Volleyball Skills – Attack

Most number of points in any volleyball match are scored by attacking shots called spikes or hits. Over the years, players have tried different variation of the shot and many of them have come to be used in the modern game.


An attacking shot is generally the third touch on the ball though it can be any of the shots depending on the ball position. In most cases, a spike happens after the setter ‘sets’ the ball up. Setting involves softly touching the ball so that it reaches a hittable height above the net in your own side of the court. Ideally the ball should sit at a position which is the maximum attainable by the hitter with his arm swing. It appears obvious that most balls be set up as near to the net as possible because it would give the hitter a larger area in the opponents’ court to aim at. It would also increase the steepness with which a ball can be hit. However, this will also narrow down the angle for the opposition blockers hence making it easier to block. Therefore, players use interesting variation of the shot which are achieved by changing the location of the ball, height of the set-up, player tactics and speed at which the ball is hit. Getting the best shoes for volleyball https://getcourtdimensions.com/best-volleyball-shoes-for-men-women-buyers-guide/ really helps.

A kill is a spike that hits the floor on the opponents’ court. It is one of the most spectacular shots in volleyball but also difficult to execute at times. Depending on the situation, players try different variation to win the point. For example, if the kill doesn’t happen, one might try to hit the ball in a way that it hits the blocker and goes out of the play. For this to happen, the spiker hits the ball slower than usual so that it hits the hands of the blockers when they are retreating, rather than when they are in the best position to block. Another interesting tactic is when the attacker feigns attack but changes his shot at the last moment and drops the ball gently into the opposition court. This happens if the attacker sees a spot which is not covered by any of the defenders and can hence be exploited.

The full blooded spikes too have many variations. Just like tennis, you can spike down the line or cross court. If you spike the ball directly in the area facing you, it is a down the line spike and it is cross court if you hit it diagonally to the other half.

The ball is mostly spiked when it is at the maximum attainable height for a player. As a surprise shot, the attacker sometimes hits the ball as soon as it reaches marginally above the height of the net. This is called the quick hit and requires a lot of coordination between the setter and the attacker. Most of the times this hit is carried out by the central attacker.

Then there is the back row attack which made the Polish team Olympic champions. In back row attack, the attacker jumps from the back row instead or from near the net. It is mandatory to jump from behind the three meter line to make this shot.

Sometimes though, the hitter wins a point due to unforced errors. The most funnily named of these is the husband and wife play. As the name suggests (at the risk of being politically incorrect), the opposition gets a point because the ball falls between two players who are both within reach to play it but neither does owing to lack of communication.