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Volleyball Terminology

Volleyball terminology and lingo used by volleyball enthusiasts. 

Learn volleyball language to understand the sport of volleyball

overpass 
An overpass is a ball that's passed mistakenly over the net. This is usually done on the first team hit. A passer could make this mistake because they are trying to pass the ball tight to the net.

Also, a defensive player might accidentally send the ball over the net because a hard hit by an attacker can be hard to control. 

overset 
A overset is a ball that's mistakenly set over the net. It's usually very costly to set the ball over the net because your attacker can't make an effective attack to win the point. 

Volleyball Terminology

Passing a Volleyball

ready position 
Ready position is the position a player needs to be in to effectively execute a skill. For example, ready position for a blocker is to stand at the net with hands up in the air ready to jump to block. 

topspin 
Topspin is referred to the spin that's put on the ball after a player attacks it. This type of forward spin causes the ball to drop rapidly. It's good to put top spin on the ball when you serve or attack because this gives you more control over your hits. 

free ball 
A free ball is a ball that's sent over the net and it's easy to pass. You never want to give the other team a free ball because it's easy to pass and counterattack. Train your players to place the ball when sending the ball over the net so you can avoid giving the other team free balls. 

go-to player 
The go-to player is the player on the team that gets the ball in critical situations. Every team needs a go-to player. Make sure your go-to player understands their role on the team. It's important they understand their role because when the game is on the line, they need to not be afraid to make big plays. 

Setting a Volleyball

held ball 
A held ball is an illegal contact by a player. A held ball is a ball that comes to rest during contact. This is also referred to as a lift. To be successful at volleyball you need to understand the rules and understand common volleyball terminology when it comes to violations.

double contact 
A double contact refers to a player contacting the ball twice in succession. It is illegal to contact the ball twice consecutively except for during the first team contact. For example, if a passer double contacts the ball that's just been served, it's legal. Also, it's only legal if the double contact is made during a single attempt at playing the ball. Understanding volleyball terminology will help when learning about the rules in the game of volleyball.  

dig 
A dig is a defensive technique used by a defensive player to make a play on the ball. A dig is usually performed on balls that have been struck hard when attacking at the net. 

centerline 
The centerline is the line that divides the court into 2 halves. In American high school volleyball and USAV volleyball, it's illegal for a players foot or hand to cross the centerline onto the other side of the court during play. NCAA volleyball allows players to cross the centerline provided they don't cause a hindrance or interfere with play. 


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