What Is A Volleyball Dig And When Is It Done During Defensive Plays?

What is a volleyball dig? Its the way to keep the ball off the floor on defense when the opposing team hits a hard driven or softly contacted attacked hit.

What is a volleyball dig? When both arms are usually held together at the wrists so your arms form a flat surface, called a "platform" for the ball to bounce off of. (Ralph Aversen photo)What is a volleyball dig? When both arms are usually held together at the wrists so your arms form a flat surface, called a "platform" for the ball to bounce off of. In an emergency you can dig a ball with one hand as well. (Ralph Aversen photo)

What is a volleyball dig?

To dig a volleyball means you contact and intercept the ball, while your team is on defense by deflecting it up in the air with your arms held together.  

You defend, or dig the volleyball once it crosses into your court after an attack hit by the opposing team, so they don't score a point.


What is a volleyball dig? You defend, or dig the volleyball once it crosses into your court after an attack hit by the opposing team, so they don't score a point. (Ralph Aversen)What is a volleyball dig? You defend, or dig the volleyball once it crosses into your court after an attack hit by the opposing team, so they don't score a point. (Ralph Aversen)

There are offensive ways to contact the ball and there are defensive ways to contact the ball

The 'pass', the 'set', the 'serve' and the 'hit' describe offensive ways to contact the ball. 

These are terms that describe ways you contact the ball to set it up for an attack hit into the other team's court.

What is a volleyball dig? The "block" and "the dig" are defensive terms used to describe ways to contact the ball. (Ralph Aversen [photo)The "block" and "the dig" are defensive terms used to describe ways to contact the ball. You 'block' or 'dig a volleyball' when you need to defend your court from the other team's attack. (Ralph Aversen photo)


The "block" and "the dig" are defensive terms used to describe ways to contact the ball. You 'block' or  'dig a volleyball' when you need to defend your court from the other team's attack.



What Is a Volleyball Dig? 
The Last Line of Defense
For A Team


What is a volleyball dig?

Defensive plays are made in a rally, after a team serves, the serving team is on defense and the team who is receiving the serve is on offense. 

The team on defense has three blockers in the front row who will try and stop the opposing team's attack hit at the net by blocking the ball before it comes over the net.

If the blockers can't block it then the three players on defense in the back row, also called 'diggers' or 'defensive volleyball players', will use their defensive volleyball skills to dig the ball up to keep it off the ground so the opposing team can't score  a point. 


What is a volleyball dig? The dig is the last line of defense for a team to keep an opposing team's attack from scoring points by keep the ball off the floor. (Ralph Aversen)What is a volleyball dig?: The dig is the last line of defense for a team to keep an opposing team's attack from scoring points by keep the ball off the floor. (Ralph Aversen)


On defensive plays, the block is the first line of defense for a team and the dig is the second and last line of defense for a team to try and keep an opposing team's attack hits from scoring points by keep the ball off the floor. 

When your team blocks, you are defending your court at the net, and if the ball gets by the block, then your back row players. also known as 'diggers', defend your court by digging the ball up into the air so it doesn't hit the floor.  

The minute your team digs a volleyball up and the ball stays on your side your team changes or "transitions" from being a team on defense to becoming a team on offense. 


What is A Volleyball Dig?

You defend, or dig the volleyball once it crosses into your court after an attack hit by the opposing team, so they don't score a point.


Your team keeps the opposing team's attack off your floor, but you've also set your team up to run an offensive attack sending the ball into the opposing team's court.

Now its their  turn to try and block your team or make a defensive volleyball play or dig a ball up that you or your attackers send into their court to try and score a point. 




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

Do You Follow Me on Instagram?


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 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. 


How To Play Volleyball: 
Where Do You Go Now?


Okay here's where you need to go now! There are three options: 

  1. Learn more about Digging and Defense by clicking 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 O.I Gotchu the Octopus wearing the #8 jersey below.  Miss O.I. is the libero for the All Beast VolleyBragSwag All Star team.

You might like these pages about what is a volleyball dig. 



  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. Volleyball Basics: Six Essential Skills Varsity Players Have To Know
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  5. What Is A Volleyball Dig And When Is It Done During Defensive Plays?

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