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Volleyball Terms

Browse through positions to find great volleyball terms .


Check out our complete list of expressions used for volleyball.

Volleyball Terms 2017

 
  • Shot: An offensive play in which a set ball, rather than being spiked hard, is directed to an open area of the court.
  • Mis-hit: A hit in which a player swings but does not contact the ball as intended, giving it a different speed, direction, and spin than the player intended.
  • Four-Two (4-2): An offensive system using four hitters and two setters.
  • Paint Brush: When the hitter swings and barely "brushes" the bottom of the ball. The ball often drops over the blockers for a kill.
  • Dig: Diving deep to pass a spiked or fast-moving ball close to the floor.
  • Beddie: A bikini-clad beach girl.
  • Prince: Also called "whale" or "Princess of Whales"; a flippant player who always hits the ball with as much power as possible with little regard for strategy.
  • Decoy: An offensive play set up to disguise the receiving spiker.
  • Lines: The marks that serve as boundaries of a court. 2 inches (5cm) wide.Lineup
  • Pepper: A drill in which two players pass, set, and volley the ball.
  • Offside Block: The net player opposite the attacker side.
  • Six-Packed: Being hit on the face with the ball. Six Set
  • Sky Ball Serve: An underhand serve that is hit so high it looks like it is falling straight down.
  • Back row: the three players who court position is near the baseline.
  • Middle Up: The back row middle player assigned to cover dinks and short shots.
  • Goofy: When a player jumps with wrong foot first (while attacking)
  • Release Set: High set, usually delivered to the left sideline, when the play goes awry.
  • Soft Block: Block used to slow down the ball by relaxing or tilting the hands back.
  • Centerline Violation: Crossing the centerline and entering the opponent's half.
  • Chaos: An outside in which the middle runs a one, the outside comes for a two off the middle's shoulder, and the weak side runs around the back to hit an outside 3.
  • Spalding: when the hitters hit the ball and it hits the opposing defensive team in the face or on their body. Spalding refers to the letters of the ball staying on the players face because it hit them so hard.
  • Three / Thirty-Three: A quick lower set to the outside.
  • Dump: A soft hit near the net, as opposed to a spike, intended to throw off the offense.
  • Joust: Opposing players volley the ball above the plane of the net.
  • Jump Float: A jumping float server.
  • Bang / Bounce / Thump: A ball spiked very hard with a steep downward angle. A hit that lands inside the 10 foot line.
  • Forearm Pass: Or simply "pass", a play made with the inside forearms locked at the wrists.
  • Back-Two: A ball set relatively high and to the middle or to the right side hitter, directly behind the setter.
  • Dig: A defensive contact following an opponent's attack resulting in a playable ball.
  • Easy: What a defending player should yell at the top of their lungs when successfully digging a very hard hit attack or perfectly passing a hard serve, as if to say that the attacking/serving player is easy.
  • Court Dimensions: 59 feet from end line to end line and 29 feet, 6 inches wide (18m x 9m).
  • Assist: Helping a teammate set up a kill.
  • Roll Shot: An attacker hits the set softly putting extreme topspin on the ball so that it will clear the block and drop quickly and directly over the block.
  • MIDDLE-UP: A defensive system that uses the middle back player to cover dinks or short shots.
  • Set Attack: When a setter attempts to score rather than set the ball to a setter. Also called a shoot set. Setter
  • Cover the Hitter: Attacking players surround a spiker to protect opponent rebounds.
  • One-Two-Two Coverage: Attack coverage system where one player covers directly under the block, two players cover 1–3 meters away, and two players cover 4–5 meters away.
  • Sprawl: A type of dig in which the player does not dive forward, but rather places his hands on the ground and pushes his body forward and down. Similar to diving for a ball, but not actually leaving the ground.
  • Tool: A "wipe" or hit that bounces off blockers' arms and out of bounds.
  • Shag: Picking up and collecting scattered volleyballs.
  • Deep Dish: Also called "beach dig"; to receive the ball open-handed.
  • Chicken Wing: When a defending player is forced to react very quickly to a ball coming at their upper torso, the player may lift a bent arm in the shape of a chicken wing to dig the ball.
  • Line / Line Shot: A ball attacked down the sideline on the opponents court, closest to the hitter, and around the outside the block, parallel to the sideline.
  • Red Card: The final penalty given by an official after two yellow card warnings, which could result in a player's or team's disqualification from the game.
  • Spin Serve: A serve in which the ball is contacted just below the horizontal midline by the heel of the hand. Wrist snap draws the fingers over the ball to impart spin.
  • Flipper: A reaching contact made with the outstretched back of the hand in a flipping motion. Popularized by beach player Andy Fishburn.
  • Weak Side: The right side of the court, so-called because it is generally easier for right-handed players to attack from the left ('strong') side. Also known "off-hand" side.
  • Audible: a play called in mid-rally.
  • Backhand Dig: Low reception of a hard-driven spike using the back of the outstretched hand.
  • Volley Dolly: A female volleyball groupie.
  • Server: The player who sets the ball in play.
  • Five-One: Six player offensive system where a single designated setter sets regardless of court position. He or she is responsible for the second touch on every reception of serve, and ideally every defensive play.
  • Trap Set: A low, tight set close to the net.
  • RoofÂ: When a player jumps above the net to block, and blocks the ball straight down.
  • Six-two: An offense using six players and two setters opposite each other on rotation.
  • Attacker: Also called "hitter" or "spiker". An offensive player who tries to hit the ball to end a play and ultimately earn a point for his team.
  • Power Volleyball: A competitive method originating with the Japanese.
  • Off-blocker: Outside blocker not included in the double block.
  • Nail: A perfect pass.
  • Waffle: Another term for a mishit attack that results in backspin on the ball.
