This guide will give you an elemental run down of the most commonly used and basic terms and definitions in volleyball. Any individual who wants to learn the sport or regularly watches it must be aware of these terms. The knowledge of these terms and rules will aid the person in understanding the game better and enjoying it at a higher level. Not knowing the meanings to these basic terms and definitions can confuse a person entirely, and it can utterly ruin the activity of watching a game of volleyball. This knowledge takes up even more importance for a person who is actually playing the game.
Guide of Basic Volleyball Terms
This is an alphabetical list, and it covers the basic terms that will come in handy at some point or the other during a volleyball match.
ACE: A serve that no player of the opposition team touches before it hits the ground. It results in a point for the server.
ASSIST: Setting the ball up for a teammate who attacks the ball and then scores a point. An assist is counted only if the very next shot results in a point.
ATTACK: The act of actually approaching the volleyball and hitting it, in order to gain a point.
ATTACKER: The person who attacks the ball. Also known as the HITTER or the SPIKER.
ATTACK LINE: Also known as the '10 foot line', it is 3 meters away from the net and is present on both sides of the court.
BACK ROW ATTACK: A move where a player behind the attack line hits the ball. At the moment when he jumps to hit the ball he must be behind the attack line.
BLOCK: An action where a spiker's move is deflected back into his court by blocking the ball.
BALL HANDLING ERROR: The referee may call this error, if he notices that there has been a double hit, or a ball is thrown or lifted.
BUMP PASS: The action of clasping one's fingers together and using the forearms to hit pass the ball to a teammate or over the net.
CENTER LINE: The line under the net that divides the entire court into 2 equal parts.
DECOY: A move in which the actual spiker of the ball is disguised. This takes the opposing team by surprise.
DIG: The act of reaching a ball spiked by the opponents and passing it to a teammate.
DOUBLE HIT: An illegal move that implies that the same player has touched the ball twice in succession.
FLOATER: A serve that has often been mis-hit and its direction cannot be predicted as there is no spin or rotation on the ball.
FOUL: Any illegal violation of the rules.
HIT: Act of jumping up and forcefully 'spiking' or hitting the ball to the opposing court.
JUMP SERVE: A method of service where the ball is flung in the air and the server jumps to strike it.
KILL: A move or a strike that results in the gaining of a point.
MINTONETTE: This is what volleyball was officially known as earlier. The name was created by William Morgan.
READY POSITION: The position and stance that any player takes just before hitting the ball.
RED CARD: A disqualification by the referee. This implies that either a player must leave the game, the team forfeits a point, or a team forfeits a serve.
ROTATION: After a server has made his serve, all the players rotate in a clockwise movement.
SERVE: The game starts when one player serves the ball from the end line of his side of the court, into the opposing teams half.
SERVICE ERROR: A wrong service. This occurs when the service hits the net, or does not cross the net, or the ball falls out-of-bounds or the server's foot crosses the line while serving.
SETTER: The person who has the crucial second touch of the ball. The third touch will be by a spiker, and the setter must set up the ball in a nice way for the spiker. He is one of the most important offensive players in a volleyball team.
SIDE OUT: A situation where the receiving team wins the right to serve. This occurs either because they have won a point, or because the serving team committed an error.
YELLOW CARD: A warning issued to any player. This does not accompany a loss
This guide is applicable for the game of volleyball played at any level. Knowing these terms can be a major help to any individual, who is a beginner in the game, and also any person who has been playing the sport for many many years.