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Home Sports How to play Volleyball? All you need to know

How to play Volleyball? All you need to know

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How to play Volleyball?

Volleyball is a team game played with a ball and a net. There are teams on either side of the net. One team hits the ball over the net line and into the other team’s court or area, the other team must then hit the ball back over the net and in bounds within three tries without letting the ball contact the floor. There are 2 main types of competitive volleyball that are played all over the world. They are indoor and beach volleyball. Both are sports that are a part of the Olympic games and have competitive leagues.

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Team volleyball is played indoors on a hard court with 6 members per team. Beach volleyball is performed outdoors on the sand with 2 members per team. The rules, strategy, and discussion here will focus on team volleyball. Anyone can pick up the ball play with friends with several people and most anyone can join in. To be a competitive player takes a lot of practice. A good height and jumping ability are necessary to play the game.

History of Volleyball

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William Morgan invented the game of Volleyball in 1885. He was an athletic director at the YMCA and was trying to emulate basketball and came up with volleyball. Since then, the rules have changed here and there, but it quickly became a popular sport at the YMCA. The name volleyball came about when a man named Alfred Halstead noticed how the game had a volleying nature. People declared it by the name of volleyball and the name got stuck. The game was first played in the Olympics in the 1964 edition. Japan won the first gold medal in the women’s category of volleyball whereas USSR won the first gold for the men’s category of volleyball.

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Volleyball Ball

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An indoor volleyball ball is basically white in color but may have some other shades as well. It is usually made of leather with 8 or 16 panels. The official indoor volleyball ball weighs 9.2 – 9.9 ounces & is 25.5 -26.5 inches in circumference. The standard ball has 4.3 – 4.6 psi air pressure. A youth volleyball is slightly smaller. Beach balls are slightly bigger, weigh the same, but have much less air pressure.

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Volleyball Court Dimension

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The volleyball court is 18 meters long and 9 meters wide. It’s divided into sides in the middle by the net. The width of the net is 1 m and is set up at the height of 7 feet 11 5/8 inches above the ground (8 feet approx). The other key feature is a line that is drawn on each side 3 m from the net & parallel to the net. This line is called the attack line. It defines the front row and back row section of the Volleyball court.

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Volleyball Rules

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  • There must be only six players on the Volleyball floor at any given time. 3 in the front row and 3 in the back row.
  • Points are made on every serve, called rally-point scoring.
  • Players are not allowed to hit the ball twice in succession (a block is not considered a hit).
  • A ball hitting on the boundary line is considered as ‘in’.
  • A ball is ‘out’ if it touches the antenna, any of the cables or net outside the antennae, the floor area completely outside the court, the pole or referee stand, or the ceiling above a non-playable area.
  • Contact the ball with any of the player’s body parts is considered legal in a Volleyball game.
  • It is illegal to throw, hold or catch the ball.
  • It is illegal to attack or block a serve from or inside the 10-foot line.
  • After the service is done, the front-line players are allowed to switch positions at the net.
  • The matches are made up of sets, the number depends on the level of the game.

Player Positions

There are 6 players on each side. Three of the players are positioned on the frontcourt and three on the backcourt.

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Player position  description
Setter The setter’s main job is to put the ball in the perfect place for the attackers so that they can strike the ball fiercely.
Middle Blocker The main blocker and sometimes acts as an attacker too.
Outside Hitter The main attacker takes place on the left and is ready to spike.
Weakside Hitter The secondary attacker whose main job is to block but sometimes they are ready to spike when needed.
Liberos  This position is the focal point of the game and is being referred to as the most important player. This player is the first player which comes in contact with the ball. They wear a different jersey from the rest of the team and can be easily spotted in a game and they can be substituted for any player on the court. 


