Volleyball Hitting Rules

In volleyball, hitting is how the ball is moved between players and teams. There are several rules and regulations regarding how the ball is hit and when it is allowed to be hit. Read on to learn more about the rules of hitting in volleyball.

Hitting The Ball

Each time a player makes contact with the ball, it is considered a hit. There are sets, bumps, and attacks, which are hits made with the intention to score a point by hitting the ground on the other team’s side of the court. This is sometimes also called a spike. The player performing an attack is called the attacker, and the serve is an offensive hit that gets each rally started.

Hits on defense include blocks, which are hits made in the front row, usually with a player’s arms straight up to stop an attack. There are also digs: an effort to stop the ball from hitting the ground, usually by diving or bending down.

Rules of Hitting

A player can:

  • Hit the ball from anywhere on the court
  • Hit the ball with any part of his body
  • Hit overhand or underhand
  • Hit the ball as hard or soft as he wants
  • Hit the ball with a teammate
  • Go out of bounds to hit the ball

A player cannot:

  • Hit the ball once their team has hit it three times
  • Hit the ball two times in a row
  • Hit the ball if three people are already touching it.
  • Hit the ball out of bounds

Goals of Hitting

The main goal of hitting the ball is to get it over the net. Getting the ball over the net onto the other team’s side will ensure your team does not lose a point. Additionally, hitting the ball can end with your team gaining a point if the other team is unable to return the ball.

Types of Strategic Hits

  • Dump (option): an offensive hit that is put over the net on the second hit, to catch the defense off guard.
  • Off-speed hit: an attack that’s hit with a little less power and a spin, to catch the defense off guard.
  • Line shot: an offensive hit aimed at the sideline so that the defense has to run to the sideline to retrieve it.
  • Dink (tip): an attack hit very lightly, to catch the defense off guard.
  • Cat: an attack hit at a hard angle, to catch the defense off guard. Also known as a cross court shot.
  • Tool (wipe): an offensive hit aimed to hit a defensive player’s block so that it hits their arms and goes out-of-bounds.
  • Soft block: a defensive hit used on defense against a very strong hitter where the player’s hands are high and back, to keep the ball alive.


How many times can a team hit the ball in volleyball?

A team can hit the ball three times before they lose the point. If a player hits the ball for a fourth time without the other team hitting the ball, the player’s team loses the point and possession of the ball.

How many times can you hit the ball in volleyball?

Individual players can hit the ball one time before they lose the point. A player cannot hit the ball two or more consecutive times without another player hitting the ball in between their hits.

What are the main kind of hits in volleyball?

The main kind of hits in volleyball are sets, blocks, digs, attacks, and passes. Passes are when a player tries to hit the ball to their teammate, an attack is when a player tries to score, a block is when a player tries to stop a ball from hitting the ground, a set is when a player tries to hit the ball so a teammate can attack it, and a dig is when a player goes low to hit the ball.