Code of Conduct

Spirit is of utmost importance at VDL and unsportsmanlike conduct, spirit breaches, and actions detrimental to the league will not be tolerated. This includes:

  1. Headshots and regular high throws
      1. Regular hits above the shoulders (headhunting)
      2. Contested vs Uncontested head shots
    • Contested headshots do occur, and are considered accidental (to a degree) or reasonable due to the play:
      • The player is kneeling or crouching low;
      • The ball bounces off of something (ball/wall/ground/player) and hits a player in the head;
      • A person is throwing at another player and the recipient walks in front of the throw;
      • The person lowers their head into the ball
    • Uncontested headshots are unacceptable and unsafe
      • They occur in full standing position or similar (a slight crouch);
      • Are uncalled for;
      • Directly contact the recipient without hitting anything else;
      • May also occur after a thrower has been consistently throwing high (despite being told otherwise by referees)

    ~At any time if a head shot is thrown, the thrower should immediately apologize and ensure that the apology is received by the head shot recipient.

  2. VDL maintains that safety and the enjoyment of the sport are among its top priorities. With that in mind, we have implemented a new Dangerous Play Policy that we hope will discourage high, dangerous or predatory throws.

    Dangerous Play Policy:

    A headshot is a throw that hits a player in the head before touching another body part or blocking ball, while they’re at a “standing upright ready position, which can include knees slightly bent”. While the recipient of the headshot will still be considered out, the person who threw the headshot will also be out. If a player significantly lowers their head – no headshot will be called. (Examples: crouch, kneel, slide) Also, players leaving their feet (jumping, dropping) are not protected in the headshot rule. In an effort to protect all players, all borderline cases will favour the person thrown at.

    Players observed conducting themselves in the manner mentioned above will be subject to official warnings, which could lead to suspension or expulsion. If the following occurs in one night during the regular season:

    • 1st headshot thrown – The throwing player receives a verbal warning. The thrower is also out, but is eligible to be caught back into the game.
    • 2nd headshot thrown – The throwing player is out and will sit the greater of 3 games or the remainder of the series. For warnings given at the end of a series the player will sit off the following series.
    • 3rd headshot thrown – The throwing player is out and will not be eligible to play for the remainder of the night. If this infraction occurs in the player’s final game of the night, the player will not be eligible to play the following week. In the event the 3rd dangerous play occurs in the final game of the final week of regular season play, that player will sit out the first series of the playoffs after just one dangerous play during the playoffs. This scenario will be regarded as a player on Probation. If a third headshot occurs during the playoffs, the player will be ineligible to play for the remainder of the playoffs and could face further suspension that can affect other nights of play if the player plays on multiple teams.


    If it is observed that a player has received their 3rd dangerous play infractions on three separate occasions throughout the season (whether the player plays only one night or multiple nights) that player will face a suspension and possible expulsion from the league.

    Note: In the case that it is 1 on 1 (including showdowns), if a headshot occurs, the thrower is OUT and the person thrown at is SAFE. This will be the only time the person who received a headshot will be safe. We always want to err on the side of caution and safety towards our players.


    During the playoffs, the following dangerous play protocol will be in effect (assuming that the player is not on probation. See Above for Probation stipulation):

    • 1st dangerous play – verbal warning, player is out but can be caught back in.
    • 2nd dangerous play – player will be removed from the game immediately and sit the remainder of the series. If the infraction occurs in the final game of the series, the player will sit the entire next series.
    • 3rd dangerous play – the player will be ejected from the playoffs and will not be able to participate further with their team.

  3. Foul language, racial slurs, verbal abuse and slander
  4. Unnecessary roughness and physical abuse
  5. Slamming down or kicking balls in anger when hit
  6. Arguing with referees, execs, participants, or fans
  7. Abuse of the honour system
  8. Excessive or unruly complaining and negativity to other players, referees or league execs
  9. Biased refereeing to favor or disfavor other teams

**-In order to protect league players, VDL reserves the right to give official warnings and suspensions on any of the above violations, and may ask the instigator to leave the court or premise immediately if the violation is severe.
– 3 official warnings, or a single severe violation will lead to a ban from the league for the rest of the season including playoffs.

Player Etiquette

  1. Understand, appreciate and abide by the rules of the game
  2. Respect your opponents and congratulate them in a courteous manner following each match whether in victory or defeat
  3. Respect the integrity and judgment of game referees; side reffing (calling out missed-calls or voicing opinions on a call) is discouraged
  4. Be responsible for your actions and maintain self-control