2011-2012 MSHSL Athletic Rules and Policies Manual


See the MSHSL Official Handbook Bylaw 501 for information regarding:

·         Maximum Number of Contests

See the MSHSL Official Handbook Bylaw 502 for information regarding:

·         Daily and Season Player Participation Limitations

See the MSHSL Official Handbook Bylaw 518 for information regarding:

·         Contests

·         Equipment Issued

·         Last Date to Join a Team

·         Practice Sessions Before First Contest

·         Season Begins

ELIGIBILITY DURING MSHSL TOURNAMENT (subsection, section and state) (refer to Bylaw 206)
A student must be fully eligible under all local school district policies and MSHSL bylaws to be in uniform, occupy the bench or playing area, participate and receive individual and/or team awards, including all-tournament honors, in the awards ceremony.

CONTEST RULES (refer to Bylaw 402)
Except as modified by the League, the National Federation of High School Association Volleyball Rules Book for the current year shall be the official game rules for all girls' volleyball contests in which League members participate.

A member school must schedule a minimum of three interscholastic varsity games, meets or matches to qualify for League sponsored tournament participation in that sport.

END OF SEASON (refer to Bylaw 411):
A. Student Participation on a Non-School Team While the Season is Still in Progress:

1) The season shall end when the student or the student’s team has been eliminated from further participation in a League tournament series.
2) Students who have been eliminated from further participation in a League tournament series may participate as an individual or as a member of a non-school team in that sport.

B. School Team Practice and Competition:
The "end of season" shall be defined to be the last date of the state tournament in that sport.

1) Schools may continue to conduct practice and training for all squad members, including the students who have been eliminated from further individual competition in a League-sponsored series, until completion of the state tournament conducted by the League in that activity.
2) Dual contests may be scheduled after the start of the official League tournament series providing the school does not exceed the maximum number of games/matches/meets permitted in that activity.

C.      No school may engage in any meet or meets, practice, training or other activities between the end of the season and the opening of the next season.

D.      During the Summer Vacation Period (Bylaw 208 - Non-School Competition and Training—Team and Individual Sports) members of a high school team may participate on a non-school team and they may receive coaching or training from a salaried or non-salaried member of the student’s sophomore, B-squad, junior varsity or varsity high school coaching staff in that sport provided the school has approved a summer coaching waiver for the coach or coaches of that sport.


See the General Section of the Athletic Rules and Policies Manual for information regarding the following:

·         Athletic Director's Checklist

·         Coaches Responsibility: Student Eligibility Checklist

·         Multiple Level Teams at Sub-Varsity Level

·         Official Squad Size

·         Revenue Sharing Plan for School Reimbursement

·         Substitution in MSHSL Tournaments

·         Weather Conditions (heat, cold & lightning)



Rally Scoring
Rally scoring shall be used for all interscholastic matches in Minnesota. The match format for rally scoring is as follows:

  • All matches shall be best three-of-five games.
  • Games shall be played to 25 points (no cap) and the fifth and deciding game shall be played to 15 points (no cap).
  • The let serve shall be allowed and play shall continue provided net contact is entirely within the net antennas.
  • Each team shall be allowed two time-outs per game, with a total of 10 time-outs if five games are played.

Varsity Matches for the Dual Meet Season:

  1. Length of Games:  A team that has scored 25 points rally scored and is at least 2 points ahead is the winner. If the leading team does not have a 2-point advantage, play shall continue until one team has a 2-point advantage.
  2. Length of Match:  A match consists of the best three-out-of five games. The fourth and/or fifth game shall not be played unless it is necessary to determine the winner of the match.

Sub-varsity & Invitational Tournaments
Sub-varsity games and invitational tournaments shall be best-of-three games rally scored to 25 points (no cap) and the third game played to 15 points (no cap).

In sub-varsity and invitational tournaments, a match consists of the best two-out-of three games rally scored to 25 points (no cap). PLEASE NOTE: If a team wins a sub-varsity match in two games, the competing schools may elect to play the third game. If the third game is played game officials and contest personnel (scorers, timers, etc.) must be present and the game must be counted as one of the five games per day permitted for individual players. The third game shall not be played if contest personnel (scorers, timers, etc.) are not available.

If schools elect not to play the third game but elect to conduct a scrimmage during the available time prior to the next match, the scrimmage must adhere to Bylaw 411, Scheduling of Contests, Game Definition.

Schools should decide prior to a sub-varsity match whether they will play a third game or conduct a scrimmage and notify the game officials and contest personnel. If both coaches cannot agree, the third game cannot be played. The schedule of matches should respect the contracted times for the match officials.

The use of mouthguards is strongly recommended. Mouthguards that have been cut down or modified in any manner are illegal equipment. Any color mouthguard is permitted for volleyball, including transparent.

Schools are required to employ a First Referee and a Second Referee for interscholastic matches. Two line judges will be assigned to each match for the state tournament. Two or four line judges may be secured for subsection and section tournaments.


1. Directed by Second Referee.
2. Timed by timer on visible scoreboard or Second Referee on stopwatch.
3. Twenty (20) minutes of warm-up:

a. 5 minutes of shared court time
b. 6 minutes of hitting by visitor team
c. 6 minutes of hitting by home team
d. 3 minutes of serving by both teams


A. INTRODUCTIONS: First Referee and Second Referee are standing on sideline near score table:

1. First Referee whistles both teams to their respective end lines, teams remain on their respective endline until number '4'.  Coaches remain at bench;
2. Anthem is played;
3. Announcer introduces visiting reserves, starters and coaches; followed by home team reserves, starters and coaches;
4. First Referee whistles and signals:

a. Captains to net to shake hands with opposing captains, and wait for teammates;
b. The remaining team members move counterclockwise down sideline to net; follow captains across net shaking hands;

5. Teams go directly to benches.

B. BEGINNING OF FIRST GAME IN THE MATCH: First Referee on stand and Second Referee by scoring table:

1. First Referee signals starters to end line;
2. First Referee whistles and signals players onto court (arms extended in front, bring palms together over net).
3. For games 2 through 5, players report directly to the playing court.

