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How is Volleyball Played?

Learn how volleyball is played, game rules, and object of the game.

What is Volleyball?

Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the world. 

Volleyball was invented in 1896. 

                        Playing Volleyball

Volleyball was originally intended for gym classes and for physical fitness and exercise. 

You could think of volleyball as a combination of tennis, handball, and badminton. 

Play in volleyball consists of hitting a volleyball over a high net. 

How is Volleyball Played

How is volleyball played?

A volleyball game consists of two teams. Each team is allowed a maximum of 3 hits before the ball must be returned to the opponent. 

There are playing rules such as the ball can't be caught, carried, or thrown. 

The object of the game is to score points and win the match. You score points in various ways. 

A joust at the net between blocker and attacker

The following are the most common ways to score points in volleyball... 

  • The ball strikes the ground of the opponent inside the boundary lines.

  • The ball is deflected off the opponent and out of bounds.

  • The ball is not returned successfully to the opponent.

  • A player is called for a violation such as touching the net, carrying the ball, the ball hits the antennae, the ball lands "in" the court, the ball lands "out", a team contacts the ball more than 3 times, and a player makes two contacts with the ball in row.

Again, the object is to score more points than your opponent. Most organizations don't have a time limit for games. 

Most games are played to a pre-determined number of points. Most often games are referred to as "sets". Sets are usually played to 25 points. Most of the time teams will play "match play", consisting of best of 3 sets. 


Rule Differences Among Organizations

Rule differences vary among different organizations. 

For example, in the US, high school volleyball rules are similar to other organizations such as USAV, NCAA, and FIVB. 

High school rules vary from state to state. FIVB and USAV rules are very similar. 


How Volleyball is Played Different Among Levels of Play

How is volleyball played? To answer this question, you must consider your current level of skill and team and individual goals. 

For example, a 12 year old that's just starting out playing volleyball for the first time will have a different skill level than a 16 year old player that's been playing volleyball for 4 years. 

Spiking a Volleyball

The focus will be different for the mature older athlete. 

For the beginner, the focus of development is more about developing skills. 

For example, a 12 and under team will spend more time in team practice focusing on develop critical skills such as passing, setting, serving, and hitting. At this young an age, the game is often a contest of server vs passer. 

Since volleyball is such a highly technical sport, it's very important to focus on developing skills early on in ones playing career. 

For older kids, (for example, 16 to 18 year olds) more time can be spent on strategy and creating a system for defense and offense. 

Playing with strategy can make playing volleyball a lot of fun. Trying to play with strategy without developing skills first can make volleyball very difficult and frustrating. 

For example, if a team can't pass the ball then it will be difficult if not impossible to run an effective offense. 

Therefore, skill development is very important and usually the teams that win are the ones that have spent the most time developing a higher level of individual skills. 


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