  • Transition: Thee change from defense to offense, or vice versa.
  • Foot Fault: The penalty incurred when the server's foot touches the playing surface, including the baseline, before contacting the ball, or any other player's foot touches the opposing court.
  • Steino: A 3 Knuckle pokey shot in beach Volleyball made famous by AVP Pro and USA Olympian Stein Metzger. Stein Metzger gives credit to the introduction of the shot on the AVP Pro tour to Eduardo Jorge "Anjinho" Bacil Filho better known as Anjinho Bacil.
  • Line: A straight sideline attack.
  • Campfire Defense: When a ball falls to the floor in an area that's surrounded by both defenders; it appears the players are encircling and staring dumbfounded at a campfire.
  • Middle-finger Ball: When the libero takes an approach and jumps as if to hit a one ball, making as much noise as possible to distract the other team. This will hopefully cause blockers to jump with the libero, despite there being no threat of attack. Usually used by a team winning by a significant margin.
  • Stuff Turkey: A stuff block in which the ball hits the opponents' floor before the blocker does; When such an event occurs, a player is said to have had his turkey stuffed.
  • Court: The playing area including the boundary lines but not including the service area.
  • Overhand Pass: An open-handed pass made from above the forehead.
  • Quintuple-double: When a player accomplishes ten or more aces, kills, blocks, digs, and assists during a match.
  • Popcorn Set/Sprinkler: When an unskilled setter is sending sets in a random pattern (like popcorn being popped, or like a water sprinkler on the grass).
  • Triple-double: When a player, during a single match, scores at least ten times in three of five statistical categories
  • Bump/Bump Pass: To pass the ball using locked forearms.
  • Back one: a low, quick set that is attacked directly behind the setter.
  • Stuff Block A stuff block is when a player jumps above the net and blocks the ball back into the person that spiked the ball. :Â
  • Flipper: A reaching contact made with the outstretched back of the hand in a flipping motion. Popularized by beach player Andy Fishburn.
  • Dump: A surprise attack usually executed by a front row setter to catch the defense off guard; many times executed with the left hand, sometimes with the right, aimed at the donut or area 4 on the court.
  • Antenna: Vertical rods mounted above the sidelines and close to the edges of the net, and usually used for indoor courts.
  • Hubby-wife / Campfire: In beach volleyball, when a serve drops between two players because the players don't decide in time who will pass it.
  • Tandem: A play intended to surprise blockers wherein a player directly behind another attacks the ball.
  • Platform: The hitting area created by placing the arms together with elbows in close and the fleshy part of the arms facing upward.
  • Net Serve: A serve that hits the net; it is a fault even if the ball continues across into the opponents' court.
  • Tuna: A net violation.
  • Isolation Play: A play intended to pit the attacker on a specific defender.
  • Touch: A player contacting the ball.
  • Yummy: When a player gets a kill out of an overpass from the opposing team.
  • The "W": A common serve receive formation at lower levels where 5 players prepare to pass with 1 designated setter. So named because from above, the 5 passers are assembled on the five points of a "W". (Alternatively, possibly a Serve Screening formation by the serving team, also named for resembling a W)
  • Weak Side: A right-handed player plays from the right front side of the court, and visa versa.
  • Stuff: Slang for "block", a hit deflected by blockers back to the attacker's court.
  • Overkill: When an overpass (or a free ball) occurs and the opposing team attacks the ball for a kill.
  • Inside Shoot: A strategic play in which the attacker feigns a quick hit for a medium-height hit.
  • Ace: A botched serve after which the opponent is awarded a point.
  • Killing Ants: when a player digging a hit passes the ball directly into the ground
  • Spatch: When a player contacts the ball incorrectly during a hit causing the ball to propel unlike how the hitter intended.
  • Throw: Changing the direction of a volleyball by grabbing it and throwing it. Also known as lift, held ball, grab.
  • Roof: A spike block that deflects the ball directly to the floor.
  • Ready Position: A player's neutral, alert stance prior to moving on the ball.
  • FOUL/ FAULT: A violation of the rules.
  • One / Quick / Fifty One: A type of middle hit when the middle jumps before the setter sets, with the ball being set directly to the middle hitter's hand.
  • Flair: A play in which the right fake crosses the one-hitter and then attacks on the right sideline. Inside out path of an outside spiker who hides behind a quick hitter.
  • Open-up: To step away from the ball’s path in receiving serve.
  • Hitter: The "spiker" or "attacker".
  • Sui-set: A ball set too close to the net directly in to the hands of a waiting blocker; The attacker will get blocked most of the time.
  • Campfire/Campfire Defense: Two or more players surround a ball that lands on the floor.
  • Wipe / Swipe: When one player pushes the ball against the opponents block and physically wipes the ball out of bounds. Similar to a tool.
  • Shot: An offensive play in which a set ball, rather than being spiked hard, is directed to an open area of the court.
  • Tip: Control of the ball with the fingers, also called "dink" or "dump".
  • Chicken wing: When a defending player is forced to react very quickly to a ball coming at their upper torso, the player may lift a bent arm in the shape of a chicken wing to dig the ball.
  • Power Tip: A powerful push or control of the ball by the attackers.
  • Six-Two: Six player offense where there are two designated setters and the back row setter sets. Called six-two because there are two setters and six other players (two outsides, two middle hitters, and two right-side hitters)
  • Block City: A fictional place that players claim to go when they are blocking very well. Also known as Turkey Town. (See "Stuff Turkey").
  • Roundhouse: Type of attack shot played with the arm fully extended above the head.
  • Back Set: A set delivered from behind the setter to an attacker.
  • Boom: A ball spiked straight down into the sand.
  • Block: A defense play by teammates intended to keep a spiked ball in the offense court.
