Basic Skills:
Ready Position
The fundamental volleyball position is a semi-crouched position in which the player is always moving and mentally alert. While in this position the head is held upright, with the eyes on the ball at all times; the back is erect, the hips are tucked in, and the body leans slightly forward. The arms are relaxed and hang in front of the body parallel to the thighs, the knees are bent slightly and turned inward, the feet are about shoulder width apart with one foot slightly ahead of the other, and the total body weight is balanced on the balls of the feet. This position of readiness throughout most of the game allows the player quick mobility on the court.
The Bump
The bump as used in volleyball is referred to as the forearm pass or the bump pass. The most common uses of this pass include service reception, passing balls lower than shoulder height and passing spiked balls.
The Following Principles Should Be Observed When Bumping:
i) Reading position
  • player should quickly assume a position in which the midline of the body is in line with the approaching ball.
  • knees should be flexed, back straight and tilted slightly forward, feet are in a staggered position, weight is equally distributed over both feet and bearing on the balls of the feet.
  • arms should be held away from the body at approximately a 45 degree angle to the floor.
  • arms should be relaxed and almost fully extended.
  • body should face in the direction of the intended pass.


  • contact with the ball is made simultaneously on both forearms, one to four inches above the wrists.
  • one hand forms a fist and is clasped by the other, with the thumbs parallel to each other and the heels of the hands pressed together. The forearms are rotated slightly outward, exposing the inside surfaces with thumbs pointing towards the ground.
  • the arms should not swing at the ball but remain relatively stationary as the legs extend to lift the body and arms up to the contact point out in front of waist level.
  • a slight forward shifting of the body weight accompanies the extension of the legs.
iii) Follow through
  • this consists of a continuation of the upward extension of the legs and a slight upward motion of the arms.
  • the arms should not pass higher then the shoulders, but should move in the direction of the pass
  • a step should be taken following contact, in the direction of the pass.
The Volley (front face pass)
The overhand face pass is the chief method of setting the ball up for the spiking attempt. Because it is so accurate the face pass should be used as often as possible. However, difficult balls such as hard spikes and serves should not be handled by means of a face pass.
The Following Principles Should Be Observed When Volleying:
i) Ready position
  • assume a position behind the ball and in direct alignment with the midline of the body and the target.
  • the feet should be in a front-back stride position.
  • the knees should be flexed with the weight equally distributed over both feet.
  • the upper body should be upright, with the chest open and slightly tilted upward.
  • the hands are held above the upturned face and form a triangle through which the eyes focus on the oncoming ball. The thumbs are pointing straight back toward the eyes. The elbows are bent at an angle of 90 degeees the wrists are extended as far back as possible. The elbows should be in front of the shoulder at a 45 degree angle.
ii) Contact
  • contact is made primarily with the thumbs and pads of the forefingers, the remaining fingers act to guide the ball.
  • prior to contact the legs begin to extend slightly.
  • as the ball is contacted, extension of the legs continues and extension of the elbows and wrists begins
  • as the arms complete their extension the wrists snap up and forward, volleying the ball out.
iii) Follow through
  • after the ball is contacted the ankles, knees, hips, elbows and wrists should be fully extended to form a relatively straight line.
  • the body weight should be forward as the player steps in the direction of the target.
The Serve:
Serving is one of the most neglected aspects of volleyball. Many games are lost because of service errors. Thus, a "safe" and accurate serve is essential. Power serves are used infrequently because they are inaccurate and are relatively easy to receive. Most top players use "floater" serves because they are accurate and have irregular flight which may cause the receiver to commit a reception error.
The Overhand Floater:
i) The stance
  • stand comfortably with the left foot slightly ahead. Both feet point toward the target. Hold the ball with both hands in front of the body.
ii) The toss
  • using both hands, toss or "place" the ball above and slightly in front of the hitting shoulder.Toss it slightly higher than the point of contact so it is not falling fast when it is struck.
  • while keeping the left hand high, "cock" the right arm. Keep the hitting elbow high. Do not drop the hitting arm.
