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St. Kevin CYO, Springfield



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Volleyball is an Olympic team sport in which two teams of six active players, separated by a high net, each try to score points against one another by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.

The complete rules of volleyball are extensive, but in general, play proceeds as follows: points are scored by grounding the ball on the opponents' court, or when the opponent commits a fault. The first team to reach 25 points wins the set and the first team to win three sets wins the match. Teams can contact the ball no more than three times before the ball crosses the net, and consecutive contacts must be made by different players. The ball is usually played with the hands or arms, but players can legally strike or push (short contact) the ball with any part of the body.

Through time, volleyball has developed to involve common techniques of spiking, passing, blocking, and setting, as well as specialised player positions and offensive and defensive structures. Because many plays are made above the top of the net, vertical jumping is an athletic skill emphasised in volleyball. This article focuses on competitive indoor volleyball, which is carefully regulated and played indoors. Numerous variations of volleyball have developed for casual play, as has the Olympic spin-off sport beach volleyball.


Competitive teams master six basic skills: serve, pass, set, attack, block and dig. Each of these skills comprises a number of specific techniques that have been introduced over the years and are now considered standard practice in high-level volleyball.


Setting up for an overhand serve. A man making a jump serve.A player stands behind the endline and serves the ball, in an attempt to drive it into the opponent's court. His or her main objective is to make it land inside the court; it is also desirable to set the ball's direction, speed and acceleration so that it becomes difficult for the receiver to handle it properly. A serve is called an "ace" when the ball lands directly onto the court or travels outside the court after being touched by an opponent.


A woman making a forearm pass or bump.Also called reception, the pass is the attempt by a team to properly handle the opponent's serve, or any form of attack. Proper handling includes not only preventing the ball from touching the court, but also making it reach the position where the setter is standing quickly and precisely.

The skill of passing involves fundamentally two specific techniques: underarm pass, or bump, where the ball touches the inside part of the joined forearms or platform, at waist line; and overhand pass, where it is handled with the fingertips, like a set, above the head.


The set is usually the second contact that a team makes with the ball. The main goal of setting is to put the ball in the air in such a way that it can be driven by an attack into the opponent's court. The setter coordinates the offensive movements of a team, and is the player who ultimately decides which player will actually attack the ball.


An attack in progressThe attack (or spike, the slang term) is usually the third contact a team makes with the ball. The object of attacking is to handle the ball so that it lands on the opponent's court and cannot be defended. A player makes a series of steps (the "approach"), jumps, and swings at the ball.


3 players performing a blockBlocking refers to the actions taken by players standing at the net to stop or alter an opponent's attack.


Digging is the ability to prevent the ball from touching one's court after a spike, particularly a ball that is nearly touching the ground. In many aspects, this skill is similar to passing, or bumping: overhand dig and bump are also used to distinguish between defensive actions taken with fingertips or with joined arms.

Some specific techniques are more common in digging than in passing. A player may sometimes perform a "dive", i.e., throw his or her body in the air with a forward movement in an attempt to save the ball, and land on his or her chest. When the player also slides his or her hand under a ball that is almost touching the court, this is called a "pancake".

Sometimes a player may also be forced to drop his or her body quickly to the floor in order to save the ball. In this situation, the player makes use of a specific rolling technique to minimize the chances of injuries.

Player specialization

There are 5 positions filled on every volleyball team at the elite level. Setter, Outside Hitter/Left Side Hitter, Middle Hitter, Opposite Hitter/Right Side Hitter and Libero/Defensive Specialist. Each of these positions plays a specific, key role in winning a volleyball match.


Setters have the task for orchestrating the offense of the team. They aim for second touch and their main responsibility is to place the ball in the air where the attackers can place the ball into the opponents' court for a point. They have to be able to operate with the hitters, manage the tempo of their side of the court and choose the right attackers to set. Setters need to have swift and skillful appraisal and tactical accuracy, and must be quick at moving around the court.


Liberos are defensive players who are responsible for receiving the attack or serve. They are usually the players on the court with the quickest reaction time and best passing skills. Libero means 'free' as they have the ability to substitute for any other player on the court during each play. They do not necessarily need to be tall, as they never play at the net, which allows shorter players with strong passing and defensive skills to excel in the position and play an important role in the team's success. A player designated as a libero for a match may not play other roles during that match. Liberos wear a different color jersey than their teammates.

Middle Blocker/Hitters

Middle blockers or Middle hitters are players that can perform very fast attacks that usually take place near the setter. They are specialized in blocking, since they must attempt to stop equally fast plays from their opponents and then quickly set up a double block at the sides of the court. In non-beginners play, every team will have two middle hitters.

Outside Hitters

Outside hitters attack from near the left antenna. Since most sets to the outside are high, the outside hitter may take a longer approach, always starting from outside the court sideline. In non-beginners play, there are again two outside hitters on every team in every match.

Opposite/Right Side Hitters

Opposite hitters or Right side hitters carry the offensive workload for a volleyball team. Their primary responsibilities are to attack the ball from the right side and to put up a well formed block against the opponents Outside Hitters. This player hits the most balls on the team. He/she is set from the front row and the back row. Sets to the opposite usually go to the right side.


The three standard volleyball formations are known as "4-2", "6-2" and "5-1", which refers to the number of hitters and setters respectively. 4-2 is a basic formation used only in beginners' play, while 5-1 is by far the most common formation in high-level play.


CYO Athletic Ministry Handbook 2007-2008.pdf 0 bytes - (Uploaded 08/17/2008)

Volleyball Libero Tracking Sheet.pdf 0 bytes - (Uploaded 08/17/2008)

Volleyball Scorekeeping Power Point.ppt 0 bytes - (Uploaded 08/17/2008)

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Volleyball Rules - Region 25 2008.doc 0 bytes - (Uploaded 08/17/2008)

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Last Updated on 09/22/2008 by