Important Volleyball Terms

Understanding terminology for playing and coaching volleyball

The following are volleyball terms most commonly used by volleyball players, coaches, and fans. 

Common Volleyball Lingo

An ace is a serve that isn't passable.

Most statisticians score an ace for when passer can't make the ball playable for any other player on the team. This may mean a teammate can get a hand on the ball, but keep it in play. 

A setter is a specialized position on the volleyball team. The setter also has a specific role. The setter is almost always the leader on the court. The setter's main job is to set the ball to attackers. 

An assist is a set or a pass to an attacker that results in a point. An example would be a setter setting a hitter and the hitter attacks the ball to ground of the opponent. The setter would then get credit for an assist. 

A kill is an ball that is sent over the net and immediately scores a point. An example would be a front row player spiking a ball to the ground of the opponent. This spiker would get credit for a kill. 

Volleyball Terms

The libero is specialized position on the court. 

Libero... also referred to as the teams "defensive specialist"

The player on the team that plays the libero is only allowed to play on the back row. The libero wears a different colored jersey than the rest of the team. 

The libero also has special rules. For example, the libero can't set attackers when they are in front of the attack line. 

Also, the libero can't ever attack the ball when it is completely above the height of the net. 

Some organizations allow the libero to serve, and some don't. For example, in USAV, the libero can't serve. In American high school and NCAA, the libero can serve. 

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Learning to Speak Volleyball

Attacking on the Beach

outside hitter 
The outside hitter is the player playing left front.

 Left front is the position on the left side of the court near the net. Usually the best hitter on the team plays outside hitter because this is the set that's the most important for team offense. 

forearm pass 
The forearm pass is the fundamental passing skill in volleyball. 

When a player makes a forearm pass, the passer brings their hands together and contacts the ball on the forearms. 

The ball then rebounds up in the air at a trajectory optimal for a setter to move and set the ball. 

The server is the player that tosses the ball up and hits it over the net to start the volley. The serve serves from baseline of the court. 

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