  • Swipe or Wipe: When a hitter pushes the ball off of the opposing block so it lands out of bounds. Also called tooling the block.
  • Deep Set: A set hit away from the net in an effort to throw off blockers.
  • Beach Dig: Also called "deep dish", a method of receiving the ball open-handed.
  • Swing: To move from one sideline to another, usually in approaching to attack.
  • Quick/shoot: a play that includes both a quick set and a shoot set.
  • Whale: Also called "princess" or "prince; swinging carelessly at the ball without any regard to strategy.
  • Rainbow: An arc-shaped shot.
  • Centerline: The floor line running the length of the net that divides the court in half.
  • Overset: an errant set that crosses the net without being touched by another offensive player.
  • Side Out Scoring: a format of scoring where points can be won only by the serving team.
  • Cut /Cut Shot / Cutee: These attack shots travel over the net at extreme angles. The balls often land in front of the attack line.
  • Set: The setter, located in the center front, hits the ball high above the net so that a spiker can spike it across. The setter always takes the second hit, if possible.
  • Jump Serve: A jump spike of the ball by the server.
  • Double-Quick: A play set which includes two quick sets.Two hitters usually approaching the setter in the middle of the court.
  • Middle Back: The back row middle player assigned to cover deep spikes.
  • Facial: Also called "six-pack"; a blocker gets hit in the head or face by the spiker.
  • Kong: A one-handed block, usually because the blocker is late. Initially popularized by Randy Stoklos.
  • A: A back row set aimed at the left side of the court [A|B||C|D]. Also could be a quick set to the middle.
  • Spike: When an offensive player attacks the ball with a one-arm motion done over the head, attempting to get a kill.
  • Jay-pass: a forearm or overhead pass that places the setter in a position to only be able to set the passer who initiated the pass. Generally passed low to the ground and immediately in front of the passer.
  • Jump Serve / Jump spin: a serve made famous by Karch Kiraly; the server tosses the ball high into the air about 3~5 feet away from himself, flicking the wrist making top spin on the ball then taking a spike approach and contacting the ball while in mid air snapping the wrist to cause great forward spin to allow the ball to suddenly drop when the opponent is going to pass the ball.
  • Quick Set: An above-the-net strategy in which the hitter anticipates the setter's play and is in the air before the set is executed.
  • Game plan: Offensive and defensive emphasis for an opponent.Usually organized for each rotation.
  • Four-Two: Six player offense where there are two designated setters and the front row setter sets.
  • Middle: The middle front or back player.
  • Pump: Play in which an attacker fakes spiking a quick set, and then hits a medium-high set at the same location.
  • Loop: Curved approach to an attack.
  • Chowder: A really bad double contact on a hand set is often called chowder.
  • MIDDLE-BACK: A defensive system that uses the middle back player to cover deep spikes.
  • Shoot: A low, fast set to an attacker who is away from the setter.
  • Slide Set: A lob set delivered 2 to 3 feet from the setter. In women's volleyball, it is usually a back set to which the hitter accelerates while moving laterally along the net using a one foot takeoff. Soft block
  • Butter / Nectar / Sauce: A perfect set.
  • Serve: To set the ball in play.
  • Team Advil: When two teammates are fighting and edgy with each other.
  • Auxiliary setter: the player assigned to set when the designated setter cannot; usually the right-front player.
  • Two: A ball set to the middle hitter. Also, a "back two" is the same set set behind the setter.
  • Down Blocking: The decision not to block a shot.
  • Attack: Usually the third of a teams three contacts, an attack is any attempt by the offense to score a point against the defense (this does not include free balls or over-passes).
  • Sky Ball: An underhand serve that sends the ball high over the net and straight down.
  • Back slide: a quick slide behind the setter.
  • Hitting Percentage: Total kills minus total attack errors divided by the number of attempts.
  • Quick scoring: a format for scoring in which points can be scored by either team on every serve (Rally Scoring)
  • UC State: An unconscious state where a player or team can do no wrong.
  • Quadruple-double: When a player amasses a double-digit total in four of five statistical categories—aces, kills, blocks, digs, and assists—during a match.
  • Free Zone: Area outside the boundaries of the court.
  • Whiff - When a hitter swings for the ball and slightly grazes it with his middle finger and ring finger. :Â
  • Outside-in: Playing defense from the sideline to the inside Of the court, either at the net or in the backrow.
  • Release Block: A block pattern where the outside blocker fronts the quick attacker as the middle blocker double-blocks on the sideline.
  • Net Height: Women - Seven feet, 4-1/8 inches high (2.24m),
  • Carry: A botched pass involving prolonged contact with the ball.
  • Friendly Fire: A light blow to the head with a serve.
  • Crab Defense: When a player is serving, the opposing three passers shuffle side to side and pinch their hands like crabs to distract the server.
  • Stack / Tandem: Similar to the "cross" but the outside hitter hits the two ball.
  • Underhand Serve: A serving style in which the ball is lightly tossed into the air and struck with closed fist turned up.
  • Overhand Spin Serve: The server contacts the lower mid-section of the center of the ball; he uses the heel of the hand to initially contact the ball and then uses wrist snap to roll the hand over the ball, imparting topspin.
  • Point of Service: An "ace", or point-winning serve.
  • Bick: Similar to the "Pipe", but set very low
  • BALL HANDLING ERROR: Any time the official calls a fault- a double hit, a thrown ball or a lift (except on a serve reception or attack).
  • Kong block: a one-armed blocking style made popular on the pro beach circuit by Randy Stoklos
  • Tagged: A player gets tagged when they can?t get out of the way of a hard hit ball.
  • Broad jump: Forward jump in the attackers approach.
  • Overhand Serve: Serving the ball with the palm of the hand above the shoulder.
