Rules & Regulations
General Eligibility Information for membership
Heart of America Region USA Volleyball membership is not automatic. The region may NOT grant membership to individuals / clubs that have been convicted of a felony, or have outstanding sanctions imposed by this or other regions of USAV. Membership may be terminated if the above conditions are found to exist. Parties with the above conditions may apply for membership by including a complete written statement of the situation and reasons for acceptance. All such applications will be handled according to the appeals process outlined below.
1. All sanctioned tournaments in the Heart of America Region will be conducted under the player and club/team eligibility rules as printed in the USAV Guide. (See USAV Definitions and Requirements: II. Player and Club/team Eligibility).
2. In order to be considered a registered player in the Heart of America Region, the Region office must have received all fees and a completed and legible individual registration form before competing in a tournament.
3. The Heart of America region sponsors sanctioned events all year long. A person must be a currently registered member of USAV to participate in a sanctioned event.
4. A player may register and play on one and only one club/team during the USAV season. EXCEPTIONS: See DUAL REGISTRATION and PLAYER TRANSFERS TO ANOTHER CLUB/TEAM (see below).
5. A club/team who participates in a tournament in any region with a player(s) in violation of any of the Heart of America Region eligibility rules is an illegal club/team. Any sets won will be forfeited and any awards earned must be returned within 30 days of the decision or face total suspension. Additional penalties, possibly including, but not limited to, probation, suspension from the Region Championships, or a period of total suspension will be imposed by the Regional Board as quickly as possible.
Each club/team will select a representative to voice that club/ teams problems and concerns to the Region.
These problems and concerns might include such items as; questions dealing with regional policies, clarification of rules and procedures, and complaints about policies or tournaments.
This club/team representative must be a registered member of USA Volleyballl and may or may not be competing with the club/team being represented. Concerns, problems, and complaints a club/ team might wish to voice should be handled in the following manner:
1. A written statement describing the problem or concern should be sent to the Divisional Player Representative for the club/teams level of play. If the club/team representative is not satisfied with the Divisional Representatives response or after two (2) weeks has received no response then:
2. A written statement describing the problem or concern should be sent to the Associate Commissioner of the club/teams district. If the club/team representative is not satisfied with the Associate Commissioners response or after two (2) weeks has received no response then:
3. A written statement describing the problem or concern should be sent to the Commissioner of the Heart of America Region.
Individual and Club/Team Skill Levels
Adult Club/Teamscompete in different skill levels: AA, A, BB, B, and Recreational. Such designation should reflect the actual skill level of each individual player and of the team as a whole. Junior teams are also playing on different levels. Currently those level are; Gold, Silver and Bronze beside the age divisions of 10 and under through 18 and under. Tournaments are available in these levels throughout the region.
Designated skill levels are subject to review and/or change by the Regional Board or its duly appointed representatives.
Players are not permitted to compete two (2) levels below their current individual skill level designation. (e.g. AA players may not play BB). Players and teams are permitted to play at any level above their current individual skill level designation.
Written complaints concerning skill level designation should be lodged with the Associate Commissioner of the team in question, complaints that refer to team composition in a particular tournament must be lodged within 30 days of that tournament.
Members of a team that compete in any tournament who are deemed to be in violation of any portion(s) of the above regulation by the Regional Board shall forfeit all games in which they participated that day and return any awards within thirty (30) days of that decision.
If this is the first violation in this USAV season of a Regional regulation by the participants, they shall be on probation for one full year from the date of the infraction. A second violation of any Regional regulation by the same individuals during the probationary period, or failure to return awards during the stated time, will result in suspension for one full year from the date of the second offense.
A Junior player may not be registered with, or represent more than one junior club at any time.
You may be a member of more than one club (coach for more than one Junior team or play on an adult team and coach a Junior team, etc. Only one fee is required, however all paperwork is required for all teams you are affiliated with.
1. A Junior player may be registered with a Junior team and may also register and play with an Adult team without paying additional fees. A Junior player may not play on both teams, or play on two different teams from the same club in the same tournament
2. A Seniors/Masters player may be registered with a Seniors/Masters team and may register and play with one other Adult team without paying additional fees. A Seniors/Masters player may not play on both teams in the same tournament. (see section on Seniors/Masters for restrictions on Senior/Masters teams competing in sanctioned tournaments.)
3. Through dual registration, an individual may belong to two clubs/teams that are both entering a team in a tournament. Even though the individual is eligible to compete (play) with either team, that individual player may compete (play) for only one of the teams in that tournament.
Player Transfer to Another Club/Team
Transfering to another club/team is possible for a Heart of America member under the following conditions:
1. Before January 1, a registered player may transfer with no transfer fee provided the HOA office is notified in writing 24 hours prior to competing with the new club/team in a tournament.
