What are some terms used when playing volleyball?

For example, as a Portuguese speaker, I would like to know how some attacks styles or positions of the court.

The one you are talking about that the middle hitter attacks on the right side of the setter is known as an 8 attack and can be very effective if done right

  • Not sure what you mean by "styles"... – user527 Feb 8 '13 at 17:28
  • I think you need to elaborate on what you mean, give examples from other sports if necessary. As it is, the question is really not clear. – posdef Feb 9 '13 at 2:37
  • 1
    Actually the problem is that I don't know any name in English to give an example. – Alex Grilo Feb 9 '13 at 20:18
  • However I can describe one. It is when the middle-blocker (usually in women' volleyball) starts at the middle but ends attacking at the right (behind the setter). – Alex Grilo Feb 9 '13 at 20:19
  • I think he is talking about various Combination plays used by teams. – Rohit Vipin Mathews Mar 25 '13 at 8:42


Serve - standing outside the boundaries and moving the ball into the opponent's side of the court. this may be done overhand, underhand, or while jumping

Ace - when a serve lands on the opponent's side of the court or travels outside the court after being touched

Return - when a ball is successfully moved to the other side of the court

Hit/Attack - jumping and striking the ball overhand

Spike - jumping and striking the ball at a sharp downward angle

Set - passing the ball close to the net to assist a spiker in killing the ball

Kill - a hit/attack from the attacking team that results in a point

Dig - a defensive maneuver in which a player bumps/passes a spiked or hard hit ball

Pass - a maneuver intended to move the ball to a teammate, usually a setter

Bump - passing by joining your forearms together

Block - a defensive maneuver in which players jump up with the intention to stop/redirect a spike, hit/attack


4-2 - four hitters, two setters. Setters set from the middle to the outside, where there are two front-row attackers

6-2 - six hitters, but two can act as setters at a given time. Similar to a 4-2, but a back row player serves as a setter

5-1 - five hitters, one setter. When the setter is in the back row, there are three front-row attackers...and when the setter is in the front row, there are two front-row attackers

Positions of the court

Setters - responsible for passing the ball to attackers who can kill the ball into the opponents' court, usually after the second touch

Liberos - responsible for defense in which they receive the attack or serve. They wear a different color jersey than other teammates

Middle blockers/hitters - attackers that usually play near the middle/setter and are specialized in blocking as they attempt to stop plays from their opponents

Outside/Left side hitters - attackers from near the left antenna

Opposite/Right-side hitters - defenders who are responsible for blocking against the opponents' attacks

Sources: (1) (2)

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