  • shift the weight to the rear foot as the arm is cocked.
iii) Striking the ball
  • begin the striking action by shifting the weight from the back to the front foot.
  • snap the right arm forward so it quickly "chops" straight through the centre of gravity of the ball.
  • keep the wrist "locked" as the palm of the hand contacts the ball.
  • the striking arm is almost fully extended at the moment of contact.
The Spike:
This skill is typically, the most spectacular of the game. It is also the primary offensive technique. Further, the spike is more complex, although not necessarily more difficult than the other techniques. The skill of spiking consists of an approach to the ball, a vertical jump, and a striking action of the arm and hand. The following principles should be observed:
i) Ready position
  • spiker should prepare to approach from just outside the sideline, eight to ten feet from the net.
  • the spiker's body should be turned slightly toward the middle of the court, in the direction of the setter.
  • the spiker's knees should be slightly flexed, with the weight on the balls of the feet.
ii) The approach
The footwork that is recommended is the right-left two count hop, for right-handed players. A left-right series would be the rule for left-handed players. A conventional three step approach, using a heel-toe action on the take-off for the spike should be practised. Regardless of the approach used, it must be practised repeatedly, observing the following elements:
  • as the player moves toward the ball, the head should be held up with the eyes focused on the ball.
  • the spiker should line the shoulder of the spiking arm with the ball's protected path of the fall.
  • as the spiker approaches the net the arms should be drawn forward, and the downward and backward rapidly as the spiker finishes the approach; that is, planting the feet and flexing the knees.
iii) The jump
The body is propelled upward by a forceful extension of the legs and ankles, combined with the rapid forward and upward movement of the arms. As the arms extend forward at shoulder height the elbow of the left arm is flexed and continues upward while the spiking arm is drawn back with the elbow high, rotating the shoulder back as far as possible. The back is arched and the legs flexed slightly.
iv) The contact
The forward movement of the spiking arm is initiated by forcing the non-spiking arm downward. The elbow of the spiking arm leads the swing, remaining high throughout the swing. The ball is contacted high above the shoulder at full extension of the arm, just in front of the body. Contact is made with the heel and palm of the hands as the wrist snaps forward, high on the ball.
v) Follow through
The follow through varies, depending on where the ball is directed; and how close the ball is to the net. In any event, the player should try to continue the swing in the direction of the spiked ball. When landing, the player should try to land simultaneously on the balls of both feet, while flexing the ankles and knees to absorb the shock of landing.
  • player starts at the net with the arms at the sides of the body and the hands approximately at shoulder height.
  • player assumes an upright posture with knees flexed, and weight on the balls of the feet.
  • to jump, the player should not swing the arms, but should pump them upward to avoid a net fault.
  • once the hands are above the net and the arms fully extended, the player should press the arms in the direction of the net so that the hands are across the net.
  • the wrists should be turned slightly in toward each other, with the fingers spread, and the hands no further apart than the width of the ball.
  • the player should concentrate on the spiker, transferring his/her eyes to the ball just prior to contact.
  • the player should always attempt to block the ball with the hands rather than the arms, directing the ball on to the opponent's court.
Netted Balls (balls rebounding off the net)
    played with the forearm pass.
    player should approach the area of the net that the ball is played in a sideward manner. The player should not face the net directly.
    the player should be in a low position, and should attempt to pass the ball high slightly away from the net area
Cross-Court Attacks
  • the off-side blocker takes up a defensive position just inside the attack line, facing the area that the attack originates from.
  • the mechanics of playing individual defence will be described in the discussion of backcourt responsibilities.
Covering Defensive
  • players should always turn and face the area that the attack is directed toward, to assist.
  • players should never stop moving, but should continue to move toward the net.
  • in the event of a mispassed ball, the player nearest the action should pursue the ball
Rules of the Game
i) Team line-up
Before the start of each game both coaches must present their starting line-ups to the scorer or the second referee. Six players that begin a game, compose the starting line up of a team
ii) Positioning of players on the court
There are six positions on a volleyball court, each occupied by a player. The positions are numbered in a counter clockwise direction with #1 starting in the serving position.
