Study these volleyball terms used in individual defense to become an
effective libero, back row player or defensive specialist.
They describe various techniques players use to dig up and control a
serve, during a rally.
photo by ce andersen
In defense, once the ball gets hit past your blockers in the front row by the
opposing team, your team's primary objective, is for your back row
Your team is trying to keep the other team from scoring
a point while keeping the ball in play, by getting the ball back
up to your setter to run the offense so your team can score.
back court defensive strategies for your players to stop the opposing
team from spiking, tipping or successfully hitting the ball into your court
Learning to play defense is often compared to learning dance
choreography or to memorizing the steps to a new hip hop or exercise
When the front court blockers are instructed to block certain hitters and
take a certain area of the court away from them, the back court diggers
work in tandem with the blockers to make sure they cover the
other parts of the court.
For example, if Team A has a hitter that hits mostly cross court, then Team
B's blockers who are in front of that hitter will be instructed to block that
hitter cross court in order to stop her attack.
Meanwhile, the back court diggers will be instructed to cover or defend
the "line" area of their court in order to make sure all holes and open
spaces where the ball could be hit to, in the court, are covered.
Find volleyball terms used in defense below, that explain defensive
techniques, fault calls or strategies.
To dig a volleyball you need to create a platform with your forearms
"Dig" the ball is a slang term used to mean "defend" the ball up in the air
which requires you to stay in a low athletic stance with your knees bent
been hit by a member of the opposing team in order to keep it from
hitting your court floor.
The key to digging is to get your hips below the level of the ball just
before you make contact.
When you "dive after a ball" you are using one type of defense
technique used by players to land on the ground after they've
contacted the ball in order to keep it off the ground.
When you dive, it's because you have to run after a ball that's
more than a few feet from where you are playing and you need to dive
volleyball" up so that it can remain in play.
Usually to do this with balls that are more then 4-5 feet a way from you,
you will have to lift both feet off the ground before contacting the ball
with your extended platform in order to contact the ball before the ball
contacts the floor.
Once the ball has been lifted up high enough for a
second player to make contact, the diver will now have to quickly put
their hands on the floor.
This is followed by lowering the chest and then hips
to maintain control of their body weight while pulling themselves
through their arms.
This motion is helped by the forward momentum gathered by
running forward when chasing the ball.
If you commit a double hit, that means your body made contact with
the ball twice, before someone else was able to contact the ball.
This action according to official volleyball rules is illegal and is called a
If a hitter spikes a ball to a defender on the opposing team who digs it
with her elbows bent so the ball hits her forearm and then hits her bicep
before the setter has a chance to touch it, then that's a double hit.
The ball contacted the defender twice before any other teammate
could touch it.
Ref blows the whistle, the other team gets the point and the serve.
This is a major reason why you want to keep your elbows as straight as
possible when you form your platform to dig a ball.