Volleyball Block Errors

Volleyball Blocking fault

Blocking is an integral part of volleyball, as it allows players to stop potentially rally-ending spikes. That being said, blocking high velocity spikes can prove difficult. Read on to learn about volleyball block errors in volleyball, and the different facets they carry within any given volleyball game.

What Counts as a Blocking Error?

A blocking error occurs when a player goes up at the net to block the ball coming over, but fails to do so legally. Blocking errors are not officially recorded for poor form in blocking, such as failing to close the block or having improper timing. Instead, most official blocking errors are called for illegal movements at the net.


Volleyball Tooling

Tooling occurs when a hitter hits the ball off of the hands of the blocker, causing the ball to then land out of bounds. When a tool happens, the hitting team wins the point, as the blocking team was the last to touch the ball before it went over the net. Often, if a block is too strong, hitters will intentionally hit off the side of the block in order to cause a tool. If blockers allow the hitter to tool off of their hands, this can be considered a blocking error, even if it is not recorded on game statistics.

Player Faults

In volleyball, there are a variety of different mistakes a player can make that result in a blocking error. These mishaps range from faulty positioning to more easily distinguishable acts like reaching.

Net and Centerline Violations

volleyball center line

Official blocking errors occur when a blocker commits a net or centerline violation. If the player touches the net when they are in the process of blocking, they will be called for a net violation and their team will lose the point. Similarly, if their foot crosses the centerline in the process of jumping or landing, they will be called for a centerline violation and lose the point.

These two mistakes most often happen when a player has the improper form in the approach to their block. If they are jumping horizontally instead of vertically, they can travel too close to the net and accidentally bump into it or step over the centerline.

Back Row Block

Blockers can also be called for a back row blocking violation. If the player is in the back row of the rotation for that point, they are not allowed to block at the net. This is similar to back row players not being able to jump and hit the ball from in front of the ten-foot line. This mistake most often happens when a setter is in the back row and attempts to block at the front of the court.


volleyball reaching violations

The last fault a blocker can make is if they reach over the net. They must keep their hands on their side of the net until the ball is moving toward their side of the court. If they touch the ball while it is still moving on the opposite side of the net without any movement toward their side, they will be called for reaching.

This most often happens when there is a pass close to the net, and the second player to touch the ball is still attempting to come into contact. In this case, the blocker is not allowed to touch the ball until after the ball is moving toward their side of the court.

Blocking Error Statistics

In the game statistics, blocking errors are only called for the net and centerline violations, reaching over the net, or back row blocking. Blocking errors are not marked unless the referee calls the violation. If they miss the violation and the play continues, no error is recorded. In these cases, the player who commits the error receives the mark on the statistics sheet. If the blocking error occurs while a hitter from the other team is sending the ball over the net, the hitting player receives a kill on the statistics sheet.


What is a block in volleyball?

In volleyball, a block is a type of defensive play that aims to prevent the opposing team’s hitters from spiking the ball over the net. A successful block, will prevent the ball from crossing onto their side of the court while also landing inbounds. It is important to not that while a player can reach over the net to block, they must not touch the ball while it is on the other side of the net until the other team hits it for the third time.

What is an illegal block in volleyball?

There are three main types of illegal blocks in volleyball that will be called a violation. The first are net and centerline violations, which entail any blocker touching the net or crossing the centerline when landing. The next type of illegal block is a back row block. Any player in the back row is not allowed to block at the net, otherwise a penalty is called. Lastly, reaching over the net and touching the ball before the other team makes their third touch is also illegal.