Block Volleyball Terms What's A Hole in the Block?, An Over? An Under? 

What are the following block volleyball terms and phrases 'what does a hole in the block' mean and what does an 'under' mean and what does an 'over' mean?

Block Volleyball Terms: 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 don't. (Michael E. Johnston)Block Volleyball Terms: 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 don't. (Michael E. Johnston)


First, I begin by providing a thorough definition along with pictures illustrating what the hole in the block is.

I'll finish up with an explanation for "over" for "under."..


Block Volleyball Terms
What's a "hole in the block?"

Block Volleyball Terms: 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 don't.Block Volleyball Terms: 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 don't.


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 don't.

When two blockers go up to block a ball, if they don't close their blocking hands together to cover the area above the net that's between the two of them, then that leaves a space between them.

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 created between the right blocking hand of the middle blocker and the left hand of the off side blocker.


Block Volleyball Terms: Villanova Hitter Hits Through The Hole In The North Carolina Block Photo (Charlie J)Block Volleyball Terms: Villanova Hitter Hits Through The Hole In The North Carolina Block Photo (Charlie J)


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 row player positioned in a defensive spot that's designed to have her pick up or dig a ball that's been hit through the seam.

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 ball. 

Some players and coaches call it a "gap" between the block or a "hole" in the block.

You may have heard another name for this hole that has been created between these two players called a "seam".


Block Volleyball Terms: Stanford Player Hitting Through The Hole In The Block Photo by Michael E. JohnstonBlock Volleyball Terms: Stanford Player Hitting Through The Hole In The Block Photo by Michael E. Johnston


Remember that you want to close your blocking hands when you are one-on-one blocking by yourself as well, because a single 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.

In either case, that seam, creates a space for a hitter to aim for, in hopes of earning a point for her team by hitting the ball through the hole created by the blocker's hands.

Block Volleyball Terms: 
What does "over" mean?

"Over" is a blocking term a referee uses to indicate that a front row player has reached over the net to contact/block a ball while its on the opposing team's court.


What does "over" mean?

"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.



Block Volleyball Terms: 
What does "under" mean?


What does "under "mean?

"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.

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 from coming into your court, which is the whole idea behind blocking a ball anyway.

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.


Rice Hitter Blasts Through A Triple Block Photo by Mike E. JohnstonRice Hitter Blasts Through A Triple Block Photo by Mike E. Johnston

In this section you'll read about the issues concerning how and where you should line your body up against an oncoming hitter who is hitting the line against you or even more commonly how to position yourself up to block someone who is trying to spike cross court against you and your team.


This has been an important message by your favorite volleyball coach! That's me!!

Thanks for visiting.

Be sure to check out more of my volleyball articles by clicking one of the links below!  (April Chapple)

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Block Volleyball Terms
Where do you need to go now? 


Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about the volleyball words, terms and terminology in the Related Links below.  
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page  Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the Information section in the drop down menu at the top of the page

Read more about volleyball terms on these pages. 



  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
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  3. What's This Volleyball Word? Basic Terms, Slang and Volleyball Lingo
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  5. Block Volleyball Terms What's A Hole in the Block, An Over An Under?
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