In a tv show called Haikyuu, the protagonists perform a zero tempo quick, where the hitter is already in the air when the setter funnels the ball directly to their hand. Is this possible in real life? If so, please provide a video link if possible.

This video supposedly shows zero-tempo attacks but the hitters are jumping right about or just before the set making it a first tempo (as one comment points out). Is there a video of actual zero-tempo attacks?


2 Answers 2


Yes, this is clearly "possible in real life", and is in fact very common. For a specific example, see the hitter in white (#17) in this YouTube video who is very clearly in the air as the ball leaves the setter's hands.


These terms are all subject to interpretation as there is no standard as far as I know. I experience different definitions per term from team to team, even within the same organization, let alone across a region, country or even international.

In my own team, we only have first and second tempo, as we define it as the moment the ball is at 'hitting height'. First tempo is before the ball is at its highest point, still ascending. Second tempo is when the ball is already descending after reaching its highest point. In this system, a 0th or 3th tempo does not exist, although we comically refer to them with some clumsy, bad sets (e.g. a set that does not reach over the net)

Also note that the tempo of a set does not define the whole set. It is just used to describe a certain aspect of it, so a lot more context is needed to describe the exact set you want to give/receive. For example, a back-row attacker could ask for a first tempo set at the middle of the court. Or the other way around, if the midplayer asks for a set behind the setter, the setter on his turn would probably ask 'first or second tempo?'

  • 1
    While you're right that"tempo" is a slightly ill defined concept, the OP has specifically defined a zero tempo attack as one in which the hitter is already in the air when the setter sets the ball, so we don't need to get into that debate here.
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 17:17
  • 2
    I would say that a question of 'does x exist in system y, what about x-1?' depends on the definition of system y. I just pointed out that this system y is not standardized in any way, and provided a sample of such a system, including the implications for the x and x-1 in that system. I don't really see how this 'starts a debate' or is irrelevant to OP
    – Ronald
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 10:57

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