What exactly constitutes an attack hit in volleyball?

For example, if I set the ball to someone else for an attack hit, and the set goes too far and it is blocked by someone on the opposing team with their hands over my side of the net, is that legal? Would my hit have been counted an attack hit?


3 Answers 3


This is specifically defined in section 13 of the official rules:

13.1.1 All actions which direct the ball towards the opponent, with the exception of service and block, are considered as attack hits.

Your set directed the ball towards the opponent, therefore it is an attack hit and therefore it can be blocked. You may also wish to refer to 14.3:

14.3 In blocking, the player may place his/her hands and arms beyond the net, provided that this action does not interfere with the opponent’s play. Thus, it is not permitted to touch the ball beyond the net until an opponent has executed an attack hit.


14.3 is the key, and the answer isn't as crystal clear as the excepted answer states. The actual answer really depends on what you mean by the phrase, "the set goes too far."

Even though the set was "too far", did you still have a player on your team that could have made a play on the ball prior to it going over the net? If so, it is a fault for the defensive player to reach over the net and interfere with your player's play on the ball.

  • -1. The rules have been directly quoted, and they do not support your interpretation. In particular, "could have played it" is not nearly the same thing as "actually did or attempted to play it".
    – Nij
    Sep 26, 2016 at 6:05
  • @Nij the interpretation in this answer is correct; a blocker may not prevent a poster attempting to play the ball within their space, even if the ball is heading over the net.
    – Philip Kendall
    Sep 26, 2016 at 6:27
  • But the answer doesn't say anything about an attempt. It only says "could have" and I have pointed out the problem with that equivocation already.
    – Nij
    Sep 26, 2016 at 6:28
  • @Nij It's still right - this may not be clear from the section I've quoted in the rulebook, but it is how the game is played. This is specfically covered by Case 9.1 in the 2016 Casebook.
    – Philip Kendall
    Sep 26, 2016 at 7:17

The attack-hit is the action of a player to direct the ball towards the opponents court. When the ball is contacted by the blocker or crosses the vertical plane of the net then it is considered as completed.


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