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  • Ace: A serve that scores a point without any opponent's touching the ball.
  • Antennae: The rods that protrude above the top of the net and define the width of the attacking area. All balls must be hit across the net between the antennae without touching them. The ball is out-of-bounds if it touches or crosses the net outside of the antennae. Antenna are out of play and are normally red and white stripped. Also known as aerials.
  • Approach: The path and method an attacker moves to the net before jumping to attack the ball.
  • Attack: To smash the ball into the opponents' court. This is done in a manner where the attacker hits the ball above the height of the net in a downward direction towards the floor.
  • Attacker: Also "hitter" or "spiker." A player who attempts to hit a ball offensively with the purpose of terminating play in his or her team's favor.
  • Attack Error: An unsuccessful attack that does one of the following: 1) the ball lands out of bounds, 2) the ball goes into the volleyball net and terminates play or goes into the net on the third hit 3) the ball is blocked by the opposition for a point or side out 4) the attacker is called for illegal contact (lift, double hit) on the attack.
  • Backhand Dig: Low reception of a hard-driven spike using the back of the outstretched hand.
  • Back Set: A set made by the setter in the direction opposite to which he or she is facing, over the setter's head to a player behind him/her.
  • Bambi: A player who tenses up and does not play aggressively.
  • Bang / Bounce / Thump: A ball spiked very hard with a steep downward angle. A hit that lands inside the 10 foot line.
  • Beddie: A bikini-clad beach girl.
  • Block: To block an opposing player from spiking the ball by jumping at the net with arms in the air.
  • Boom: A ball spiked straight down into the sand.
  • Break: An abrupt change of direction in the attacker's approach.
  • Bump: A pass with both arms together where the ball bumps off the forearms. Also known as forearm pass, bump pass.
  • Bump Pass: A pass with both arms together where the ball bumps off the forearms. Also known as forearm pass, bump.
  • Bump Set: A set with both arms together where the ball bumps off the forearms. Just like a pass but usually the second hit and a subsequent attack should follow.
  • Butter / Nectar / Sauce: A perfect set.
  • Campfire Defense: When a ball falls to the floor in an area that's surrounded by both defenders; it appears the players are encircling and staring dumbfounded at a campfire.
  • Carry: misplayed ball involving "prolonged contact;" also called a lift or throw.
  • Chicken Wing: When a defending player is forced to react very quickly to a ball coming at their upper torso, the player may lift a bent arm in the shape of a chicken wing to dig the ball.
  • Chester: To be hit in the chest by a spiked ball.
  • Chuck: A ball that is pushed or thrown, rather than hit.
  • Change Up: Altering either the speed of the ball or the distance it travels during the serve in such a way that the opponent doesn't recognize the change immediately.
  • Chizzy: After an attack, the ball is forced off the blockers' hands, resulting in a kill.
  • Cobra: With the fingers extended straight and stiff, the ball is poked with the fingertips.
  • Co-Ed: A team consisting of one male and one female player, usually played on a mens net.
  • Collapse: A defensive technique of hitting the ball just before it lands using a forearm pass while falling to the floor.
  • Court: The playing area including the boundary lines but not including the service area.
  • Crossing Space: The zone above the net and between two antennae through which the ball must pass during a rally.
  • Cut /Cut Shot / Cutee: These attack shots travel over the net at extreme angles. The balls often land in front of the attack line.
  • Deep Dish: An illegal set that is held excessively long, typically set from below the shoulders.
  • Dig: A defensive contact following an opponent's attack resulting in a playable ball.
  • Dime: A perfect pass.
  • Dink: A soft hit ball, usually around or over the top of the blockers. A dink is also used effectively to direct the ball to an open hole in the defense near the net.
  • Doubles: A version of the game where each team has only two players. Played on all surfaces but is most popular on played on a sand court. Also known as 2s, two's.
  • Double Contact / Double: A fault in which a player contacts the ball with two body parts consecutively.
  • Down Ball: An attacked ball from the opponent that the blockers assess as not being hit hard enough or being contacted too deep in the opponent's court to require a block attempt.
  • Down Blocking: The decision not to block a shot.
  • Dump: When on second contact the ball is purposely returned over the net instead of set to a hitter, which may result in a kill when the defense in unaware. Usually enacted by the setter.
  • End Line: The back boundary line of the court.
  • Facial / Six-Pack / Tattoo: When a defending player gets hit in the face with the ball either from an attack by the opposing team or by a deflection off the block. The term "six-pack" comes from a tradition where the player hit by the spike must buy the hitter a six-pack, usually of beer. The term "tattoo" refers to marks left on the skin of the hit player by the seams/lettering on the ball. Also known as a six-pack because volleyball etiquette holds that if you give another player a facial, you buy him or her a six-pack to help ease the pain.
  • Fish: A player who gets caught in the net.
  • Flipper: A reaching contact made with the outstretched back of the hand in a flipping motion. Popularized by beach player Andy Fishburn.
  • Floater/Float: A non-spinning serve that is unpredictable because its path is perturbed by air currents above the court, similar to a knuckleball in baseball.
