Volleyball Vocabulary Words
These vocabulary words will help you understand Volleyball, its skills and rules and allow you to appreciate our unit more.
ACE - A serve that is not passable and results immediately in a point.
APPROACH - Fast stride toward the net by a Spiker before he/she jumps in the air.
ASSIST - Passing or setting the ball to a teammate who attacks the ball for a kill. This stat is normally only logged for high school, college, and National/Olympic team play.
ATTACK - The offensive action of hitting the ball. The attempt by one team to terminate the play by hitting the ball to the floor on the opponent's side.
ATTACK BLOCK - Receiving players' aggressive attempt to block a spiked ball before it crosses the net.
ATTACK ERROR - An unsuccessful attack that does one of the following:
1.) The ball lands out of bounds,
2.) The ball goes into the net and terminates play or goes into the net on the third hit,
3.) The ball is blocked by the opposition for a point or sideout,
4.) the attacker is called for a centerline violation, or
5.) The attacker is called for illegal contact (lift, double hit...) on the attack.
ATTACKER - Also "Hitter" or "Spiker." A player who attempts to hit a ball offensively with the purpose of terminating play in his or her team's favor.
ATTACK LINE - A line 3m from the net that separates the front row players from the back row players. Commonly referred to as the "10-foot line."
BACKCOURT - The area from the endline to the attack line.
BACK SET - A set delivered behind the setter’s back, which is subsequently hit by an attacker.
BLOCK - A defensive play by one or more players meant to deflect a spiked ball back to the hitter’s court. It may be a combination of one, two or three players jumping in front of the opposing Spiker and contacting the spiked ball with the hands.
BUMP - a common term for forearm passing.
BALL HANDLING ERROR - Any time the official calls a double hit, a thrown ball or a lift (except on a serve reception or attack). For our purposes, this category also includes any blocking errors (when an official calls a blocker for a violation such as going into the net, centerline violation, reaching over the net, etc.).
BUMP PASS - The use of joined forearms to pass or set a ball in an underhand manner.
CENTER LINE - The boundary that runs directly under the net and divides the court into two equal halves.
DIG - Passing a spiked or rapidly hit ball. Slang for the art of passing an attacked ball close to the floor.
DINK - A legal push of the ball around or over blockers.
DOUBLE BLOCK - Two players working in unison to deflect or block an attacked ball at the netback into the hitter’s side.
FOREARM PASS - Join your arms from the elbows to the wrists and strike the ball with the fleshy part of your forearms in an underhand motion.
FOUL - A violation of the rules.
HELD BALL - A ball that comes to rest during contact resulting in a foul.
HIT - To jump and strike the ball with an overhand, forceful shot.
JUMP SERVE - A serve that is started by the server tossing the ball into the air and jumping into and hitting the ball in its downward motion.
LINE - The marks that serve as boundaries of a court.
LET SERVE - A serve that contacts the net. If the ball dribbles over, it's playable just like any other ball that contacts the net on the way over. If the ball fails to clear the net, it will become dead when it either hits the serving team's court, or is contacted by a player on the serving team.
MINTONETTE - The original name of the game of volleyball, created by William Morgan.
OVERHAND PASS - A pass executed with both hands open, controlled by the fingers and thumbs, played just above the forehead.
OVERHAND SERVE - Serving the ball and striking it with the hand above the shoulder.
PASS - see "Forearm Pass"
READY POSITION - The flexed, yet comfortable, posture a player assumes before moving to contact the ball.
SERVE - One of the six basic skills; used to put the ball into play. It is the only skill controlled exclusively by one player.
SERVER - The player who puts the ball into play.
SERVICE ERROR - An unsuccessful serve in which one or more of the following occurs: 1) the ball hits the net or fails to clear the net, 2) the ball lands out of bounds, or 3) the server commits a foot fault.
SET - The tactical skill in which a ball is directed to a point where a player can spike it into the opponent's court.
SETTER - the player who has the 2nd of 3 contacts of the ball who "sets" the ball with an "Overhand Pass" for a teammate to hit. The setter normally runs the offense.
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 thus gains the right to serve.
SPIKE - Also hit or attack. A ball contacted with force by a player on the offensive team who intends to terminate the ball on the opponent's floor or off the opponent's blocker.
UNDERHAND SERVE - a serve in which the ball is given a slight under-hand toss from about waist high and then struck with the opposite closed fist in an "underhand pitching" motion.