Volleyball Blocking Rules

Three people playing volleyball on beach
Man blocking volleyball during game. (Image: Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Volleyball players use a technique referred to as a block to stop an attack, usually a spike, from the opposing team. To perform a block, players jump, reach high beyond the net with their hands and stop the ball from coming across. To be a legal block, players must follow specific rules or a violation may occur. resulting in a point for the opponents and loss of possession.

Who Can Block

Only players on the front row in the rotation can block, and at least two of them usually converge to confront a top hitter. A player who begins a rotation in the back row isn't allowed to attempt a block. If she does, even if she doesn't actually touch the ball, it's a violation.

Team Hits

During play, teams are allowed three hits to return the ball back across the net. The block does not count as one of the three hits as long as the player's or players' hands were above the top of the net during the block. If their hands were not above the net, it is considered one of the three hits. After a legal block, the first hit can be taken by any player, including the player who just blocked the ball.

Blocking Faults

It's against the rules to block an opponent's serve. Blockers also have to give the hitter a chance to attack. If the block attempt interferes with the opponent's play, or the block touches the ball before the hitter does, it's a point for the other side.

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