Blocking Volleyball Information.
Blocking in volleyball is the first line of defense for the serving team in a
After the serve, the front row players on the serving team, are in the
front row in blocking volleyball formation ready to keep the ball from re-
entering their court.
She's flanked by her two outside blockers who are ready to help out in
the middle, travel outside to the ends of the net to prevent an attack by
an opposing hitter or they come off the net to play defense on the
ten foot line where they're ready to pick up any tips or sharp cross court
She's watching the setter and then tracks the set to the hitter.
Once she figures it out, she tracks the ball, following it to the hitter and
then all eyes are on the hitter as she tries to stop whatever attack is
Strong, efficient blockers aren't always the tallest people on the court
but quite often they are some of the smartest players in the front row.
Why Short Volleyball Blockers Rock!
And if a hitter doesn't see the hands of the opposing team's block, they
tend to think that there's no blocker on the other side of the net to
stop them, so what do they do?
WATCH! The #1 block in this video of the Top 5 blocks in the 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix by Thailand's small blockers against Russia, known to have the tallest hitters in the world.
They hit straight down, instead of reaching high to contact the ball at
its highest point, like they would if they saw another pair of blocker's
hands trying to keep them from hitting the ball into their court.
How do I know this? Because its happened to me repeatedly as a former
I had no problem hitting past blockers that were taller than I was.
My problem came when I was hitting against shorter blockers who's
hands didn't reach as high as mine when I was hitting and they were
blocking against me.
When I was going up to spike a volleyball, if I didn't remember to
reach high, even when I didn't see a blocker's hands jumping with me, I
would make the mistake of hitting the ball straight down, right into the
Boy was that embarassing, for me, the taller hitter!
Trust me, you really want to understand the fundamentals and
terminology explained in this blocking volleyball skills section.
First, I begin by providing a thorough definition along with pictures
illustrating what the hole in the block is.
Then you'll find out what it really means to build a roof and you'll learn
what a block attempt is.
You'll also learn what it means when blocking volleyball players
on opposing teams go up for a joust over the net.
I'll finish up with an explanation for over, for under, for the kong
block and who made it famous and I'll tell you what a block assist is.
Let's get started.
A hole in the block can be created between the hands of two
volleyball players that are going up to cover an area on the net....and
If you look at the photo above the two players blocking on defense No.6
and no.21 have made a block attempt and although they penetrated
the net with the proper blocking finish with their hands, the hitter, no. 10
has managed to hit the ball through the seam of the block which was
When two blockers go up to block a ball, if they don't close their
In the picture of the North Carolina volleyball players blocking above,
no. 5 and no. 7 have formed a block, but their hands have not come
close enough together to close the hole or the seam that's naturally
created between the two of them.
The Villanova hitter, with the no 7. jersey, sees the hole and aims her
spike right for that open hole in hopes that there's no Carolina back
In this photo it looks like there is someone in defense covering the seam
but that isn't always the case.
In college ball now, many types of defense are designed to have a
libero or great digger to position themselves in the seam to dig that
Some players and coaches call it a "gap" between the block or a "hole"
in the block.
player can create a hole in her own block if she's the only one going up
to block a hitter and she has her own hands spread too wide apart.
Now she has created a hole in her own blocking hands that
the opposing hitter could hit through as well.
aim for, in hopes of earning a point for her team by hitting the ball
through the hole created by the blocker's hands.
The technical definition of this blocking volleyball term describes an
aggressive action made by a player who penetrates the net with their
hands to stop a consistently hard-hitting hitter.
When this action results in the ball going straight down at a high speed
back into the hitter's court typically within the ten foot line, it's called a
Okay, that definition sounds extremely clinical, but when a hitter gets
"roofed" its cause for a lot of excitement because the blocker on your
team completely shut down a big hitter...in an aggressive style.
She completely "closed down" the hitter's attempt to spike a powerful
ball and she did it spectacularly! She "roofed" her.
the game and has been scoring a lot of points.
When that hitter is finally blocked and the ball comes back into their
court, harder than how they hit it....then that player has been
photo by Luomen
Basically an attempt is when you go up to block, you have the intention
of stopping the hitter's ball, but you don't.
