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Volleyball Basics

Volleyball Basics

What are the basics of volleyball? What are the most important things to understand about volleyball? This tutorial will answer these questions and more.


The Basics

Volleyball is a team ball sport differentiated by the use of a net. A point begins with an athlete serving the ball from behind the baseline. The opposing players then have three hits to get the ball back over the net. If they succeed, then that responsibility goes back to the serving team in a continual cycle until a team fails to get the ball over the net. Common ways to lose points are to let the ball hit the ground, hitting it into the net or out of bounds, or simply not getting the ball over the net in three hits or less. Each side has six players, with the main positions being the hitters who play close to the net, the setter who is tasked with placing the ball in an optimal position to be spiked, and a libero, who specializes in defense and digging the opponents' hits.

Most Important Things

Volleyball has been played since the 19th century, with its inclusion in the Olympic Games occurring in 1964. It is most commonly played on a hard court surface, but a variant of the game known as beach volleyball is played on sand. Technique is very important in volleyball, and not knowing the correct way to hit the ball can result in an infraction. Players typically wear team uniforms and knee pads so that diving for the ball is possible. Volleyball games are played to 25 points, with teams needing to win 3 out of 5 to secure the match. If the teams are tied 2-2 going into the fifth set, the game is played to 15 points. There is a head official who sits atop a chair in-line with the net during a game, as well as line judges tasked with determining if the ball was in or out.

Basic Rules

There are many intricate rules of volleyball, but there are also basic regulations players must abide by in every game. There are certain rotation and substitution patterns that must be followed, as well as illegal types of hits, depending on where you touch the ball on the court and how you make contact with it.

  • Substitution: Players cannot be substituted for multiple other players on the court. They must sub into the same position on the court that they subbed out of.
  • Libero: Liberos must wear a different jersey color than their teammates and can be substituted as many times as the coach wants.
  • Rotation: After being rewarded the serve, the six players on a team will rotate their positions in a counter-clockwise fashion and will keep these spots until they lose and regain the serve again.
  • Setting: Sets must not be double hit or carried
  • Hitting: Players are not allowed to reach over the center line while hitting, nor may they hit the net with their body at any time.
  • Players are allowed to hit the ball in succession only off of a block
  • Back row players are not allowed to jump in front of the three-meter line to attack during a rally.

Summary

Volleyball is a very popular sport across the globe played by all genders and ages. While the formations seen at high levels of the sport can be confusing, the basic concept of pass, set, hit is easy enough to understand. Because of this, volleyball has become one of the most popular intramural sports in high schools and colleges. Unlike other ball sports, it is much harder to practice without a certain number of people and equipment. While professional volleyball is not as well-known as other sports, it is a high-intensity game that produces rallies no matter the level of play, making it an exciting game for fans to watch.