In volleyball each team consists of six players. To get play started, a team is chosen to serve by coin toss. A player from the serving team serves the ball (attempts to hit the ball so it passes over the net to land in the opposing team’s court). The opposing team must use a combination of no more than three contacts with the volleyball to return the ball to the opponent’s side of the net. These contacts usually consist of:
- The bump or pass so that the ball’s trajectory is aimed towards the player designated as the setter.
- The set, usually an over-hand pass using wrists to push finger-tips at the ball by the setter so that the ball’s trajectory is aimed towards a spot where one of the players designated as an attacker can hit it.
- The attacker spikes, jumping, raising one arm above the head and hitting the ball so it will move quickly down to the ground on the opponent’s court to return the ball over the net. The team with possession of the ball that is trying to attack the ball as described is said to be on offense.
The team on defense attempts to prevent the attacker from directing the ball into their court: players at the net jump and reach above the top of the net in order to block the attacked ball. If the ball is hit around, above, or through the block, the defensive players arranged in the rest of the court attempt to control the ball with a dig, usually a fore-arm pass of a hard-driven ball. After a successful dig, the team transitions to offense. The game continues in this manner, rallying back and forth, until the ball touches the court within the boundaries or until an error is made.
Playing volleyball is a great way to get aerobic activity, improve hand-eye coordination and strengthen your legs and arms. It is also a good way to spend time with friends, and have a little healthy competition. Drop by your local high school or outdoor court to see if they have recreational games that you can join.