the act of receiving, the receiver raises their shoulders, the shoulder height will be judged off their new position.
4.6.9. The ball misses the set entirely.
4.6.10. The ball lands underneath the set, also known as a Lobster Trap.
4.6.11. The ball contacts the set (legs, rims, net) multiple times.
4.6.12. After the ball is served, the first contact is by a player on the serving team (i.e. a player hits their partner with the serve).
4.6.13. The ball is released and not struck. Once the ball is released, dropping, catching or swinging at and missing a toss all count as a fault.
4.6.14. There is a timing violation. See 3.10.