We also field a team (DGP Graphic Violets) in the intermediate division of the GSU (Graduate Student Union) League this year. We aren't accepting any more players, but if you're interested in more advanced volleyball than the DGP "jungleball" days, you may be able to practice with the team. Contact the organizer, Joe Laszlo, for more information.
Positioning =========== Receiving serve --------------- The following is a reasonable position to take when receiving serve: server --> x \ x x | | serving team | x x x / --------------- 5 <--setter \ | 4 2 6 | receiving team | 3 1 / 5 - front/centre person (the "setter") moves up close to the net and waits. Short balls to the centre are 2's responsibility, not 5's. If 5 takes the serve, then someone else must be the setter. 2 - back centre person covers the forward centre court area including short shots that just make it over the net. 1+3 - outside back row players cover the back court both the side and behind the centre person if they can't hit it (because they've moved up). 4+6 - outside front row players (4) cover from the sides to the centre and up to the net. ** Don't forget to call the ball! Attacking (right-side attack) --------- x x x x xx ============== 5 o6 \ 4 2 | | attacking team 3 1 | / 6 - attacker (4 for left-side attack) 2 - back centre person covers the forward centre court area toward attacker in case the blockers successfully return the ball 5 - front/centre person (setter) moves slightly back from net and covers for the block 4+3+1 - front outside (non-attack side), back outside (non-attack side) and back outside (attack side) cover further back in court for a deep or tipped block For left side attack formation is symmetric. Defending (attack from right) --------- x x x x x ox ============== 56 \ 4 2 | | defending side 3 1 | / 5+6 - middle front and middle right (left for attack from left side) should block. Block the diagonal primarily since attacking down the line is more difficult (shorter court). USE DOUBLE-BLOCKING AGAINST GOOD ATTACKERS! 2 - back centre person covers the forward centre court area toward attacker (and blockers) to cover the tip 4+3+1 - front outside (non-attack side), back outside (non-attack side) and back outside (attack side) cover the back court for dinks or solid attacks For attack from left side formation is symmetric. Typical Play (non-specialized positions) ============ All three hits are used. first hit: "pass"/bump to the "setter" (person in front row center at net) second hit: Setter "sets" to left or right side (ideally calling the side or person's name) so the front left or right player can attack. Whenever possible, the _setter_ should play the second hit (and yell help when he/she can't get to it). third hit: attack (spike tip or volley) or recover/save (when the first or second hit is poor) blocking: blocking the opponent's attack (usually done on a spike) to put the ball back down into their court First hit --------- "pass"/bump Object: To control ball and put it nice and high (to give setter and others time) a few feet back from the net (to avoid going over and for an easier set). Probably the most important basic shot since if you can't bring the ball under control, everyone ends up having to try to save it to stay alive and you never get to "attack" to regain serve or earn a point. Hints - call the ball if it's not clearly yours (and maybe even if it is) - keep arms straight (to avoid hitting inaccurately) - hit with "fleshy" part of arm (arms turned "out" and closer to the elbow than the wrist) to "dampen" ball - "push" it into the air with arm and legs rather than "bouncing" it off bone which is far less predictable - bump high enough that the setter can volley it easily (without lying on their back on the floor :-) - most important is to control it and get it generally toward the front/centre of the court Second hit ---------- Normally the second hit is _always_ by the setter, so unless they absolutely can't get to it (in which case they should yell "help") you should just "back them up" (but give them as much room as possible). If someone other than the setter gets the second hit, they should still MAKE AN ATTEMPT TO SET the ball to one of the attackers. In this case, be careful not to set too close to or over the net, which is a common error when setting toward (rather than parallel with) the net. set/volley Object: To place the ball a few feet back from the net to the left or right side to allow the player there to "attack" (with a spike, tip or even a volley). Hints - call it and move quickly to get under the ball to volley - always use a volley when possible rather than a bump because with practice, volleys are _much_ more precisely controllable - set the ball a few feet back from the net so that the person has space, otherwise they'll often hit it into the net or have to hit it straight up or take it off the net to get it over *** This is especially true for "attackers" who can't reach net height since as the distance to the net decreases, the upward angle necessary to hit ball over the net increases dramatically, resulting in most balls close to the net going into the net (or straight up to be hit down by blockers) - set nice and _high_ to give the attacker(s) time to set up Third hit --------- With a good set, use it to attack (spike/tip/volley) rather than just hitting it over easily. People on both sides of the front row should be prepared to attack (i.e. to have the setter set to them), even if the setter is facing away, because they can always "back set" if they want. With a poor set, "make sure" it gets over (either a bump or volley, though a volley is generally better if possible), preferably deep and relatively high to give your team time to get back to positions etc. Spike Object: To hit the ball with significant speed/force in order to hit the ground in the opponents court, to go out off the opposing team's block or to make their defense (bump to setter) more difficult. NOTE: Spikes must be brief