Volleyball Passing Errors

There are two kinds of errors when it comes to passing the ball in volleyball. A reception error occurs when a player fails to pass the ball properly on serve, and a passing error is when a player makes a mistake during the play after the serve has been received. A passing or reception error occurs when a player fails to pass the ball or continue the play, leading to the serving or attacking team winning the point.

Within these two errors, there are two types of errors that are recorded in game statistics: a player error or a team error. A player error occurs when the ball hits the floor, a player makes a bad pass that results in the ball hitting the floor, or if the player makes a ball handling error such as a lift or a double. A team error occurs when the ball hits the floor between two players, or the receiving team is out of rotation meaning that the players are not in the right position on the court.

Bad Passes

A bad pass occurs when a player comes into contact with the ball and the pass that occurs cannot be kept in play by the other players. This is also called a shanked pass. This can happen from a passer having improper form or from not being in the right position to pass the ball. This shanked pass will count as a reception error or a passing error on the recorded game statistics depending on when the pass occurs.

Another pass that counts as a bad pass is an overpass. While this is not kept track of statistically, an overpass is considered a bad pass because the ball goes back over the net, allowing the other team the chance for another hit.

Ball Handling Errors

Ball handling errors can occur both during the serve, receive or when a player is hitting the ball over the net. When they occur from a player passing the ball, they count as passing errors.

Common ball handling errors are lifts and doubles. A lift, or a catch, is when the player has elongated contact with the ball and essentially lifts it, instead of coming into quick contact. A double occurs if the player comes into contact with the ball twice, such as an attempted overhead pass when each hand touches the ball individually. If a player commits a lift or a double when trying to pass the ball, their team will lose the point and the game statistics will show a reception or passing error. A separate ball handling error will be called if they commit the lift or double when hitting the ball over the net.  

Tracking Passing Errors

When keeping track of statistics, it is important to realize that for every aced serve or successful hit from one team, there must be a corresponding reception error for the other team. Statisticians must keep track of who was responsible for the passing error in order to accurately write down statistics. If it is hard to determine who made the error, they can count the error as a team error rather than as one player. Here is an example of what statistics for one game can look like.