All players must be in their service order and within the court boundaries at the time of the serve. Once the ball has been put into play, however, the players may assume any position they desire on the court. This provides for a tactic called the switch play in which the spikers and setters may trade places in order to gain a more advantageous playing position. Players must return to their original places once a side out or a point is called.
The referee must check the court position of all players before each serve. There must be no over lapping between the players in the side by side positioning.
Back line players have a few restrictions in playing the ball. They may not move up to block a ball at the net. They may spike the ball only if their take-off is behind the attack line- even though they may land on or over the attack line. If they happen to be in the attack area they may send the ball over to the opponent's court- only if the ball is below the height of the net.
iii) Change of service
  At each change of service, the team winning the service must rotate. Accordingly, at the beginning of the set, only the team serving the first ball remains in the same position. When this team makes a mistake, the opposite team must rotate before serving.
iv) Change of position (rotation)
  Rotation must be clockwise. In the back-row, the player in the right-hand corner moves to the centre and the player in the centre moves to the left-hand corner. This means that the player on the right in front moves to the right-hand corner in the back and serves. In this way, each player occupies each of the six positions in succession.
  Only as the server hits the ball must the players be standing in their corresponding positions. At this moment, they must be in the order noted on the scoresheet.
  As soon as the ball has been hit, the players can move wherever they like. They may occupy any position on the court, but the spiking and blocking restrictions apply to the back line players.
  At the beginning of each game, the teams can change their line-up by putting on new players. However the scorer must be notified before the game of any changes that are to be made. The coaches or captains must give the scorer a piece of paper on which the line-up is marked.
Each rally wins a point (Rally Point Scoring). When the receiving team wins a rally, it gains a point and the right to serve, and its players rotate one position clockwise.
Consequences of a fault
The consequences of a fault is loss of rally: the opponent of the team committing the fault wins the rally with a point. If the opponent team received the service, it gains the right to serve and scores a point.
A set is won by the team which scores 25 points with a minimum lead of 2 points. In the case of a 24-24 tie, play is continued until a two-point lead is achieved (26-24, -27-25). In the case of a 2-2 tie, the deciding set (the 5th or 3rd) is played to 15 points with a minimum lead of 2 points. The winner of the match is the team that wins the best 2 out of 3 games/sets or the best 3 out of 5 games/sets.
States of play
i) Ball in play
The ball is in play from the moment of the hit of the service authorized by the first referee.
ii) Ball out of play
The ball is out of play at the moment of the fault which is whistled by one of the referees; in the absence of a fault, at the moment of the whistle.
iii) Ball "In"
The ball is "in" when it touches the floor of the playing court including the boundary lines.
iv) Ball "Out"
The ball is "out" when:
  a) the part of the ball which contacts the floor is completely outside the boundary lines;
  b) it touches an object outside the court, the ceiling or a person out of play;
  c) it touched the antennae, ropes, post or the net itself outside the side-bands
  d) it crosses the vertical plane of the net totally or even partly outside the crossing space:
- during service, or
- into the opponent's court
Playing the Ball
Each team must play within its own playing area and space. The ball may, however, be retrieved from beyond the free zone.
Team Hits
The team is entitled to a maximum of three hits (in additiion to blocking for returning the ball. If more are used, the team commits the fault of. "FOUR HITS". The hits of the team include not only intentional hits by the players, but also unintentional contacts with the ball.
i) Consecutive contacts
  A player may not hit the ball two times consecutively (except off a block).
ii) Simultaneous contacts
    Two or three players may touch the ball at the same moment.
  a) when two (three) teammates touch the ball simultaneously, it is counted as two (three) hits (with exception of blocking). If they reach for the ball, but only one of them touches it, one hit is counted. A collision of players does not constitute a fault.
  b) when two opponents touch the ball simultaneously over the net and the ball remains in play, the team receiving the ball is entitled to another three hits. If such a ball goes "out", it is the fault of the team on the opposite side.
  c) if simultaneous contacts by two opponents lead to a "CATCH", it is a "DOUBLE FAULT" and the rally is replayed.
iii) Assisted hit
    Within the playing area, a player is not permitted to take support from a teammate or any structure/object in order to reach the ball. However, a player who is about to commit a fault (touch the net or cross the centreline etc.) may be stopped or held by a teammate.
