Digging volleyball spikes and keeping the ball from hitting the court floor
is a large part of the job description for liberos, defensive specialists and
six rotation players who have to play defense in the back court.
Learn four types of digging that keeps the ball off the floor.
Lipping a ball is a volleyball dig used to keep the ball off the floor.
To "lip" a ball is a slang term pure and simple.
"Girl you lipped that ball!"
This phrase has a couple of explanations depending on who you ask.
Most commonly "dig lips" or "digging lips" refers to a defensive player
who digs a hard hitter more than once in the same play.
S2 | COFC 10, JMU 7 | (1-0)— CofC Volleyball (@CofCVolleyball) October 23, 2017
With her seventh dig of the night, McKala Rhodes has moved into NINTH on the program's all-time digs list! pic.twitter.com/nWHgKoEQMu
As far as volleyball terms used in defense go, if you have a
teammate that tells you "Nice lips" that means you made back-to-back
amazing digs in a rally after an opposing hitter ripped a ball.
Some players who want to compliment a teammate who's digging well
say that player is "digging lips".
That player is digging so well that it seems like the opposing team's
hitter has "told them" where they were going to hit the ball, before they
hit it, so the digger "read the lips" or read the body language of where
the hitter supposedly said or indicated where they were going to hit.
In this case, the digger's ability to "read the lips" of the hitter calls for
the use of this "diggin' lips" slang term.
Because of their awesome defense ability to know or read where the ball
was going to be hit, before the ball was hit and to be in the right place at
the right time.
This comes into play, especially when a player has to dig a ball that's
over their head.
Just try something, if you form a platform with your arms, the same one
you use to pass a ball or dig a volleyball with, then if you look in the
mirror at that the reflection of your arms.
From a side angle if your platform is slightly turned as if you were passing
a ball to your side, your arms form the loose shape of a pair of lips.
You'll see what I mean when you check out the two volleyball
Tilt your head to the right or left when you look at the picture below
and you'll see that the arms of the Oral Roberts player who's about to
finish in the bleachers are shaped like a pair of lips..go figure...
Yeah, its a slight stretch of the imagination, but there you
A "nice up!" is a great defensive save or dig.
It's in the same category of phrases or terms describing
an incredible volleyball dig, like the term "nice lip" is.
This is what players say when a teammate has been digging
An "up" comes as a result of a player who is continuously digging
volleyball hits, tips and attacks that stay off the floor.
When she digs a playable ball she has dug the ball "up."
Regardless of whether you have to dive, roll, extend, sprawl or just stand
in place to make great defensive saves, a nice "up" means you kept the
ball from hitting your court floor.
When a ball "tags" a player it means that they couldn’t get out of the
way of a hard hit ball which touched him or her before it landed out of
watch the action from the back row in a high stance instead of staying
This doesn't give you the readiness to move quickly in any direction to
retrieve a ball in defense.
and the ball touches your body before you have a
chance to dig or a playable ball then you were "tagged" by the ball.
A "touch" is when a player contacts the ball.
An example of a "touch" happens when a player on a team
on defense is the last person to voluntarily or involuntarily touch the ball
while on defense or while blocking, before it goes out of bounds.
hand of the blocker that's closest to the antenna.
If the hitter in the picture below hits the ball so that it "touches" #15's
left hand and continues out of bounds without anyone else touching it,
then that point and the ball goes to Michigan (the hitter's) team
because the Central Michigan blocker was the last player to touch the
ball before it landed out.
This hitting action will result in an easy point for the attacking team.
Another common example of a touch occurs at the net when blockers
cant stop a hard hitting spike off the top of their hands.
The ball bounces off the top of the block and goes out of bounds before
any back row players can dig it up.
The point awarded to the team on offense is the result of the block
being the team to last touch the ball after the spiker hit it.
If the same play happens and this time the blockers don't block the ball
but they "touch" it in a way that the ball is slowed down by their block
and it stays in their court so that the back row players can get to the
ball to play it up, then the defensive team now has three more
contacts to run a play and/or to get the ball back over the net.
My last example of common "touches" that happen in volleyball are
visible in the picture below where a back row player on defense is
photo by Luomen
That player ends up touching the ball, but isn't successful in getting the
ball up, so the ref indicates that that player was the last person to
"touch" the ball before the play ended and will award a point and the
ball to the opposing team.