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Rules of Wallyball | How it is Played?

Wallyball, which is also known as a close relative of Volleyball in terms of rules and playing technique, is a fast-paced sport played in a Racquetball court, where it’s perfectly legal to hit the ball off the walls. The game is believed to have roots in an earlier game known as Deckerball, it was played using similar mechanics in the 1970s.

Rules of Wallyball

The modern version of the game was decided by a gentleman known as Bill Dejonghe from Calabasas Racquet club. Then, Joe Garcia, who was from the same club put forward his idea and even today he is lauded for the game’s success. Due to their efforts, Wallyball has its own designated rules and regulations, and is played in multiple nations worldwide.

Object of Playing Wallyball

The object of Wallyball is to beat your opposition by reaching the decided number of points first. Generally, the first team to reach 15/18/21 points with a lead of 2 points wins the game. To score a point, teams have to hit the ball into the opponent’s half in such a way that they end up missing it or commit a foul.

How to Play?

Wallyball is played in a Racquetball court having back and side walls. Two teams of 3-4 players have their own halves and they have to hit the ball into the opposition’s side. Points can only be scored when you are a server and your opponent misses the ball or commits a foul.

Wallyball involves rules regarding the who gets the service, who can score a point and how can you touch the ball. If you are curious to learn the complete set of rules of this game, you can find it in the general rules of Wallyball.

General Rules of Wallyball

  • A single match can consist of the best of 2-3 games.
  • It’s a mixed gender game and both males and females play together.
  • Each team can have 3 to 4 players, but it is mandatory that both teams have an equal number of players.
  • Service is done by using one hand or any part of the arm in the opposition’s half.
  • Ball hitting the sidewalls is considered a legal serve. But a shot must only hit one sidewalls, if it hits two sidewalls in the same shot, it is considered a foul.
  • You cannot hit the back wall or ceiling in the opposition’s court, it is considered a foul.
  • If the ball hits the net during the serve, you are allowed to reserve the ball.
  • If an other-than-the-service ball hits the net, it is a foul.
  • Each team can hit the ball 3 times in their half before returning the ball. Failing to do so results in a foul.
  • Players are not allowed to scoop, carry or hold the ball.
  • Touching the net whilst hitting the ball is also a foul.
  • In Wallyball, you only get a point when you are serving, the points are awarded for foul committed or balls missed by the opposition.
  • After the first service, which is determined by the toss, teams take alternative turns.
  • Service order for each team is decided before the match and it must be maintained throughout the game.
  • If the server commits a foul, no point is awarded to the opponent but only service is awarded to the opposition.
  • In the end, the team which scores the decided number of points first with a 2-point lead is declared winner.

Toss

Every match is preceded by a coin toss, the winner of this toss either gets to decide which side his team would take or he gets the chance to serve first.

Time Duration of Wallyball

The game goes on until one of the teams has scored a decided number of points. Due to less space as compared to Volleyball court point scoring can be difficult here, but in general, these matches don’t last for more than an hour.

Playing Court

Wallyball is played in Racquetball court which also has sidewalls, back walls and ceiling. The court measures 40 feet (12 m) long, 20 feet (6 m) wide and 20 feet (6 m) high.

The 3 feet tall net is hung 8 feet above the floor for men’s game while for women’s matches it remains 7 feet and 6 inches above the ground.

The service area is marked 3 feet ahead of the back wall on each side.

Playing Equipment

The equipment required for a game of Wallyball is a ball and a net. The ball used in it is 25-27cm in circumference and weighs between 9-10 ounces. The net used is 3 feet tall.

Referee

There are two referees in a Wallyball game and both of them keep an eye on the moves of players. From deciding legal points to fouls committed by any of the team’s players, both referees have the final say in the game.

Time outs

Two time outs of 30 seconds are allowed to each side. If they call for more than allowed timeouts, a penalty is given to the opposite team by the referee. This penalty could be in the form of a point awarded to the non-offensive side, game forfeiture or suspension of the captain from a game.

Legal Service

A legal service is done by using one hand only or any part of the arm. A jump during the service is also permitted and for the serve to be legal it must pass over the net without touching the net or any of the players of the same team.

Governing Body

There is no international governing body for the game but the American Wallyball Association which is the governing body of the sports in the entire US sanctions all national level tournaments.

Difference Between Volleyball and Wallyball

Area of ComparisonVolleyballWallyball
Played inVolleyball court or beachRacquetball court
Number of players per side62-3
Court’s structureSidewall doesn’t exist in Volleyball courtSidewalls and Backwalls are part of the court
Played withVolleyballSimilar ball to Volleyball
International recognizedYesNot yet
GenderBoth males and femalesBoth males and females