What Bounce In Volleyball? (Find Out Interesting Facts About This Term In Volleyball!)

Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Alex PT

In volleyball, a bounce is when the ball hits the ground and then rebounds into the air. The height of the bounce depends on the height from which the ball is dropped, the material of the ball, and the surface it bounces on. A typical volleyball will bounce to about 60% of its original height.

What Is Bounce In Volleyball?

In volleyball, a “bounce” refers to the event where the ball strikes the floor, resulting in a point for the opposing team. Bounces can occur for various reasons:

  1. Spike: A powerful offensive move where a player forcefully strikes the ball over the net into the opponent’s court. If the ball touches the floor on the opponent’s side, it’s a bounce.
  2. Block: When a player or players at the net deflect an opponent’s attack, causing the ball to hit the ground on their side.
  3. Service Ace: If a serve goes untouched by the receiving team and lands in the opponent’s court, it’s considered a bounce.
  4. Miscommunication: Occasionally, miscommunication or hesitation among teammates can lead to the ball falling to the ground, resulting in a bounce.

Bounces lead to scoring points, and the first team to reach a predetermined number of points (often 25) wins the set. In professional volleyball, a best-of-five sets format is common. Understanding how to avoid bounces and strategically capitalize on them is crucial for success in the game.

The Different Types Of Hit In A Volleyball Game

There are four major types of hits in volleyball.

1. Serve

The serve is the first hit in a volleyball game. The type of serve depends on the league, or level of those playing. The serve could be underhand, overhand, or a jump serve. The underhand serves are done with closed fists or open palms over the net with an underhand motion. The underhand service provides more loft than other serves. The overhand serve is done by throwing the ball up into the air and hitting the ball with an overhand motion without your legs leaving the ground. The jump serve involves you hitting the ball with the same arm and hand motion as the overhand serve, but this time around, your leg has to leave the ground briefly as you jump. The jump serve gives you more height over the net, and power behind the hit.

2. Bump

The bump is one of the most basic and important hits in volleyball. The bump is mostly used as the first move after the ball comes over the net. It’s like a forearm passing. It gives the players more time to think of an attack plan. There are two types of bumps, the regular and the dig. The regular bump occurs when the ball is landing above your waist, such that you don’t have to change your position to make a hit. The dig occurs mostly when the other team spikes the ball and it lands below your waist. You are required here to bend to a lower position to save the ball from hitting your side of the court.

3. Set 

A set is another form of passing, It’s the next hit after a bump. It involves hitting the ball up in the air, giving the spikes a perfect shot. The set is an overhead passing whereby you use your fingers in an overhead motion to push the ball closer to the net. While pushing the ball closer to the net, the setter has to be careful so the ball doesn’t get too close so a blocker doesn’t get the chance to block the spike. Also lengthened touch of the ball might result in a “carry” which could cause a penalty.

4. Spike

A spike is hitting the ball with force toward a particular area on the court. You can achieve a bounce in volleyball by spiking. After the ball has been placed in the air by the setter, another player makes a hit with the force of her arms and muscles to make the ball move a lot faster towards the area in the opponent’s court that isn’t defended. A spike can be delivered with an open hand or a closed fist. The open-hand spike makes it hard for the opponent to return. 

The table below contains the fundamental skills and hits allowed in volleyball. 

Fundamental SkillsHits Allowed In Volleyball 
Serving Spike

The Fundamental Skills In Volleyball

There are five basic skill sets you need to be called a volleyball player. These skills are spread across all positions and every volleyball player must be good with these skills. Some of these skills have been spoken of previously. Here are the five basic skills in volleyball.

1. Serving

2. Passing

3. Setting

4. Hitting 

5. Blocking

1. Serving

The serve is always the first hit made in a volleyball game and can be done by anyone. The server has to stand behind the service line. A good serve can make your opponents lose their formation and make a bad return.

2. Passing

Passing is also called bumping in an attacking progression and digging when defending a shot. The only allowed service return is a pass. Passing is also the first shot in a three-shot sequence.

3. Setting

Setting is an overhead pass, it’s as the second shot in a three-shot sequence. A good set is placed four feet from the net so another teammate can follow through with a spike.

4. Hitting

Normally, hitting the ball with full force as the third shot in the sequence is the main aim. There are two main shots here, the spike and the kill shot. A kill shot can be achieved with a two or three-step approach. It is done by striking the ball up with the leap of your palm, wrapping the ball with your fingers, and snapping your wrist.

