How Do You Play Volleyball
Playing Volleyball Explained

How do you play volleyball? On this page I will discuss the necessary steps and rules for playing volleyball. 

Two Teams Competition - How Do You Play Volleyball

Volleyball is a sport that consists of two team trying to win. Most often teams will compete to win the volleyball match. 

A volleyball match consists of sets.

A set is basically a game played to 25 points. 

A match is usually the best of 3 sets. 

The 3rd set of a match is usually played to 15 points. 

So, that's 25 points for the first sets, then if the 3rd is necessary, the teams play to 15.

When playing a 25 point set, if the score is tied 24-24, the set isn't won until a team leads by 2 points. All sets must be won by 2 points. This goes for the deciding set to 15 as well.

Which ever team wins the best of 3 sets wins the match. 

There are also volleyball tournaments. Tournaments consist of match competition. In volleyball tournaments, the format for the tournament is often match competition of teams within pools. 

Teams compete in pools. The results of pool play will determine the seeding for the bracket play. 

Bracket play is usually single elimination. Teams compete in bracket play and advance to the next round with each win. As long as teams keep winning matches, they continue to advance to the next round. The bracket play continues until there is one final winner. 

A Volleyball Team - How Do You Play Volleyball

Each volleyball team has 6 players on the court. A team may have more players on the team bench that can substitute into the match. 

Depending on the organization, there are different rules to follow that will restrict things like substitutions. 

There is also a specialized position player called the libero. This player wears a different colored jersey. This player comes into the match only to play on the back row. When the libero comes into the match, the libero replaces a back row player. This is called a libero replacement. The libero replacement isn't counted as a team substitution. 

Most volleyball teams have a coach. During competition, the coach is responsible for such things as submitting team line ups and helping motivate players to play the best they can. 

Goal of Volleyball - How Do You Play Volleyball

There are different goals of playing volleyball. If you're a coach, you likely have the goal for your team to be successful. Winning could be a major goal. For players, winning may be important or it may not. 

If you're a player, you might just want to play volleyball because your friends play volleyball. Or maybe you play volleyball because it's fun to play. 

Or maybe you play because you find yourself enjoying competing in volleyball. You may take volleyball really seriously and want to be as successful as possible. 

How Play Volleyball

Steps to Playing Volleyball - How Do You Play Volleyball

To play volleyball, you need a volleyball and two teams. Before you start playing you need to decide on things such as playing format. And you need to decide what players are on which team. 

You may need playing uniforms. If you're just getting together with friends, you just need a net, volleyball court and a volleyball.

Decide who is on what team and how many points you are playing to. 

For pick up volleyball, you'll likely play to 25 points. You can do a coin flip or rock, paper, scissors to decide which team serves first and which side of the court each team is on.

If you have a referee available, the referee will facilitate the volleyball match. The referee will call the captains to discuss the ground rules and conduct the coin toss.

For organized competitions, there may be warm up protocol. The referee discusses all the ground rules and goes over any questions the coaches or players have before starting the match. 

The serve. The set starts by the referee whistling and beckoning the ball to be served. The server tosses the ball and serves the ball. 

A rally is won by the team that hits the ball down into the opponents court. A point is also won when a team commits a playing fault such as catching or throwing the ball. Touching the net is also a violation. The rules for net violations depend on the organizations playing rules. There are different rules for different organizations, so be sure to check the correct rules to follow. The team that wins the rally scores a point.

If the serving team wins the rally, the serving team gets a point and serving team stays in the same rotation for the next serve. The same server serves again. If the receiving team wins the rally, the receiving team will win the point and rotate positions. 

The team rotates clockwise. This means the player that was in the right front position (zone 2) will now be the server.

Basic Rules to Understand for Playing Volleyball

Six players on the court at a time. Three front row players and three back row players. The back row players can't block or attack at the net. 

Each team must be in the correct rotation at the moment of serve contact. Certain players can't overlap other players. If there's an overlap, the referee will blow the whistle and signal out of rotation.

Can't catch or throw the ball. It's illegal to catch or throw the ball. It's a judgment call, so the referee will determine what a catch and throw is.

It's legal to double contact the ball on the first team contact of a single playing action. Double contacts on the second and third team hits are illegal. 

Each team is allowed 3 team contacts to return the ball to the opponent. The most common strategy is to pass, set, hit the ball because this will give you the best chance to score.

Two timeouts per set. Each team has two timeouts. Timeouts are usually about 30 seconds.

Teams must win by two points. If there isn't a two point lead, continue play until a team has a two point lead.

Basic Rules to Play Volleyball

Volleyball Skill Development

To be successful at volleyball, your team needs to develop skills. The more you understand how to play the sport and the more you practice and develop playing skills, the better you will be at playing volleyball. 

Good teams usually have really good coaches. The volleyball coach needs to develop skills of coaching so they can help lead their team to success in volleyball. 

6 Basic Skills of Volleyball

There are six main skills to focus on developing if you want to be successful at volleyball.

Attacking. Attacking or hitting is the skill of spiking the ball in such a way to keep the opponent from making a play on the ball. Successful attacks lead to points. The focus of a teams defense and offense is to lead the team to the end result of the team having a successful attack. 

Setting. Setting is the skill of setting an attacker. The better the setter can set an attacker, the more likely the team is to win the point.

Passing. Passing is the skill of sending the ball to the setter. A pass is done with the forearms or hands. 

Serving. A good serving team will put pressure on the opponent. A good server makes it difficult for the opponent to pass. The more difficult it is for the opponent to pass, the more likely it will be that you will win the point.

Blocking. Blocking is a defensive skill performed near the net. The block can only be done by front row players. To block, the player jumps up and reaches above the net to deflect the ball coming from the opponent. The block is the first line of defense. A good blocking team will do a good job of blocking the opponents attacks. A good blocker will also be good at funneling the ball to a defender.

Digging. Players in the backcourt need to be good digging the volleyball. A dig is when a defensive player is able to keep the ball from contacting the floor. The opponent spikes the ball and the defender digs the ball in such a way that it travels to the setter. The setter then sets an attacker for an opportunity to score a point.

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6 Skills for Playing Volleyball | Rules for Beginners