  • Switch: To change court positions after a ball is served to facilitate strongest player positions.
  • Service Winner: The serving team earns a point directly after having served the ball.
  • 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.
  • Thunder: A spike or attack that requires a lot of force from the arm, and a very high jump. The ball is hit steeply downwards from the point of contact, and is very difficult to receive.
  • Hands: Hand setting. Someone with "nice hands" sets well.
  • Joust: when the ball is falling directly on top of the net, two opposing players jump and push against the ball, trying to push it onto the other's side.
  • Redwood: A tall, somewhat uncoordinated blocker.
  • Shaft: A deep pipe set, generally set high.
  • Collapse: A defensive technique of hitting the ball just before it lands using a forearm pass while falling to the floor.
  • On-Hand Side: When attacking, the setter is on the same side as the hand you will use to strike the ball. Also called "strong side".
  • X: A cross in which the middle attacks a front one and the right attacks a two to the left of the middle.Â
  • Wipe: Also called "tool", a deliberate hit of the ball off a blocker's arms and out of bounds.
  • Beach dig: A dig made using both hands and fingers to surround the ball, squeeze and actually slightly lift the ball. Allowed when defending against a hard hit on the beach.
  • Pepper: A drill in which players hit a ball back and forth in a pass, set, spike, pass, set, spike, etc. pattern, without a net.
  • End Line: The back boundary line of the court.
  • Opposite: Player opposite the setter. Usually plays right side. May set when the setter digs the first ball.
  • Inside Set: A set that is placed near the middle of the court instead of on or near the edge of the court.
  • Inside: Towards the center of the net.
  • Wing: The defensive players in Areas 5 and 1.
  • Gator: A defensive digging technique in the defense of a hard hit ball. The hands are formed into the shape of 2 gator jaws (the left hand on top and the right hand on bottom). The maneuver involves digging the ball with the bottom right hand and then directing it with the upper left hand.
  • Jungleball / Barbecue ball / Picnic ball: A volleyball game played by inexperienced players with little ball control.
  • Read Block: Blocking scheme where the front row players watch the setter in order to determine where to block.
  • Shoot: A variation on the quick set except instead of setting the ball to the middle the ball is set to the outside hitter.
  • Paintbrush: A mishit--when a player attempts to hit (or spike) the ball with the open hand and nearly misses the ball, only contacting the ball with his/her fingers.
  • Dink: A one-handed move gently around blockers using the fingertips.
  • Thrown Ball: A ball that comes to rest at contact, or is not cleanly hit. Excessive topspin, sidespin, or backspin. Usually pertains to a mishandled set with open hands. The player has committed a foul. A judgement call.
  • Block Solo: A successful attempt by any one front row player to intercept the ball near the net that results in the termination of the rally.
  • Two-Three Coverage: Attack coverage system where two players cover 1–2 meters away from the block, and three players cover 2–4 meters away.
  • Here Comes the Heater: The opponent may call out ?Here comes the heater? when a server that is known for serving really hard jump serves is going back to serve.
  • Cobra: With the fingers extended straight and stiff, the ball is poked with the fingertips.
  • Power Dink: A cross court shot that travels to the farthest opposite point on the court.
  • Strong side: The left side of the court, so-called because it is usually the easier side for right-handed players to attack from. Also referred to as the "On-hand" side.
  • Outside: Towards the sideline.
  • Line Shot: A spiked shot landing on the opponent's sideline.
  • Free Ball: A ball returned on a pass and not on a spike.
  • Off-speed Hit: A low-impact spike with a spin.
  • Cross Court Shot: An attack delivered at an angle across the court from one side of the net to the other.
  • Facial / Six-Pack / Tattoo/ Dome: When a defending player gets hit in the face with the ball either from an attack by the opposing team or by a deflection off the block. The term "six-pack" refers to the dizzying sensation of being hit directly in the head or face by a volleyball as being analogous to the dizzying sensation of having drunk a six pack of beer. The abdominal muscles are sometimes referred to as a "six-pack," so getting hit in the stomach by the ball is getting 'six-packed.' The term "tattoo" refers to marks left on the skin of the hit player by the seams/lettering on the ball.
  • Vegas Line: A kill resulting from a powerful hard-line spike that penetrates or beats the opponents' line block. So-named after Sean Rosenthal, a member of the AVP delivered such a memorable kill in Las Vegas, 2005.
  • Zones: Designated areas of the court or net primarilty to indicate target areas for serving.
  • Six-up: Defensive system where the player in 'six' (the middle position in the back-court) plays up behind the block with the responsibility of defending against a tip attack.
  • Shank: When a player unintentionally passes a ball in a wild manner, rendering it unplayable to his or her teammates.
  • Penetration: A block in which the player reaches across and breaks the plane of the net.
  • Shocker: A attack in which the Middle runs a one, the Opposite comes for a two off the middle's shoulder, and the Outside runs/slides around to hit a back-two.
  • Cross-Court Serve: A serve landing near the opponent's right sideline.
  • Double Contact / Double: A fault in which a player contacts the ball with two body parts consecutively.
  • Chuck: A ball that is pushed or thrown, rather than hit.
  • Cross (X): A play in which the middle hitter jumps for a one, and the weak-side hitter, having moved to the middle of the court, takes an approach for a two at the same location.
  • Lollipop: A gentle serve often resulting in getting "licked".
  • Held Ball: A ball resting in a player's arms or hands resulting in a foul.
  • Hands: Hand setting. Someone with "nice hands" sets well.
  • Reception Error: A botched receive that could have otherwise been returned.
  • Trap: A ball set too close to the net where the hitter typically gets stuffed.
  • Doubles: Most commonly played on sand, a game involving two players per team.