  • Foot Fault: The penalty incurred when the server's foot touches the playing surface, including the baseline, before contacting the ball, or any other player's foot touches the opposing court.
  • Foul: Any violation of the rules.
  • Free Ball: A ball that is passed over the net because an attack wasn't possible.
  • Friendly Fire: Being hit in the head by a teammates serve.
  • Gator: A defensive digging technique in the defense of a hard hit ball. The hands are formed into the shape of 2 gator jaws (the left hand on top and the right hand on bottom). The maneuver involves digging the ball with the bottom right hand and then directing it with the upper left hand.
  • Hands: Hand setting. Someone with "nice hands" sets well.
  • Heat: Speed. Used to describe a hard-hit ball.
  • Hook Serve: A style of serving the ball which involves making a circular arm movement starting from the thighs culminating in contact above the head.
  • House / Stuff / Roof: When the defensive player blocks a ball so hard that it is immediately returned to the hitter and goes straight to the floor.
  • Husband and Wife: When a serve drops in the middle of the court between both players because the players can't decide who will pass it.
  • Inside Set: A set that is placed near the middle of the court instead of on or near the edge of the court.
  • Jedi Defense: Play where immobile defender thrusts one arm at the ball, resulting in a miraculously perfect pass.
  • Joust: Two opposing players simultaneously make contact with the ball above the height of the net.
  • Jump Float: A jumping float server.
  • Jump Serve / Jump / Jumper: a serve made famous by Karch Kiraly; the serving player tosses the ball in the air and into the court, then uses an attack approach to jump and serve the ball.
  • Juice Head: A body builder at the beach.
  • Jungle Ball / Picnic ball: Volleyball played by a group of players that don't really know how to play nor follow the majority of the rules. Also known as picnic volleyball.
  • Kelly / Kells Bells: A disruptive female volleyball player.
  • Key: To predict a team's next play by observation of patterns or habits.
  • Kill: A hard shot angled downward that the opposing side is unable to return.
  • Kong: A one-handed block, usually because the blocker is late. Initially popularized by Sinjin Smith.
  • Let Serve: A serve that hits the net; and continues across into the opponents' court.
  • Lift: Illegally holding a ball during a contact. Illegal contact.
  • Line / Line Shot: A ball attacked down the sideline on the opponents court, closest to the hitter, and around the outside the block, parallel to the sideline.
  • Lip: A good dig. Gets its name from the lip-like appearance the arms create when they are placed together for a dig.
  • Match Point: When a team is serving and is only 1 point away from winning the game.
  • Mintonette: The original name of volleyball. Volleyball was created by William Morgan of the YMCA.
  • Missile: A spike or serve that rockets out of bounds.
  • Multiple Contact: Touching the ball more than once on the same play. This is allowed as long as no two contacts are made by the same player in succession (other than by a blocker after the block).
  • Nail: A perfect pass.
  • Net Fault: An illegal act whereby a player touches the net while the ball is in play. It is not a fault if the contact was caused by the ball's forcing the net into the player's hand or body, or if it was accidentally caused by a player not playing the ball. Also known as netting.
  • Net Serve: A serve that hits the net; it is a fault even if the ball continues across into the opponents' court.
  • Off-Speed Hit: Spike performed with a slower arm speed to change the pace of the offense. Normally the ball has a lot of spin.
  • Outsite: Away from the center of the court and toward one sideline or the other.
  • Over Set: A ball that is accidentally set across the net.
  • Paintbrush: A mishit--when a player attempts to hit (or spike) the ball with the open hand and nearly misses the ball, only contacting the ball with his/her fingers.
  • Pancake: When a player digs the ball by extending his or her hand flat on the ground, bouncing the ball off the back of the hand.
  • Penetration: Reaching across the net with your hands and breaking the plane of the net above the height of the net, in an effort to block an attack.
  • Pepper: A warm-up drill in which two players pass, set, and hit the ball back and forth.
  • Platform: The hitting area created by placing the arms together with elbows in close and the fleshy part of the arms facing upward.
  • Poke /Pokey / Camel toe: A ball contacted with the knuckles especially on the beach.
  • Popcorn Set/Sprinkler: When an unskilled setter is sending sets in a random pattern (like popcorn being popped, or like a water sprinkler on the grass).
  • Power Dink: A cross court shot that travels to the farthest opposite point on the court.
  • Prince/Princess of Whales: A player who spikes the ball as hard as possible no matter what.
  • Quick Set: A low set for an incoming spiker made possible by an accurate first pass. Also known as short set.
  • Rainbow: A shot especially on the beach that is hit over the head of the defender to the far corner and lands cleanly. Also known as a Jumbo Shrimp (due to the arc/shape of the shot).
  • Rally: The exchange of plays that decides each point.
  • Rally Point: A point is recorded for every single rally no matter who is serving. Unofrced errors or missed serves also results in a point for the other team.
  • Rally Scoring: An alternative scoring system incorporated in the deciding game of a match where a point is scored when either team wins the rally.
