Volleyball 101

How does volleyball work? What are the basic fundamentals of the game? Get ready to learn about volleyball 101. You don't need any prior knowledge to start learning.

Volleyball 101


Volleyball The Basics

Volleyball Basics

Volleyball is a sport played between two teams. Each team has from 12 to 18 players, but at any given time each team has 6 players on the floor. Teams play matches against each other which consist of 3-5 sets. Games will either be best out of 3 or best out of five. To win a set, a team must be the first to reach 25 points. If teams tie in sets (1-1 or 2-2), they will play a final tiebreaker set to 15 points. Whoever wins this set wins the match.

To get a point, a team must hit the ball onto the ground on the other team's side of the net. However, if the ball is hit out of bounds, a point is counted against the team which hit it out of bounds. Points can also be scored if an illegal error is made, such as the same player touching the ball twice in a row.

Volleyball Equipment and Gear

Volleyball Equipment

The most important piece of equipment in volleyball is probably the ball itself. Without the ball, the game could not be played. Also, a bad ball or a ball that is inflated poorly will affect the players' ability to control the ball.

Volleyball is played around a large net, which is also a crucial part of equipment. Like the ball, the net is not a piece of equipment worn by players but rather a shared equipment provided by the league.

Players wear knee pads too, which are the most protective piece of equipment used in volleyball. Knee pads are helpful for players who dive on the court, as their knees likely hit the floor hard when they do so.

Some players choose to wear ankle braces when they play volleyball. Ankle braces help protect against sprained ankles, which is a common injury among volleyball players.

The shoes which volleyball players wear are also considered to be part of their equipment. Proper, comfortable footwear goes a long way for these athletes who spend a lot of time standing and running.

Volleyball Penalties and Rules

Volleyball Penalties

There are many penalties in volleyball. Here is a list of penalties which result in a point against:

  • Touching the opponent's side of the floor
  • Hitting the ball out of bounds
  • Catching and throwing the ball
  • Double hit: This occurs when the same player touches the ball two times in a row
  • More than 3 consecutive hits by one team
  • Touching the net
  • Foot fault: This occurs when the server's foot passes the serving line while serving

Volleyball Positions

Volleyball Positions

Each team has six players on the court at a time, plus bench players who are not actively playing.

Here is a list of positions:

Important Volleyball Concepts

Here are the most important concepts in volleyball:

Volleyball 101 Terms

  • Block
  • Serve
  • Dig
  • Attack
  • Set
  • Point
  • Setter
  • Libero
  • Left-side Hitter
  • Middle Hitter
  • Right-side Hitter
  • Ace
  • Five-One
  • Overpass
  • Opposite
  • Six-Up
  • Weak-side
  • Strong-side
  • Shank
  • Shot