Objectives of Playing Volleyball

Volleyball players volley the ball back and forth to score points.
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Volleyball was created in 1895 in Massachusetts by a YMCA instructor named William G. Morgan. He combined elements of tennis, handball and other sports to create a game where two teams volley a ball back and forth over a tall net. The goal of volleyball is to try to ground the ball on the other team's side of the court while preventing them from grounding the ball on your side. Each team uses a variety of skills and moves to achieve this goal, reach 15 points and win.

Understanding the Game

    Volleyball can be played in the sand or on a hardtop surface. Each team plays six players at a time who rotate in a clockwise direction each time they get the ball to serve. Depending on the type of game and the age of the players, the court size and net height can vary, but each team is trying to reach 15 points by grounding the ball in the other team's court. According to Volleyball.org, a team can hit the ball three times (in addition to the block contact) to return it to the opponent's court, and the rally continues until the ball touches the ground/floor, goes "out" or a team fails to return it to the opponent's court or commits a fault.

    Beach volleyball is one version of volleyball.


    The first move in the game is the serve. The right side, back row player serves the ball and the objective is to hit it to the other team's side of the net, ideally in a way that prevents them from returning the ball. The serve is an overhand hit and must be powerful enough to make it over the net and initiate a volley or score a point. If the serve is unsuccessful or the server faults by stepping over the out line, the other team gets the ball.

    The back right player starts the game by serving the ball.

Bump Pass and Set

    Each team has six players on the court at a time, three in the front row close to the net and three in the back zone. Aside from a block, each team has three hits to get the ball to the other side of the court. These hits usually take the form of a bump pass or set. A forearm bump is a pass used to get the ball closer to the net. The set is typically a double-handed push motion used to get the ball in the air and set up for the hitter to return it to the other team.

    Players use their forearms to pass the ball.


    A spike is a power hit intended to send the ball back over the net with the goal of grounding the ball in the opposing team's court. This move is a one-handed hit performed by slapping the ball downward over the net with an open palm. The objective with the spike is to prevent the other team from returning the ball and scoring a point. This is an offensive move used to score points.

    Players spike the ball over the net to score a point.

Digging and Blocking

    When the opposing team hits the ball into your court, there are two main moves to prevent them from scoring. A dig is similar to the forearm bump pass where the player uses the surface area of her forearms to hit the ball. To dig, a player must get low to the ground or dive to hit the ball before it touches the ground. A block is usually done using the palms of your hands to prevent the ball from coming to your side of the net. This is usually done by the players closest to the net to immediately return a serve or a spike. These are defensive moves to prevent the other team from scoring.

    Players use both hands to block a spike and return the ball.

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