Understanding the basics of Volleyball


Photo curtesy of Chattanooga Athletics CommunicationsThe next time you go to a Samford Volleyball game here are some rules and terms for you to understand:

  • Games are called sets. The games are best three of five sets.
  • The first four sets go to 25 and the fifth goes to 15. A team must win by two points in a set.
  • When one team gets to eight points in the fifth set, the teams switch sides. The teams also switch sides after each set.
  • The server has eight seconds to serve the ball before a point goes to the other team.
  • One player cannot hit the ball back to back it must be hit by another player in between.
  • A dig is the passing of a spiked or deeply hit ball.
  • An ace is a serve that is not passable and results in a point.
  • A block is a defensive play by one or more players meant to deflect a spike ball to the hitter’s side of the court.
  • A kill is an attack that results in an immediate point or side out.
  • An attack is an offensive play of hitting the ball.
  • A side out occurs when the receiving team successfully puts the ball away against the serving team or when the serving team commits an unforced error and the receiving team gets to serve.
  • A service error is a bad serve in which either the ball hits the net, the ball ends up out of bounds after the serve, or the server crosses the service line, which is the back line.
  • A set sets up the serve.
  • A rally is the sequence of actions from the moment of the serve until the ball hits the floor or out of play, which will result in a point for either team.


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