Today in a match the setter set the ball too low for me to spike it, so I just dinked it over. The bottom of the ball was lower than the top of the net at the point where I made contact. When the defender made contact, again, the bottom of the ball was lower than the top of the net (the top of the ball was over the top of the net though).

I felt that this wasn't technically a block and that he shouldn't have been allowed to hit it a second time, but I wasn't sure so I just let it go. Was this a legal block or should it have been our point when he hit it a second time in a row?


I don't think I was clear about the part where, after I hit the ball, the ball travelled over the net onto the other team's side of the court. The other player did not reach over the net so there is no issue there. It's just an issue of whether or not their first contact was a block or a hit. I believe it was not a block but I can't find a specific ruling to address it.

  • hi just want to ask is it violation regarding the blocker ... block the ball didn't over then he hit again same person without the blocker of opponent is it double the same person the one who block then he hit again under ... without blocker from the opponent
    – user2192
    Jan 22, 2014 at 10:20
  • @pebbles It's difficult to understand what you're trying to explain. If it's a legal "block" then the blocker may immediately contact the ball again. If it wasn't a legal block (i.e. if no part of the blockers body was above the net) then it's considered the 1st hit and the blocker may not contact the ball again until someone else contacts it first. Hope that answers your question, but like I said I'm not quite clear what it is you are trying to ask.
    – BVernon
    Jan 22, 2014 at 22:20

2 Answers 2


You are carefully describing the position of the ball in the moment of your attack hit and in the moment of the defensive contact. However, it is not important. The decisive criterion in this case is not the point of contact with the ball, but the position of the blocker’s body. If any part of the blocker’s body (usually but not necessarily hands) is higher than the top of the net, it is considered a block.

See Rule 14.1.1 Blocking (emphasis mine):

Blocking is the action of players close to the net to intercept the ball coming from the opponent by reaching higher than the top of the net, regardless of the height of the ball contact. Only front-row players are permitted to complete a block, but at the moment of the contact with the ball, a part of the body must be higher than the top of the net.

See also a similar case (3.46) in the FIVB Casebook:

After an attack the ball touched the head of a blocker, who reached with his hands over the net. The contact with the ball was lower than the top of the net. After this hit, the team played three more times and at the third hit, the referee whistled and called “four hits”. Has this decision been correct?

Ruling The decision was not correct. Even if the contact of the blocker with the ball was lower than the top of the net, the action was a block because a part of his body was higher than the top of the net.

Rules 9.1, 14.1.1, 14.4.1

  • Perfect! In this case, none of his body was above the net so it was not a block. Thanks!
    – BVernon
    Aug 13, 2013 at 20:51
  • 1
    One other question this raises for me: When it says only "front row players" does it mean that it is a foul for a person in the back row to complete a block or simply that it's not considered a block if they do? Furthermore does front row refer to the "player's position" or the "position the player is in" (hope that makes sense)?
    – BVernon
    Aug 13, 2013 at 20:56
  • 1
    1. Only front-row players are allowed to complete a block. When a back-row player touches the ball while blocking, it is a fault. 2. “Front/back-row player” are standard terms used many times in the rules (there are many limitations based on the position, but that would be a different question), they depend on the rotational order (position at the moment of service); and in this specific case, nothing else would make any logical sense ;-) [no “player currently in back row” is logically/physically able to intercept the ball above the net, isn’t he/she?]
    – Mormegil
    Aug 14, 2013 at 9:44

As your "dink" :) was your team's third hit, the opponent can then reach over the net to make a block. Reason being, once the third hit is made it's a free-ball, and the opponent is then granted ability to reach over and make contact. Of course, contact with the net is still illegal, but as far as I can tell by your description - the opponent's play was legal. Side-out if you were serving, point to them (assuming rally scoring).

The following rules apply according to the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball:



In blocking, a player may touch the ball beyond the net, provided that he/she does not interfere with the opponent’s play before or during the latter's attack hit.

After an attack hit, a player is permitted to pass his/her hand beyond the net, provided that the contact has been made within his/her own playing space.

Source: FIVB, rule 11, page 29

  • 1
    Welcome to Sports SE! Thanks for your response. Do you have a rule citation to back up your response? Why are refs lenient on this rule? If refs are lenient on this rule, why is it a rule?
    – user527
    Aug 7, 2013 at 13:40
  • Hi edmastermind29, thank you :) In fact, I misread the OP's post originally. I have completely re-written my response. I'll look into a source for the rule. My reason for saying it was a "lenient" call, is that in the heat of the game, this call is often left up to the ref's discretion of whether it should be made or not.
    – Nick
    Aug 7, 2013 at 13:45
  • +1 Okay, I understand. This is no different from other sports when refs miss calls. Thanks for adding a source :)
    – user527
    Aug 7, 2013 at 16:05
  • @edmastermind29 - Exactly. =]
    – Nick
    Aug 7, 2013 at 19:27
  • Does the complete rule 11 apply to the OP's question? Perhaps you can add a quote, in addition to people downloading 3,5 MB.
    – Jacob Jan
    Aug 8, 2013 at 13:41

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