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Volleyball Terms

If you're thinking about starting up a full-fletch volleyball career or perhaps hitting the FIVB circuit, it might be useful to learn some volleyball terms, tips, tricks, and lingo volleyball players use on the court. Whether you wanna be an aficionado or simply not a goon, here are some tips to help you fit in with the volleyball scene.  This volleyball jargon is very different from other sports and is fun to use to round other like-minded people.

First, you should decide whether you want to play indoors (also known as court volleyball) or outdoors (also known as beach volleyball or sand volleyball). While my choice is obvious (hello, bikinis!), both styles are very different, but equally as fun. Indoor volleyball is more common, and you have more people on the court -  this is not always a good thing. You then need to get the right gear. Make sure you get the right shoes (Mizunos are the O.G.), medium-length socks, kneepads, and ankle braces (active ankle braces are a common choice for volleyball players). It may seem dorky, but you'll thank me later on this one.

Now you're all geared up and ready to hit the court. Let's teach you some skills while learning volleyball terms at the same time! There are three main skills involved with this sport "passing" or "bumping" (if you say bumping I know you're a newbie), "setting", and "hitting" / "attacking" or "spiking" (again, spiking = newbie). There are usually designated playing positions on the volleyball court.  Each specialty positional player will have specific skills and or abilities that best suit that position.  These special positions allow the player with a particular skill set to be the obvious choice of that position within your team.  However, all players must practice and train all skills required for the sport of volleyball as you must be prepared to use all three fundamental skills.  Everyone passes, but the "libero" passes the most. They are the funky one in the different jersey. And I won't bother teaching you how to pronounce that (lee-bro, li-ber-o, who knows). Setters take the second ball from the passer and set the ball to hitters (or spikers *eye roll*). Each hitting position has its own name too!  Like power / leftside, middle,  and rightside / opposite / offside  and each position has it's own hit uniquely named sets "forty, thirty, quick, one, hut, rip, shoot, pipe, c-ball, a-ball, bic" etc. On the beach, blockers also give out hand signals to tell you the defending back court player as to what kind of block he/she is going to put up against the opponent.  Often a "1-finger" signal means the blocker is going to block the line-shot of the opponent.  The "2-finger" signal means the blocker is going to block the cross-court shot of the oppponet.  Signal in left hand means they are going to use that blocking assignment when the blocker moves to the left side of the court to block.  Obviously, the right hand signal is the assignment for when the blocker move to his / her right to block the opponent.   You as a digging defender take the opposite shot of your blocking teammate to help cover more court to best protect against your opponent's attack / spike.  Make sure you ask your teammate what each hand signal means before going out before the play and not during during.

Okay, now that you've got the jist of it, you might wanna be prepared here is some of the volleyball terms players might use. Often, it might sound like gibberish (or breakfast?). But in reality, this vernacular will make you sound way cool: spike, tool, kill, float, line, pipe, seam, ace, dig, free, roof, pokey, pepper, pancake, touch, tip shank, six-pack, dink, cobra, rally, side-out and shag.  As you can tell, communication is a big part of the sport. Yes, these volleyball terms are all real, and no you won't be doing construction. Most important is that you call the ball. When two people are going for the ball, there can be frustrating mix-ups. Nothing is worse than when two people call the ball, and they both think the other person is going to get it and watch the ball fall to the ground! Horrible!  Use these volleyball terms to help you prevent those kind of errors!

Okay, I think you're set! (get it?! lol) Soon, you'll find yourself thinking about volleyball at breakfast or setting any kind of spherical object you see.  Hopefully, knowing these volleyball terms will help you better understand the game.

Now it's time to get out there and play!
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