2. After January 1, transfers will be valid only after written statements, indicating mutual agreement to the transfer, from both current and new club/team representatives have been received by the HOA office. A 10.00 transfer fee must accompany the statements. Transfer must be completed and approved 24 hours prior to competing with the new club/team in a tournament. Junior Players:
Once a player has registered with a club: transfers will be valid only after written statements, indicating mutual agreement to the transfer, from both current and new club representatives have been received by the HOA office. A written statement from a players parent or guardian giving their consent to the transfer must also be submitted. A $10.00 transfer fee must accompany the statements. Transfer must be completed and approved by the HOA commissioner 24 hours prior to competing with the new club/team in a tournament.
No transfers will be permitted within four (4) weeks of the Region Bid Tournament. With the exception of junior players competing on Silver or Bronze level teams at Junior Regionals, who are permitted to transfer up to the day before regionals starts.
Borrowing Players from other teams (Adult teams only)
To encourage teams to be able to fill rosters and enter tournaments, up to two players from another club or team can be added to the roster for a tournament.
The following conditions apply to this rule:
(1) The team that player(s) is/are borrowed from, is/are not playing in a tournament the same day.
(2) The added player(s) is/are from the same or lower level team(s) (that is, players from a BB team connot be added to a team playing in a B tournament)
(3) The maximum number of players on the roster, after the borrowed player(s) is/are added shall be no more than six plus a Libero (the borrowing rule is meant to complete a roster, not to stack a team for a tournament).
These rules also apply to borrowing players from the same club!
Borrowing Players from other teams (Junior teams only)
Within a club, teams can borrow players from (a) same level, or (b) lower level, or (c) younger teams to complete their roster.(for example: a 14 Gold team can either borrow players from another 14 Gold team, from a 14 Silver team or from any 13′s, 12′s, 11′ s team from within the club).
No Player can play for 2 teams on the same day or in the same tournament. No player can play in 2 different age divisions in any of the Powerleagues, including the qualifier.
Silver level teams cannot borrow players from Gold level teams in the same age divisions.
Players who are on the roster of an older team, but still meet the age requirements for a younger team, can NOT play for a younger team (for example; a 13 year old player who is registered with a 15 year old team, cannot play with a 13′s or 14′s team within that club.
Violation of this rule will result in forfeiture of all matches in a tournament in which an illegal player was put on the roster/played.
No players can be borrowed from other clubs!
National Seniors/Masters Open Tournament
1. All participants must be currently registered USAV members.
2. Minimum Age Requirements (Men Women). Certification of age may be requested. To determine which age level a player is eligible for, use the players age as of December 31th of the current year
Masters: Age 30
Masters 40: Age 40
Masters 35: Age 35
Masters 45: Age 45
Seniors: Age 50
Seniors 55: Age 55
Seniors 60: Age 60
Seniors 65: Age 65
Seniors 70: Ages 70
3. Senior and Masters (all divisions) teams are not required to participate in a sanctioned USAV event prior to the National Tournament.
4. Senior and Masters (all divisions) teams may be composed of players registered on different USAV teams including:
(a) Players registered on different teams within the Heart of America Region;
(b) Players registered in different Regions;
The above teams are considered conglomerate teams.
Conglomerate Senior/Masters Teams Competing in USAV Tournaments
During the USAV season, players may form conglomerate Seniors/Masters teams consisting of players registered on different teams within the Heart of America region.
All players must be currently registered Heart of America USAV members and must fulfill the appropriate age requirements. While these players do not have to register twice, the conglomerate club/team must be properly registered as a separate team and must submit the same registration forms and fees to the appropriate registrar as any other club/team. A player may be registered and affiliated only with the conglomerate club/team.
A player may be registered with only one conglomerate Seniors/Masters club/team. Transfers between the conglomerate Seniors/Masters teams will be handled in the same manner as transfers between regular teams.
To compete in a non-Seniors/Masters tournament, a conglomerate club/team must inform the tournament director with their entry that their team is a conglomerate team so that the tournament director may review the appropriateness of the entry with regards to the level of competition.
The level that a conglomerate team must compete at, will be determined according to the levels of the individual players in a manner that a non-conglomerate USAV team would be classified.
These restrictions apply to USAV tournaments in all regions and not just those sanctioned in the Heart of America Region. When competing out of region, a conglomerate team must inform the out-of-region tournament director that this is a conglomerate team.
These conglomerate teams may not participate in any Regional Championship.
Many players have elected to form clubs which may have several different teams competing simultaneously throughout the season. In order to prevent a club from stacking, certain restrictions and rules must be followed.
1. Clubs may have only ONE club/team representative listed with the region and that individual will receive all correspondence for the entire club.
2. An adult or recreational club is limited to 40 players and may field an unlimited number of teams for competition.
3. A junior club may have unlimited player registration and may field an unlimited number of teams for competition.
4. If a club competes in different divisions, the club must adhere to the policies and rules governing individual and team skill levels as described above.
