Terminology of volleyball: Easy way to learn them 

Let’s take a look at some words that are commonly used in volleyball. This can help you to play together better and win games! Let’s dive into some volleyball trerminology.

Volleyball is a contact team sport played by two teams of six players on a hard court. The team that scores more points wins the game. There are three main attack strategies in Volleyball: a serve, a set, or a spike. The serve is done by the player standing behind the rear line and facing the net. The player must throw the ball over the net, so the ball lands in the opponent’s court. The set is the action of passing the ball over the net. The spike uses a jump and a swing of the arms to hit the ball over the net. Volleyball is popularly known as beach volleyball, played on a sand court.

Volleyball terms

Volleyball is an exciting game with an easy learning curve but a steep mastery curve. As you play more, you’ll discover that the same throws done in different ways or with different timing or positioning can produce different results.

This makes watching high-level play extremely intriguing and frustrating all simultaneously. It’s frustrating because you know what you want to do, but you don’t always know the best way to do it. It’s intriguing, though, because when you watch high-level play, you start to see commonality and interconnectedness between seemingly disparate actions. It’s this interconnectedness- I present the following breakdown of volleyball terms.

The Important Terms are:

  • Ace – When the ball is hit by the server and lands directly in the opposing team’s court without being touched by anyone on the other team, resulting in a point.
Beach Volleyball, Player, Ball, Sport, Volleyball
  • Attack – The offensive play is when the ball player tries to hit it into the other team’s court.
  • Back row – The back part of the playing area where players cannot stand during a rally.
  • Block – To stop an opponent’s Attack by getting in front of them and using your body to keep the ball from passing you.
  • Bump – To hit the ball with your hands to be playable by your teammates. This is also called a “pass.”
  • Dig – To catch or deflect a hard-hit ball coming at you with your hands, usually done by someone in the back row.
  • Net – The vertical piece of equipment that separates teams during a game of Volleyball.
  • Double fault – When both servers serving consecutively make faults (e.g., hitting two balls out of bounds). This results in a point for the other team.
  • Court: The designated area where players are allowed to play Volleyball.
  • Other terms such as carry or lift are used less often as this is mainly for advanced players.

You should know the terms used in Volleyball.

Volleyball terms are important because they help communicate the volleyball game effectively. By using the correct terminology, players and coaches can be on the same page and avoid confusion.

Some other volleyball terms are:

  • Serve – The act of putting the ball into play by hitting it over the net with your hand.
  • Set – To place the ball in a position where a player can hit it easily.
  • Spike – An attack in which the player contacts the ball with an overhand arm swing and drives it down onto the opponent’s court, usually near the net.
  • Backhand – A type of stroke used when hitting the ball with your hand turned palm down, typically used when standing on the backhand side of the court.
  • Ball sport – Any sport which involves playing with a ball. Volleyball is a ball sport.
  • Backcourt: The backcourt is everything on your side of the net that isn’t considered part of either team’s frontcourt. This includes both players’ service courts and all of their respective back zones.
  • Frontcourt: The front zone is the rectangular area extending from one end line to the other, including everything in front of the net. The attack zone is the small section directly in front of the net that attackers may reach over to hit balls into play. The backcourt is everything behind this section.
  • BOOM!: A term used to celebrate a powerful attack or successful block.
  • Alley: This is the court area between the net and the sideline.
  • Belly: This is a term used to describe a ball hit high in the air, causing it to drop quickly.
  • Centerline: The imaginary line that divides a volleyball court in half.
  • Double-hit: When a player hits the ball twice in succession (not counting blocked balls).
  • Bogeyman: An imaginary creature used by some volleyball players to scare their opponents.

Some essential terms you should know if you want to be a successful volleyball player or coach:

Volleyball terms also help to keep the game flowing smoothly. For example, by using terms such as “touch” or “set,” players can indicate that they are ready to receive the ball without communicating each time verbally. This helps keep the game moving fast and prevents players from getting stuck in lengthy conversations. Some important terms are:

  • Side out: When one team wins a rally and gains control of the ball, the serving starts the next rally.
  • Boast: a soft shot hit gently over the net so that it falls just inside the other side of the court, making it difficult for your opponent to return.
  • Cross-court pass: a pass that goes from one side of the court to the other. It is usually used when it’s too hard to hit the ball straight across.
  • Brush – a shot in which you use your hand or arm to direct the ball towards your opponent’s court.
  • The angle of Attack – the angle at which you approach the ball when hitting it.
  • Backspin – spin that causes the ball to rotate in a backward direction. This can make the ball travel slower and curve it back towards you.
  • Booster Shot: A ball hit high into the air, giving the offense an opportunity for an easy kill.
  • Baseline: The line at the back of a court marks the end of a playing area.
  • Boundary Lines: The lines that mark the outer limits of a playing area. In addition to these terms, many specific terms are used to describe different kinds of plays and shots.
  • Return: The act of hitting the ball back over to your opponent’s court after they have served it to you.

The game’s objective is to ground the ball on the opponent’s court. A player accomplishes this by hitting the ball over the net with their hand. After that, striking it to touch the ground inbounds on the other side. If a player commits a fault, such as touching the ball twice or going out of bounds, their opponent is awarded a point. At the end of a rally, if one team has more points than the other, they are declared winners.

Now you know everything to play volleyball or encourage players during a match.

We have discussed more volleyball terms here.