How To Effectively Use The Block In Volleyball On Defense

Volleyball Blocking Tips To Use in Defense

NCVARegional-Day1 189

photo by Luomen


The block in volleyball is the first line of your team's defense when your squad has earned the right to serve the ball.

When your team is serving, your players are on defense.

The three in the front court as blockers and three in the back court who's job it is to keep the ball off the floor when and if it comes past the block.

Just so I'm clear, there are two ways to try and keep the other team from scoring a point when your team is serving the ball.

The first way is at the net where your front row players are in charge of blocking the opposing team's attempt to hit the ball into your team's court.


The second way this happens is if the opposing team has successfully hit the ball past your block and into your court.

Then your team's back row players are in charge of digging or defending that ball in an effort to keep it off the ground on your  side.

This example is illustrated perfectly in the picture of the volleyball player below who's digging a ball after the opposing hitter was successful in getting the ball past the triple block put up by the digger's front row players.


How Do The Front Row Players And
The Back Row Defense Work Together To Block in Volleyball?

Basically if the front row players can't do their job successfully by putting up a good block then its the back row's player responsibility to keep the ball off the floor.

The front row players spend hours in blocking practice drills so that they can work in tandem with their back row players, so that everyone knows where to be, what to do and when to do it.


Front Row Blockers With Backrow Players In Defense Photo by Chris DainesFront Row Blockers With Backrow Players In Defense Photo by Chris Daines


Learning how and where to time your jump when you block in volleyball is important because when the blockers are consistent with their movements and placement in the front row, then the players in defense behind them know exactly where they need to place themselves in the back court.

In order to effectively do this, the front row blockers have to know where to be when they have a hitter who hits in a particular direction, let's say cross court.



They have to be disciplined enough to set up in the correct spot consistently so that their back row players know what they are doing and know where to set up behind them for each and every play and for each and every possible scenario that the offensive team might try against them.

That's why it's crucial for the block in volleyball to be done with good technique against different hitters who spike different kinds of sets, at different speeds, at different locations along the net.

This is what helps many top defensive teams win points. 

The Volleyball Girl Guide:
Where Do You Go From Here?


Where do you need to go now? Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about How To Spike A Volleyball.
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the Frequently Asked Questions section in the drop down menu at the top of the page.


Related Links: 


Frequently Asked Volleyball Questions

Effectively Use Your Block in Defense

Spike With Power Like The Pros

How To Dig Better

10 Floater Serve Tips

Strategies To Fix Overhand Serves

Set Options in Offense

Essential Communication Skills


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