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High School Volleyball Makes Rule Change for Uniform Numbers for 2028-29 School Year

Rules • February 3, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (February 3, 2023) — One of the rule changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in high school boys and girls volleyball pertains to uniform numbers and will go into effect with the 2028-29 school year.

Uniform numbers with a leading zero will not be permitted and this change to Rule 4-2-4b eliminates confusion with signaling numbers and aligns NFHS rules with other codes. For example, a uniform number of 01, 02, 03, etc…, would not be permitted. The standalone number 0 is permitted but a 00 is not permitted. The reason for the five-year implementation is to give schools the opportunity to go through their uniform cycles before complying with the new rule.

The other approved rule changes go into effect in the 2023-24 school year. The wearing of jewelry by players is addressed in a change to Rule 4-1-7, which now states that all jewelry must be removed, except small, secured studs or posts worn above the chin. No jewelry is permitted below the chin, including string bracelets, commemorative bracelets and body jewelry. In addition, taping over jewelry is not permitted. This rules change aligns high school rules with NCAA rules on the wearing of jewelry.

“Other NFHS and volleyball rules codes have been addressing the allowance of jewelry over recent years,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS Director of Sports and liaison to the Volleyball Rules Committee. “The committee’s decision to align with NCAA volleyball jewelry rules was to both minimize the risk of injury by limiting the type and location of jewelry and create consistency for officials and student-athletes.” 

Rule 2-1-9 was added to define the coaching zone as the area from the libero replacement zone to the area beyond the end line and the sideline extended. In addition to head coaches utilizing the coaching zone, Rule 12-2-6 was changed to allow one assistant coach to stand within the coaching zone during dead-ball situations. The assistant coach standing within the coaching zone may change throughout the match. All other assistant coaches must remain seated.

“The committee felt it was necessary to better define the space in which coaches are allowed to stand and instruct both players on the floor and on the bench while also providing some flexibility for specialized coaching by assistant coaches during dead-ball situations,” Atkinson said. 

The procedure for requesting a substitution was amended in Rule 10-2-1. The head coach may now verbally request a substitution to an official in addition to visually signaling.

A complete listing of the volleyball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Volleyball.”

According to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, volleyball is the second-most popular sports for girls (trailing track and field) with 454,153 participants in 16,532 schools nationwide. In addition, there are 66,487 boys participating in the sport at 2,682 schools.


Coaches Numbers Volleyball Uniforms High School Jewelry NFHS Rules