Is It Legal To Step on the Centerline in Volleyball?

Micah Drews


Observe closely the lines that make up a volleyball court’s long, rectangular shape. During a serve, players must stay outside the lines and during a play, they must stay inside the lines. The centerline is another line that you may have missed before if you looked closely. 

It’s easy to miss the centerline because it’s underneath the net, but it’s equally important during a match, and players need to know the rules around it. 

This guide will teach you how to play without violating the centerline or net in the hockey game. You will be more than prepared for your next match once you read through these must-know facts. 

What Is A Centerline?

Is It Legal To Step on the Centerline in Volleyball

There are four types of lines on a volleyball court, each with its own rules. You have the following on any court:

Serving lines

The rectangle’s two back edges.


Longitudinal boundaries of a rectangle.

Attack lines

Each team has one player on each side of the front row and back row.

The centerline

divides the two teams and is in the center of the rectangle.

Across the centerline hangs the net. Whenever this division is used, the rectangle is always perfectly divided in half, leaving each team with an equal amount of space. 

The centerline is meant to be crossed in sports such as soccer and football. As soon as a team enters the other team’s side, they are on offense, and their goal is to score. The volleyball player must remain on their half of the court and not cross the divider, as in tennis. 

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Volleyball court lines

Volleyball court lines

There are other lines on the court as well, and their rules are just as important as the center boundary. The other lines can be divided into the following categories: 


The serving hand must make contact with the ball before the foot can make contact with the boundary.


Located 10 feet from the centerline, this divides each team’s side. This line prohibits backrow players from attacking the ball (hitting it strategically across the net).


These mark the lengthwise boundary, and players cannot cross them. A ball that hits the net but outside these lines is a violation. It is permissible for a ball to touch the line but not to cross it.

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Which side of the volleyball court is the centerline?

Is It Legal To Step on the Centerline in Volleyball

By looking at the net, you can easily spot this boundary. Boundaries are always directly under nets, but they have slightly different rules about violations than net boundaries. 

League rules may differ slightly depending on where you play. There may be different rules about touching or crossing the boundary between local high school leagues and international leagues, for example. There is no centerline in beach volleyball, so this is even more extreme. Prior to playing in your league, make sure you carefully read the rules. 

In this lesson, we will examine the rules of indoor volleyball according to the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, which has the most commonly adhered to rules. 

In volleyball, the six players must remain on their own side of the middle boundary during play. Nevertheless, contact with the line isn’t completely forbidden.

Ahead of the centerline

Is It Legal To Step on the Centerline in Volleyball

Contact is common and not illegal, even though a player cannot completely cross the line. Touching the centerline can be done in a number of ways:

  • There is a part of the foot that is above or on the line. Suppose the ball of the foot crosses the line, but the heel remains behind. 
  • There is no need to cross hands while playing. 
  • In the absence of the ball, feet may cross completely. The player must, however, return to his/her side before the next serve is delivered. 

There are some things you cannot do in addition to knowing what you can:

  • Interfere with a play with a hand that crosses the centerline. Suppose your hand crosses over the net, blocking an opponent’s attack.Suppose your hand crosses over the net, blocking an opponent’s attack. For your team, this would result in a loss of a point.
  • Overstepping the edge with one foot. You can still cross your foot even if only your ball crosses. Violation will be considered if your heel isn’t on the ground. The ball of your foot may be left on the ground and over the line if you pivot away from the net with your heel up.

Your spatial awareness will improve as you continue to play the sport. By improving your spatial awareness, you will be able to stay aware of boundaries without needing to stare at the ground all the time. We are in the middle of a game, after all! 

It is also important to keep spatial awareness throughout any match in order to avoid penalties and violations to your team, whether you are serving, playing on the back row, or near the middle boundary. 

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Can Your Foot Cross The Centerline In Volleyball?

Is It Legal To Step on the Centerline in Volleyball

Volleyball courts are divided by a centerline, which cannot be crossed. The centerline cannot be crossed by any player during a game. Foot faults are awarded to the opposing team when a player’s foot crosses the centerline. Players should remain on their side of the court at all times, as the centerline is a boundary that cannot be crossed.

Serving is an important part of tennis because it sets the tone for the entire match. In addition, it is a more technical aspect of the process. In this game, it is vital that the server does not cross the line as it is considered a foot fault, resulting in a change of possession.

In addition, the server must ensure the ball doesn’t touch the net, regardless of whether it has crossed. Jeff Ponder, a former United States Tennis Association line judge, says it is customary for servers not to step on the court’s back line.

It is therefore imperative that the server executes the serve carefully in order to avoid a foot fault and a change of possession. For tennis players to serve correctly and avoid foot faults, they must understand the game’s rules. Consequently, the playing experience will be smoother and the performance will be better.

Can You Touch the Net in Volleyball?

The net can be touched by players. Nevertheless, contact resulting in a hand or foot crossing the boundary and interfering with a play will result in a violation. 

Can You Reach Over the Net in Volleyball?

One team may only hit the ball three times when they have the ball. By reaching over the net, you can block the ball if that team has used them up. It is also possible to reach over if there are no players nearby. You can only make this move if the other team has no chance to make a play, and you aren’t interfering with them. 

Reaching over and touching another player, however, is a foul. 

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What Is A Net Violation In Volleyball?

Is It Legal To Step on the Centerline in Volleyball

Violations occur when a player makes contact with the net in an illegal way. This will result in the ball being handed over to the opposing team. 

You can or can’t do the following things in volleyball with the net, which may differ from violations of the centerline. 

Can You Go Under the Net in Volleyball?

Crossing the centerline means going under the net. The intersection of net violations and centerline violations can be seen here. 

Underneath, only the hands and feet may go.  Only a foot that is still behind the boundary may go under the net.

If a hand interferes with a play, it may go under the net entirely. 

Keep your spatial awareness to avoid violating the net while going under. If your opponent has the ball, avoid crossing as much as possible, as this could result in a point for them. 

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Can a player reach over the net without touching it?

The opposing team scores a point for reaching over the net without touching it.

What happens if a player’s foot touches the centerline during play?

Players who cross the centerline during play are penalized, and the opposing team receives a point.

Are there any exceptions to the centerline rule?

Crossing the centerline without penalty may be permitted in certain circumstances, such as when pursuing a ball near the net.

How can players improve their awareness of the centerline?

By practicing drills that emphasize proper court positioning and spatial awareness, players can improve their awareness.

What is the role of the libero concerning the centerline?

Liberos serve as defensive specialists who assist with passing and guard the back row. To avoid violations, liberos must also adhere to centerline rules when attacking or blocking at the net.


Violations can quickly turn a strong team into one that loses, and there are many ways to do it. It is possible to play a clean game if you learn the rules and stay on your side. 

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About Micah Drews

After playing volleyball at an international level for several years, I now work out and write for Volleyball Blaze. Creating unique and insightful perspectives through my experience and knowledge is one of my top priorities.

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