Basic Beach Volleyball Lingo (or slang?)

Beach Volleyball Terminology:

If you’re thinking about starting up a full-fletch beach volleyball career or perhaps hittin’ the AVP circuit, it might be useful to learn some 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 and the volleyball rules, are simple.

First, you should decide whether you want to play indoors or outdoors. While my choice is obvious (hello, bikinis!), both styles are very different, but equally as fun. Indoor 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. 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. There are three main skills involved with this sport – “passing” or “bumping” (if you say bumping I know you’re a newb), “setting,” and “hitting” or “spiking” (again, spiking = newb). There are usually designated positions who perfect each skill, but you must be prepared to use all three. 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 – power, middle, back row – to hit uniquely named sets – forty, thirty, quick, one, pipe. On the beach, blockers also give out hand signals so make sure you ask your teammate what is going on before the play and not during.


Okay, now that you’ve got the jist of it, you might wanna be prepared some of this jargon that volleyball and beach volleyball 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, side-out and shag. As you can tell, communication is a big part of the sport. Yes, these 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! Horrible!

Okay, I think you’re set (get it?). Soon, you’ll find yourself thinking about beach volleyball at breakfast or setting any kind of spherical object you see. For more fun, check out our beach volleyball locations in the Niagara Region.