Definition of Terms in Volleyball Blocking: The Stuff Block and Read Blocking

Learn the definition of terms in volleyball blocking, one is "read" blocking and the other action word for stopping the ball at the net is "stuff blocking."

The blocker was able to penetrate their hands so far over the net that they literally "stuffed" the ball back into the opposing team's court leaving the hitter no opposing court to hit to.Definition of Terms in Volleyball Blocking: The Stuff Block and Read Blocking...The blocker was able to penetrate their hands so far over the net that they literally "stuffed" the ball back into the opposing team's court leaving the hitter no opposing court to hit to.

Definition of Terms in Volleyball

What is stuff blocking and what does read blocking mean? 

The block is the first line of defense and happens when blockers attempt to stop the opposing team's attack hit in offense from crossing into their court.

In order to do this effectively your blocking technique,  block timing and shoulder and hand placement have to rely on watching the hitter's body language when they're hitting. 


The block is the first line of defense and happens when blockers attempt to stop the opposing team's attack hit in offense from crossing into their court.

(Ralph Aversen photo)The block is the first line of defense and happens when blockers attempt to stop the opposing team's attack hit in offense from crossing into their court. In order to do this effectively your blocking technique, block timing and shoulder and hand placement have to rely on watching the hitter's body language when they're hitting. (Ralph Aversen)

Definitions of Terms in Volleyball Blocking: 
What's a Stuff Block?


A stuff block is a volleyball block that was so efficiently performed that it didn't allow the hitter enough time to really finish her fully hit the ball so that it crosses the net and so the ball stays on her/his side of the net.

The blocker was able to penetrate their hands so far over the net that they literally "stuffed" the ball back into the opposing team's court leaving the hitter no opposing court to hit to.


The blocker was able to penetrate their hands so far over the net that they literally "stuffed" the ball back into the opposing team's court leaving the hitter no opposing court to hit to.Definition of Terms in Volleyball Blocking: Stuff and Read Blocking: The blocker was able to penetrate their hands so far over the net that they literally "stuffed" the ball back into the opposing team's court leaving the hitter no opposing court to hit to.


Definition of Terms in Volleyball Blocking: Stuff and Read Blocking

Don't miss this volleyball blocking clinic that the BYU women's volleyball team puts on in one of their matches which ends in a stuff block and a point for BYU.


Definitions of Terms in Volleyball Blocking:
What is read blocking?


Read blocking occurs when a blocker has been assigned a particular hitter to block and as the play develops they follow, or read where their assigned hitter is going to attack the ball and the read how their assigned hitter is going to contact the ball.

The blocker's job now is to follow that player no matter where she is and to block her based on what she thinks she sees the hitter doing.



The read block in volleyball occurs most often in higher levels of competition and in beach volleyball where a blocker will read the hitter in an attempt to anticipate how to block them or to decide what area of the court they will take away from that hitter.

As a blocker it takes a combination of timing, anticipation, and quick reflexes to be able to read the hitter's body language and then position yourself  in the right spot at the right time to stop a hitter by blocking them.


Definition of Terms in Volleyball Blocking:
Read Blocking Tips

The Importance of Keeping Your Eyes Open When You Block So You Can Read The Hitter


Keeping your eyes open while you are block jumping is another secret to good read blocking because if you watch the ball for too long then you can't see until its too late where the hitter intends to hit the ball.


Definitions of Terms in Volleyball Blocking: Iowa Players Reading The Block And Sealing The Net Photo by Matt Van WinkleDefinition of Terms in Volleyball Blocking: Iowa Players Reading The Block And Sealing The Net Photo by Matt Van Winkle


Above, in the picture of Iowa volleyball players blocking, no. 17 has her eyes open throughout the whole blocking process watching and reading her hitter to see where she goes and where her hitting arm is angled so that she can get clues as to how she needs to angle her blocking hands and arms so that she can block her.


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Sign up now!Private or semiprivate volleyball indoor/sand lessons are an excellent way for young Las Vegas high school volleyball players to quickly improve their individual skills through a private or semi-private coaching experience. These lessons are conducted by former pro volleyball player, former USA Volleyball High Performance instructor and Evaluator and Tstreet Vegas 18s head Coach April Chapple on a weekly basis. Sign up now!


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Volleyball Words and Definitions: 
Where Do You Go From Here?


We know where you need to go now! Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about Blocking by clicking one of the links 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 How to Play Volleyball section in the drop down menu at the top of the page to get started. 

You might like to read more about the definition of terms in volleyball on these pages




  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Private Volleyball Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. Volleyball Words and Definitions For Setting Five Fast Offensive Plays
  4. Definition of Terms in Volleyball Blocking: Stuff and Read Blocking


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