types of fouls in volleyball

9 Types of Fouls in Volleyball

What is Foul in Volleyball?

A foul in volleyball refers to any illegal action or rule violation committed by a player during the game. Some common fouls in volleyball include:

  1. Net touch – touching the net while the ball is in play
  2. Foot fault – improper foot placement during serve
  3. Four hits – a team contacting the ball more than 3 times before returning it
  4. Held ball – visibly throwing, scooping or pushing the ball
  5. Double touch – hitting the ball twice in succession
  6. Reaching over the net – illegally contacting the ball over the plane of the net
  7. Back-row attack – a back-row player attacking from the front zone above the height of the net
  8. Position fault – improper player rotation at serve
  9. Service fault – violating service rules e.g. out of bounds, before referee whistle

Types of Fouls in Volleyball

Any of these fouls results in a point for the opposing team. In some cases it also leads to loss of serve or player rotation. Knowing the rules and avoiding fouls is an important part of volleyball strategy and gameplay. Committing fewer fouls than your opponent is key to winning matches.

Net Touch

  • It is a foul if a player touches the net while the ball is in play. This includes contacting the net with any part of the body or uniform.
  • Even incidental or accidental net contact is penalized.
  • If a player on the attacking team touches the net, the opposing team wins the point.
  • If a player on the defending team touches the net while trying to make a play on the ball, the attacking team wins the point.

Foot Fault

  • A foot fault occurs when the serving player steps on or over the end line before contacting the ball for serve.
  • The server’s foot may not touch or cross the end line until after the ball has been contacted for service.
  • A foot fault results in loss of serve, with no point awarded.

Four Hits

  • Each team is allowed a maximum of 3 hits to return the ball over the net. The 4th contact is a foul.
  • Hits include not just spikes and blocks, but any contact by a player. Exceptions are a block and simultaneous hit counted as 1 contact.
  • If a team uses 4 hits to play the ball, the opposing team wins the point.

Held Ball

  • It is illegal for a player to visibly throw or hold the ball while making contact. The ball must be cleanly hit.
  • Scooping, lifting, pushing or carrying the ball results in a held ball fault.
  • This foul usually occurs during an attempt at setting. The opposing team gets the point if a held ball occurs.

Double Touch

  • It is illegal to hit the ball twice in succession or have the ball visibly rebound off the hands or arms.
  • Rapid double hits often occur while setting the ball, but are still penalized.
  • The opponent is awarded a point if a player double-touches the ball during play.

Reaching Over the Net

  • While blocking, a player may not contact the ball beyond the plane of the net until the opponent has hit the ball to send it back over.
  • During attacking hits, a player is not allowed to contact the ball on the opponent’s side of the net.
  • The opposing team gets the point if reaching over occurs.

Back-Row Attack

  • Back-row players are not permitted to attack the ball from above the height of the net while positioned in the front zone.
  • The attack must be made below the top of the net or from behind the 10-foot attack line.
  • If a back-row player attacks above the net height from the front zone, the opponent wins the point.

Position Fault

  • Players must be in correct position and proper service order before the serve is put into play.
  • Once the ball is served, players can move positions, but improper rotation results in a position fault.
  • If detected, an improper rotation leads to a point for the other team. Incorrect server must also be rectified.

Service Fault

  • It is illegal to serve the ball out-of-bounds, into the net or before the referee’s signal for serve.
  • The ball must be struck cleanly and without hand throws. Service cannot be made from outside the service zone.
  • Commission of any service fault results only in loss of serve, not a point.

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