Here are two more block attempt scenarios that will put a notch on the
Your block may be successful in channeling the hitter's spike to your
defense or you made an attempt to block the ball and didn't commit
any fouls like touching the net or touching the ball on its way out of
In the two examples above, as long as you jumped to stop the opposing
hitter then that counts as a block attempt.
A joust occurs when two players contact the ball over the net at the
This action occurs between two opposing blocking volleyball players, or
one blocker and one hitter who was trying to tip the ball over the
blocker and instead the ball was set close to the net, so now both
players are contacting the ball at the same time, with both of them
trying to push the ball into the other team's court.
Nine times out of ten, if two opposing players go up to contact a ball at
the same time over the net, the last player to contact the ball
almost always wins because they have momentum on their side.
Their advantage is that they are going up and pushing the ball over
while the first player is coming down from their jump losing momentum
and power as they get closer to the ground.
That's the secret to winning the joust.
It's one of the most important blocking volleyball secrets for short
players. You must try to be the second player to touch the ball in a
Once I learned this trick of being the second player to touch the ball, I
hardly ever lost a joust because I knew that all I had to do was wait as
long as I could, then once I saw the opposing player touch the
ball then I put my hands on the ball and pushed it over into the
happens fast and it takes practice, timing and a quick eye but it’s worth
saving a tip gone bad.
On a stat sheet one blocker will get credit for actually completing the
block and the other will get credit for assisting in the blocking action.
Who gets what is up to the interpretation of who is keeping the stats
and what they believe they saw each blocker doing.
The phrase "Kong" block refers to a player who blocks a volleyball with
one arm instead of two.
The Kong block was made famous and popularized by American beach
champion and Hall of Fame inductee Randy Stoklos.
Instead of taking one area of the net away he would take two areas by
splitting his hands when he jumped, so that both arms were almost
parallel to the net but they were still penetrating above the plane of the
net in an attempt to stop the hitter's ball.
When he managed to block the ball, it was with one arm and it was a
"Over" is one of the blocking volleyball terms a referee will use to
indicate that a front row player has reached over the net to contact or
block a ball while it is still on the opposing team's court.
"Under" is another one of those blocking volleyball terms that a referee
will use to refer to a violation committed when a blocker steps "under"
the net in a way that interferes with the opposing team's ability to
continue playing a ball.
In the Blocking Volleyball section below, you'll find pictures plus short
summaries of all the information provided about blocking on the
On the Blocking In Volleyball page you'll find a series of
terms that involve blocking with or without the help of teammate
And yes, to answer your question, a triple block does involve three
In great detail, you'll find a breakdown of the ideal position your body
should be in before, during and after you block a ball.
And if you're also looking for information regarding blocking for short
players? Then this is a good section to review and to return to often.
you'll be informed as to what you should be doing with your shoulders,
your head and how your hands and arms should be for the proper
volleyball blocking finish as well.
This is a body part-by-body-part review of proper block technique in
After that I tell you what and who you should be watching while blocking
a volleyball, and I include tips on how to time your block jump when you
are trying to stop an opposing team's hitter from spiking the ball.
Think about it.
If the timing of your block jump is such that you are reaching the
highest height of your jump while the hitter you are blocking is always
on her way down, then you will never be able to stop the ball
So if you are looking for tips on how to be a better blocker
by improving your timing against an opposing team's hitter, then
it's vital for you to read the information on this page.
In this section you'll read about the issues concerning how and
position yourself up to block someone who is trying to spike cross
court against you and your team.
Calling all volleyball photographers!
Included on the Volleyball Block page is a picture gallery of
by picking up visual clues and tips from seeing what collegiate and
beach players do in the images displayed.
If you're a college volleyball photographer, you have an invitation to
submit examples of your volleyball blocking photo action in this section.
After defining what the block actually is, I review additional blocking
terminology like closing the block, penetration, the seam and I
explain what a screen is before telling you what a middle blocker is,
what an outside blocker is and giving an explanation about what
these players responsibilities and roles are.
For more information dealing with skills and proper volleyball blocking
technique scroll down further for an explanation of this defensive net
skill many players find tricky to learn.
On the Block In Volleyball page I continue to define common
terminology that deals with specific actions that happen during the
Reading the block is an important skill all players should learn
especially shorter ones.
This ability to interpret what a hitter plans to do before or while she is
doing it allows players to anticipate where to set up their block
based on what they see the hitter do.