Why do people dive in volleyball? Answered

Why do volleyball players dive over the floor during a volleyball match? Well, they are trying to make sure that the ball doesn’t hit the ground on their part of the terrain as that would mean that the other team has scored a point. A volleyball field is quite big and a ball can move fast. This means that a player might have to dive to get the ball.

This can lead to spectacular moves where a player is flying over the ground just to be able to keep the ball in the air. This is not an easy skill as you have to be agile, have good coordination and ball handling. You also have to be able to pass the ball to your team member so that he or she can use this to play with it further. This diving is called a dig in volleyball terms and it is something that happens a lot during volleyball matches and tournaments. Let’s discuss this in detail so that you get the hang of this.

What is digging?

Digging is a defensive volleyball skill. It is a defensive movement by which the player tries to keep the ball in the air. Often it is necessary to dive to get a ball as you can’t always reach it easily. You have to make sure that the ball remains in the air and that you don’t throw it outside the lines. At the same time, you shouldn’t land too hard so there is quite a lot of technique involved when it comes to digging. Let’s take a look at how this works:

If the ball is too far to dig, players have to dive towards the ball. Volleyball players spend a lot of time perfecting their dive. You have to find the right balance between speed and precision and it takes a lot of training to get it just right.

There are 2 rows of players in a team. One row stands close by the net, the other part of the team stands at the end of the field. This makes it possible to cover the whole field. The row that is standing closest to the end of the field often has to defend, therefore digging is mainly done by players on the last row of the team. It is possible, however, that the opposing team drops the ball just behind the net and then a player in the front row will have to dig to get the ball.

If the ball is falling close to where the player is standing, he or she might just catch the ball without having to jump or dive to get it. Surprising your opponent is part of volleyball and therefore you have to try to push the ball in the field of the opponent but far away from where a player is standing. That player can then jump and dive to recover the ball but that doesn’t always work as you have to be really quick if you want to do this and not everyone is good at doing this.

Why do volleyball players wear elbow pads?

Younger players that are still learning how to dive or dig, sometimes wear elbow pads. This dampens the impact of landing. You will still feel it if you wear elbow pads but the impact is already greatly reduced.

Not a lot of players wear these as they are not that comfortable to play with but sometimes it gives comfort to certain players as they need to get used to falling on the ground. You have to learn how you can land and how hard you have to jump. These things can only be experienced and elbow pads are a great tool that allows younger players to test what they can do without crashing too hard. 

At the end of the day you need to improve your diving technique and make sure that you land properly.

Why do volleyball players wear knee sleeves?

Most volleyball players, and even professionals, wear knee sleeves. You can land quite hard on your knees when you want to dig or during another defensive maneuver during volleyball. Therefore players wear knee pads to make sure that the impact is lessened.

The function, therefore, is similar to elbow pads but instead these focus on protecting your knees. Since you have to dive quite often, your knees hit the ground multiple times during a match. After a while, this could get painful. Therefore knee pads help players to reduce the impact so that they can keep playing. 

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

Beach volleyball players don’t have to wear arm or knee pads as landing in the sand is a lot softer. Therefore digging to get a ball in beach volleyball is a lot easier as you don’t have to think about the impact that you will make on the floor.

This means that beach volleyball players sometimes make crazy dives because they know that the impact won’t be big and they can therefore fully focus on the ball and just jump towards it. This can lead to very spectacular images and surprising recoveries of the ball. This makes beach volleyball very dynamic. 

To conclude, we can state that volleyball dive or dig to make sure that the other team doesn’t score a point. It is part of defense in volleyball where you avoid the ball hitting your part of the court. This can be done by keeping the ball in the air. If it lands far away from you, it might be necessary to dive towards it to do this.

This can look very spectacular and it is something that is difficult to pull off. Volleyball players often wear knee sleeves to protect themselves from a hard fall. Some players also wear elbow pads but this is less common as it is not that comfortable to play with them as you have to bend your arms a lot during volleyball matches. Next time when you see a volleyball player diving to get a ball, you will know what is going on. Volleyball is a lot of fun to play and digging is an essential part of it.