  • Down Ball: A defense call on a ball hit overhand so far from the net that the defense choose not to block it.
  • Pipe: A back row set aimed at the middle of the court between a B and a C-ball [A|B|^|C|D].
  • Screening: Illegal obstruction of an opposing server's field of vision.
  • Chester: A hit to the chest.
  • Quick slide: a quick attack that includes a two-footed take-off and a broad jump along the net.
  • Approach: Moving quickly toward the net or ball in an attempt to make a play.
  • One-Set: A vertical set delivered from 1 to 2 feet above the net. Ideally, the spiker contacts the ball while the set is rising. Usually set for the middle hitter.
  • Sideline: A side boundary line on a court.
  • Side Out: The receiving team is given the serve because the serving team commits an error.
  • One-footed slide: Approach to the attack that includes a one-footed jump along the net.
  • Setter: The second of three players in a series passes, who sets the ball up with an overhand pass to a hitter.
  • Paintbrush / Whiff / Spatch: A mishit — when a player attempts to hit (or spike) the ball with the open hand and nearly misses the ball, only contacting the ball with his/her fingers resulting in a backspin on the ball.
  • Jet Nai Heed: The act of intentionally blocking a spike from the opposing team.
  • Thirty Stack: A play in which the middle hitter runs a Thirty One and the Outside Hitter runs a Thirty Two
  • Tip: A softer or off-speed finesse attack, usually committed with more of the fingers and fingertips than the whole hand as used in an attack.
  • Pass: Also called "forearm pass"; a play using the underside of the forearms connected at the wrists.
  • Five-one: A six-player team that involves five hitters and one setter.
  • Attack Error: An attack botched in one of five ways
  • Rotate Defense: Backcourt defense in which the line defender moves near the block and the middle back moves behind the line defender.
  • Overlap: The rotation positions of players before the serve.
  • Dime: A perfect pass.
  • Phone Booth: When a blocker's hands seal off every possible attack angle on a set ball. Often referred to as, "It's like trying to hit out of a phone booth."
  • Cobra: With the fingers extended straight and stiff, the ball is poked with the fingertips.
  • Jones: A variation of "Chaos" where the middle runs a one, the outside comes for a "back 2," and the weakside comes around to hit an "outside 3." The setter may choose to set the ball to any of the three hitting options. This play is designed so that the setter is able to accommodate the set according to where the block is positioned.
  • Pancake Lake: An imaginary place a player (normally libero) goes when they repeatedly pancake a tipped ball or ball headed for the ground.
  • Roll: Quick return of a close-to-the-floor ball whereby the digger or passer rolls the ball over his arms, back or shoulders.
  • Six Pack: Occurs when a blocker gets hit in the head or face by a spiked ball. If the victim has to come out of the game, it's a "facial disgracial."
  • Triple-block: Block formed by three players.
  • Roll / Roll Shot: An attacker hits the set softly putting extreme topspin on the ball so that it will clear the block and drop quickly and directly over the block.
  • Block Assist: Two or more teammates help block a spiked ball.
  • CENTER LINE: The boundary that runs directly under the net and divides the court into two equal halves.
  • Facial / Six-Pack / Tattoo: When a defending player gets hit in the face with the ball either from an attack by the opposing team or by a deflection off the block. The term "six-pack" comes from a tradition where the player hit by the spike must buy the hitter a six-pack, usually of beer. The term "tattoo" refers to marks left on the skin of the hit player by the seams/lettering on the ball. Also known as a six-pack because volleyball etiquette holds that if you give another player a facial, you buy him or her a six-pack to help ease the pain.
  • Three-Meter Line: The line extended across the court to signify the point which a back row player must leave the ground behind to attack the ball.
  • Scrappy: Referring to a team that doesn't let a single ball hit the ground without much effort. (used positively)
  • Six-Two (6-2): an offense with four spikers and two spiker/setters. Setter comes from the back row.
  • Tough Bacon: Any ball that is played in a way that makes it difficult for the next player to successfully play the ball. For instance, after a bad set the intended hitter might remark "that was tough bacon". Similarly, a setter might remark as such after a bad pass, or a passer might remark as such after a difficult serve.
  • Heat: Speed. Used to describe a hard-hit ball.
  • Kill: A hit immediately resulting in a point or out.
  • Over Set: A ball that is accidentally set across the net.
  • Go: A set to the outside hitter, higher than a shoot but lower and faster than a hut.
  • Ten: A ball set for a back row attack.
  • Bringing the Heat: A particularly hard spike.
  • Break: An abrupt change of direction in the attacker's approach.
  • Kong: A one-handed block so-named after the infamous King Kong's moves.
  • Jungle Ball: An informal game involving people unapprised of the rules.
  • Front: The front net position to block the attacker.
  • Crossing Space: The zone above the net and between two antennae through which the ball must pass during a rally.
  • Seam: the mid-point between two players.
  • Chowder/Chum: A badly mangled set.
  • Yellow Card: A warning of misconduct given by an official to a player. Two yellow cards is an automatic red card, in which a player or team is disqualified from the game.
  • Jungle Ball / Picnic ball: Volleyball played by a group of players that don't really know how to play nor follow the majority of the rules. Also known as picnic volleyball.
  • Overpass: A ball that is passed across the net.
  • Spade: An ace serve.
  • J-Stroke: an emergency play made either running or diving, often with one hand, where a player has to reach well in front of them to contact the ball and follow through in a 'J' motion in order to send the ball back over their head.
  • Lift: Illegally holding a ball during a contact. Illegal contact.
  • Heat: A very hard spike.
  • Key: Predicting the opponent's next move, based on play patterns.
  • Bump Set: A set with both arms together where the ball bumps off the forearms. Just like a pass but usually the second hit and a subsequent attack should follow.
