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Volleyball in General
Member Name: funagogo
Volleyball in General
Date: 27/08/07, updated on 27/08/07 (769 review reads)
Advantages: Burns calories, meet new people, partying
Disadvantages: Can hurt, chances of broken fingers
It is estimated that globally volleyball is the second most participated team game in the World (behind football, but over here it is something we are forced to do at school for 6 weeks and then it is never given another sport. I have played up to a very high level since I was a child so this is my attempt to pimp the sport a little bit. The basic aim of the game is to get the ball on the floor of the opposition using skills, tactics and occaisionally the odd 6ft8 monster hitter.
Volleyball was created in 1895 in Massachusetts by a man called William G Morgan. He wanted to create a game incorporating elements of Tennis, Handball and Basketball in a less aggresive, but just as energetic way. It was first know as Mintonette, but became known as Volleyball several years later. It became part of the Olympic games in 1964 with the Beach version becoming an Olympic sport in 1996.
A volleyball court is 9m wide by 18m long. The net is in the middle and there is also a 3m line from the net which divides back court from front.
A beach volleyball court is obviously on sand and measures 8m wide by 16m long. There is no line to divide back and front court.
Men - 2m43
Women - 2m24
Volleyball is in essence quite a simple game, so her are the basics:
* Each team has 6 players
* Matches are played in sets. To win a set you must get 25 points or by 2 clear points above this. A point is scored from every service and matches are best of 5 sets. The 5th set, if necessary is first to 15, or by 2 clear points.
* Once the ball goes over the net the team has 3 touches to get the ball back over.
* It is a non-contact sport and you can't touch the net
* A rally is over once the ball hits the floor and it is legal to use any part of your body to hit the ball.
* Once a team has won a point they take the serve. To ensure the strongest server is not always serving after every service won the team rotates clockwise around the court
* Only the team captain may talk to the referee, you can be sent off for breaking this rule, although a sending off only lasts 1 set.
There are generally 4 types of players in volleyball who are all specialist in their own fields. Although due to the rotation system this means players will not be in a natural position they will 'switch' into position once the ball has gone over the net. The positions of players are generally numbered anti-clockwise so the server will be at 1, with the person to their left being number 6. 2,3 and 4 are front court positions and 1, 5 and 6 are back court.
Setter - A setter will switch into positions 1 and 2 and out of the three touches will always take the second pass. Their job is to put the ball up for a hitter to spike. Overall these players are usually the most skillful but are tiny.
Middle Hitters - Middle hitters switch into positions 3 and 6. They are close to the setter for a quick hit and are usually the strongest, tallest players.
Wing/ Outside Hitters - Wing hitters are in poitions 4 and 5. They are the more tactical hitters who can alter their run up to the hit to give a wider range in their attacks.
Libero - A libero is a specialist back court player who can not serve or jump anywhere in the front court. They will be substituted on and off on a rolling system throughout the game and must wear a different coloured shirt to identify them. They are usually brought non to deal with a particularly difficult server.
With the exception of the libero each team will have 2 setters, middle hitters and wing hitters who will be diagonally opposite each other before the switch.
Serve - The first point of attack in volleyball is the serve. If you are learning to play volleyball you will learn an underarm serve first. This will mean you holding the ball flat in your weaker arm and using your stronger arm as a pendulum to hit it. As you become more competent you will learn an overarm serve. This uses your body weight as the power. Again you will hold the ball in your weaker hand then throw it about a metre in front of you. Stepping into the space and bring your hitting arm over your shoulder in a bowling movement you will hit the ball with an open palm. You can serve from anywhere along the back line and it is still valid if it hits the net. It is illegal to block a serve as some of these players who are 7ft could just do this making it a very dull game. As you become a stronger hitter you will be able to add a jump or a bit of spin and some of the best players can hit a serve at about 80 mph. Generally if you are a back court player and the ball is coming at head height, leave it because it is going out
Dig/Bump/ Forearm Pass - Once the serve has come over the net it is easiest to dig/ bump/ forearm pass it. This is because if a ball is coming at you at 80 mph you do not want to be putting your fingers in the way. To do this manouvre you place your arms out straight in front of you with your hands on top of each other, pull your thumbs in to make a flat platform and thats it. This position is about creating a flat platform and using your body to absorb the power. This is done by bending the knees and simply rising up. This will create a controllable ball into the setter as opposed to if you swing your arms when it is likely to go off at any angle. It is best to use this pass if the ball is between your neck and knees.
