How To Dig in Volleyball, What's A Double Hit, When To Dive in Defense

Learn how to to dig in volleyball by creating a platform with forearms holding hands together that're used to deflect a spike up in the air to be re-played.  


How to dig in volleyball? 

To dig you need to create a platform with your forearms which you use to deflect or redirect a spike, tip or hard driven hit back up to your setter, libero or teammate so they can continue play.



How to Dig In Volleyball
Is "Dig" A Technical Term or Volleyball Slang? 


"Dig" the ball is a volleyball 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 
  • while using your forearms to deflect the ball up into the air after its 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.


How To Dig In Volleyball 
Is the dive in volleyball a way to dig in volleyball?


What's a dive in volleyball?

When you "dive after a ball" you are using one type of defensive 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


How To Dig in Volleyball
The Dive


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,

  • now you the diver, will now have to quickly put your hands on the floor.

This is followed by

  • lowering your chest and then hips

to maintain control of your body weight while pulling yourself through your arms.

This motion is helped by the forward momentum gathered by running forward when chasing the ball. 


How To Dig In Volleyball
What's a Double Hit?


A double hit is often done when you are first learning how to dig in volleyball.

It is called by a referee because 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 fault.

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.

The referee 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.



You're more likely to commit a double hit when your elbows are bent while digging. Now a hard driven spike will hit your forearm and then your bicep before being deflected into the air. 

Those two contacts are counted as hits and are illegal. The ball can only contact your body once. 

The Volleyball Dig
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 Private Volleyball Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. Words Used In Volleyball: Basic Terms, Slang, Phrases, Jargon, Lingo
  4.  ›
  5. How To Dig in Volleyball, What's A Double Hit, When To Dive in Defense


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