  • Free ball / Chance ball: A ball that is passed over the net because an attack wasn't possible.
  • Front-row: Three players whose court position is near the net.
  • Attack Line: Also called "the 10-foot line"; the line that divides the front row players from the back row players.
  • Double contact / Double: A fault in which a player contacts the ball with two body parts consecutively.
  • Deep Dish/Chicago style pizza/Evan set: An illegal set that is held excessively long, typically set from below the shoulders and seen in beach volleyball.
  • Cut Shot: A spike delivered at a sharp angle across the net.
  • Off-Speed Shots: An attack that is intentionally slow. Ball spiked with less than maximum force but with spin.
  • Right–stack: Commit-block scheme in which the right starts behind the middle in order to follow the crossing attacker.
  • Bump: A pass with both arms together where the ball bumps off the forearms. Also known as forearm pass, bump pass.
  • Rainbow: A shot especially on the beach that is hit over the head of the defender to the far corner and lands cleanly. Also known as a Jumbo Shrimp (due to the arc/shape of the shot).
  • Tweener: A ball that is well-placed between the two defenders.
  • C: A back row set aimed to the right side of the middle of the court [A|B||C|D].
  • FOUR-TWO: A 6-player offensive system using four hitters and two setters.
  • Telegraph: To give away one's intentions to the opponents.
  • Service Error: A serve in which the ball hits or fails to clear the net, the ball goes out of bounds, or the server faults.
  • Cross-Court Attack: An attack that is directed diagonally from the point of attack.
  • Nail: A perfect pass.
  • Outsite: Away from the center of the court and toward one sideline or the other.
  • Tool / Use: An attack which is deflected off an opponent (usually during a block) and is unplayable resulting in a point for the attacking team (also called a bounce off).
  • Four Set: Also called "shoot set"; a set one foot from the sideline and one to two feet from above the net for the outside hitter.
  • Five Set: Set to the right front hitter with a back set (“Red” set)
  • Monument Valley: Space between two, tall, non-defending players.
  • Tool / Use: An attack which is deflected off an opponent (usually during a block) and is unplayable resulting in a point for the attacking team.
  • Step / Slide: An attack where the hitter fakes a quick-set (one) approach with his/her first step and subsequently chases the ball behind the setter and parallel to the net, jumps off one foot and hits the ball close to the antenna on the weak-side.
  • Tight Set: A set no more than 1 foot away from the net.
  • Killshot: on a serve or a swing when the ball hits the passers neck or chest region, in between digging and getting facialed
  • Bambi: A player who tenses up and does not play aggressively.
  • Let Serve: A net serve. Playable if it makes it over the net, dead if not.
  • Play Set: A medium-high set, that combined with a quick-set, constitutes a play.
  • Four Two: Six-player team using four hitters and two setters.
  • Crepe: When a player digs the ball by extending his or her foot flat on the floor, letting the ball bounce off the top of the foot.
  • Power Alley: A powerful hit that travels across the court.
  • Floater/Float: A non-spinning serve that is unpredictable because its path is perturbed by air currents above the court, similar to a knuckleball in baseball.
  • Seam: When serving, the spot between passers; when attacking, the spot between blockers.
  • Slide: an attack approach that includes a last moment move along the net.
  • Rotation: The clockwise movement of players around the court after a side out.
  • Side out: When the team that served the ball loses the rally, causing the other team to serve the next point.
  • D: A back row set aimed at the right side of the court [A|B||C|D].
  • Baseline: the back boundary of the court.
  • Backcourt: The area from the endline to the attack line.
  • Read Defense: Defensive scheme based on all players reading their opponents and their teammates.
  • Popcorn setting/Sprinkler: When an unskilled setter is sending sets in a random pattern (like popcorn being popped, or like a water sprinkler on the grass).
  • Sizzle the Pits: A spike that whizzes past players' raised arms.
  • Service Ace: A serve that bounces off the floor or is struck by the passer so that a second hit is not possible.
  • Set - Two: A ball set to the middle hitter. Also, a "back two" is the same set set behind the setter.
  • Extension Roll: A move to the floor which enables a player to dig the ball.
  • Pineapple: An attack on the second contact by the setter of a team, usually with the right hand designed to land in the deep corner of the court. Often done without looking at the target for deception. Made famous by USA setter Lloy Ball when playing in college.
  • Outside Hitter: A right or left-front attacker that approaches the ball from the outside.
  • Rally Point: A point is recorded for every single rally no matter who is serving. Unofrced errors or missed serves also results in a point for the other team.
  • Floater/Float: A non-spinning serve characterized by unpredictable, erratic movement during flight caused by airflow interacting with the seams of the ball. Similar to a knuckleball in baseball.
  • Jump Serve / Jump / Jumper: a serve made famous by Karch Kiraly; the serving player tosses the ball in the air and into the court, then uses an attack approach to jump and serve the ball.
  • Jedi Defense: Slang for a surprisingly powerful pass pulled off by an immobile defender.
  • Set - Three: A quick lower set to the outside.
  • Waterfall Ball: When a players hit goes inside the block of the opposing team and falls down on their side much like a waterfall.
  • Substitution: Allows one player to replace another player already on the court. Each team is allowed 15 substitutions per game. Each player is allowed an unlimited number of entries.
  • House / Stuff / Roof: When the defensive player blocks a ball so hard that it is immediately returned to the hitter and goes straight to the floor.
  • Double Hit: Two or more hits in a row by the same player.
  • Back Court: The space from the end line to the attack line.
  • Glide: Long, smooth, run that precedes a spike.
  • Hut / Loop: A lower set to the outsider hitter. Higher than a shoot.
  • Six-zero: Six player offense where there are no designated positions. Instead, the designated setter is just the player in position 3 (or sometimes 2).
