All about that ‘V’
“We can get it up in any position. Our shorts are tighter than our game. We can handle a little floor burn every now and then. We’re always gonna hit it hard. We’ll play with you indoors or outdoors. Balls never hit the floor and we’ll get a touch on all of them that come our way. We can play it with two or six other people. We’ve got quick feet and prompt hands. We like it quick hard and fast. And no matter what, we gonna beat you up… because volleyball is more than just a sport, it’s a way of life.” – Unknown.
Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the world; with 800 million players who play at least once a week. Thus, was brought into life on 1895, when William G. Morgan, an instructor at the Young Men’s Christian’s Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Massachusetts, decided to intermix the elements of basketball, baseball, tennis, and hand ball to create a game for his classes of businessmen who stipulate for less physical contact than basketball. He first used the tennis’ net and raised it to 6 feet 6 inches above the floor. The sport was first called ‘mintonette’ until someone remarked to Morgan that the players seemed to be volleying the ball back and forth over the net, and perhaps, “volleyball” would be a more descriptive name for the sport. Time flies so fast, because this 2015, volleyball is 120 years old!
Everyone would probably like to learn how to play volleyball, and if you’re one of those ‘everyone’, you have to understand first, the objective of the game. The object of the game is to beat your opponents to a predetermined number of points. Long ago, volleyball was played to 15 points and is scored only when the serving team wins the rally. Today, rally scoring is primarily used, which means a point is scored as a result of each play. Most of the ‘V’ games today are rally scoring and played to 25 points. There are different positions, rules and strategies you should know when playing volleyball.
How to Play that ‘V’?
The Players: Each team has 6 members on the court. It can be divided into two types. Front players are responsible of blocking or attacking the ball when the setter sets them. Back row players pass the ball that comes from the opponent; they also dig balls hit by the opposing team spikers but they cannot spike/block the ball inside 10 feet or 3-meter line. The basic volleyball positions you should become familiar with are as follows:
Setter– main job is to set spikes. This is done by waiting for a teammate to pass the ball to them.
Spiker– (attacker) is a player that attacks a ball over the net.
Passer– passes the ball up to the setter. The better a passer is able to pass; the easier it is for the setter to set which results in a better attack by the spiker.
Digger– a defensive player that passes the ball up to the setter. The digger is skilled at digging hard driven spikes and chasing down off-speed shots by the opponent.
Server– puts the ball into play to start the rally. The players that understand how to play volleyball the best are often the best servers on the team.
Libero– is a player who carries a different color jersey. Libero is a defensive specialist who enters the game without regular substitution. Libero goes into the back court to replace any player on the back court (usually libero replaces middle blocker/center). Libero is not allowed to serve in international volleyball.
The ‘V’ Rules
In the men’s game, the net is positioned to 2.43 meters high. In the women’s game, the net is positioned to 2.24 meters high. An indoor volleyball match is usually played with “the best out of five games” – system, which means who wins three games first is the winner of the game. On junior level games can be also “the best out of three”, which means you have to win two games to win the match. Volleyball Game is played until 25 points, usually – some leagues may use 30 point games to determine the winner. The deciding game, the fifth game (or the third game in the shorter match) is played until 15 points. “Two point difference” is required for the winning team to end the game – which means the game can continue longer than 15, 25 or 30 points. The team which gains two point lead after 15, 25 or 30 points wins the game. In other words the game can end 26-24 or 27-25 or 16-14 or 17-15 – it is not possible to end 25-24 or 15-14.
When libero enters or exits the court, it is not calculated as substitution. Maximum of 6 substitutions per game is allowed in international volleyball. Notice that some volleyball leagues in USA allow unlimited substitutions.
Volleyball Team has a maximum of 3 hits to play the ball into the other side of the net. A block doesn’t count a touch in indoor volleyball – therefore 3 hits are allowed after a block.
Team who wins the rally will score a point. Each rally begins with a serve – and ends when either team wins the rally. Team can score a point after the own serve – or the opponent’s serve. Before the recent rule changes a team would score a point ONLY after own serve. Before the rule changes it was called a sideout when team won the rally after opponent’s serve. You still hear the term “sideout” in the volleyball courts. Players rotate on the court after each “sideout” (when team wins ball after the opponent’s serve) – therefore new player goes to serve after each “sideout”.
How to Win a Rally?
- A player hits the ball into the opponent’s court (part of the ball has to touch painted lines or inside the painted lines).
- A player hits the ball off the opposing player.
- Opponent is not able to return the ball back into your side.
- Opponent hits the ball out of bounds. If the ball hits antenna it is called out of bounds. If the ball hits the ceiling it is called out of bounds in international volleyball. Some leagues allow play continue after ball hits the ceiling.
- If a player commits a fault or violation when playing the ball. To read more details about the faults and violations, go to basic volleyball rules pages.
There are basic skills you should pick up when learning volleyball. These includes shuffling, basic stance, underhand, overhead serve (Note: The player has to toss the ball at least a little bit into air- it is not allowed to hold the ball in hand when hitting the serve), catch and toss, passing techniques, setting, spiking/attacking, blocking, digging and coverage.
Life as it may ‘V’
Other people may find it hard at the beginning, but if there is determination and perseverance, it will never be too hard to learn the cool ‘V’ sport. Aside from having it played cool, volleyball as a sport has its own relation into life. Somehow, there’s a total wisdom that can attack everybody’s heart, Sheryl Swoopes once said, “No matter how far life pushes you down, no matter how much you hurt, you can always bounce back.”
You have deep problems? Dig it up. Toss all your worries and let it pass. Set your goals high and never be afraid to fail. Block away all the torments. Trials and obstacles may not stop volleying in your life; difficulties may hit you hard, but always remember that in the game of life, no one could ever beat the master, our coach and referee… ‘Cause after all, it’s not about that ‘V’ it’s all about God!