Volleyball is all about having a good attitude and showing respect – for your teammates, opponents, refs, everyone. It’s a game of champions, and that’s what makes this game so great.
But let’s be honest; in the heat of serious competition, our emotion often gets the better of us. Before you know it, you or someone on your team gets caught up in the moment and does something unsportsmanlike.
And in volleyball, poor sportsmanship gets you a formal warning. That’s what the yellow card symbolizes. Though it doesn’t actually penalize you or your team, getting a yellow card means that the ref’s got his eyes on you.
Now, there are many reasons why you could get a yellow card. Doing something unsporting isn’t the sole reason behind it. If you want to be a volleyball pro, you need to know the reasons behind this warning.
That’s where we come in. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about yellow cards in volleyball. So, let’s hop in.
What is a Yellow Card in Volleyball
Getting a yellow card in volleyball basically means the referee is giving you an official warning. It’s sort of like a tap on the hand, asking you to knock off whatever you’re doing, so it’s not that serious.
The head referee will pull out a yellow card if you violate any rules of the sport. Doing things like touching the net, going under it, carries, or double hits can warrant a yellow card.
Unsportsmanlike behavior, such as poor sportsmanship, arguing, yelling, or even harassing the enemy players, can lead to a yellow card in volleyball.
However, don’t worry; you’re not getting penalized if you only receive a yellow card. As we said, it’s a warning, not a death warrant. You won’t lose any points or be expelled from the game.
Think of it like a heads-up from the referee. So, you’re good.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can keep doing whatever it is that got you that yellow card. If you don’t cut out your streak of bad behavior, the ref can pull out a red card. You might not care much about receiving a yellow card, but a red card can do serious damage to your team.
What Behavior Leads to Receiving a Yellow Card
Yellow card’s a warning, as you’ve no doubt understood by this point. But what exactly does that warn you against? Well, to understand that, you need to know which offenses can lead to you receiving a yellow card in the first place.
Simply put, any type of unsporting behavior, or repeatedly violating minor rules, could potentially lead to a yellow card. It’s the referee’s call based on their judgment of the situation.
Here are the main behaviors that can lead to getting a yellow card in volleyball:
- Arguing with a referee over a call or not accepting the referee’s decisions gracefully
- Yelling, screaming, or making aggressive gestures in reaction to a game situation
- Trying to influence or intimidate the referee or opposing players through unsporting behavior
- Committing repeated minor rules violations, like net touches or line violations
- Obstructing an opponent while they’re trying to play the ball, whether intentionally or unintentionally
- Showing excessive celebration if it’s deemed unsporting
- Being disrespectful to opposing players through overly aggressive serves/spikes aimed at them
- General displays of poor sportsmanship – acting out when your team loses a point, refusing to shake hands, name calling, etc.
Consequences of a Yellow Card
While a yellow card on its own isn’t that big of a problem, neglecting it can lead to dire consequences. It doesn’t take long for the yellow to turn into the dreaded red. So, if you get slapped with a yellow, it’s time to clean up your act.
Getting a yellow card serves as a warning for the player or the team. However, if you repeat the offense and the ref decides to call you out on the same set, you’ll be given a red card. That means your team forfeits the point, and you get benched for the remainder of the set.
And if things escalate further, you might also get the red and yellow card together, which means expulsion from the court. So, while a yellow card might not seem like a big deal, you’d be mistaken if you decide to ignore it completely.
Do You Get a Warning Before You Receive a Yellow Card?
Volleyball, as far as a sport goes, can be quite forgiving. Sure, breaking the rules and taking things too far will get your team kicked off, but you get a lot of chances to fix up your game before that happens.
In fact, though the yellow card acts as a formal warning, the referee gives you an informal verbal warning before issuing it.
In other words, if you show unsporting behavior like excessive excitement or intentionally slowing the game down, the referee will issue you a verbal warning before giving you a yellow.
If you manage to dial it down and clean up your act right that moment, you’ll not receive a yellow card for your offenses.
The Bottom Line
Getting a yellow card isn’t the end of the world. If you manage to grab hold of your emotions and don’t repeat the offense, it’s not going to matter much in the game.
We understand that things can get heated during competition. But remember, volleyball is a gentleman’s sport. Mutual respect and healthy competition is one of the key pillars of the game.
Hopefully, our in-depth explanation of how yellow cards in volleyball work will help you keep your nose straight and your game clean. Good luck!