Volleyball Terms Explained

If you’re just starting out in volleyball check out these essential terms to ensure you get off to a flying start.

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It’s always important to know the jargon of any sport, and volleyball is no exception. Make sure you learn the terms before stepping on the court, or the sand if you’re lucky.

Ace: a serve that lands in the volleyball opponent’s court, thus winning the point, without being touched by another player.

Attack line: a line 3m from the net which marks the limit for where a back-row player may advance to hit a ball from above the net.

Back-row player: any volleyball player positioned at the back of the court between the attack line and the end line.

Block: an attempt by a volleyball player to prevent an opposing player from hitting the ball over the net by jumping near the net with their arms in the air. The volleyball player must not touch the net.

Dig: a defensive move in which the player’s arms are placed together in an attempt to bounce a difficult ball up into the air for other teammates to continue the play.

End line: a back boundary line of the volleyball court.

Front zone: the area between the net and the attack line.

Front-row player: any volleyball volleyball player who is positioned close to the net.

Kong: a one-handed block, named after King Kong’s style of swatting planes in the original movie.

Libero: a substitute defensive player who is especially adept at digging.

Rotate: what the players do when moving to the next position on the floor in a clockwise manner after each point.

Serve: the stroke used to put the ball in play at the start of each point.

Sideline: a side boundary line on a volleyball court.

Spike: to smash the ball overarm into the opponent’s court.

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