According to basic volleyball rules each rally begins with the
serve. This makes the volleyball serve the first opportunity for a
player to score a point.
Technically, if you cant serve the ball, you can't play the game, since
throwing the ball over the net isn't allowed. This is why is the serve is often
the first offensive skill a player usually learns.
Before I get too technical let's review, exactly what a serve really is.
Serving the ball is the skill used to start a rally which puts the ball in
play once the referee blows the whistle.
the action by a player who is in the right back position in their team's
During the course of the game this player tosses the ball to herself
Who's the server?
If you are the server, then at the beginning of the rally, just
after the referee blows the whistle, you are the player standing
By any means necessary. Ha! Just kidding.
Right handed players will place the volleyball in their left hand so they
can toss it in the air, then step towards it, as they then contact the
ball with an overhand or underhand arm or jump serve swing action.
They contact the ball with their dominant hand or any part of their arm
with the intent of creating enough force with which to send the ball
over the net and land in the opposing team's court.
Left handers will do the opposite.
Want to learn how to serve a volleyball like a pro or just how to improve your serve?
some way shape or form.
With that being the case, only one toss is allowed.
Once a player tosses the ball up for their serve, if they catch the
ball without completing their service action, that is a fault and the referee
will blow their whistle and award the opposing team the ball.
The serve doesn't always go as planned.
Check out this compilation of funny volleyball serve moments during top women's matches.
See you aren't the only one who serves the ball in the back of your teammates head.
If a server realizes they've given themselves a bad toss, according to
basic volleyball rules they can let the tossed ball drop.
Once the ball drops, they can catch the ball.
After its been dropped, the referee will blow their whistle
indicating that the complete service action will begin again and will
give the server a second opportunity to serve within 5 seconds time .
Not only does the server need to let the ball drop in order to reset their
five seconds to serve again, but the ball needs to drop to the floor
Many times a server will toss a ball up to serve it and then can't get out
of the way fast enough before the tossed ball hits them on the way down
If this happens, then the referee will blow their whistle and award the ball
to the opposing team.
The service zone is parallel to the endlines and centerlines of the court
and is located behind the end line on each team's court.
(See the area in red in the diagram.)
fault, and the referee will blow their whistle and then award the
opposing team the ball if such an action occurs.
The server can serve the ball from anywhere behind the service line
within that 29 foot 6 inch area marked as the service zone.
The server has 8 seconds from when the referee blows the whistle to
complete their service action, whether they choose to use an under
hand serve, overhand serve or jump serve , and to get the ball over the
net and into the opposing court to start the rally.
What team gets to serve first? And how are they chosen?
WATCH! Jorge Filho's video
"Top 13 Best Powerful Serves in Women's Volleyball"