Volleyball Informative Essay

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Volleyball is a team sport. The teams are separated by a large net. It has six players on each side of the net. Each team is allowed twelve substitution players. The game starts when the captain from each team decides which side of the court they will play on, by the toss of a coin, which also determines who will serve (hit) the ball first. The point of the game is to keep the ball in the air. The ball can be played with any part of the body, with a maximum of three strokes a team. If at any point the ball hits the floor, the side that the ball landed on it is a point for the other team.

History[change | change source]

In 1895, William G. Morgan invented a new game called "Mintonette". However, when an observer named Alfred Halstead saw the game being played, he noticed the volleying action used to get the ball over the net, so he decided to change the name to "volleyball".

Morgan wanted to create a skilled activity, which required more players, less space, and less exertion than basketball. The first net was a “rope” and the first ball was a basketball air bladder. Until 1960, men and women played with different rules. Now the rules are the same except for the height of the net, the men’s net is higher.

A player cannot hit the ball twice. A point is gained when a team plays the ball in the opposition's court and the ball is not defended, therefore it lands within the court. The ball must be served (hit) from outside the court, otherwise it will be regarded as a foul. The game is played in sets of 25 points (sometimes 21). The team that reaches 25 (or 21) points first, wins the set. Each game consists of 3-5 sets (or the first one to 3 in middle school). The fifth set is played to 15 points.

A player usually wears knee pads to protect their knees from becoming bruised during dives for the volleyball. In order to win the game, the winners must be ahead by 2 points or the game goes on until you win by 2 points.

The sports governing body is the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). Digging is the ability to prevent the ball from touching one's court after a spike or attack, particularly a ball that is nearly touching the ground. Usually, the player is diving (throwing themselves towards the ground) to be the barrier to block the ball from hitting the court.In many aspects, this skill is similar to passing, or bumping: overhand dig and bump are also used to distinguish between defensive actions taken with fingertips or with joined arms.

Some specific techniques are more common in digging than in passing. A player may sometimes perform a "dive", i.e., throw his or her body in the air with a forward movement in an attempt to save the ball, and land on his or her chest. When the player also slides his or her hand under a ball that is almost touching the court, this is called a "pancake". The pancake is frequently used in indoor volleyball. Besides being one of the best-known sports in the world, and being a favorite to millions of people, it is in the Olympics.

Court[change | change source]

The court is 60 by 30 feet (18 by 9 m). A net is stretched tightly in the middle. The height of the net is 7 feet 4 inches (2.24 m) for middle and high schools and college women, 8 feet (2.44 m) for college men.

The game[change | change source]

The objective of the game is to legally return the ball over the net in such a manner that the opponent’s team cannot make a legal return. The main causes of illegal plays are: holding, carrying, or lifting with the palm of the hands, four touches on one side, and two consecutive touches by one player. A regulation game is played with six players on the court. They are to rotate to serve in a clockwise direction when facing the net. The server will come from the right front position, serve, then play the right back position..

Scoring[change | change source]

Rally scoring is used in volleyball, which means a point will be awarded to one of the two teams when a rally ends or a mistake is made. A regulation game is played to 25 points and the winners must be ahead by 2 points. A middle and high school game is played best out of three games. If the games are tied at 1-1, the 3rd game is played to 15 points and the winners must be ahead by 2 points.

Skills[change | change source]

Serving: may be underhand or overhand. If the serve touches the net and goes to the opponent’s side, it must be played. The server is not allowed to step on or over the end line when serving. In class, the server must say the score before serving.

Float: Similar to a knuckle ball in baseball, the server stands flat footed and contacts the ball with a stiff wrist and does not swing through after contact. This causes no spin to be on the ball, allowing it to catch any air current and causes the ball to change directional course throughout the whole air course.

Top Spin: This serve is executed by snapping hard on the ball during contact. This puts a forward spin on the ball, which causes it to drop faster then a float.

Jump Serve: A jump serve is used to assist the server get more height. By jumping they have a better angle to put the ball down into the court, and are less likely to be underneath the ball. This can be a float or topspin ball depending on the contact, arm swing, and approach.

Pass or Bump (underarm pass): This is a pass used when the ball approaches a player below their shoulders. You are to hold your fingers together, elbows straight, and contact the ball with the forearms with shoulders facing the net on impact. Defined as a dig when passing a hard driven hit. Also pancaking is a form of passing. This is when the player has sprawled out to the floor in a last hope type of decision for the ball to land on their hand and it pop straight up.

Set or volley: (overhead pass) direct the ball to a place specifically. Hands high, flex wrist, contact the ball with the finger pads, and elbows bent. Use your legs and arms to project the ball into the air.