5. A club may enter more than one team in a tournament, but an individual player may compete (play) for only one of the teams in that tournament.
All USAV Junior Coaches must be IMPACT or CAP certified. To receive IMPACT certification, coaches will have to attend an IMPACT clinic and an HOA approved rules clinic.
Tournament Rules for Teams
Presented in the following sections are the rules and guidelines under which tournaments are conducted in the Heart of America Region. Note that there are special rules and guidelines for the Regional Championships. These are listed separately at the end of this section.
Tournament Level of Play
1. Teams winning the A, BB, and B division at the previous seasons Regional Championship must advance to the next higher division for this USAV season if any four (4) players from that division winning team appear together on a tournament playing roster.
Appeals of this rule must be submitted, in writing, to the Regional Commissioner or duly appointed representative(s) for review and vote by the Regional Board. These appeals must be resolved in favor of the team prior to that team entering a tournament in the division played during the previous season. (e.g. A team wins the B Regional Championship last season. This team has four (4) players returning this season. If those players appear on the same playing roster for any tournament, that team may not play B unless a written appeal has been submitted and resolved in that teams favor.)
2. Teams must compete at their own level, but are permitted to play at higher levels if accepted by the tournament director.
3. Junior teams cannot compete in the region bid tournaments or the Junior regional championships (Silver and Gold) in any other division than their assigned level. A Silver level team cannot compete in the region bid tournament. No team can play on an older age division in these events.
4. In tournaments other than the regional championships and the HOA region bid tournaments, teams are allowed to register in a higher age division or level, with the following exceptions:
Teams who use an age waiver for any of their players cannot play in Gold tournaments in the same age division, even without the age-waived player.
Gold level teams cannot play in Silver or Bronze level tournaments, one age up (a 14 Gold team cannot play in a 15 Silver tournament, they can register for a 15 Gold or 16 Silver level tournament).
It is up to the tournament directors discretion if they want to accept younger or lower level teams into their tournaments. Gold level tournaments require that 2 out of 3 teams in the tournament are gold level teams in the correct age division.
Tournament Entry and Withdrawal
Acceptance of tournament entries is at the discretion of the tournament director. The tournament director will use the following criteria in accepting entries: timeliness of the entry, regional affiliation, registered level of play. The region has estalished the adult entry deadline date as seven (7) days prior to the tournament date..
1. Entry form and fees must be submitted to the tournament director prior to the deadline specified on the tournament entry form.
Team representatives are responsible for insuring that their team is in the tournament. If you have not received a schedule or other notification from the tournament director, do not assume that you are entered and just show up on the tournament date.
2. Registration materials for all players competing in a tournament must be in the hands of the appropriate registrar the day before competing.
3. Teams failing to appear on the tournament date, regardless of reason, shall forfeit all entry fees. (Inclement weather is not a valid reason for failure to appear)
4. For Adult Tournaments: A team may request a refund of fees if notice is received by the tournament director requesting withdrawal of that team prior to having established a schedule and/or entry deadline and/or one (1) week prior to the event, whichever is earlier, and the director is able to fill that position with another team.
5. For Junior Tournaments: For a team to receive a refund of the tournament entry fee, after being accepted into a tournament, the team will have to provide at least three weeks written notice to the tournament director. The written notice has to be received by the tournament director no later than noon on the Friday three weeks prior to the tournament.
If a tournament director places a team in a different division than the team signed up for, the team need to be notified. The team will have the right to withdraw from the tournament and the tournament entry fee refunded.
Tournament Officiating Responsibility
1. Each team must provide a USAV certified referee (1st and 2nd) and scorekeeper or pay an additional $75.00 for each official (scorekeeper or referee) not provided by the team. These additional fees will be used to pay certified officials to officiate matches for the team.
NOTE: At any tournament with a division consisting of only Junior teams, these teams are required to have referees and scorekeepers as above, or referees and scorekeepers holding the Junior certifications respectively. If it is discovered that a team is in the act of officiating in a tournament using non-certified official(s) (referees and/or scorekeepers), the following steps should be taken:
(a) If that team has properly certified official(s) but is not using them, they must immediately replace the non-certified official(s).
(b) If the team has no certified official(s), the team must pay the tournament the appropriate $75.00 fee(s), ($100 for Adult Region Championships) and the director will provide appropriate official(s) for that team.
(c) In either case above, the tournament director should immediately notify the Associate Commissioner of the team at fault. That Associate Commissioner will notify the team representative and the Regional Tournament Coordinator that the team must pay an additional $50.00 to the general fund of the Region (make checks payable to the USAV-HOA Region) for violation of this regulation. Entry into subsequent tournaments will be denied until this fee is paid. The team will be placed on probation for one full year from the date of the infraction.
