photo by Luomen
The Volleyball Definition for three crucial blocking terms: the double
block, an offside blocker and using the block.
In addition to these definitions, you'll learn more from the pictures of
players in their positions as offside blockers, or while they are in a double
block, and also see examples of them using the block.
another important step towards improving your game IQ.
The volleyball definition for blocking and other terms found on this page
will detail those responsibilities.
The volleyball definition for offside blocker is the player who is front row
during an opposing hitter's attack, but is not actively participating in the
blocking action, because they are on the side that's furthest away from
When there are three blockers at the net, the offside
because the opposing team's setter decided not to give the ball to the
hitter in front of the offside blocker.
In the picture above, the players in the yellow jerseys are on defense.
The player wearing #2 is jumping to block, along with #8 in the middle
blocker volleyball position who is moving to her right to help or assist
In this play, #4 the left side player in zone 4 is the offside blocker and she
is preparing to do her job which is to either dig up any tip that lands
behind the block of her two front row teammates or to dig a sharp
The primary responsibility of the offside blocker in volleyball is to dig the
sharp cross court hit, or depending on the team's defensive
tipped behind their blockers or to the middle of their court.
In this picture below of the Arizona State volleyball players in defense,
the left side player wearing the number 12 jersey was the offside
blocker because the Cal Bears left side hitter (seen crouching at the net
with the white jersey with the yellow stripe) was set the ball.
The Cal Berkeley hitter tipped the ball to the middle of the court over
the Arizona State double block and is watching as the left side off
blocker is playing defense in an effort to keep her tip off the ground.
A double block describes what happens when two players form a wall
with their hands and arms raised above their head, to penetrate the
plane of the net.
A two-player block reduces the amount of court a hitter can hit the ball
The hitter may choose to hit down the line if the double block is
"covering" or blocking their cross court, or they will hit hard cross court if
the volleyball block is taking away the line.
Below in the picture of the players at the net, the Missouri
State blockers have successfully taken away the hitter's ability to hit the
line shot, so they are forcing her to hit around them to the cross court
area of their court.
They closed the seam of the block and positioned themselves so
their hands took away the hitter's option to hit down the line so they are
"channeling the ball" to their defense laying in wait in their Zone 5 area.
Why do they do this?
They may have decided to "take away" or to block her line shot and to
force her to hit cross court where they probably have their libero or best
defensive player waiting cross court ready to dig her spike up.
When faced with a double block, hitters are more likely to use other
options like the dink or the "tip", where the hitter at the height of their
jump will tip the ball softly over the double block in hopes that the ball
lands in an open area of the court, out of the block's reach and away
from the defense.
Instead of forming a solid wall that should stop the hitter,
they have a hole in that wall that a savvy hitter can aim for and hit
"Using the block" is one of the most important blocker volleyball
terms a player can learn.
wipe the outside hand of the blocker with the ball in order to make a
If you want to improve your volleyball hitting percentage
hitting option they can rely on when they can't hit over or hit the ball past
This is a way to use the block to your advantage.
The "wiping or using the block" technique is based on a spiker
After the ball is deflected off of the outside hand of the blocker it bounces
outside the court lines.
Since the blocker is the last person to touch the ball then this is a point
for the hitter and the team that's on offense.
This skill is very effective because a defensive player playing behind the
blocker who's hand last touched the ball, will find it very difficult to
This way, while they block and their shoulders, arms and hands
penetrate the plane of the net, their arms and hands are positioned to
deflect the ball back into the middle of the opposing team's court.
The blocker wants to position their arms over the net..and where they
want the ball to go. Hands first go straight up and then immediately over
the net so that the blockers arms and hands aren't "used" or "wiped off of"
by the hitter.
In this picture of players at the net, I notice there are two
things that the Central Michigan blocker wearing the number
15 jersey should be concerned about.
If the Michigan hitter in the white jersey swings and aims the ball for
her left hand, the ball will bounce off her hand and then out of
This would be a point for the hitter, because she used the
blocker's own hands to score a point for the offense.
If she had her body in front of the hitter and placed her arms and hands
in front of the extension of the hitter's arm with her arms particularly her
left turned at a slight angle into the court, then if the ball contacted her
outside or left arm or hand it would bounce back into the court which be
a point for the blocker.
When you hear the volleyball definition for the phrase "using the
block" or "wiping the ball off the block" or "tooling the blockers hands"
these phrases all mean the same thing.