Word  Meaning 
ACE A serve that scores a point without the receiving team being able to return the serve back over the net.
BUMP A pass is used to set an attack.
CARRY Holding a ball for too long will result in this fault.
CROSS  This is a type of play in which the middle attacker takes the initiative of attacking as well as defending.
CUT  Shot from an impossible angle.
DIG When the first hit is picked up as a first pass.
DOUBLE CONTACT  When a player hits the ball two times in a row.
DUMP When a player crosses the ball over the net on a second contact.
FIVE ONE A type of formation
FLOATER  A type of service where the volleyball is hit with no spin and less power and seems like it is floating in the air.
FOUR TWO A type of formation
JUMP SERVE A type of service where the server tosses the ball into the air and then jumps up and hits the serve as the ball is coming down.
KILL An attack that results in a successful spike.
MISHIT Untimed hit.
PANCAKE A type of dig when the player uses the backhand flat to the ground allowing the ball to bounce off their hand for the hit.
SIDE OUT A loss in the point causing a change in serve.
SIX TWO A six-player offense where there are two setters in the back row.
SPIKE A type of attack where the ball is served over the net with good force and speed.
STRONGSIDE The court’s left side. Since most of the players are right-handed.
TIP A soft hit attack is used to get the ball over the net quickly.
WEAKSIDE  The court’s right side. Since the majority of the players are right-handed.
WIPE When one player pushes the volleyball off the opponents’ block to score winning the point.

Volleyball Federation of India

The Volleyball Federation of India or commonly know as VFI was established in 1951 in India. Before the footstep of the Volleyball Federation of India, the sport was controlled by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). During those days the Interstate Championship was organized every 2 years from 1936 to 1950 (for men only). The very 1st Volleyball tournament was held at Lahore in the year 1939. The first meeting of VFI was held in Ludhiana (Punjab) in the year 1951.

About V.F.I

  • 1st President (1951-1954): Mr. F.C. Arora
  • Current President (2020-2024): Prof. Achyuta Samanta
  • Headquarter: Chennai

Fun Facts

  • The game was invented in the year 1895 in Massachusetts. It was William G. Morgan who holds the credit for inventing Volleyball.
  • It was initially termed as “mintonette” but was later changed to volleyball. It happened when G. Morgan heard an observer of the Volleyball game notice that the players were “volleying” the ball back and forth to each other over the net.
  • Earlier, the game was played only indoors.
  • Beach volleyball began in California in the 1930s.
  • The first 2-man beach Volleyball game was played in 1930.
  • In 1924 the game was demonstrated as an unofficial game in Paris Olympics.
  • Men’s and women’s volleyball was introduced as an official sport at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.
  • In the year 1947, the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) came into existence, and the game became an official game.
  • The 1st men’s World Championships was held in 1949. Whereas the first Championship for women was organized in 1952.
  •  The 1st professional beach volleyball championship was organized during the summer of 1976, at Will Rogers State Beach. The tournament was called the “Olympia World Championship of Beach Volleyball”.
  • In 1966: Beach volleyball became an Olympic sport for both men and women.
  • On average, the players jump about 300 times in a single match!
  • Beach Volleyball is the only Olympic sport that has a rule prohibiting the players from wearing too much.
  • The time duration for the longest volleyball game ever played is 75 hours and 30 minutes. The game was played in Kingston, North Carolina.

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Volleyball India

India’s Ranking in FIVB World Championship

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Championship Venue Position
1952 Soviet UnionMoscow 8th

India’s Ranking in Asian Volleyball Championship

Championship Venue Position
1975 AustraliaMelbourne DNP
1979  BahrainManama 5th
1983  JapanTokyo 5th
1987  KuwaitKuwait City 5th
1989  South KoreaSeoul 6th
1991  AustraliaPerth 10th
1993  ThailandNakhon Ratchasima 9th
1995  South KoreaSeoul DNP
1997  QatarDoha 9th
1999  IranTehran 9th
2001  South KoreaChangwon 7th
2003  ChinaTianjin 5th
2005  ThailandSuphanburi 4th
2007  IndonesiaJakarta 9th
2009  PhilippinesManila 9th
2011  IranTehran 6th
2013  United Arab EmiratesDubai 7th
2015  IranTehran 11th

Famous Indian Volleyball players

Men Volleyball players

Jimmy George, Indian Volleyball Player

Women Volleyball players

  • Nirmal Saini
  • Zubeida Khalili
  • Saly Joseph
  • Jagmati Sangwan
  • Varinder Lali Sandhu
  • Priyanka Khedkar

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9 Volleyball Tips

  • Use all 3 chances to cross the ball to another side of the net.
  • Always call for the ball even if its’s obvious
  • Properly warm-up before the match
  • Know the rules of the game
  • Always work as a team
  • Use proper gears & equipment
  • Coordinate with your teammates
  • Avoid violating rules
  • Practice, practice, practice

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  1. Thank you for having the time and effort on sharing this amazing blog with us! I’ll probably read more of your articles.


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