Volley/ Set - The volley is the most accurate form of passing in volleyball. It is played when a ball is at head height and is often used by the setter to put up a ball for a hit. To volley the bal you star with your fingers together and thumbs at right angles. Put the tips of your thumbs together and the tips of your second fingers together to make a diamond shape. Once you have done this open up your other fingers to give you a greater contact area on the ball. Raise your fingers above your head with bent elbows (to create another diamond shape.) If you are in the correct position, the ball should be able to go though the gap between your thumbs and smack you square on the forehead!
Hit/ Spike - This is the money shot. Once the set has been launched the hitter will be on their run up in. They jump whilst the ball is still in front of them and use their body weight and momentum to hit the ball hard and down. A backcourt player can hit the ball but can not enter the front court in the process.
Block - When the opposition see the hit is coming they try and put the hitter off by forming a block. This can be 1 or 2 people jumping and trying to form a barrier with their hands. If the hit goes off the block and back over the net the hitting team must try and form an attack again. If the hit touches the block and goes up, the blocking team must keep playing using their 3 touches as the block doesn't count.
Volleyball can burn up to 500 calories per hour.
There are many sneaky tactics in volleyball which I love. Here are a few of them:
* Your team will always want the game playing at their pace. If they are on a roll the dead ball will be passed around quickly to keep up momentum. If players need a breather between points the ball will be accidentally drop, kicked or rolled in the wrong direction.
* If you are on the receiving end of the serve and need a breather you can fake a coughing fit or take an age to tie up your shoe laces.
* There is a lot of huddles after every point, with cheering and celebration. If an opposition player has made a number of mistakes the huddle will probably laugh too to try and crack them.
* In beach volleyball the ball can be rolled along the sand so when the server hits the ball sand will go in their face.
* In beach volleyball you can indicate behind your back to the server where you want the ball serving by using hand signals.
* My personal favourite, although probably classed as cheating is to shout "out" when the other team are playing as they will leave it and you will win the point!
To play volleyball you just need a ball really. The ball size is 65-67cm and is made of leather. These balls are quite specialist and can hurt if you are a beginner so you should probably practice with a cheap airflow football. If you wanted to splash out on a proper volleyball they are about £50! If you want to play at a higher level, every county across the country has volleyball teams and there is a national league and a GB team for those really good players. If you are playing indoors you will need a good pair of trainers, tied up, possibly some kneepads, some shorts and a tshirt. Volleyball kneepads are available from high street suppliers for about £15, but most people playing volleyball get theirs from www.prosportinternational.co.uk.
Volleyball is a great way to meet new people. If you are playing in a league you will probably be training once an week and having a game that week too. During the summer there are tournaments almost every week, and volleyball players play hard and the party hard too!
If you want to do something more than go to the gym this is a great way of getting fit and meeting new people.It is a game that is open to all physical abilities and ages, and can be learnt very easily. I would advise giving it a couple of months or starting off with a learners team because it can be disheartening if you are getting beaten week-in-week-out, or are seen as the weakest link in a team. Always remember to warm up first, especially your fingers and just remember if you are going to play beach volleyball there is a rule about how skimpy the outfits have to be, so it is one for the super fit! Don't be put off if it hurts in the first few weeks, you will come out black and blue, but this will go away after a fortnight or so and you get used to the ball. In the 15 years I have been playing the worst injury I have ever seen was a black eye, no broken bones or anything!
If you are looking for a local club this website is quite a good one:
Summary: Great exercise for everyone