Types of Volleyball Hits

4 Types of Volleyball Hits

Volleyball, a sport that melds swift actions with pulsating energy, perfectly embodies the balance between collective harmony and individual flair. However, this task is far from elementary. The ball’s journey, its trajectory, and its final descent, can manifest in countless variations, each bearing the distinct mark of a player’s prowess, the tactics they employ, and the ever-shifting dynamics of the match.

The way the ball journeys across the court is a blend of intent and team game plans. On other occasions, it’s an explosive spike, packed with force and intent, designed to leave adversaries scrambling and often, out of options.

Let’s explore the four types of volleyball hits, crucial for every player to master.

1. Passing

The journey of the ball—from its launch, its path in the air, to its eventual touch down on the court—is full of variations. These variations depend on a player’s skill, the strategies used, and how the game unfolds minute by minute.

The movement of the ball on the court is guided both by individual decisions and team strategies. At times, players go for a strong spike. Volleyball lovers know that the game has many legends. Players who have become experts at certain moves, these moves become their trademarks.

One such legend is Serginho from Brazil. He’s known for his excellent defensive moves, especially his passes. His quick ability to anticipate the flow of the game make his passes standout. They are not just good to watch but also strategically significant. Because of his skills, he has been named the “Best Libero” many times on the international stage. Being a libero in volleyball is challenging. It requires quick thinking, great skill, and a lot of courage.

Every member on the court, regardless of their role, must be adept at passing – the skill that directs the ball to the setter and sets the game’s tempo.

Traditional Pass:

Often seen post a serve, this is about finesse and precision. Gabrielle Reece, with her impeccable control, has showcased this technique masterfully in beach volleyball circuits.


A defensive gem, the dig counters a formidable hit from the rival side. Players like Kim Hae-ran from South Korea have become synonymous with this move.


Picture a high-speed ball darting towards you, and you, with perfect timing, redirecting it to the setter. This is the overhead pass in action.


A last-resort yet thrilling move, where players, like the renowned Fabiana Oliveira, have saved many points by sliding their hand beneath the ball at the last second.

2. Setting

In the rhythmic flow of a volleyball game, following an initial pass, the responsibility shifts to the setter. Their task? To precisely position the ball for the upcoming attacking move. The quality of this set is paramount; it can greatly influence the potential success of the subsequent spike or hit. The art of setting is not just about getting the ball up; it’s about giving the spiker the best possible opportunity to land the ball in the opponent’s court.

Front Set:

The front set is perhaps the most commonly seen and practiced move. It’s the bread and butter of setting. Here, the setter pushes the ball towards the net for either front or back row attackers. When executed correctly, this set gives the attacking player ample options to choose from, be it a powerful spike or a strategic placement shot.

Back Set:

This move requires a touch more finesse and deception. As opposed to pushing the ball forward, the setter delicately sends the ball behind them, often catching the opposing blockers off-guard. The primary targets for this type of set are the opposite or right-side hitters.

Quick Set:

The essence of the quick set lies in its speed. The ball reaches above the hands of the setters prior to playing, which makes it one of the fastest moves in volleyball. This set targets to catch the defense unprepared. It gives the attacker a split-second advantage to strike. It requires a synergy between the setter and the spiker, demanding impeccable timing from both.

3. Hitting (or Spiking)

In volleyball game, the spike stands out an important move. The purpose of the spike is to outplay the opposition and catching them off-balance. A well-timed spike can shift the momentum of a game.

Hard-Driven Spike:

This is the quintessential power move, a display of sheer force and determination. When a player launches into a hard-driven spike, they’re aiming to deliver the ball with such velocity and precision that it becomes a Herculean task for the defenders to counteract. This speedy spike create opportunities to get subsequent points.


Instead of a full-force hit, the player opts for a softer touch, lightly pushing the ball over the net. This can be a short tip, just beyond the reach of the blockers, or a longer one targeting the gaps in the back row.

Standing Hit:

While the allure of soaring jumps and ferocious spikes is undeniable, there’s a place for grounded, calculated moves in volleyball. The standing hit is a prime example. Primarily employed by back row players, this technique involves striking the ball without the aid of a jump. Though it might lack the sheer force of a jumping spike, when executed with precision, it can be just as effective in securing a point, catching defenders off-balance with its unexpected nature.

4. Serving

A proficient serve not only starts a rally but can strategically place the opposition under immediate pressure. The players can influence the flow of the game by acquiring different serving techniques.

Underhand Serve:

This method is typically the first serve introduced to novices. Executed from a lower position, the player holds the ball in one hand and strikes it with the palm of the other. This serve offers players a coherent way to initiate play, which is valuable when precision takes precedence over power.

Overhand Serve:

As players progress in their volleyball journey, the overhand serve often becomes their preferred choice. This technique involves tossing the ball into the air first and then striking it with an open hand from above shoulder height. Within the umbrella of the overhand serve, two primary variants emerge:


This serve derives its name from its unpredictable flight path. The ball, when hit without spin, can “float” in the air, moving unexpectedly side to side or up and down, making it a challenge for receivers to predict and handle.

Topspin Serve:

Contrary to the floater, the topspin serve involves hitting the ball with a forward spin. This spin causes the ball to dip down sharply. As this serve requires more technique, its downward curve can be a strong tool against unprepared defenses.

Jump Serve:

The crème de la crème of volleyball serves, the jump serve, is often reserved for those who have honed their skills and want to marry power with precision. As the name suggests, the player initiates this serve by tossing the ball high into the air and then leaping to strike it. This serve is particularly effective when the server is looking to capitalize on weak rotations or specific gaps in the receiving formation.


No matter you’re volleying in any country of the world, the game remains the same. It’s a blend of skill, strategy, and teamwork. For any budding player, mastering these fundamental hits is the first step toward becoming a pro.

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