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Volleyball Terms Explained

USA Volleyball

10-foot line

The line that marks 10 feet from the net. Back row players are restricted in how they can attack the ball by this line. Back row players can jump from behind the line, attack the ball, and then land in front of the line. Many base defense positions are designed in relation to this line.

Ace

A serve that lands in bounds and goes unplayed by the opposing team, resulting in a point for the serving team.

Dig

To prevent a hard-hit attack from hitting the ground by passing it up with any part of the body. Players often dive or sprawl across the floor to make a dig.

Dump

When the setter sends the ball over the net on the second hit instead of setting it to a hitter.

Foot fault

When the server steps on or across the back line before serving the ball.

Floater

A serve with no spin that wobbles through the air like a knuckleball in baseball.

Side-out

When the team that received the serve wins the point and is awarded the next serve.

Pancake

A player puts his or her hand flat on the floor and lets the ball bounce off the back of it to prevent the ball from hitting the floor. This emergency move is used to dig an attack or keep an errant pass alive.

Pass

A technique used to receive the opponent’s hit and pass the ball to a fellow teammate by allowing the ball to bounce off your forearms while your hands are clasped together.

Tip

A ball hit softly over the net, instead of attacking. Often used when the opponents are in position to block an attack.

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Indoor Volleyball

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