What is the difference between an Outside hit and Pipe hit in volleyball? What position can hit a pipe during the game?

2 Answers 2


An outside hit is one by the front left hitter.

There's a bit of variation between teams (particularly at lower levels) as to exactly what a pipe is, but it would always be a back row hit from either the middle or right-hand side of the court.

  • We play a fast pipe ball slightly moved to the left side of the court to not interfere with the middle blocker in certain combinations. Why only middle and right side? And mentioning the attacker usually involved in pipe balls would answer question even better, I guess.
    – cadaniluk
    Jan 13, 2016 at 21:54

Usually the pipe attack is back court attack position 6 (middle back). In most teams this attack is done by the Outside hitter while at the back.

If you look up pipe attack on youtube you will see great examples mostly done by outside players (while in the back row of course) such as Dante, NGapeth, Sanders etc.

That being said anyone (except the libero who is not allowed to hit a ball fully over the net) could do a back row middle attack, however this befall most traditionally to the outside player in the back row at the time.

A few more details on the "tradition" for the outside player to hit pipe. At the time in the back will be an opposite who will traditionally defend and hit (or a setter who will defend) from the right side, and a libero who will defend on the left side. Traditionally the outside player will defend and hit (the pipe) from the remaining back court position, in the middle. There are variation, but this is a traditional way to do things.

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