  • Hook Serve: A style of serving the ball which involves making a circular arm movement starting from the thighs culminating in contact above the head.
  • Shoot Set: It is played fast and low across the court for the smasher to hit. When timed effectively it results in a very fast attack. Also known as parallel set.
  • Pancake: A bounce off the back of the hand by a player who dives to the floor to save the ball.
  • Line Serve: A straight serve landing on the opponent's left sideline.
  • Double-double: When a player accumulates double-digit amounts in two of five statistical categories—aces, kills, blocks, digs, and assists—during one match.
  • Trap / Trap Set: A ball set too close to the net where the hitter typically gets stuffed.
  • Chizzy: After an attack, the ball is forced off the blockers' hands, resulting in a kill.
  • Double Block: Two players working in tandem to deflect a ball hit close to the net.
  • Break point: The spot where the attacker changes direction.
  • Scoop: A fault in which a player lifts the ball with open hands.
  • Blocking Error: A violation that consists of touching the net, crossing the center line, blocking a set or any other violation which occurs while making a block attempt.
  • Kill: successful, legal, point-scoring play. It can be from a spike attack, tip or dump.
  • Multiple Offense: The use of multiple sets.
  • Bump: Similar in motion to a pass, but used to set a ball for an attack.
  • Combination: A play that involves two attackers penetrating into a single blocker's zone of the net.
  • Dirt Dessert: When a player gets a kill so sweet, it's almost comparable to the utter sweetness of a classic Dirt Dessert.
  • Pancake: When a player digs the ball by extending his or her hand flat on the floor, palm facing down, letting the ball bounce off the back of the hand.
  • Round-House Serve: The arm moves in a windmill action, and the ball is contacted directly over the hitting shoulder.
  • QUICK: a player approaching the setter for a quick inside hit
  • Rally: The exchange of plays that decides each point.
  • Commit Block: Blocking scheme where one player, usually the middle, jumps with the quick attacker.
  • Turning In: The outside blocker turns his body in toward the court in order to deflect the ball inbounds.
  • Attack: The offensive act of hitting the volleyball.
  • Antennae: The rods that protrude above the top of the net and define the width of the attacking area. All balls must be hit across the net between the antennae without touching them. The ball is out-of-bounds if it touches or crosses the net outside of the antennae. Antenna are out of play and are normally red and white stripped. Also known as aerials.
  • Hit: A jump strike of the ball with the palm of the hand.
  • Butter / Nectar / Sauce / Cheddar Biscuits: A perfect set.
  • Gator: A defensive digging technique used on the beach in the defense of a hard hit ball. The hands are formed into the shape of 2 gator jaws. The maneuver involves digging the ball with the bottom hand and then directing it with the upper hand.
  • Rock: A guy without the body for the beach.
  • Stone: A woman without the body for the beach.
  • JUMP SERVE – A serve that is started by the server tossing the ball into the air and jumping into and hitting the ball in its downward motion. :Â
  • Paint Brush: A player attempts to strike the ball but instead brushes it.
  • Beer: When an attacked ball goes through a defenders legs. After being "Beered" the defender then owes the attacker a beer.
  • Red And Yellow Card: Given by the official to a player or coach for a major violation. Also received automatically after two red cards. Results in automatic ejection and a point/side out for the opponent.
  • D.S.: The abbreviation for "defensive specialist", a position player similar to the libero.
  • Set: Strategic passes among players intent to direct the ball to a spike.
  • Four: A high set to the outside hitter.
  • Screen: An illegal act by the players of the serving team, who position themselves to block the opponents' view of the server.
  • Blash: When a ball is blocked and the ball travels faster from the blocker to the floor than the attacker to the block. Made famous by Cameron Billingham, the term comes from a combination of the words 'Block' and 'Smash'.
  • Foul: Rule violation.
  • Double Quick: Two hitters quickly approach the setter.
  • Net Violation: A part of the uniform or body illegally contacts the net.
  • Net Fault: An illegal act whereby a player touches the net while the ball is in play. It is not a fault if the contact was caused by the ball's forcing the net into the player's hand or body, or if it was accidentally caused by a player not playing the ball. Also known as netting.
  • Five-set: Also called "red set"; the back row sets a play to the right front player.
  • Mintonette: The original name for the game of volleyball, given by William G. Morgan.
  • Husband-and-wife Play: Slang phrase referring to a ball that drops between two players who fail to communicate.
  • Closing the Block: Teammates close the space between two blockers to prevent the ball from passing between them.
  • Back Row Attack: A back row player attacks the ball.
  • Multiple Contact: Touching the ball more than once on the same play. This is allowed as long as no two contacts are made by the same player in succession (other than by a blocker after the block).
  • Juice Head: A body builder at the beach.
  • Off-Hand Side: Set delivered from left side of right-handed spiker and vice-versa. Ball crosses the body of the spiker before attacked.
  • Attack Block: A receiver's attempt to block a spiked ball.
  • Three Set: A play set delivered low and fast midway between the setter and the left sideline to the spiker. It is designed to beat the middle blocker.
  • Fish: A player who gets hung up in the net.
  • Middle Blocker: The front row middle player assigned to block close-net spikes.
  • Rufio: A cheer done in volleyball, famous from the movie Hook, where a player blocks the opposing player straight down on the opposing players' side. Players scream, Rufio, Rufio, Ru-fi-OOOOOO!!!
  • Load: To position the blockers so that the most effective blockerconfronts the opponents most effective attacker.
  • Co-Ed: A team consisting of one male and one female player, usually played on a mens net.
  • Cross: A combination where the path of one attacker crosses the path of another attacker.
  • Prince/Princess of Whales: A player who spikes the ball as hard as possible no matter what.
