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What Happens When You Get a Yellow or Red Card in Volleyball?

From the other sports, we know that yellow and red cards aren’t something good for the players. They usually penalize a member of a team. But does the same apply to volleyball?

What does a yellow card mean in volleyball?

A yellow card in volleyball means that it’s the last warning for a player. It can be a consequence of some unsportsmanlike conduct like aggression, discussions with the referee or with the opponents, or slowing down the game.

What does a red card mean in volleyball?

A red card in volleyball means losing a service and one point for the opposing team. A yellow and red card at the same time mean the expulsion of the player until the end of the set. Red and yellow cards shown separately mean disqualifying the player.

Now let’s talk about for what behaviors that you can get penalized for.

Before you get a yellow card, you get a warning

If you are a good person, you are probably likely to give other people the second chance. There is a possibility that the faults they’ve made were unintentional. Someone who has made volleyball rules should be a great person, and he let the players make some misconduct offences before penalizing them.

So, the players can make some minor misconduct offenses. These are called the warnings. It can be:

  • Discussion with the referees
  • Rude words or gestures towards the opponents, the referee, or the supporters
  • Excessive excitement about winning a point targeted to the opposing team
  • Slowing down the game
  • Screening to make the game harder for the opponents

So, if the referee sees some unsportsmanlike conduct of any player from a team, he always calls the captain. After a short conversation with the captain, he gets a verbal warning to prevent the teams from approaching the sanctioning.

In most cases, it’s enough to dial down the players and since now they keep their emotions in check. But there are exceptions. If the verbal warning isn’t enough, the referee has to think about something different.

Read it: 10 Best Volleyball Players of All Time (Giba, Giani, Bernardi, Etc.)

After the warning, there is a yellow card

As I said, volleyball likes forgiving. If some players get a warning, it’s ok, but if some player repeats his bad behavior again? He’s got another chance, but it’s probably the last one. This time, the referee has to get a yellow card for the team. Not for the player who made a misconduct offence, but for the whole team. This formal warning is not in itself a sanction but a symbol that the team has reached the sanctioning level for the match. It is recorded in the score sheet but has no immediate consequences.

It’s the same as in soccer. If some players gets a red card, he has to be careful.

In addition to the previous misconducts, the team gets a yellow card for:

  • Kicking the ball and tugging the net
  • Denying passing the ball to the opponents
  • Using the tactics that hold up the game
  • Aggressive behavior

When the players see that they have a yellow card, it’s a sign for them that there will be no other warning and there is no place for any misconduct. But there are volleyball games, in which the referee uses a red card.

Read it: 10 Best Men’s Volleyball National Teams in 2020 (Updated)

Didn’t help? Time for a red card

There is a famous German proverb “Einmal ist keinmal, aber zweimal ist einmal zuviel”, which means that if you do something once, it doesn’t really matter. But if you do it again, then you should be responsible for that.

In volleyball, it goes like this “If you did something twice, it doesn’t matter, but if you did it once again, shame on you.”

If you didn’t draw any conclusion from your previous behavior and your emotions are still stronger than your mind, you don’t get another chance. Actually not you, but your team.

A lot of people think that a red card in volleyball means sending the player off. That’s not really the case. It applies to soccer for example, but volleyball is quite different. A red card doesn’t mean sending the player off. It means that the whole team gets a red card and it loses one point. Even the coach can get a red card.

What can you get a red card for? Incorrect conduct are classified in three categories according to the seriousness of the offence.

Rude conduct: action contrary to good manners or moral principles.

Offensive conduct: defamatory or insulting words or gestures or any action expressing contempt.

Aggression: actual physical attack or aggressive or threatening behavior

You can see some examples of a red cards in this video

Red and yellow card at the same time? The consequences are terrible

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve seen a couple of volleyball where the team gets a red card, and they lose a point. But even if this doesn’t work, the referee can go one step further. He can show a certain player a red and yellow card simultaneously. What does it mean?

A red and a yellow card at the same time mean an individual penalty for a specific player. It’s always an expulsion. According to the FIVB rule “A team member who is sanctioned by expulsion shall not play for the rest of the set, must be substituted legally and immediately if on court and must remain seated in the penalty area with no other consequences. An expelled coach loses his/her right to intervene in the set and must remain seated in the penalty area.”

In other words, if some player keeps affecting the principle intentionally, the referee doesn’t want to see him until the end of the set. He has a bit of time to think his behavior through and come back to court in the next set.

When a player can be disqualified to the end of the match?

I haven’t seen any volleyball game in which the player is disqualified. And trust me, I’ve seen hundreds of volleyball games. It’s a very, very rare case that happens maybe once out of 500 games or even less.

A team member who is sanctioned by disqualification must be substituted legally and immediately if on court and must leave the Competition-Control Area for the rest of the match with no other consequences. You have to really deserve to be disqualified. It’s usually because of a physical attack or threatened aggression.

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