C. END OF GAME: First Referee whistles and signals players to end line (points to each end line with open hand):

1. Non-Deciding Game

a. First Referee whistles and signals players to change courts (signal #24). Players go counterclockwise down sideline; when they pass the net, go directly to benches;
b. Bench personnel go directly to opposite bench when signal to change courts is given by First Referee.

2. Deciding Game

a. First Referee calls captains to center court for coin toss; First Referee blows whistle and signals teams to change courts/team benches or return to same benches;


1. First Referee blows whistle; gives end of game signal directing players to respective end lines;
2. after the First Referee visually confirms the score with Second Referee, First Referee blows whistle and directs players to shake hands.

E. PROTOCOL FOR INTRODUCTION OF TEAMS DURING TOURNAMENTS, AND RECOMMENDED FOR SUB-VARSITY MATCHES. When teams are not introduced. Follow the procedures referenced in paragraph B.

It shall be an ethical violation to tape another school's game, meet or contest without their permission.  Further it may be a violation of the laws governing copyrights.  Each school owns the copyrights to their games, meets and contests.  Taping another schools game without permission could constitute a violation of the copyright law.


All information and directions for Section Volleyball Tournaments will come to each school from the Section Volleyball Tournament Manager.

One (1) team from each section will advance to the State Tournament. All Section Tournament matches shall be set as 3 out of 5 game matches rally scored to 25 (no cap). The fifth and deciding game shall be played to 15 points (no cap) (Rule 1-2-1).  The Region Committee will establish the tournament formats which determine that section’s representative to the State Tournament.


A packet of information will be provided to each school after the championship match of their section tournament. Additional information for state qualifiers is posted on both the MSHSL Administrative and Public sides of the Web site.

The state tournament will be played in three classes, determined by school enrollment.
Class AAA:  Top 96
Class AA:  Next 128
Class A:  Remainder

OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT BALL--Baden (VX5E Perfection 15-0, Blue/White/Grey) effective Fall of 2010

The coaches of the teams who qualify for the state tournament will rank the 8 section teams to determine the top four (4) teams in each bracket. The opponents for the top four seeded teams will be determined by a lottery. Results of the seeding will be posted to the MSHSL website by noon on Sunday before the start of the state tournament.


15 players
2 student managers
3 coaches
1 faculty representative
Total of twenty (21)








1st & 2nd place team

3rd place team

1st & 2nd place team (17)



1st & 2nd place team


1st & 2nd place team (17)



1st - 4th place teams
consolation winner


1st - 3rd place team (17) and coaches (3)

official squad (17)
coaches (3)
cheerleaders + mascot (7)
cheer coach(1)

In order to elevate standards of sportsmanship and encourage the growth of responsible citizenship among the students, member schools, fans and school personnel, the MSHSL held a Sportsmanship Summit and asked student participants to identify behavior expectations they felt should be in place at every school event.

These minimum behavior expectations provide a foundation upon which member schools, conferences, administrative regions and the League’s Board of Directors can build specific guidelines for activities under their control.

MSHSL Bylaw 409, RESPONSIBILITY FOR PARTICIPATING TEAMS, STUDENTS AND SPECTATORS, speaks to this issue, directly, and Bylaw 409-2 specifically states that, “School officials shall be held responsible for the proper conduct of teams, team members, students and home spectators regardless of where the contest is being held.”

In all MSHSL activities, each participating school shall designate a person or persons from that school to serve as crowd control supervisors or chaperones.  MSHSL tournament staff may require school administrators to contact the tournament manager prior to the start of the tournament game so that they can be immediately contacted to respond to behavioral issues regarding their team members, students and/or spectators at the tournament site.  Each supervisor or chaperone should be immediately identifiable to the students and to the tournament site ushers and other security personnel.  This will help to coordinate crowd control between school supervisors and tournament site personnel.


·         Respect the American flag and the National Anthem.

·         Spectators must wear clothing that covers the entire torso.  Those who do not comply or who wear clothing that is vulgar, obscene or that in some other way inappropriate, as determined by school/tournament personnel, will be removed from the arena/stadium if they do not cooperate with this behavior expectation.

·         The use of appropriate language is expected at all times.  Profanity, negative chants, booing, trash talk, name calling, personal attacks or other acts of disrespect are unacceptable and must be immediately addressed by school/tournament administrators.

·         Respect the game/contest.  Under no condition shall anyone other than the members of the official squad enter the playing surface.  No one may interfere with the contest in any way.

·         Hand held signs, which do not obstruct the view of others, will be permitted provided they are in good taste.  Signs, message boards, “white” boards or other similar items contest/tournament officials deem to be in poor taste will be removed.

·         Signs on sticks, balloons, or any type of artificial, celebratory items are not permitted.

·         Artificial noise makers (i.e. megaphones, cowbells, sirens, whistles, thunder sticks, and other similar items) are not allowed.

·         Laser lights are strictly prohibited.

THANK YOU for supporting your student athletes and fine arts participants and for providing a positive environment in which educational activities are conducted.