Volleyball

.. es your forefingers and thumbs, quickly (but softly) extend your arms and hands in the direction you want to set the ball. The ball should make contact with all of your forefingers, most of your middle fingers, and the pads (not the tips) of your thumbs. Your ring and pinky fingers will contact the ball as well, but only incidentally. Your palms should never touch the ball.

Begin your setting motion as the ball contacts your hands (no earlier), and allow the stretch reflex to do its work. Step forward with your right foot as you extend your body. Follow the ball to hitter to help cover, in case s/he gets blocked. Serving As with any volleyball skill, you should use as little body motion as possible when you serve. Prepare to serve by standing just behind the baseline with your weight on your right foot (for right-handers) and your left foot slightly in front.

Hold the ball at your waist with both hands. When the referee whistles and motions for serve, you have five seconds to serve the ball. There are two methods for tossing the ball: a one-handed toss and a two-handed toss. Raise the ball in front of your right shoulder with your arms nearly straight, keeping your left hand on the bottom of the ball and your right hand on top. Lift your right hand off the ball and slowly draw your right elbow back and slightly up, so that it passes by your right ear. When your right hand is even with your ear, begin the serving motion.

As you toss the ball, step forward with your left foot and transfer your weight from right to left. . As the toss nears its peak, begin your swing by reaching up with your elbow and slinging your hand at the ball. Make contact with the heel and palm of your hand and try not to let your fingers touch the ball. Follow through to your right hip, keeping your wrist stiff, and then move quickly to your defensive position.

Spiking Hitting (a.k.a. spiking) is usually a team’s third contact. It is an attempt to end the rally by hitting a ball that the opponent cannot return. There are three basic skills in spiking, approach, plant and jump, and contact. Begin your approach 12′ to 15′ from the net. If you are hitting a left-side set, start far enough out of bounds to approach the set at about a 55-degree angle to the net.

For a middle attack, approach at about a 75-degree angle. For a right-side attack, approach at about 90 degrees. Prepare for your approach by standing with your left foot approximately 18 in front of your right, with your weight resting on the ball of your left foot. As the set nears its peak, take two quick sprinting steps, beginning with your right foot. Next, contact the ground with your right heel, with your left foot making contact, almost simultaneously, about 4 or 5 in front of your right foot.

As your feet strike the ground (actually, a moment before they strike the ground), begin your jumping motion by uncoiling every body part at once. As you push with your legs, pull as hard as you can with your back and arms. As you leave the ground your back will arch and your heels will curl up toward your butt. You are now in a prime hitting position. Finally, As the ball falls in front of your right shoulder, initiate your swing by pulling your left elbow to your side, and reaching toward the ball with your right elbow.

Your right hand follows your elbow toward the ball, and your arm straightens an instant before you make contact. Hit the ball with the heel and palm of your hand, and quickly whip your fingers through the top of the ball by snapping your wrist. Follow through to your right hip, not across your body. Your body will rotate quickly to the left as you swing, and your right shoulder will end up closer to the net than your left. Land softly on both feet and prepare to block.

Ninety-five percent of blocking is watching and positioning. First, watch the opponent’s pass; it will tell you a great deal about whom the setter will set. Second, watch the setter before he/she contacts the ball. Again, there will be clues about where the ball will go. Meanwhile, using your peripheral vision, watch the hitters; their positioning will tell you the planned location and height of the set.

After the set is made, watch the ball long enough to know where it will come down, then turn all your attention to the hitter. As you position the block, focus all your attention on the hitter, noting the angle and speed of his/her approach. Go up after the attacker. Jump as high as you can, and the moment any body part — fingers, palms, wrists, forearms, etc — gets above the net, push it into the opponent’s air space. Keep your arms perfectly straight and try to squeeze your shoulders into your ears.

Spread your fingers, point your thumbs toward the ceiling, and watch the hitter’s swing. Blocking As you reach the peak of your jump, push your hands toward the center of the opponent’s court; this action angles your hands and arms so that ball deflects downward and toward the center of the court. As soon as you land, turn toward the center of your court and prepare to play offense: if you’re the setter, prepare to set; if you’re a hitter, sprint, (don’t back-pedal) to the start of your approach. Strategies There are three basic strategies in volleyball. They are a 4-2, 5-1, and 6-2. A 4-2 is an offense with four spikers and two setters.

The setters set when they are in the front row and defend when they are in the back row. A 5-1 offense consists of five spikers and one setter. A 6-2 offense has four spikers and two setters. The setters are spikers in the front row, and set when in the back row. Court Layout The volleyball net height from the floor to the top of the net for men is 7 feet 11 5/8 inches and for women is 7 feet 4 1/8 inches.

The court measurements are as follows… Terminology Ace- a serve that lands in the opponents court without being touched Blocking- a defensive play; attempting to block or stop the returning ball over or near the net Cover- being positioned behind a spike or a block to field a ball glancing off a teammate Dead ball- ball that is out of play Dig- the art of passing an attacked ball close to the floor Dive- defensive maneuver to recover a ball by extending to a prone position Kill- A spike that is impossible to return Rotation- clockwise movement of the players following a side-out Service- putting the ball into play by the right back position Set- a high pass that is generally the second play by a team to relay the ball for a spike Side-out- ending of a teams right to serve because of an infringement of a rule Spike- a ball hit forcibly from a height above the net Violation- a foul, such as a lift, double hit, or a four hits on one side Safety An important part of playing an active and strenuous sport is stretching. Players must warm-up and cool down muscles. Stretch arms as well as legs before playing. Kneepads may be worn for protection. Also, make sure the playing service and the surrounding area of the court is clear of any wet spots or obstacles that may cause injury.