Guide of Basic Volleyball Terms
This is an alphabetical list, and it covers the basic terms that will come in handy at some point or the other during a volleyball match.
ACE: A serve that no player of the opposition team touches before it hits the ground. It results in a point for the server.
ASSIST: Setting the ball up for a teammate who attacks the ball and then scores a point. An assist is counted only if the very next shot results in a point.
ATTACK: The act of actually approaching the volleyball and hitting it, in order to gain a point.
ATTACKER: The person who attacks the ball. Also known as the HITTER or the SPIKER.
ATTACK LINE: Also known as the ’10 foot line’, it is 3 meters away from the net and is present on both sides of the court.
BACK ROW ATTACK: A move where a player behind the attack line hits the ball. At the moment when he jumps to hit the ball he must be behind the attack line.
BLOCK: An action where a spiker’s move is deflected back into his court by blocking the ball.
BALL HANDLING ERROR: The referee may call this error, if he notices that there has been a double hit, or a ball is thrown or lifted.
BUMP PASS: The action of clasping one’s fingers together and using the forearms to hit pass the ball to a teammate or over the net.
CENTER LINE: The line under the net that divides the entire court into 2 equal parts.
DECOY: A move in which the actual spiker of the ball is disguised. This takes the opposing team by surprise.
DIG: The act of reaching a ball spiked by the opponents and passing it to a teammate.
DOUBLE HIT: An illegal move that implies that the same player has touched the ball twice in succession.
FLOATER: A serve that has often been mis-hit and its direction cannot be predicted as there is no spin or rotation on the ball.
FOUL: Any illegal violation of the rules.
HIT: Act of jumping up and forcefully ‘spiking’ or hitting the ball to the opposing court.
JUMP SERVE: A method of service where the ball is flung in the air and the server jumps to strike it.
KILL: A move or a strike that results in the gaining of a point.
MINTONETTE: This is what volleyball was officially known as earlier. The name was created by William Morgan.
READY POSITION: The position and stance that any player takes just before hitting the ball.
RED CARD: A disqualification by the referee. This implies that either a player must leave the game, the team forfeits a point, or a team forfeits a serve.
ROTATION: After a server has made his serve, all the players rotate in a clockwise movement.
SERVE: The game starts when one player serves the ball from the end line of his side of the court, into the opposing teams half.
SERVICE ERROR: A wrong service. This occurs when the service hits the net, or does not cross the net, or the ball falls out-of-bounds or the server’s foot crosses the line while serving.
SETTER: The person who has the crucial second touch of the ball. The third touch will be by a spiker, and the setter must set up the ball in a nice way for the spiker. He is one of the most important offensive players in a volleyball team.
SIDE OUT: A situation where the receiving team wins the right to serve. This occurs either because they have won a point, or because the serving team committed an error.
YELLOW CARD: A warning issued to any player. This does not accompany a loss
This guide is applicable for the game of volleyball played at any level. Knowing these terms can be a major help to any individual, who is a beginner in the game, and also any person who has been playing the sport for many many years.