What exactly constitutes as a block in volleyball?
Let's say if it's an overpass by the opposing team and a blocker tips it down (with two hands) but the opposing team still returns it. Is it a block?
Or even if it's not an overpass and just an attack but still if a blocker prevents it from coming on their side but the other team keeps the ball alive. Is it still a block?

  • Would it be fair to say you want to know - what gets put into the stat book as a block, and what doesn't?
    – Nick
    Oct 9, 2013 at 15:55

3 Answers 3


A block occurs when a front-row player close to the net reaches higher than the net and contacts the ball as it is coming over from the opponent. A block attempt is when the blocker reaches higher than the net but does not contact the ball, and a completed block is when the blocker does make contact with the ball.

Block contacts can be by more than one player and consecutive, as long as it is all one action. So if the ball is coming over, and two different players jump up and both make contact with the ball, it is one block.

This is important because block contacts are not counted as team hits. So after the block contact, if the ball stays on the blocker's side, the team still gets three hits.

A blocker can reach over the net, but they are not allowed to interfere with an opponent's play. Basically, this means that the blocker cannot touch the ball until an opponent has made an attack hit.

To address your scenarios, if the block prevents the ball from coming on to the blocker's side and the ball remains in play, it is still considered a block. The blocker touching the ball resets the team hit count, and the opposing team gets another three team hits.

The rules on blocks are found in Chapter 14 of the FIVB Official Volleyball Rules, which are the rules used in Olympic play.

  • This would be a superb answer if the first paragraph made some sort of reference to "attack hit".
    – Philip Kendall
    Jul 6, 2015 at 11:46

A block can be both offensive and defensive. An offensive block is used when stopping an attack. A defensive block (or soft block) is used when the goal is to control the ball upwards so it becomes easy to defend.


A block in volleyball is when one team makes a move trying to get the ball over the net and the other team reaches up and blocks the ball from coming onto their side. If the ball lands back on the original team's side, it is the other teams point. it is a strategy used to gain points and keep the ball from landing on your side of the court.

  • 1
    This is all true, but the question is looking for a much greater level of technical detail than you've provided here.
    – Philip Kendall
    Jul 6, 2015 at 18:08

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