4 Types of Serves in Volleyball Overhand, Underhand, Topspin and Jump

There are four types of serves in volleyball varsity players learn. Beginners learn the underhand serve first, then the overhand serve, then topspin and jump serve.   

How many types of serves in volleyball are there?

There are three main types of serves that Vegas varsity players should learn how to do. 

The underhand, the overhand serve and the jump serve. 

Types of Serves in Volleyball
The Underhand Volleyball Serve
A Step-by-Step Guide

When players first learn the basic skills in volleyball they are usually taught how to underhand serve first. 

A Step-by-Step Guide on How To Underhand         Serve in Volleyball

Types of Serves in Volleyball: A Step-by-Step Guide on How To Underhand Serve in Volleyball (Craig Fildes)Types of Serves in Volleyball: A Step-by-Step Guide on How To Underhand Serve in Volleyball (Craig Fildes)

The underhand serve is done by

  • having the left foot in front of the right foot in a balanced position with your weight on the back foot and toe of the left foot pointed towards where you intend to serve the ball (lefties do the opposite)
  • holding the ball in one hand and
  • swinging your other arm back keeping it parallel to your body 
  • then swinging your arm forward with a closed fist or open hand contacting the bottom panels of the ball 
  • when your arm swings forward you shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot which helps to 
  • propel the ball across your court and into the opposing team's court using the momentum of the swinging arm to get the ball to travel over the net 

Click here to read more about the underhand serve. 

Types of Serves in Volleyball: The Underhand Volleyball Serve: When players first learn the basic skills in volleyball they are usually taught how to underhand serve first.(Panamericanonline)Types of Serves in Volleyball: The Underhand Volleyball Serve: When players first learn the basic skills in volleyball they are usually taught how to underhand serve first.(Panamericanonline)

Volleyball serve skills: Sophia performs the standing float serve during Fridays Advanced Skills clinic at Vets.  

The next two types of serves in volleyball are important because when done correctly they are designed to make it difficult for passers in serve receive to pass the ball easily to their setter. 

Types of Serves in Volleyball
The Overhand Serve - Standing Float Serve

With the floater overhand volleyball serve:

How To Serve Harder in Volleyball

Imagine giving a friend a "high five" keeping your elbow above the level of your ear while you rotate to contact the ball. 

When using this volleyball serving technique the ball crosses the net quickly with no spin and alot of float movement in the air.

Then the ball drops suddenly to the floor making it super difficult for a passer to track and pass the ball to their setter target. 

Types of Serves in Volleyball
The Overhand Serve - Standing 

The standing topspin serve is another type of overhand volleyball serve

The primary difference in performing the topspin serve is

a. the wrist isn't stiff, its loose when contacting the ball and bends so the serving hand contacts the top third of the ball.

Contacting the top third of the ball

insures the ball crosses the net with a lot of pace and velocity like a spiked hit.

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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Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap to improve your game even faster!

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

Many of these practice drills and volleyball serve skills 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. 

View this post on Instagram

The toss…for the Standing Float Serve . . . Your toss…has to be consistent. You have to learn to toss the same way, …the same height, putting the ball in the same spot…every single time. . . If you have a problem with your serve, one of the first places to look..is your toss. . . I have a formula that we use … . . …two feet up in the air and one foot in front of your front foot. . . Two feet up in the air …gives you time to rotate your hips and arm to the ball…. . . One foot in front of your front foot …gives you a specific target area to place your ball that’s in the path of your serving arm when you bring it around to contact the ball.. . . With this little formula you can check yourself ..to see if . . you are leaning over to one side to contact the ball or . . you are bringing your serving arm across your body to try and contact the ball . . If you are..then your toss is throwing you off balance. . . For the standing float serve you want to start in a balanced position and you want to finish in a balanced position. If your toss is making you do or add unnecessary body movements then you need to fix it. . . If your toss is in the right place then you should be contacting the ball ..in front of your serving shoulder with your elbow above the level of your ear.…and not outside of your body line. . . Here’s your homework..at home drill. . . Just practice your toss. Use this formula to start instilling the correct muscle memory for your toss. Today go out and do 50 tosses. Tomorrow do 60. Tuesday 70. Add 10 everyday until you do 100 tosses on your own at home. . . To get consistently better at tossing…you have to practice tossing. Just tossing. This will improve the consistency of your serve because now you know exactly where the ball will be when you contact it. . . Two feet up in the air, one foot in front of your front foot, in front of your serving arm. . . How do I know? Because I did this and it helped me improve my serve in high school and again in college. . . . Thanks Carm! . . . . . #vegasvolleyball #volleyballtraining #libero #liberolife #volleyball #volleyballplayer #vegasbabyvegas #volleyballcoach #vegaslocal #toss #serve

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Types of Serves in Volleyball 
Where Do you Go From Here?

Your three options are: 

  1. You can learn more about Basic Volleyball Skills by visiting 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. 
  4. Before leaving this page Say "Hi" to Miss Tattoo the Tiger wearing the #9 jersey below.  Miss Tattoo is the starting defensive and serving specialist for the All Beast VolleyBragSwag All Star team.

Meet Tatoo the Tiger, Serving Specialist on VolleyBragSwag's All Beast Team

You might like to learn more about the types of serves in volleyball in the pages below. 

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