1) The referee will flip a coin to start each game. The winner of the coin toss has a choice of serving or receiving.
2) The server must wait until the referee calls the score before serving. If the serve is made before the score is called, the play is void. For doubles games, the partner of the server must straddle the service line and can not enter the court until the ball has passed him or her.
3) A foot fault will be called if the server’s foot crosses the short line when serving or their partner enters the court before the ball passes him or her.
4) Receivers must not catch a ball that appears to be gong long or out of bounds. If a ball is caught on the fly, or before it bounces, the server is awarded a point. If a member of the serving team catches a ball, it will result in a down.
5) If a returned ball hits an opponent on the fly before hitting the wall and obviously had no chance of reaching the wall, it will result in a point or a down. The referee’s decision on this matter can not be appealed. If a player hits a ball and crosses in front of it, they will be penalized a point or a down. The same rule applies to a player moving into another player’s swing or moving n front of an opponent when their partner is hitting the ball.
6) Players have ten seconds to get set to play after each volley; the referee may call the score ten seconds after each volley has ended. If the player has not asked for a time-out or an appeal an appeal and is not ready to resume play within that time, the referee will issue a warning to the player for delay of game.
7) If a player makes a call (i.e. block, backswings, ball on court, body contact, etc), play will continue unless and until the referee acknowledges the call and halts play. If the call is not acknowledged, it will not be considered by the referee. Certain judgment calls made by referees can not be appealed, such as late calls, blocks etc.
8) Players must not argue any call in an abusive manner. If a player wishes to dispute a call they must speak to the referee during a stop in play. Once the referee makes a decision, play must resume immediately. Players may appeal the referee’s decision. However, if the referee is certain of his or her call, they may deny the appeal and play will resume immediately. If an appeal is granted, the referee will consult with one or both line judges. During this time the players must remain on the court. If a player leaves the court, the referee will give the player one warning to return to the court. If the player does not do so, they will be disqualified immediately. After consulting with the line judge(s), the referee will make a final decision and play will resume without further delay. Players may request three appeals per game.
9) Screen balls will be called only if the server moves or ducks to avoid the ball. A player may serve the ball as close to their body as they wish without having a screen called, however if the ball touches the server it will result in a down. If a player makes a screen call, play will continue until the referee confirms the call.
10) Players are not allowed to change the referee. The tournament director is the only one that can make changes. If a player wants to change a line judge they must ask the referee who will decide if a change is warranted. Whether changes are made or not, play must resume without further delay.
11) Each team is allowed three two-minute time-outs per game. Time-outs must be requested before the referee calls the score for play to begin. Once the score is called, play must begin and players must wait until the next stoppage in play to call time out. Injury time-outs are 15 minutes. If a player is unable to continue they will forfeit the game. Pre-existing injuries, fatigue, or cramps do not warrant an injury time-out. A player can not call for a wipe if their hands become wet. They must bring it to the attention of the referee. If the referee allows a wipe, the player has ten seconds to wipe and return to the court.
12) Players must show good sportsmanship on and off the courts during tournaments. The use of profanity towards a referee, line judge, opponent or tournament official is prohibited. Using profanity, fighting, throwing the ball away, breaking glass and other unsportsmanlike conduct can result in disqualification. Any player who is disqualified will automatically receive a minimum suspension of one year and will not be allowed to play in any N.Y.H.A. tournaments during that time.
13) All games will be single elimination. There will be no buy-backs in any tournament games.
14) When a player makes an appeal, he or she must stay on the court while the official ref and linesman deliberate.
15) After a player dives for a shot, he or she must stay down until he or she can get up without interfering with their opponents shot. However, a player can get out of the way of a ball that is coming at them.
16) There will be no smoking any drugs or drinking any alcohol if you are playing in any USWA Tournament.
17) There is no talking during the volley (aside from blocks) if a call is made the play stops. If the player who makes the call is wrong, it will result in a point or a down.
18) If a player is wetting the ball, the official referee may require that player wears a wristband or gloves. If the player refuses, he/she will be penalized. Points will be awarded to the opponent.
19) If a player is on offense and he/she causes a block during the volley he/she will keep a short. If the player on defense causes the block, the server will have two serves. This rule applies to doubles also.
20) If the referee or linesmen makes a call, the play stops. If the ball has been hit already and lands out, it will be a point or down. If a referee stops play and the ball hits a player, it is not a point.
21) Each player or team has three (3) two minute time outs and as many wipes as he/she may need. However, if a player asks for a wipe and does anything other than just that he/she will be charged with a time out. If they don’t have anymore time outs, a point will be deducted.
22) If the ball goes between a player’s legs on the serve, it is an automatic block.
23) Aside from courteous sportsmen-like comments such as, ‘nice shot,’ ‘are you okay?’, ‘sorry’, etc., there will be no talking to your opponent. Trash-talking anytime during the game is strictly prohibited and will result in point reduction. After one (1) warning and one (1) point deduction during a tournament, the player will be disqualified.
24) If you are disqualified during an event, you are no longer eligible to receive points towards your rank or receive any benefits associated with that event. If you are disqualified at (3) three or more events, you will automatically receive a (1) year suspension from all USWA tournaments. Disqualifications and/or suspensions are at the discretion of the board or directors. *amended 4/12