Volleyball: Live It, Love It, Learn It

Chase RuttigCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2008

Well the Olympics are over and most of the fringe sports thrust into the spotlight of the sporting world will soon be forgotten. I want to make sure one sport isn't:


If you want a sport that involves the fast scoring pace, athleticism,and a mixture of tennis, then volleyball is the sport for you to both play and watch.

I understand that most people play volleyball in the off-season from football or basketball if they have the time in high school. I, however, play volleyball full-time at my high school in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada.

I love volleyball and play for my JV team. I want to share this wonderful and fast paced game of volleyball with everyone. Here are the basics:

Types of Volleyball


Beach volleyball can be played with two-six players, usually with an even number of players on each side of the net. They are mens, womens and mixed competition.

In the Olympics they feature the two-on-two style of beach volleyball, which is the most common. The superstar tandem of Misty May and Kerri Walsh have dominated the women's game for the last four years and are currently on a 108-game win streak.

The outdoor beach volleyball game also features the luxury of every player being able to make a kill at any time from any spot on the court, adding more difficulty and athleticism to the game.


The Indoor is played with six players on each team and has different rules from the beach game. For example, only the three front row players in the rotation can play the ball above the net into the opponent's side of the court, ahead of the attack line.

The three back row players need to jump from behind the attack line if they want to make a spike attack.

Only one person can sub into the game for each of the six positions on the volleyball court. The positions are front/back row power, front/back row middle, and front/back row setter.

The exception to the rule is the Libero, a player who specializes in defensive passes and wears a different color of jersey. This player can sub into the game for any of the six positions, but cannot serve or make any pass/spike over the net into the opponents side of the court.

The two types of main tournaments are the FIVB World Championships, held every four years. The Summer Olympics are held every four years as well.


Kill- When a player jumps and makes contact with the ball, usually with one hand, above the net into the opponents side of play. Also known as a spike.

Bump- An underarm pass used with the two forearms on any pass from neck height or lower, usually it is the first of the three passes allowed in the game of volleyball. Also called a dig, it usually involves a player diving. Dgs can also be done with one arm, but most coaches teach diving bumps.

Sets- This is almost always the second pass in the sequence, and sets up the aforementioned kill. There is usually at least one player on the court who specializes in "setting" up the other five players for kills.

The set consists of the player making the "Jay-Z" sign with the hands spread about a inch apart and pushing upwards with their hands and legs before the ball lands on the players head.

6-Pack- When a volleyball player takes a spike to the face. While it is never good to hit a player intentionally in the face with the ball in other sports, the "6-Pack" is often a huge turning point in momentum in a volleyball game.

The Positions

Power- Plays on the left side of the court, also called outside players. These players usually take high sets allowing them to take longer approaches, therefore giving them more momentum and stronger hits. I play this position and let me tell you this is the most fun position in the game.

Middle- These guys are usually the tallest and most agile players on the team. They perform low sets that are almost literally hit out of the setter's hands. They also block on both the right and left side of the net when playing the front row. They also help out the outside and opposite side players with their blocking duties.

Opposite Side- Usually one of these players is the setter on the team, the other one is strictly a hitter. The setter directs the offense and decides where each set is going to go and who will get to spike the ball.

The opposite side hitter will either play defense while back row, and block and spike when in the front, like the power and middle positions.

Formations for Indoor

4-2- Four hitters and two setters. This is most popular in beginners play.

6-2- Basically a 4-2, but the setter always comes from the back row to set. This allows for six possible hitting options.

5-1- Basically a fusion of the 4-2 and 6-2 with one player assuming the setting responsibilities. This allows for three setting options ahead of the attack line and the advantage of the setter being able to dump or tip the ball over the line when the opponents aren't on their toes.

I hope you are better informed of the game of volleyball after reading this. Don't be afraid to ask any questions as there is more about this game than my brief description.