Types of Volleyball Spikes

14 Types of Volleyball Spikes

What is Spike in Volleyball?

In volleyball, the essential aspect of the game is the spike, an attacking move aimed at hitting the ball over the net and into the opposing team’s court. There are different elements which one should be kept in mind while making drills of spike. Although the spike is not the easy target, however by adopting following measures you will become master in it: –

  • Identification of different parts of spike is essential for the player.
  • Knowledge for performing such spikes is essential.
  • Situation of using the spikes is also pivotal in the game.

Different Types of Volleyball Spikes

There are different types of spikes in volleyball game: –

1. Power Spike

The Power Spike, as the name suggests, relies on force and power. This attacking shot is performed by jumping and hitting the ball with great strength.

Technique: Approach with a three step sequence, jump, and swing the arm forward with great power.

When to use: When close to the net and aiming to hit the ball directly to the ground.

2. Cut Shot Spike

Cut Shot Spikes are all about precision rather than power. In this spike, the ball is hit by an angle, which cause sharp land within the court of opponents.

Technique: Approach as usual, but twist the hand at the last moment to hit the ball at an angle.

When to use: To confuse the opponents, especially when they are expecting a power spike.

3. Tip Spike

In this spike, the fingertips is involved. The Tip Spike is used to gently guide the ball over the blockers and into an unguarded area of the opponent’s court.

Technique: A soft touch using the fingertips, usually employed to deceive blockers.

When to use: When the opponents are expecting a strong attack, and there is an unguarded area in their court.

4. Roll Shot Spike

This spike provide a strategic method to guide the ball over the net, employing a gentle, spinning motion. This technique is often used to surprise defenders, catching them unprepared.

Technique: A soft hit with the base of the hand, causing the ball to spin slowly over the net.

When to use: Against defenders positioned deep in the court, expecting a power spike.

5. Jump Float Spike

Jump Float Spikes are unique in that they don’t spin in the air. This situation can make the players challenging to defend against each other.

Technique: A jump followed by a soft hit, without wrist snap, causing the ball to float.

When to use: To disrupt the opponent’s formation with an unpredictable trajectory.

6. Sky Ball Spike

The Sky Ball Spike is an old-fashioned, high-arcing serve that can be both visually spectacular and effective if executed correctly.

Technique: Hit the ball with an underhand motion, sending it high into the air.

When to use: As a surprise tactic, especially under windy conditions.

7. Pipe Spike

The Pipe Spike is executed from the back row, and it’s a strategic way to attack from a distance.

Technique: A running jump from the back row, followed by a strong hit.

When to use: To add variation to the attack and make it more unpredictable.

8. Quick Spike

A Quick Spike is a rapid attack that requires perfect timing between the setter and the hitter. This spike is not easy to defend because of its high speed.

Technique: A short, fast approach followed by a quick jump and hit.

When to use: When you want to catch the opponent’s defense off-guard with a swift attack.

9. Bic Spike

It is an advanced back-row attack spike, that is often used at higher levels of the play. It involves a rapid approach and a strong hit from the back row.

Technique: A fast approach from the back row followed by a powerful jump and hit.

When to use: To add complexity to the offense and confuse the opposing blockers.

10. Slide Spike

This type of spike is a lateral moving attack. It allows the hitter to cover a wide range of attacking angles. It often involves a one-footed takeoff.

Technique: A running approach to the side of the setter, followed by a one-footed jump and angled hit.

When to use: To create diverse attacking angles and bypass strong blockers.

11. Wipe Spike

It is a tooling and a tactical move of the player. The goal is to give advantage while using the opponent’s block. In this spike, the ball is hit intentionally with the hands of opposite players.

Technique: Targeting the edges of the blockers hands to make the ball deflect out of bounds.

When to use: Against tall or strong blockers to turn their strength into a disadvantage.

12. Roundhouse Spike

A Roundhouse Spike involves a sweeping arm motion that allows the hitter to generate additional power and a unique trajectory.

