Volleyball Passing Rules

When a player gets possession of the ball, they have three hits to get it back over the net. The first two are usually passes to another player.

Passing The Ball

Passing is a two-step process that requires a minimum of two (2) players to move the ball.

The first step is the player with possession hits the ball towards a teammate. The second step requires that teammate to either pass the ball again or hit it over the net.

In most sports, a pass leads to a catch. In volleyball a pass is a hit that leads to another hit.

Rules Of Passing

A player CAN:

  • pass the ball from anywhere on the court
  • hit the ball as hard as he wants
  • use any part of his body to pass
  • pass underhand or overhand
  • go out of bounds when passing the ball

A player CAN NOT:

  • pass the ball to himself
  • be the first player to touch his own pass
  • catch the ball or have prolonged contact

Goals Of Passing

Why is passing an effective way to move the ball around the court in volleyball? Here are the reasons you should pass before you attack:

  • to get control of the ball
  • to set up an attack
  • to get the ball in the hands of a specific player

Passing Strategies

More often than not, a pass will be in the form of a set, with a players hands under the ball pushing it up towards a teammate. Sets are usually the second hit.

Players can use sets strategically to set up attacks. A trap set is very close to the net, allowing a player to attack close to the center line. A deep set is placed far from the net to throw off defenders. A quick set is fast and low, usually the attacker can see it coming and jump before it is set.

Bump / Forearm Pass

If not a set, the pass is probably a bump. This may be the first or second hit. It's done with your forearms brought together, pushing the ball up towards a teammate.