Characteristics of the Hit
  The ball may touch any part of the body. The ball must be hit, not caught and/or thrown. It can rebound in any direction. The ball may touch various parts of the body, provided that the contacts take place simultaneously
  a) at blocking, consecutive contacts may be made by one or more blocker(s) provided that the contacts occur during one action.
  b) at the first hit of the team, the ball may contact various part of the body consecutively provided that the contacts occur during one action.
Faults in playing the ball
  a) Four Hits: a team hits the ball four times before returning it.
  b) Assisted Hit: a player takes support from a teammate or any structure/object within the playing area in order to reach the ball.
  c) Catch (held ball): a player does not hit the ball, and the ball is caught and/or thrown.
  d) Double Contact: a player hits the ball twice in succession or the ball contacts various parts of his/her body in succession.
Ball at the Net
Ball crossing the net

The ball sent to the opponent's court must go over the net within the crossing space. The crossing space is the part of the vertical plane of the net limited as follows:
  a) below, by the top of the net,
  b) at the sides, by the antennae their imaginary extension,
  c) above, by the ceiling,
The ball that has crossed the net plane to the opponent's free-zone totally or partly outside of the crossing space, may be played back within the team hits provided that:
  a) the opponent's court is not touched by the player;
  b) the ball when played back crosses the net plane again outside the crossing space on the same side of the court.
The opposing team may not prevent such action. The ball is "OUT" when it crosses completely the lower space under the net.
Ball touching the net
While crossing the net, the ball may touch it at the service.
Ball in the net
A ball driven into the net may be recovered within the limits of the three team hits, except the service. If the ball rips the mesh of the net or tears it down, the rally is cancelled and replayed.
Player at the Net
Reaching beyond the net

In blocking, a blocker may touch the ball beyond the net, provided that he/she does not interfere with the opponents' play before or during the latter's attack-hit. A player is permitted to pass his/her hand beyond the net after an attack-hit, provided that the contact has been made within his/her own playing space.
Penetration under the net
It is permitted to penetrate into the opponents' space under the net, provided that this does not interfere with the opponents' play. Penetration into the opponent's court, beyond the centre-line:
  a) to touch the opponent's court, beyond the centre-line: provided that some part of the penetrating foot (feet) or hand(s) remains either in contact with or directly above the centre-line.
  b) to contact the opponent's court with any other part of the body is forbidden.
A player may enter the opponent's court after the ball goes out of play. A player may penetrate into the opponent's free zone provided that he/she does not interfere with the opponents' play.
Contacts with the net
Contact with the net is a fault, except when a player not attempting to play the ball accidentally touches the net. Once the player has hit the ball, he/she may touch the post, rope or any other object outside the total length of the net provided that it does not interfere with play. When the ball is driven into the net and causes it to touch an opponent, no fault is committed.
Players' faults at the net
  a) a player touches the ball or an opponent in the opponent's space before or during the opponent's attackhit.
  b) a player penetrates into the opponent's space under the net interfering with the latter's play.
  c) a player penetrates into the opponent's court.
  d) a player touches the net.
The service is the act of putting the ball into play by the back-right player, placed in the service zone.
First service in a set
The first service of the first set, as well as that of the deciding set (the 5th or 3rd) is executed by the team determined by the toss. The other sets will be started with the service of the team that did not serve first in the previous set.
Service order
The players must follow the service order recorded on the line-up sheet. After the first service in a set, the player to serve is determined as follows:
a) when the serving team wins the rally, the player (or his/her substitute) who serves before, serves again;
b) when the receiving team wins the rally, it gains the right to serve and rotates before actually serving. The player who moves from the front-right position to the backright position will serve.
The first referee authorizes the service after having checked that the two teams are ready to play and that the server is in possession of the ball. Authorization includes both a whistle and a hand signal.