5. Blocking

Blocking is a defensive move done close to the net. A block is done to defend shots from the opponents. Blocking isn’t allowed on a serve, mostly kill shots or spikes.

Legal And Illegal Hits In Volleyball

Bodies like the federation Internationale de volleyball, and the national federation of high school associations in America have set rules for volleyball players all over the world. Some of these rules are about acceptable and non-acceptable hits in volleyball.

Basic Illegal Hit

In regulatory volleyball, it is illegal to catch and hold the ball. Because of this, hitting the ball from under with open palm is illegal. This is done to avoid the ball being help for even a split second.

Conditional Legal Hit

Most times, some illegal hits are legal because of the circumstance. For example, a team isn’t allowed to hit the ball more than three times before taking it over the net. Blocking isn’t a hit and when a team player already made a block and the ball is still hit thrice on his side of the court, it’s seen to be legal.

Why Do Volleyball Players Bounce The Ball Before They Serve?

  1. Promote Focus and Concentration
    Volleyball players often bounce the ball before they serve to help them focus on the upcoming play. This action aids in honing in the concentration and connecting them mentally to the game. It essentially serves as an anchor, allowing them to clear their minds from any distractions and concentrate on the following crucial serve.
  2. Nerve Control
    Bouncing the ball helps in relieving the tension from the player. It can be seen as a calming ritual that allows players to release any nerves, helping them to remain calm and collected during the game. This leads to a more controlled and effective service.
  3. Rhythm and Timing
    Each player has a unique serving rhythm, which can be supported and enhanced by bouncing the ball before serving. The rhythm can affect the power and accuracy of the serve, and thus bouncing the ball helps to establish a comfortable pace.
  4. Grip Familiarization
    Bouncing the ball helps players to get a feel for the ball, enabling them to understand its weight, shape, and texture. This action aids the players in familiarizing themselves with the grip, contributing to better control during the serve.
  5. Routine and Ritual
    Many players use this bounce as a part of their serving ritual. Sports psychologists believe that these pre-serve routines or rituals can help improve performance by creating a sense of familiarity and preparedness.
  6. Test the Ball’s Condition
    Lastly, bouncing the ball before a serve can help the player test the ball’s condition. The bounce can indicate if the ball is under-inflated, over-inflated, or has any irregularities that might affect the serve.
Promote Focus and ConcentrationBouncing the ball allows players to focus and connect mentally to the game.
Nerve ControlIt helps in relieving the tension, leading to a more controlled and effective service.
Rhythm and TimingBouncing the ball helps establish a comfortable serving pace.
Grip FamiliarizationIt aids the players in familiarizing themselves with the grip, contributing to better control.
Routine and RitualMany players use this bounce as a part of their serving ritual.
Test the Ball’s ConditionThe bounce can indicate if the ball is under-inflated, over-inflated, or has any irregularities.

Is The Ball Allowed To Bounce In Volleyball?

After three hits or less on your side of the court, your team must return the ball over the net. If the ball rebounds immediately, you’re allowed to hit the ball with any part of your body. However, it may not be forcefully kicked or lay against the body. There’s something called a play on the ball, which happens when the ball touched a player or a player touches the ball. 

How High Should A Volleyball Bounce?

As a player, you can check the ball’s pressure during play by stopping every four-to-six pumps. Don’t forget to note the PSI you’re looking for at the moment. Also, you can drop the ball from your chin height. Doing this, the ball should bounce back up about 60-percent if it’s appropriately pumped and inflated. 

How Do You Bounce A Ball?

The gravity pulls the ball towards the floor when you drop it. There’s a kinetic energy as the ball gains energy of motion. However, the energy is effortless when the ball hits the floor and stops. This energy goes into deforming the ball to a squashed shape from its original round shape. 

How Many Times Can The Ball Bounce In Volleyball?

One thing we noticed about the bouncing rule in volleyball is that it encourages passing and teamwork. The ball is allowed to hit the floor once in between any number of times during play. Hence, the ball is allowed to bounce two times in bounds, per volley, once per side. 

What Is Not Allowed In Volleyball?

Generally, volleyball disallows any form of prolonged contact with the ball, so throwing, lifting, holding, pushing, and catching is illegal hits. Also, rolling isn’t allowed in the game of volleyball since there’s continuous contact between the player’s body and the ball. 

Closing Thoughts

Volleyball is seen to be a very fun and interesting game around the world. Here are some of the terms in volleyball that are used by most volleyball players and fans. These are the complete fundamentals of volleyball. With these, you can learn the basic hits and rules in volleyball. And also make the crowd go nuts by achieving a bounce in volleyball.




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