Hit: A hard hit ball from a height above the net, straight to the opponent’s side. Contact the ball with the cupped fingers and a long arm swing.

Block: (defensive hit) Two hands above the head, jumping with arms reaching for a ball that has been spiked. A block is used to prevent a volley from crossing the net.

Dig: Digging is the ability to prevent the ball from touching one's court after a spike or attack, particularly a ball that is nearly touching the ground.

Terminology[change | change source]

Serve: to put the ball into play from the end line.

Side out: the team that served made a mistake, ball now goes to the opponent’s for service.

Set: overhead pass that allows a player to spike

Bump: an underhand pass performed when a ball is below the shoulders

Spike: a hard driven ball aimed at the opponents.

Block: a defensive play to prevent the ball from crossing the net.

Double: Contacting the ball twice typically while setting

Kill: Any hit, rollshot, or tip that automatically results in a point.

A competitive women's volleyball match. The ball is a blur above the net
Italy-Russia match. Position of ball is unclear

How to Play Volleyball
Skills, Positions, Rules, and Strategy

When first learning how to play volleyball, you need to understand the object of the game. The object of the game is to beat your opponents to a predetermined number of points.

In the old days, volleyball was played to 15 points and a point is scored only when the serving team wins the rally.

Today, rally scoring is primarily used which means a point is scored as a result of each play. Most volleyball games today are rally scoring and played to 25 points.

To win the game, you must score more points than your opponent and be leading by at least 2.

Winning the Rally

When first learning how to play volleyball, it's important to understand how to score points.

To score a point in volleyball, a team must win a rally. A rally is begun by a server serving the ball into play. The ball is served over the net to the opposing team.

The opponent then gets a maximum of three hits to return the ball back over the net.

A team wins a rally if…

  • there opponent isn'’t able to successfully return the ball

  • a player hits the ball down into their opponents court

  • a player hits the ball out of bounds

  • the team hits the ball off an opposing player

  • a player commits a fault when playing the ball

Basic Rules

Indoor volleyball is played with two 6 player teams. Each team has 3 front row players and 3 back row players. The front row players mainly hit and block. The back row players mainly pass and dig.

The teams are separated by a net over which the ball must cross.

In the men’s game, the net is positioned to 2.43 meters high.

In the women’s game, the net is positioned to 2.24 meters high.

Basic Skills

There are some basic volleyball skills and court positions that you must know before you start playing volleyball.

The skills listed here are just basic.

The basic skills for playing volleyball are serving, passing, setting, attacking, blocking and digging.

The serve is what begins the game.

Passing the ball is the skill that’s performed by the player receiving the ball.

Setting is the action of playing the ball to a teammate. Setting is usually done in an overhead motion using the hands. Players that have a hard time getting in good position to hand set may elect to set using a forearm passing motion. This is called bump setting.

Attacking or spiking is the action of sending the ball over the net to the opponent's court. Attacks are usually done by taking steps to approach the net to jump and hit the ball. The volleyball approach and hit is often thought of as the most fun skill in volleyball.

A block is the action of trying to prevent the ball from crossing the net into your court.

Digging is the action of playing the ball in a way that prevents the ball from touching the court after an attack by the opponents.

To get good at these volleyball skills require improving physical proficiency and hand-arm-and-eye coordination. Being able to effectively communicate with your teammates and having an understanding of how to play volleyball will highly influence how well you perform these skills.

The Players

On a very basic level, players on the team can be divided into 2 types.

  1. Front row players (attack/blocker)
    The front row players responsibility is attacking the ball when the setter sets them. Also, front row players try to block the ball coming from the opponent.

  2. Back row players (passer/digger)
    The back row players main responsibility is to pass the ball that comes from the opponent. Back row players are the main passers on the team when receiving the opponents serve. Back row players also dig balls hit by opposing team spikers.

The Positions

Here are some basic volleyball positions you should become familiar with when learning how to play volleyball.

  • Setter
    A setters main job is to set spikers. This is done by waiting for a teammate to pass the ball to them.

  • Spiker
    A spiker (attacker) is a player that attacks a ball over the net. The spiker is a front row player and their main job is to spike balls at the net.

  • Passer
    A passer is player that passes the ball up to the setter. The better a passer is able to pass, the easier it is for the setter to set which results in a better attack by the spiker.

  • Digger
    A digger is a defensive player that passes the ball up to the setter. The digger is skilled at digging hard driven spikes and chasing down off-speed shots by the opponent.

  • Server
    The server is the player on the team that puts the ball into play to start the rally. The players that undstand how to play volleyball the best are often the best servers on the team.

32 Serve Receive/Defense Drills

32 drills for reading the serve and attack. More Info Here.

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