  • Kelly / Kells Bells: A disruptive female volleyball player.
  • Net: Net shall not be less than 9.50m (32’) in length and .91m (3’) in width throughout the full length when stretched.
  • LIBERO – A defensive player who cannot serve, and never plays in the front row. This player has unique rules associated with the position; they can substitute for any player. Also referred to as the Defensive Specialist. :Â
  • Follow: To move with and block an attacker. May change positions with another blocker in the process.
  • On-Two: When the player making the second contact on the ball decides to play the ball over the net instead of setting up his or her team mate. Most often used in court volleyball by the setter, it is often called a 'setter dump' or a 'turn and burn', but on the beach it is colloquially referred to as an 'on-two'.
  • Seal The Net: Performed by a blocker, who jumps as close to the net as possible so that the ball cannot fit between his or her hands and the net.
  • Counter-rotate: Backcourt defense in which the off-blocker moves near the block and the middle-back moves to the cross-court corner.
  • Floater: A served ball with no spin.
  • Fishing: Making illegal contact with the net.
  • Jump float: A float serve with a small hop/jump.
  • Six-back: Defensive system where the player in 'six' (the middle position in the back-court) plays deep in the court covering attacks through the seam in the block, attacks over top of the block, and attacks that go high off the block. With certain blocking schemes the player in 'six' might also be responsible for deep line roll shots.
  • Six-pack: A spiked ball hits the blocker in the face or head.
  • Dinosaur-Dig: When one attempts to block a ball but it falls down between them and the net, so they bring their arms down in front of them like a T-Rex and play the ball up with the backs of their wrists.
  • Multiple-attack: Offense consisting of plays where two or moreplayers attack at different places on the net at different times.
  • Tape: The top of the net.
  • Play: An attack with a planned fake, usually including two or morehitters (a combination).
  • O.T.: When an attacker hits the ball over top of the blocker and it lands in front of the defense.
  • Spike: A strike with intent to kill the ball on the opponent's side.
  • Poke /Pokey / Camel toe: A ball contacted with the knuckles especially on the beach.
  • Pipe Set: A back row attack from the middle.
  • Husband and Wife: When a serve drops in the middle of the court between both players because the players can't decide who will pass it.
  • Lip: A good dig. Gets its name from the lip-like appearance the arms create when they are placed together for a dig.
  • Five-One (5-1): An offensive system that uses five hitters and one setter.
  • 'Dime/Rock': A perfect pass.
  • Spiketown/Bouncetown: A fictional place that a hitter claims to go to when he/she gets an impressive kill that bounces very high and no one can return (a lot of times near the 3 meter line.)
  • Two Set: A vertical set that travels from 3 to 5 feet above the net. Usually set for the middle hitter.
  • Thirty One / Inside Shoot: A play in which the middle hitter runs a one ball 5 to 10 feet away from the setter.
  • House / Stuff / Roof: When the defensive player blocks a ball so hard that it is immediately returned to the hitter and goes straight to the floor.
  • Back-One: A ball set relatively low (or quick) to the middle hitter or to the right side hitter, directly behind the setter.
  • Sprawl: A type of dig in which the player does not dive forward, but rather places his hands on the ground and pushes his body forward and down. Similar to diving for a ball, but not actually leaving the ground.
  • Missile: A spike or serve that rockets out of bounds.
  • Five / Back: Same as a four set, but to the weak-side.
  • Left Stack: Commit-blocking scheme where the left starts behind the middle in order to follow the crossing attacker.
  • Thirty-Two: An attack where the hitter fakes a quick-set (one) approach with his/her first step and subsequently chases the ball in front of the setter and parallel to the net, jumps off one foot and hits the ball in the outside 3 position. Generally used as adapted version of the Slide for left-handed hitters.
  • Chop Shot: A type of attack usually executed on the beach, instead of contacting behind the ball the player turns their hand sideways and chops the side of the ball, creating side spin and a sharp sideways trajectory along the net. Most easily done with the right hand on the right side, and the left hand on the left side.
  • Reverse: A combination in which the usual quick hitter attacks a play set and the usual play-set hitter attacks a quick set.
  • Shank: An extremely botched pass.
  • Front Slide: Sliding into position in front of the setter.
  • Point: A front-row position in the serve-receive formation.
  • Flare: A strategic move from the inside out designed to fake the opponent. A teammate runs a deceptive play, then the attacker quickly moves from the inside to attack on the outside.
  • Party Ball: Opportunity for a front row player to return an overpassed ball with a hit.
  • Deep: Away from the net, toward the baseline.
  • Attack Attempt: The attempt by a player to terminate a play by hitting the ball to the floor on the opponent's side.
  • Coach Kill: The opponent fouls immediately after the coach calls a time out or substitution.
  • Set - One / Quick: A very short set that goes about 2 feet above the setters head.
  • Opposite: The player which plays in the rotation opposite the setter and usually attacks from the right side.
  • Pokey: A ball contacted with the knuckles especially on the beach.
  • The Gap: A spike between area two and area three that the middle hits. It’s always the same distance from the setter no matter where the setter is positioned on the set.
  • Bump Pass: A pass with both arms together where the ball bumps off the forearms. Also known as forearm pass, bump.
  • Change Up: Altering either the speed of the ball or the distance it travels during the serve in such a way that the opponent doesn't recognize the change immediately.
  • Match Point: When a team is serving and is only 1 point away from winning the game.
  • Sky ball: A unique underhand serve in which the ball is shot unusually high into the air above the opposing team's court in the attempt to confuse the receiver.
  • Shag: Picking up and collecting scattered volleyballs.
  • Strong Side: A right-handed hit from the left front row, and visa versa.
  • Cut / Cut shot: attack with an extreme angle (nearly parallel to the net).


 

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