Volleyball Defense

At all times during a volleyball game, one team is on offense and the other team is on defense. In this tutorial, we'll learn what it means to be on defense.

Volleyball Defense

The team that does not have the ball on their side of the net is on defense. Players on defense are called defensive players.

The defense is considered the team without the ball, any hits made to stop the ball from hitting the ground are considered defensive plays.

Goals While On Defense

The goals of a volleyball team while on offense are:

  • To prevent a score by the other team
  • Save the ball and get possession of the ball for their team
  • Anticipate where the other team will hit the ball


In volleyball, teams are constantly trading ownership of the ball. So each time the ball goes over the net, teams are switching from being on offense to being on defense.