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Mount Olive Volleyball

Volleyball Terms


You might hear some of these terms during a match.

Ace- A serve not returned by the opposing team.

Attack- An attempt by the offensive team to end the rally by hitting the ball to the floor of the defensive team.

Attacker- A player who spikes or hits the ball over the net.

Block- A skill executed above the net by one or more players to prevent a spike from entering their side of the court.

Dig- A basic skill used to receive an opponents attack. (Also called a bump)

Down Ball- An attacked ball the blockers judge as not having enough speed or good enough court position to require a block.

Foul- Any rule infraction that causes the referee to blow the whistle.

Forearm Pass- A basic skill where the ball is rebounded off the players forearms to the desired target.

Free Ball- A ball returned by the opposing team that cannot be attacked and, instead, is passed over the net.

Hit- Another term used for an attack or spike.

Kill- An attack not returned by the defense.

Overhead Pass- A basic skill where the ball is contacted above the head with both hands. It can be used on defense, serve receive and setting.

Rally- The time from the start of the serve until the play is ended by a point or side out.

Rally Scoring- An alternative scoring system incorporated in the deciding game of a match where a point is scored when either team wins the rally.

Rotation- When a team earns a side out, the team moves one position clockwise on the court before the next serve.

Serve- A basic volleyball skill used to put the ball into play.

Set - An overhead pass directed to an attacker.

Side out- When the serving team loses the rally and the receiving team gets the ball and the next serve attempt. (Does not result in a point unless rally scoring is being used.)

Spike- A powerful attack that incorporates jumping and hitting the ball into the opponents court with one hand.

Sprawl- A defensive technique used to retrieve a ball in front of the defender.

Tip- An offspeed shot used by the attacker directed at the holes in the defense. Also called a dump or dink.

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Please feel free to e-mail any other terms you'd like to add.