Technique: A circular arm swing, akin to a windmill, followed by a powerful hit.

When to use: To generate extra power and create a unique ball trajectory.

13. Joust Spike

A Joust Spike occurs when both the hitter and the blocker contact the ball above the net simultaneously, resulting in a “duel.”

Technique: Strong wrist and hand position to push the ball into the opponent’s court during simultaneous contact.

When to use: When the ball is set too close to the net, and a duel with the blocker is inevitable.

14. Dink Spike

The Dink Spike is a soft, tactical hit designed to drop the ball just over the blockers and into a gap in the opponent’s defense.

Technique: A gentle tap with the fingertips to guide the ball over the net.

When to use: To exploit gaps in the defense, especially when the blockers and defenders are out of position.

Types of Volleyball Spikes
Types of Volleyball Spikes

Strategy of Using Spikes

To understand when and how to use the spikes, can elevate the game of the player. This understanding offers deep insights into the strategies to underline these techniques.

Adapting to Opponent’s Defense

Sometimes it is difficult to understand about the defense of the opponent team, therefore using spikes during the play is a crucial task for the players. This includes recognizing the position of blockers and defenders, using spikes like the Cut Shot or the Wipe Spike to counter their defense.

Combining Spikes with Effective Setting

Spikes do not happen in isolation. The effectiveness of a spike often depends on the quality of the set. The Quick Spike, Bic Spike, and Slide Spike require impeccable coordination between the setter and the hitter.

Practice Methods

The saying “practice makes perfect” applies to volleyball as much as any sport. Here are some methods to practice these various spikes:

Repetition Drills

Repeatedly practicing specific types of spikes helps in developing muscle memory. This can include targeting drills for precision spikes like the Cut Shot, or power drills for the Power Spike.

Drills For Spike

It is necessary for the players to practice different types of spikes so they are able to make a decision qua adopting the spike during the play.

Game-Like Scenarios

Creating game-like scenarios in practice allows players to understand when and how to use different types of spikes.


Getting the timing right is often tricky, especially for spikes like the Quick Spike or the Bic Spike that require perfect synchronization with the setter.

Power vs. Control

Balancing power and control can be a challenge. While spikes like the Power Spike require brute force, others like the Dink Spike or Tip Spike demand finesse and control.

Advanced Techniques and Adaptations

Top-level players often modify and combine different spikes to create unique attacking moves. Here are some advanced techniques:

Hybrid Spikes

Some professional players combine aspects of different spikes to create new, unpredictable shots. This can involve blending the angles of a Cut Shot Spike with the soft touch of a Tip Spike.

Responsive Spikes

Responsive spikes involve quickly adapting a planned spike based on the opponents’ movements. A planned Power Spike might turn into a Roll Shot Spike if the blockers adjust their positions unexpectedly.

Professional Examples

Several professional volleyball players have become synonymous with specific spikes:

Karch Kiraly’s Cut Shot

Renowned player ‘Karch Kiraly’ was famous for his precise Cut Shots, finding angles that seemed impossible to defend.

Giba’s Quick Spike

Brazilian player ‘Giba ‘was known for his lightning-fast Quick Spikes, executed with perfect timing and coordination with his setters.

Analyzing and Responding to Spikes

Good teams don’t just execute spikes well; they also defend against them effectively. Skilled defenders learn to read the spiker’s body language and anticipate the type of spike they’re about to execute. Understanding if a Power Spike or a Tip Spike is coming can make the difference in a successful defense.

Strategic Blocking

Blockers must decide where to position themselves to counter specific spikes. For example, against a renowned Power Spiker, they might position themselves to force a less comfortable Cut Shot.

The Setter’s Role

The setter’s skill in placing the ball is crucial for the spiker’s success. Whether it’s a high set for a Sky Ball Spike or a quick set for a Quick Spike, the setter’s accuracy and timing are key.

Defensive Support

Defenders must be ready to react if the spike is blocked. Their positioning and anticipation can turn a defended spike into a new attacking opportunity.

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