Execution of the service
The ball shall be hit with one hand or any part of the arm after being tossed or released from the hand(s), and before it touches any other part of his/her body or the playing surface. At the moment of the service hit or take-off for a jump service, the server must not touch the court (the end line included) or the ground outside the service zone. After the hit, he/she may step or land outside the service zone, or inside the court. The server must hit the ball within 8 seconds after the first referee whistles for service. A service executed before the referee's whistle is cancelled and repeated.
Service attempt
If, after the ball has been tossed or released, the server lets it fall on the ground without touching it, it is considered to be a SERVICE FAULT. This is a loss of serve and no second serves are allowed.
The players of the serving team must not prevent their opponent, through screening, from seeing the sever or the path of the ball.
a) Individual screen:
A player of the serving team makes an individual screen if he/she waves his/her arms, jumps or moves sideways, etc., when the service is being executed, and the ball is served over him/her.
b) Collective screen:
A collective screen is created when the server is hidden behind a group of two or more teammates, and the ball is served over them.
i) Serving faults
a) Serving faults:
The following faults lead to a change of service, even if the opponent is out of position. The server:
b) violates the service order
c) does not execute the service properly
d) violates the rule of service attempt
ii)Serving faults after hitting the ball:
After the ball has been correctly hit, the service becomes a fault (unless a player is out of position) if the ball:
a) touches a player of the service team or fails to cross the vertical plane of the net
b) touches the net
c) goes "out"
d) passes over an individual or collective screen.
Serving faults and positioning
If the server makes a serving fault (improper executions, wrong rotational order, etc.) and the opponent is out of position, it is the serving fault which is penalized. Instead, if the execution of the service has been correct, but the service subsequently becomes faulty (touches the net, goes out, screened, etc.), the positional fault has taken place and is penalized.
All actions which direct the ball towards the opponents, with the exception of service and block, are consisted as attack-hits. During an attack-hit, tipping is permitted if the contact is clean and the ball is not accompanied by the hand. An attack-hit is completed the moment the ball completely crosses the vertical plane of the net or is touched by an opponent.
Restrictions of the attack-hit
A front-row player may complete an attack-hit at any height, provided that the contact with the ball has been made within the player's own playing space. A back-row player may complete an attack-hit at any height from behind the front-zone (attack line):
a) at his/her take-off, the player's foot (feet) must neither have touched nor crossed over the attack-line;
b) after his/her hit, the player may land within the front-zone. A back-row player may also complete an attack-hit from the front-zone, if at the moment of the contact ant part of the ball is below the top of the net. No player is permitted to complete an attack-hit on the opponent's service, when the ball is in the front zone and entirely higher than the top of the net.
Attack-hit faults
a) a player hits the ball within the playing space of the opposing team.
b) a player hits the ball "out".
c) a back-row player completes an attack-hit from the front-zone, if at the moment of the hit the ball is entirely above the top of the net.
d) a player completes an attack-hit on the opponent's service, when the ball is in the front zone and entirely above the top of the net.

Blocking is the action of players close to the net to intercept the ball coming from the opponents by reaching higher than the top of the net.
i) Block Attempt
A block-attempt is the action of blocking without touching the ball.
ii) Completed Block
A block is completed whenever the ball is touched by a blocker. Only front-row players are permitted to complete a block.
iii) Collective Block
A collective block is executed by two or three players close to each other and is completed when one of them touches the ball.
Blocking within the opponent's space
In blocking, the player may place his/her hands and arms beyond the net provided that this action does not interfere with the opponents' play. Thus, it is not permitted to touch the ball beyond the net until an opponent has executed an attack-hit. A
Block and team hits
A block contact is not counted as a team hit. Consequently, after a block contact, a team is entitled to three hits to return the ball. The first hit after the block may be executed by any player, including the one who has touched the ball during the block.
Blocking the service
To block an opponent's service is forbidden.
Blocking faults
The blocker touches the ball in the opponent's space either before or simultaneously.
i) A back-row player completes a block or participates in a completed block.
ii) Blocking the opponent's service.
iii) The ball is sent "out" off the block.
iv) Blocking the ball in the opponent's space from outside the antenna.