Each side may strike the ball three times before it must be returned. A player is not permitted to strike the ball twice in a row. If the ball strikes the boundary line, it is considered in play. The defensive team may intervene and attempt to stop the ball when it returns to their side of the court.
The aim of the game is to score more points than the opponent by hitting their balls into the other side's court (indicated by flags on the floor). There are two ways you can do this: by hitting the ball over the net or into the net. You can also score a point by hitting the ball that bounces out of bounds. At the end of each period, the team with the most points wins.
There are five players on a volleyball team. Two players are on the court at a time. One player is in control of the ball, while the other waits their turn. Each player has a stick called a batler which they use to hit the ball. They can hit it with all parts of the bat except the handle! The ball has strings attached to it when it is kicked off the court. These strings make any contact with the hand or arm illegal. Any part of the body can be used as a weapon! Players should never try to hurt their opponents intentionally. All matches are decided by scores at the end of each period. If the teams are still equal at the end of the match, then extra periods are played.
The ball will not cross the goal after a team's first or second team hit, and the opponent will be unable to make a play on it. It is possible for the blocker to reach across and block it. If the referee believes that a player might have made a play on the ball if the blocker had not touched it, the block is unlawful. The ball becomes dead ball territory and may not be played with unless both teams agree to continue the game with 10 players (or less).
If a volleyball is blocked in an unblocked legal manner, then it is called a "block" and this is recorded as a block shot. If the blocker touches the ball before it hits the ground, then this is also a block shot.
There are three ways that a volleyball can become dead ball territory: when it is out of play because it has been hit over the fence or into the stands; when it goes out of play because it has been spiked; or when the blocking team wins a point by blocking shots.
When a volleyball is dead ball territory, any player can shoot at it. The only requirement is that you must be wearing shoes. You cannot take a penalty stroke while barefoot.
There are two ways to score on a block shot: if the blocker shoots the ball over the net himself, then it is a fault; otherwise, it is a kill and this scores one point for the blocking team.
The block does not count as a team contact for fours and sixes, and any player can make the initial contact following the block. If opposing players make simultaneous contact over the net, the side that ends up with the ball has three hits available to return the ball. If the ball gets out, it is the fault of the other team. There are no rules regarding how high or low you must hit the ball in order for it to be considered a spike or smash.
Spikes are attempts to get the ball down into the opponent's court by hitting it above the net. A player can spike the ball even if it is not in play (i.e., not served). This is called a defensive spike. Spiking is allowed only if the ball was in play (i.e., served) at the time it was hit. Illegal serving motions include but are not limited to: swinging the arm backwards after the ball is served, holding the ball with the hand(s) not used to serve it, and throwing the ball in an attempt to get it past the opposition's defense.
Smash attacks are powerful shots that send the ball down into the opposite court by hitting it below the net. A player can smash the ball even if it is not in play (i.e., not served). This is called a defensive smash. Smashing is allowed only if the ball was in play (i.e., served) at the time it was hit.
A play on the ball occurs when a player touches the ball or the ball touches a player. If two players on the same team make simultaneous contact with the ball, it counts as two hits and neither player may play the ball again. Otherwise, the play would be called off before it began. A touch is also defined as any action other than hitting the ball that causes the ball to go into play.
There are three types of touches: block, spike, and pass. When a spiker touches the ball out of bounds, it is called a spike. If a blocker touches the ball while it is in flight, it is called a block. These are both hit plays. A pass is any touch not involving a hit play. For example, if a hitter swings at a ball that isn't hit by another player, but misses and the ball bounces away, that is a pass. There is no need for an open receiver because it was not a hit play.
Touches are important because they give your team the opportunity to score points. For example, if one player has the ball and there are no defenders near him, he can pass the ball to someone else who can score a point or keep the ball and take himself out of the game.
A back-row player is free to move about the court but is not permitted to jump and attack ("spike" or "kill" the ball) in front of the 10-foot line. A player in the back row may never block the ball. Players must remain in their proper places until the ball is delivered. When a back-row player senses that the opposing team is about to spike or kill the ball, he or she should signal by raising one arm (this is known as "raising up"). If this signal is seen by the referee, then it is permissible for the back-row player to jump (or "lift") up to protect against an impending spike or kill.
Back-row players often help out on defense by passing the ball to each other or to the front row players when they see an opening. Back-row players who don't pass rarely get involved in attacks because there are so many more players on the court than spots available on the line-up card. However, back rows can be important factors in games where strategy rather than sheer numbers is used to win points; examples include set plays and spikes from deep behind the opposite net.
Back rows are usually members of the outside hitter's group because they need to be close to the sideline to avoid being hit with balls thrown from the opposite direction of the serve. Some teams have two outside hitters while others have four or even all five players standing on the floor playing offense.