Volleyball rules and regulations for the spike govern how an "attack hit" which is any playing action, that is not a serve or is not a block, that drives the ball into the opponent's court during a rally.
There aren't many rules regarding the ways to attack, or not to
attack, a ball during a rally.
An attack, is any playing action that drives the ball into
the opponent's court. That is, anything that is not a serve or is not a
So technically, that could include a kick, couldn't it?
Of course, if you choose to hit the ball hard, after taking your
You are spiking the ball, in an attempt to generate enough
speed, power and force, so that the ball is not blocked by any of
the three defensive players at the net nor is it dug up by any of
the players in the back row on defense.
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You are purposefully trying to beat the block and the defense
with your high reach, hard paced, well placed, high
intensity, quick arm rotation attack hit.
Count how many adjectives I stuffed into that sentence!
Remember your attack hit happens after your setter or another
player has delivered the ball to you, high enough or fast enough
for you to, ideally, take a three step or four step spike approach
to hit it over the net.
opposing team's court in an attempt to score a point, or during
The tip or tipping the ball, is done with the same spike approach
footwork to the ball, and the same arm swing.
Midway through your swing, you slow down your arm while
keeping your elbow high, to make contact with your fingertips
on the ball.
Your goal is to place or push the ball over the block and in an
open space on the opponent's court in order to score a point or
When tipping the ball, you must make a clean contact, without
catching it or letting the ball come to a rest in the palm of your
When you attack a ball, whether spiking tipping or off speed
hitting, you have to attack the ball from your side of the court.
How do you know what's "too far over" the net?
Well, that's why the referee stand when an official stands on it,
lifts him/her high enough to see the action that takes place over
the top of the net.
This puts the head official closer to the action so they can
see where hitters are contacting the ball over and above the top
of the net.
Imagine there's an imaginary wall, that starts at the top of the
net and goes all the way up to the ceiling.
If you reached through the wall and contacted the ball while it
was on the opposing team's side ...the referee would blow the
Point and the ball are given to the other team.
When you contact the ball, whether spiking or however, you
need to be on your side or...you can be right on top of the net,
But the minute, you reach over, expect to hear the whistle.
There are specific volleyball rules and regulations regarding the
Remember, your setter, whether she is in the front row or back
row in the team's rotation, can set anybody in the front row.
The front row hitters are all allowed to make a spike approach
and hit the ball at any height above the level of the net.
Everyone in the back row is allowed to do the same thing but:
rally and attack hit a ball as long as a part of the ball is below
the level of the net when they make contact.
Lastly neither a front row or back row player can attack a serve
from the opposing team when the ball is inside the ten foot line
and higher than the top of the net.
Although its rarely seen, because its hard to do, you can hit a
serve back over the net if the ball is landing behind the ten foot
So, no one in serve receive can approach jump and spike or tip
a short serve that's about to land inside their ten foot line and is
higher than the top of the net.
Let's review what you cannot do according to the USA volleyball
rules and regulations about attacking a ball.
In other words tall liberos can not jump and spike a ball and
send it over the net if they can contact the ball when its above
the top of the net.
Neither can short liberos who can jump high enough to contact
the ball when its above the net.
Illegal! Whistle blown.
In other words, a libero who is inside the ten foot line can bump
set a player, who then approach jumps to hit it.
But a libero cannot pretend to be or take the place of a setter
and then overhand set the ball, like a setter would, using her
fingers to deliver the ball to a hitter who spikes it.
See? That's all there is. That wasn't a super long list of volleyball rules
and regulations to remember about hitting, was it?
Check out more information and volleyball rules in the pages below.