Volleyball Attack Hit Fault

Volleyball Attack Hit Fault

In volleyball, attack hits are essential for scoring points in a match. An attack hit is any hit or action that causes the ball to be struck towards the opponents’ side, except for serves and blocks. However, as with any form of hitting in volleyball, various faults can be committed during an attack hit, which players must be wary of in order to avoid penalties.


Definition

In volleyball, attack hit faults are very common. A player can commit many different types of violations during an attack hit, which volleyball teams must be careful to avoid. Rule 13 of the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Rules defines the characteristics and faults of an attack hit. The first type of attack hit fault a player can commit is hitting the ball to attack while standing within the playing space of the opposing team. This is forbidden because it is not allowed for any player on a volleyball team to cross the centerline during a match. Another type of attack hit violation is hitting the ball out of bounds, which will naturally result in the opposing team earning a point.

A backrow player can commit an attack hit fault by completing an attack hit from the front zone, provided that the ball is higher than the net at the moment of the hit. Players who attack the ball immediately upon the opponent’s serve, while the ball is higher than the net, will also be charged with an attack hit fault. Attack hit faults can also be committed by the libero, a specialized player on the team who is skilled in defense and often takes the role of the second setter. If the libero performs an attack hit when the ball is higher than the top of the net, they will be charged with an attack hit fault. Finally, an attack hit fault can be committed by any player who hits the ball when it is higher than the top of the net after an overhand finger pass by a libero standing in the front zone. 

Result

All forms of attack hit faults in volleyball carry the same punishment, a side-out. A side-out refers to a twofold penalty which includes losing the rally point and turning over the ball to the opposing team to be served. If a player commits an attack hit fault, a point is given to the opposing team, who will also be allowed to serve the ball next.

Referee Signal

Volleyball Attack Hit Fault Referee Signal

According to the FIVB Rulebook, the signal for an attack hit fault must be performed by both the first and second referees. The signal involves holding the right arm up in the air with the hand open and the fingers extended and then making a downward, curving motion with the forearm by bending the elbow so that the forearm crosses in front of the face. 

Examples

  • Team A attacks the ball, sending it over the net to Team B, who returns it with a platform by one of their players. As the ball returns to Team A’s side and is still above the net, Player 1, a back-row player for Team A, moves into the front zone and jumps vertically to spike the ball back over the net. Since the ball was above the net at the moment Player 1 attacked it, Player 1 receives an attack hit fault, and a point is given to Team B, along with the serve.
  • Team A serves the ball to Team B. As the serve goes over the net into the front zone, Player 2 of Team B performs an attack hit on the ball while it is above the net to return it to Team A. Player 2 receives an attack hit fault for attacking the opponent’s serve in the front zone. A point is given to Team A, along with the right to serve.
  • Player 3, the libero for Team A, makes an attack hit on the ball while it is still higher than the net after being returned by Team B. Player 3 receives an attack hit fault, resulting in Team B receiving a point and the right to serve.

Similar Violations to Attack Hit Fault

  • Blocking Fault
  • Assisted Hit Fault
  • Four Hits
  • Ball Out

FAQ

What is an attack hit fault in volleyball?

In volleyball, an attack hit fault is any type of violation committed during an attack hit, a hit that is intended to return the ball over the net to the opposing team. There are various types of attack hit faults in volleyball, including attacking the ball on the opponents’ side, hitting the ball out, attacking from the back row when the ball is higher than the net, attacking on the opponent’s serve when the ball is above the net, attacking a ball above the net as a libero, and attacking the ball above the net after an overhand finger pass by the libero.

What are the consequences of being called for an attack hit fault in volleyball?

In volleyball, all types of attack hit faults are punishable by a side-out. In a side-out, the rally is declared over on account of the fault, and the penalized team loses the point and the right to serve, meaning that their opponents receive the ball to serve and increase their overall score by one point.

Can a back-row player complete an attack hit from the front zone?

Back-row players are limited in their ability to attack the ball in volleyball. Rule 13 of the FIVB Rules states that any back-row player who completes an attack hit from the front zone will receive an attack hit fault if the ball is higher than the level of the net when the attack hit occurs. However, this does not mean that back-row players are totally forbidden from entering the front zone to hit the ball. If the ball has descended below the level of the net into the front zone, a back-row player is permitted to enter the front zone to set or platform it, and this will not be considered an attack hit fault, as the ball was below the highest point of the net.