Official volleyball matches have no limits of time that regulate the duration of the game. In the regular game of the tournament, the teams win a volleyball game by winning two of three sets. The length of the game varies because some rallies per point may take longer. The directors of the volleyball associations, such as the Federation Internationale de Volleyball and the USA Volleyball have established norms about the time of this. Coaches and players must understand these rules to avoid penalties in the game.
The rules provide a time for teams to warm-up before a game. According to the FIVB regulations, if the teams have already had a court available for their use, they can warm up for six minutes on the court. Otherwise, the teams are entitled to a 10-minute warm-up session. Team captains can request separate warm-ups that last three or five minutes. The USAV regulations establish warm-up sessions that should last from 5 to 10 minutes. Teams can choose to split the warm-up time equally and use the whole court or the teams can share all this by dividing the court by the center, perpendicular to the net.
The referee blows a whistle to request the serve after he has determined that both teams are in the correct position and the server has possession of the ball. After the whistle blows, the one who serves has eight seconds to get the ball. USAV regulations include the rule that teams 14 and under must serve after five seconds of the whistle sound. In this age group, if the player commits a service throwing error, the referee must re-authorize the serve once more with another whistle, and the time begins again.
Each team can request up to two waiting times of 30 during the volleyball game. In FIVB World and FIVB Official Competitions, officials automatically give technicians waiting times that last 60 seconds once the leading team reaches eight and 16 points during the series from one to four. In the decisive series, the fifth, teams receive only two 30-second waiting times.
The time between each game is called the interval. All game intervals should be three minutes, giving the teams the time to change sides and notify the officials of the player alignments. Both the FIVB and the USAV allow the game organizer to request a prolonged interval of up to 10 minutes between the second and third series.
Players or coaches may create game delays through improper actions, such as delays in changes, prolonged game interruptions and repeated inappropriate requests.The first fault for delay generates a warning for delay. Any additional delay results in a penalty for delay. The sanctions immediately provide a point and serve for the opposing team.
In the case of a serious accident of a player, the referee will stop the game immediately and allow the player to receive medical assistance. If the player can not continue, his team can make a substitution. If he has used the full number of substitutions allowed for the match, the coach can make an "exceptional substitution" if another player is available. If the coach can not make a legal or exceptional change, the authorities may grant the player a recovery time of three minutes.
Prolonged game interruptions
If unexpected circumstances - such as weather, equipment failures or unsafe conditions - interrupt the game, the game organizer should try to recreate normal conditions. If the interruptions do not exceed four hours, the game continues with the same score, the same players and the same positions, as long as the game continues on the same track. If teams must play on a different court, teams must play the interrupted series with the same initial alignment. If the game interruptions exceed four hours, the teams must play again the whole game.