(d) If it is discovered AFTER a tournament that a team participated without a certified referee and/or scorekeeper, item (c) above shall apply.
(e) A second violation of this regulation will result in total suspension for one full year from the date of the infraction. The $50.00 fee will still need to be paid prior to the completion of the suspension.
2. Teams will fulfill officiating duties as assigned by the tournament director.
Failure to comply will result in a fine of $50.00 assessed against the team by the Regional Office. Those members in violation will not be allowed to compete in any tournaments until the fine is received. In addition, those members will be placed on probation for one (1) year and will not be permitted to play in the Regional Championships. A second violation of this nature will result in immediate suspension of those members for a period of one (1) year from the date of the second violation.
Normal procedure in tournament play-offs is that teams officiate the next match on their court after they loose a match. For the final, officiating duties will be split between the 2 loosing teams from the semi-final.
Tournament Rules of Play
1. Tournament play shall be governed by the rules as prescribed in the USAV Domestic Competition Regulations.
2. Scheduled match time is the play time. Forfeiture shall be in accordance with current USAV rules.
3. Exact jerseys and similar color shorts are required for all sanctioned tournaments. The Libero must wear a different color uniform (shirt) in contrast to the other members of the team. Uniforms must be numbered in accordance with current USAV rules. Failure to follow these requirements for any reason, accidental or intentional, will result in the following penalties being assessed against the club/team in violation:
(a) Three points each game, for each violation (jersey or shorts) will be assessed. The officiating team will be responsible for applying this rule automatically and appeals will be made to the tournament director.
4. Any player(s) discovered with any alcoholic beverage or illegal drugs within a tournament facility will be disqualified from that tournament. That player(s) may not participate in any tournament for one (1) year from the date of the infraction.
5. Any person affiliated with a club/team who directs a profane remark or gesture toward any official or player that is seen or heard by any official (referee, second referee, scorekeeper or line judges) should be immediately sanctioned (carded) in accordance with the severity of the remark and/or gesture. This includes verbal harassment of officials during or after a match.
Any person affiliated with a club/team who makes physical contact (outside of normal play) with any official or player should be immediately sanctioned (expelled or disqualified by the referee if such an act happens during a match. In addition, the tournament director should suspend that individual from play for the remainder of that day if it is deemed necessary. The tournament director should report the incident to the Associate Commissioner(s) of the person(s) involved.
The Associate Commissioner(s) will notify the individual(s) involved that they are suspended from play immediately until the incident can be reviewed by the Regional Board. The final penalty decided upon may include, but is not limited to, probation, suspension and fines.
6. The determination of playoff teams is described in the section of the same name under Guidelines for Tournament Directors.
1. No player may be added to a roster for the Regional Championship Tournament after the deadline for entries has passed except for Junior Silver & Bronze Divisions.
2. For Gold Divisions only teams who have qualified for JO’s or finished in the top 4 at the Region Bid tournament are invited for the Gold Junior Regional Championships.
3. Regional Champions in the A, BB, and B divisions will have their entry fee to following seasons Regional Championship tournament waived, if the team is competing in a higher division than the division they won the championship.
4. The uniform rule will hold true for Regionals. Three points each game, for each violation (jersey or shorts) will be assessed. The officiating team shall be charged with applying this rule automatically.
5. If any division of the Regional Championship Tournament has more teams entered than can be accepted, frequency of participation in current season Heart of America events may be used to determine which teams to accept.
Determining Play-off Teams
The position of teams at the end of pool play is determined by matches or sets won/loss. If teams are tied, a tie breaking procedure listed in the USAV Domestic Competition Regulations will be used to determine the position of these tied teams within the pool so that they can be properly seeded into the playoffs.
Rating tournaments are held to help with the process of training adult players as officials. Players will register at these tournaments before they play. To participate in these tournaments, players, coaches and officials must be currently registered members of the USAV and all of the normal rules and policies governing these tournaments are in force with the following two exceptions:
1) Players on a team do not have to have identical uniforms as long as there is a clearly visible number on each players shirt.
2) Players have to be a registered member of a club/team to participate with that team. Teams have to be registered with the USAV, and all members of a team must be current members of the USAV.
Guidelines for Tournament Directors
USAV tournaments are conducted in the Heart of America Region under the Guidelines for Conducting USAV Sanctioned Tournaments.
The Heart of America region has a Tournament Directors Packet which contains additional information on conducting tournaments. All tournament directors must follow the guidelines described in the Tournament Directors Packet, which will be distributed to tournament directors.
All deviations from these guidelines must be approved in advance by the Regional Commissioner, Tournament Coordinator or the appropriate Associate Commissioner, before a tournament may be sanctioned.
Failure to Comply
Failure of a tournament director to comply with current USAV rules and guidelines, current Heart of America guidelines and procedures, may result in an investigation of the situation and refusal of further tournament sanctions by the Heart of America Region.