OCVL Rules

Canadian Volleyball Association rules are to be followed for all games in this league.

The OCVL uses Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) officials for every match.


Most tiers will consist of 4 teams. Depending on the final number of teams, the bottom tier MAY have 3 or 6 teams.

Teams will play a best of 5 match with a winner every night, except in a possible 3-team tier.

Sets to 25 with the 5th set to 15, must win by 2, unless there is a time cap.

Teams will play a best of 5 sets match to determine a winner, except in a possible 3-team tier. A set (except the deciding set) is won by the team which first scores 25 points with a minimum lead of two points. There is no point limit (26-24; 27-25; …) unless to you hit a time cap.

A minimum of 5 players will be permitted on the court in the following circumstances: an injury, a late player, or a last-minute cancellation. Four or less players will result in a loss by default. When only 5 players are on the court, the following rules apply:

  • The team must always have 3 players in the front row.
  • If starting a set with 5 players, the set must finish with 5 players.
  • When playing with 6 regular players and a libero, should a regular player get injured, the team may continue the set with only the 5 regular players. The libero must sit off for the rest of the set and cannot become the 6th regular player until the following set(s).

The 5-player rule is being introduced to permit the play to continue during the regular season, this does not apply during playoffs. Teams are expected to make every effort to field a team of 6 players.

ALL players must be registered online with waivers completed, before playing a match. This includes spare players. Waivers will not be provided at the gymnasiums.


A set default occurs when a team does not have enough players “ready to play” at the scheduled start time of the match.

Subsequent set defaults occur every 10 minutes after that (ie. 7:20 1st set default, 7:30 2nd set default, 7:40 3rd set default).

See Fines


An official game ball is required for all games and is to be provided by the team players. The official Volleyball Canada ball is the Mikasa V200W (yellow & blue ball). If both teams agree, any other official game ball is permitted.

TopSet up and take down responsibilities

Gyms with early & late games:

  • Week 1 – odd numbered team
  • Week 2 – even numbered team

3-team tier – everyone helps with set up and take down

Gyms with 1 game - set up by odd numbered team, takedown by even numbered team


Spares are permitted as follows:

  • Players registered as spares in the OCVL database.
  • Spares are not permitted in the qualifying / ranking tournaments or the playoffs.
  • Every player must be added to the online attendance and scoresheet for tracking, including spares.
  • Players from another team roster cannot be borrowed.
  • Spare players must wear a numbered jersey. We recommend teams have at least one spare jersey.
  • See Fines


  • Matching jerseys are required by Canadian Thanksgiving, Monday, October 14, 2024.
  • Jerseys must be numbered 1-99. The number must be placed on the jersey in the centre of the front and of the back. The number must be a minimum of 10 cm in height on the front and a minimum of 15 cm in height on the back.
  • Jerseys/uniforms from prior years that do not comply with the uniform guidelines will be grandfathered.
  • A libero jersey must have a different dominant colour and clearly contrast with the rest of the team.
  • An athlete is bound to a single number for the entire duration of a match.
  • Spare players are required to wear matching jerseys.
  • See Fines

TopTime Cap

Plenty of time has been allocated to each gym, but occasionally time runs out. There are two time caps in force:

  1. For the 1st match, the time cap is when the 2nd match begins (ie. 9:10pm match)
  2. For the 2nd match, the time cap is when the gym closes (ie. 11pm)

The official will announce the possibility of a time cap at least 5 minutes before the time cap. Time-outs are not permitted once a time cap is indicated. When the time cap is reached, play will continue until the end of the point in play. The team in the lead at the end of that point is declared the winner. Should teams be tied at the end of that point, one more point is played to determine the winner.

Top4 Set Night Tie-breaker

Where only 4 sets are played, and each team has won 2 sets, the winner is determined by:

  1. Greatest difference between points scored and points against for the 4 sets. This will only be done when 4 sets are played, including if the 4th set ended with a time cap.
  2. If still tied, the winner is the winner of 2 of the first 3 sets played.

TopLadder System

We will use the OCVL Ladder System within a 2-week cycle. After week 1, teams will move up, down or stay, within the tier, based on their win/loss. On week 2, teams will move up or down within the tier or to a different tier depending on their win/loss results.

  • Week 1 – teams 1 vs 2 play, teams 3 vs 4 play. Results for the following week are as follows:
    • Team 1 - winning team of team 1 vs 2
    • Team 2 – winning team of team 3 vs 4
    • Team 3 – losing team of team 1 vs 2
    • Team 4 – losing team of team 3 vs 4
  • Week 2 – games are played 1 vs 2 and 3 vs 4. The results for the following week are as follows:
    • Winning team of 1 vs 2 goes up a tier to Team 4 in the division above (except in tier 1, they will remain as Team 1)
    • Losing team of 1 vs 2 will become Team 3 in that tier
    • Winning team of 3 vs 4 will become Team 2 in that tier
    • Losing team of 3 vs 4 will become Team 1 in the tier below (except in the bottom tier, they will remain as Team 4)
  • For 3-team tiers, a round-robin of games are played and the teams will be re-ranked 1st, 2nd or 3rd. After week 2 games are played, teams will re-rank:
    • 1st place team will go up a tier to Team 4 in the division above
    • 2nd place team will remain in the tier as Team 2
    • 3rd place team go down a tier to Team 1 in the division below
    • If there is a 3-way tie, the teams will maintain their existing rank.
    • The schedule is designed so that no teams will play the split two weeks in a row. Please check the schedule for the game times.
For more details, go to the Ladder System.


  • All teams will play in the playoffs.
  • Playoff seeding is based on the average individual team ranking over the last 12 weeks of the season.
  • A player must play 10 regular season matches to qualify for playoffs.
  • Spares are not permitted to be used in playoffs. (See below for exceptions)
  • If you do not have 6 eligible players:
    • You will require permission in advance for each game from the OCVL Executive to use a spare.
    • Permission will only be provided in the following order:
      1. The next most eligible player from the team roster;
      2. A spare who has played with your team at least once in the season
      3. Max 1 spare per team as the 6th player, not 7th, 8th or 9th player, regardless of position played
      4. Once a spare plays on a team in playoffs, they must then be added to the team roster
      5. A player from another team cannot be used in the playoffs
  • Playoffs will be hosted on the league night played, unless otherwise indicated.


Fines may be applied by the OCVL executives. Fines will be applied against the team bond.

Set Default (Single)-$10.00
Set Default (Double)-$20.00
Match Default-$30.00
Uniform Violation-$5.00
Setup/Takedown Violation-$20.00
Player/Team Misconduct-$25.00Includes, but not limited to, using un-registered / un-waivered players.
Referee Absent$25.00Email the OCVL
Stratosphere Design
Stratosphere Design: LeagueManager (Ver1.0)
7/13/2024 5:13:54 AM