In volleyball, if the other team pass, set, hits it over to me and I kick it and then it hits my chest, but it's only one action/motion, would that count as a double hit fault?

What about if the other team attacks it, I go to set set it, and it slips through my fingers and bounces off my head - is that only one action on my part?


3 Answers 3


Normally, if a player touches the ball with two different parts of the body in succession (not simultaneously), it is a Double Contact fault. However, the block and the first team hit are exceptions to this. During the block and during the first hit, a player can contact the ball more than once, as long as the contacts are all part of one action.

From FIVB Official Volleyball Rules 2013-2016:

9.2.3 The ball may touch various parts of the body, provided that the contacts take place simultaneously.
Exceptions: at blocking, consecutive contacts may be made by one or more player(s), provided that the contacts occur during one action; at the first hit of the team, the ball may contact various parts of the body consecutively, provided that the contacts occur during one action.

  • Can you clarify what first hit means. Only on a serve receive? Or the first hit of any volley?
    – ACD
    Oct 3, 2014 at 15:29
  • 1
    The first hit (as always, excluding a block contact) a team makes after the opponents have touched the ball, so not just on the serve receive. Note that "of the volley" is not a term defined in the rules, so I'd recommend not using it.
    – Philip Kendall
    Nov 20, 2014 at 22:34
  • Does this apply to beach volleyball as well?
    – Baumr
    Oct 13, 2015 at 17:02
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    @Baumr: Partially; it’s a bit more complicated (maybe for a separate question). You may have multiple contacts with the ball during one action at the first hit, unless you play overhand using fingers (which is why you usually don’t receive overhand in beach volleyball), unless it was a hard-driven attack (in which case you can “hold” the ball momentarily).
    – Mormegil
    Oct 15, 2015 at 16:12
  • @Mormegil, thank you, I posted a question specific for beach here: sports.stackexchange.com/questions/12243/…
    – Baumr
    Oct 19, 2015 at 12:54

Technical judgement for setting is quite strict. So if the ball slips through your fingers and touches your head it is definitely a double hit. Even if it does not touch your head, the slipping might be enough to be a technical fault (depending on your level/league and the judgement of the referee)

Defense actions are not judged that strict. If the attack is a hard(!) hit it is allowed to touch the ball with two parts of the body (such as in your case foot and chest). However this counts as two actions for your team. So the next player has to hit the ball back over the net.

(The reason behind this rule is to allow for spectacular defense actions. If you keep the ball "alive" after a hard hit, this is what motivates players and what the fans want to see.)

  • 2
    Could someone please support the statement about "being allowed to touch the ball with two parts of the body provided that the attack was hard, counting as two actions" with rule citations? Apr 10, 2014 at 15:01
  • -1: for what Dušan said - there is no such statement in the FIVB rules at least.
    – Philip Kendall
    Dec 10, 2014 at 10:36
  • There is no rule stating this explicitly. But it follows from the other rules. 9.1 says that every contact is a touch. 9.1 also says that a maximum of 3 touches is allowed. says that the same player is allowed to do two consecutive touches (but is no exception to the 3 touches rule of 9.1 - in contrast to the block, where 14.4.1 explicitly says that the block is not a touch)
    – spike
    Dec 11, 2014 at 16:30
  • I agree it's potentially not very clear, but that's the wrong interpretation of the rules. See 3.3 in the 2014 casebook, where the ball went from one arm to the other to the chest of a player; by your logic, this would count as all three hits and no further hits would be allowed. The difference is that a block counts as zero hits, whereas multiple contacts on a first hit still counts as one hit.
    – Philip Kendall
    Dec 16, 2014 at 9:07

Everyone seems to be referencing the old rules or regional rules but in international FIVB Volleyball double hit would only be called if you make 2 attempts at playing the ball, so yes it's allowed to slip through your fingers and bounce of but in the end it's up to the ref, the kicking example is slightly more controversial because you may have planned to create that bouncing impact and in that case it's the refs decision.

Source: I was taught this by a New Zealand Volleyball ref who is being reviewed to become an official FIVB international ref.

  • 1
    This applies only on a first team contact, see as quoted by Ben Miller.
    – Philip Kendall
    Nov 27, 2016 at 7:31

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