Official Rulebook

Equipment

  • The equipment needed to play Boardball includes: one volleyball, and one Boardball board that has slanted edges. 

Teams & Positions

  • Two teams play against each other, with two players per team.
  • To start the game, partners must be positioned on the same side of the board, facing the opposing players, with the board in between the teams. Players should stand a distance of 8ft away from the board.
  • Players can only move once the serve has been made.
  • Once the ball is in play, there are no “sides”, so players are free to move 360 degrees around the board throughout the rally.

Service

  • A coin is tossed to determine which team starts serving.
  • The player on the right-hand side of the serving team serves first, switching positions with their partner after every successful point received.
  • The ball must be tossed into the air before serving (i.e. the ball cannot be hit straight out of the other hand of the server) to the player diagonal from the server.
  • For the serve to be successful, the ball must hit the black, flat surface of the board, otherwise known as a “Black Ball”.
  • On a serve, if the ball hits the red, slanted edge of board, it is considered a “fault”, at which point the server gets to re-serve the ball one time. Like in tennis, the server only gets one fault. If the server misses again, then the opposing team gets the point. The winning team will continue to serve until they have lost possession.
  • The serve must be receivable without the receiving player having to jump for the ball. If the service is too high (i.e. the receiving player has to jump to touch the ball or the ball is out of reach), then the serve does not count and is considered a fault. 

Gameplay

  • Off a serve, the receiving player must pass to their partner before bouncing the ball back to the opposing team. Once the ball has been returned from a serve, players no longer need to pass to their partner first before bouncing the ball back (i.e. players can bounce the ball right back to the opposing team).
  • Like in regular volleyball, teams get a maximum of 3 collective touches before the ball must be bounced back to the opposing team, unless they hit a “Red Ball”.
  • Using a combination of bumps (using forearms to pass the ball), volleys/sets (pushing the ball upwards by forming a triangle-like shape with a player’s thumbs and fingers), and spikes (open handed hits) are allowed. Players can use any other part of their bodies as well, so long as the ball is not lifted (i.e. the ball cannot pause in your hand, and cannot be caught or thrown in any way). 

“Black Ball” vs “Red Ball”

  • If the ball hits the black, flat surface of the board at any point during the rally, it is a “Black Ball” and is considered a clean hit from one team to the other team. As soon as the ball hits the black surface, the possession is changed from one team to the other, just like how a ball changes possession after it goes over the net in regular volleyball.
  • If the ball hits the slanted red edge of the board at any point during the rally, it is considered a “Red Ball”. Similar to a blocked shot in regular volleyball, this means that the number of touches resets for the team that last hit the ball, and this team has up to 3 more touches to return the ball successfully. When a red ball occurs, the ball is still in the possession of the attacking team (i.e. the defending team cannot touch the ball until it is returned to them). There is no limit to the number of red balls that can occur during a rally. Importantly, for the ball to be considered a red ball, it must be redirected from the slanted red edge. If the ball touches the red and the black, and is not redirected, it is not considered a red ball. 

Scoring

  • Games are played to 21. Teams must win by at least 2 points. There is no cap on a win-by-two scenario. A team can gain a point through one of these scenarios:
    • The ball hits the ground during the opposing team’s possession
    • The opposing team lifts or grabs the ball
    • The opposing team bounces the ball on the board 2 or more times consecutively when trying to return the ball.
    • The opposing team touches the ball more than 3 times before returning the ball (without any resets with Red Balls)
    • A player on the opposing team touches the board with her/his body.
    • The opposing team interferes with the play during the attacking team’s possession (e.g. someone blocking another player from retrieving the ball)
    • The opposing team hits the ball against the ceiling (for Indoor Play)

Blocks

  • Players may “block” a shot from the opposing team by standing close to the board and using their forearms to deflect the ball. Like a regular hit, a successful block must hit the black surface before it is returned to the other team.