  • Ready Position: The flexed, yet comfortable, posture a player assumes before moving to the point of contact.
  • Redwood: A tall, but not particularly agile, blocker.
  • Red Card: A severe penalty given by the official to a player or coach. When the penalty occurs, the official will display a red card which, depending on the rule set, may result in a player being disqualified.
  • Co-Ed: A team consisting of one male and one female player, played on a mens net. The male player must hit the ball behing the ten foot line.
  • Rock: A guy without the body for the beach.
  • Roll / Roll Shot: An attacker hits the set softly putting extreme topspin on the ball so that it will clear the block and drop quickly and directly over the block.
  • Roof: The big block that sends the volleyball straight down on the attacker's court.
  • Roundhouse: Type of attack shot played with the arm fully extended above the head.
  • Scoop: A fault in which a player lifts the ball with open hands.
  • Screen: An illegal act by the players of the serving team, who position themselves to block the opponents' view of the server.
  • Seal The Net: Performed by a blocker, who jumps as close to the net as possible so that the ball cannot fit between his or her hands and the net.
  • Serve: The stroke used to put the ball in play at the start of each rally.
  • Service Error: An unsuccessful serve in which the ball does not legally land in the opponents court or the player commits a foot fault.
  • Setter: The player whose primary responsibility is to get to the ball on the second contact and deliver it to a teammate for the attack.
  • Set - One / Quick: A very short set that goes about 2 feet above the setters head.
  • Set - Two: A ball set to the middle hitter. Also, a "back two" is the same set set behind the setter.
  • Set - Three: A quick lower set to the outside.
  • Shag: Picking up and collecting scattered volleyballs.
  • Shank: When a player unintentionally passes a ball in a wild manner, rendering it unplayable to his or her teammates.
  • Shoot Set: It is played fast and low across the court for the smasher to hit. When timed effectively it results in a very fast attack. Also known as parallel set.
  • Shot: An offensive play in which a set ball, rather than being spiked hard, is directed to an open area of the court.
  • Sideline: A side boundary line on a court.
  • Side Out: Occurs when the receiving team successfully puts the ball away against the serving team, or when the serving team commits an unforced error, and the receiving team thus gains the right to serve.
  • Six Pack: Occurs when a blocker gets hit in the head or face by a spiked ball. If the victim has to come out of the game, it's a "facial disgracial."
  • Sizzle the Pits: A hard spike that travels past blocker's raised arms.
  • Sky Ball: A unique underhand serve in which the ball is shot unusually high into the air above the oppossing team's court in the attempt to confuse the receiver.
  • Soft Block: Block used to slow down the ball by relaxing or tilting the hands back.
  • Spade: An ace serve.
  • Spike: When an offensive player attacks the ball with a one-arm motion done over the head, attempting to get a kill.
  • Spin Serve: A serve in which the ball is contacted just below the horizontal midline by the heel of the hand. Wrist snap draws the fingers over the ball to impart spin.
  • Sprawl: A type of dig in which the player does not dive forward, but rather places his hands on the ground and pushes his body forward and down. Similar to diving for a ball, but not actually leaving the ground.
  • Stone: A woman without the body for the beach.
  • Strong Side: The left side of the court, so-called because it is usually the easier side to right-handed players to attack from.
  • Stuff: A ball that is deflected back to the attacking team's floor by the opponent's blocker.
  • Telegraph: To give away one's intentions to the opponents.
  • Tape: The top of the net.
  • Team Advil: When two teammates are fighting and edgy with each other.
  • Throw: Changing the direction of a volleyball by grabbing it and throwing it. Also known as lift, held ball, grab.
  • Tight Set: A set no more than 1 foot away from the net.
  • Tip: A softer or off-speed finesse attack, usually committed with more of the fingers and fingertips than the whole hand as used in an attack.
  • Tool / Use: An attack which is deflected off an opponent (usually during a block) and is unplayable resulting in a point for the attacking team.
  • Transition: Thee change from defense to offense, or vice versa.
  • Trap / Trap Set: A ball set too close to the net where the hitter typically gets stuffed.
  • Tuna: A player who commits a very flagrant net violation.
  • Turning In: The act of an outside blocker turning his/her body into the court so as to ensure the blocked ball is deflected into the court and lands in-bounds.
  • Tweener: A ball that is well-placed between the two defenders.
  • UC State: An unconscious state where a player or team can do no wrong.
  • Underhand Serve: Serve which is put into play with an underhand striking motion.
  • Volley Dolly: A female volleyball groupie.
  • Weak Side: The right-front position of the net for a right-handed person and the left-front for a left-handed person.
  • Whale: To heedlessly swing at the ball with maximum force without regard for the blocker's location, the score, or the ball position.
  • Wipe / Swipe: When one player pushes the ball against the opponents block and physically wipes the ball out of bounds. Similar to a tool.
  • Yellow Card: A card the official will pull out to give a warning to a player or coach. Subsequent yellow cards given to a single player or coach can result in disqualification from the match.
  • Zones: Designated areas of the court or net primarilty to indicate target areas for serving.


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