Have you ever attended a volleyball game and had no idea what was going on? By the time the match is over, it’s likely that at least one person has walked away without understanding the concept other than knowing which team won.
The objective of volleyball is to win each set by two points or more. A team must win 3 out of 5 sets to be declared winner of the match.The first side to reach 25 points wins the set, but remember: You have to win the set by two points. For example, if the game is tied at 25, play continues until one team is ahead by two.
It used to be that teams would only play three games and the first to take two games out of the three would win. At that time, you could only score off a serve, which is what brings the ball into play. The reason teams played less games was because you had to be the one serving in order to score the point. Now, you can score off a play which is known as a “volley point.” A volley point is scored when the ball hits the floor on the opposing side of the net.
As far as the positions played, a “setter” has the job of setting the tempo for the team while calling out smart plays and making sure that the ball gets to where it needs to be in order to score. An “outside hitter” is known for receiving the serve off a hit and accurately passing the ball to the setter. A “middle hitter” will stand in the middle of the front row and prepare to block the ball as the opposing team attempts to score. “opposite hitters” are also known for their blocking skills, while standing on the opposite side of the setter.
A “libero,” also known as a “defensive specialist,” is always placed at the back row on the court and does their best to pass the serve, play defense and dig spikes. This person acts as a substitute and can come in and out of the game anytime they want, but can only come to the back line of the net. This position is relatively easy to spot on the floor since their jersey is of a different color than the rest on the team. When a libero goes to “dig a spike,” they are attempting to save the ball from touching the ground. This is typically done with the ball coming at a fast speed, requiring much control.
Serving is done by placing the ball in either your right or left hand, then proceeding to toss the ball in the air and attempt to hit it with either a closed fist or an open palm. Serving with a closed fist is not usually recommended since the key is to have good control of the ball at all times. Rotations also occur during play. Teams rotate whenever it is their turn to serve the ball. There is a net separating the two teams on both sides.
Seven players are allowed on the court at a given time. The total number of players on a roster will vary, but the maximum number is 15, which is how many SLCC volleyball has. Three hitters, also known as “spikers,” are lined up in the front row, while three passers are placed in the back. Usually, the setter will come up from the back line and join the front line in order to hit the ball at the front of the net. The official ball size in diameter is 8.25 inches. SLCC uses an 18-panel volleyball. The lines and grooves on the ball define the panels.
The overall goal in volleyball is to win, but it takes a significant amount of teamwork. There are many different strategies a team will rely on in order to play the right way. Those with a certain level of experience will pass, set and spike the ball during play, so as not to look shaky. Setting is when you hit the ball with open hands using your palm. This is done so as to soften the ball up, projecting it to where the hitter is in order to score. Typically, a pass is made with your arms together but kept closed for better control.
There is no time limit to how long matches can last. Usually matches can take about an hour to complete, depending on how close the score is and how smooth and quickly a team can win three sets. There is, however, a time limit to serve the ball. You have five seconds to release the ball from your hands (in college play). The ball can stay on a certain side of the net and be hit three times before a decision is made, trying not to touch the floor. A point is awarded when the ball is hit over the net and lands on the floor on the opposite side.
Believe it or not, there is a wrong way to play the game. For example, when a person goes to hit the ball, if it is grabbed or appears to rest or hesitate on your arms, it is considered an “illegal hit.” When playing correctly, a good hit can be referred to as a “kill.” For most players, performing a kill is fun since being aggressive is the key. Often times when it is made, the ball will all of a sudden be smacked at what looks like lightning-fast speed, resulting in a quick score, leaving the opposing team dazed.