Setting Volleyball Jargon 6 Different Types of Volleyball Sets Defined

Six common setting volleyball terms and phrases are defined like what's an assist? a held ball? a lift, a back set, an over set and what's the setter dump?

6 setting volleyball terms and phrases are defined like what's an assist? a held ball? a lift, a back set, an over set and what's the setter dump?   (Ralph Aversen)6 setting volleyball terms and phrases are defined like what's an assist? a held ball? a lift, a back set, an over set and what's the setter dump? (Ralph Aversen)


Players in the setting position need to know these six terms that have to be included in their volleyball vocabulary. 

  • -assist
  • -held ball
  • -lift
  • -back set
  • -over set
  • -setter dump

Setting Volleyball Jargon: If a setter sets a ball to a hitter who scores a point with a kill, the setter gets credit for Setting Volleyball Jargon: If a setter sets a ball to a hitter who scores a point with a kill, the setter gets credit for "assisting" in the positive result which is the point.

Setting Volleyball Jargon
What is an "assist?"


The "assist" is specific setter terminology used when recording stats on a stat sheet during a game.

Setting Volleyball Jargon: On the stat sheet is an Setting Volleyball Jargon: On the stat sheet is an "assist" column" for the stat keeper to record when a setter contributed to a point.

If a setter sets a ball to a hitter who scores a point with a kill, the setter gets credit for "assisting" in the positive result which is the point.  

On the stat sheet is an "assist" column" for the stat keeper to record when a setter contributed to a point.


Setting Volleyball Jargon
What is a "held ball?"


A referee calls this setting volleyball violation on a setter when in the act of setting the ball comes to a stop or she lets it rest in her hands, causing the ball to stop moving before redirecting it back up into the air.

When learning correct setting volleyball technique, the ball can't come to a complete stop in your hands.

If it does, the ref will whistle and give a hand signal with the palm of their hand turned up and lift it up one or two inches to indicate that the setter "held" the ball too long.


Setting Volleyball Jargon
What is a "lift?"


A "lift" is called by the referee when they think a player makes an illegal contact by using a "lifting" action with one or two of her hands staying too long in contact with ball.

A lift can be called on a defensive action but it's most often committed when a player is setting the ball.


Setting Volleyball Jargon
What is a "back set?"

Setting Volleyball Jargon: A back set comes in all forms, such as a back high ball, back shoot, fake X, slide, back quick 
a Setting Volleyball Jargon: A back set comes in all forms, such as a back high ball, back shoot, fake X, slide, back quick a "red" set. (Ralph Aversen)

A back set is the type of set a setter delivers to a player that is behind them.

Because the starting setter position has the player perpendicular to the net, which positions them to have their back to their offside (right side/Zone 2) hitter, that right front attacker will receive a lot of back sets because the setter doesn't have time to turn around and face them.

Instead, the volleyball setter will set the ball behind her.

A back set comes in all forms, such as a

  • back high ball
  • a back shoot
  • a fake X
  • a slide
  • a back quick 
  • a "red" set


Setting Volleyball Jargon
What is a "over set?"


An "over set" happens when a setter runs a fast attack and in their attempt to deliver a ball to a specific hitter, she sets the ball too far past the area where the hitter was supposed to make contact with the ball and the ball gets "set over" the net.

Another example occurs when a ball is set in a way that it misses its intended target area for a spiker which keeps her from hitting the ball.

This would be considered a setting error, since the spiker wasn't able to make contact with the ball.


Setting Volleyball Jargon
What is a "setter dump?"


A "dump" is when a setter 'dumps' or pushes the ball into the opposing team's volleyball court instead of setting the ball to one of her attackers.

Instead of setting the ball, the setter uses her hand to 'assist', Instead of setting the ball, the setter uses her hand to 'assist', "push" or dump the ball into the other team's court. (Matt Pendleton)

Often done by the front row setter as an attack, in an attempt to catch the other team's blockers and defense off guard.

When the setter is front row she can attack the ball to confuse the opposing blockers.  


She will mix up her sets to her hitters every now and 
then with attempts to hit or dump the ball into the other team's court.

One deceptive style used to dump a ball effectively happens when the setter decides to jump set as if she's about to set the ball to her middle player.

When setter decides to jump set as if she's about to set the ball to one of her middle players she hopes to get the opposing blockers to jump with her. (Aversen)When setter decides to jump set as if she's about to set the ball to one of her middle players she hopes to get the opposing blockers to jump with her. (Aversen)


Then instead of setting the ball, she uses her hand to 'assist', "push" or dump the ball into the other team's court.

If done correctly, she contacts the ball at the height of her jump aiming for the ball to travel over her shoulder and over the outstretching blocking hands and shoulders of the opposing players in front of her, to an empty space on the floor inside the ten foot line.

If done correctly, the setter contacts the ball at the height of her jump aiming so it travels over her shoulder and over the net to an empty space on the opposing court.If done correctly, the setter contacts the ball at the height of her jump aiming so it travels over her shoulder and over the net to an empty space on the opposing court.

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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I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 



The Volleyball Word
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