hits, not long contacts with the ball (which is usually either directing or carrying). Hit the ball like you do when you serve it, _don't_ push or throw it (illegal). Hints - if you don't already know how to spike, start by hitting it like a solid overhead serve (with the heel of your palm) - if you can't jump high enough to reach over the net, remember to hit it slightly upward (again like a serve) - try not to spike from too close to the net (you'll hit it or make it very easy for a blocker) - usually hit down the line or along the diagonal - if you often hit too long, go for the diagonal since there's more court (both lengthwise and widthwise) to hit into. - keep you eye on the ball - a good set makes all the difference - The net is basically the same height as the average ceiling (2.43 meters/8 feet) so if you can jump and touch your palm on a typical ceiling you can spike for real with enough practice. Tip Object: To gently put the ball just over the blocker(s) or just over the net (usually with one hand but possibly two) where it will be hard to dig (bump). Used when the players behind the blocker(s) don't move up enough to cover their court or when you don't think you can spike through or around the blocker(s). Hints - hit quite softly and not too high (ideally just over the blocker(s) or net if there are no blockers) - should land close to net (behind blockers) so it is difficult to save - if someone is blocking you, consider a tip unless you spike well Volley Object: Place ball in a "hole" in court coverage. Can be offensive (similar to tip but often deeper and lower) but usually defensive ("free ball" for other team) offensive - carefully volley into a "hole", often deep into the opponent's court (if back row has moved up or toward the centre too much) - along a sideline (if everyone is too close to centre and/or net) - tight angle along net (if everyone is too far back) - any other (big) hole - low over net (without hitting it) - more firm than a tip to get the ball there quickly defensive - used when the set isn't very good - getting it over is the most important thing - deep into court (and maybe to the sides?) to make their first hit a bump/pass (instead of a set) - high enough that it can't be blocked Blocking -------- Object: To stop a spiker from having an open court to hit into. Also to put pressure on the attacker (may cause a misshit into the net at our level) and possibly return the ball to their court before they have a chance to prepare for it. Finally, to slow down a spiked ball and give your team time and a better chance to recover it. Hints - jump up as high as you can fairly close to the net (closer than a spike) but without touching it - being too far back leads to the possibility of blocking the ball down onto your side of the net. - try to "follow" the ball with your hands (e.g. if you can see they're going to hit to your left, move your hands left) - if you are tall enough and/or can jump high enough, try to reach over the net and block the ball on the opponents side of the court to reduce the chance of deflecting it down into your own side. This is legal as long as you contact the ball after (not during) the attacker's contact with the ball. (it is NOT legal to attack the ball on the opponents side though) - try to "aim" the ball down onto their side of the net and into their court (not "out" to the sidelines) by keeping the surface formed by both hands and arms pointed toward the centre of the court - unless you're pretty confident, use tight, flat hands and keep fingers and thumbs in. This is _not_ the case with good blocks (fingers are spread as much as possible to cover as large an area with both hands as possible) but I think it's safer and avoids finger/thumb injuries. ** - LEARN WHEN TO BLOCK AND WHEN NOT TO - blocking when it's not needed is bad since it leads to more sparse a hole in court coverage. Only spikes should be blocked (ideally every spike). If the set is very bad (free ball) or you know the person can't spike (too short etc.) DON'T BLOCK so you're ready to dig for the tip. Similarly, when playing against good players that spike well, you should try to block every spike. The trick is to learn to watch and recognize when a spike isn't possible. - REMEMBER that after you touch the ball during blocking, you can still be the next person to hit it and there are three hits allowed _after_ the block ** - the timing for a block is basically the same as the timing for a spike (i.e. jump up at the same time you would if you were going to spike the ball) since spikes move pretty quickly (this depends on many factors though, such as the relative heights and maximum vertical jumps of the blocker and attacker) Other hints/tips ================ ** 0) COMMUNICATE - call the ball, make your intent clear (e.g. call someone's name when you set to them) and remind others to do the same. Here are some particular points to communicate to others (as well as to keep in mind yourself): - watch for tips (when attacker may tip and there's a hole) - make sure to get ball over (either when it's not certain it'll go over or to be safe on the last hit when it's not a good attack) - "be ready" (for the ball to come back quickly off a block or off the net) - it's still alive (the ball) - stop admiring good saves/attacks etc. when ball is still in play - back to positions (when people don't return to positions after the team's last hit) - "call it" (the ball) - serve it in - watch/cover the hole 1) Get the service over the net (and preferably in the opponents court). 2) If the ball is close to going over the net, "make sure" it goes over. The best way to do this is to jump up and help it over since if it does come down on your side, it will likely hit the net, making it very difficult to save. ** 3) When on the third hit with a poor set (or any other hit where you're saving it and want to put it over) use a "safe" shot to make sure it goes over. Many times, people could easily put it over, but try to make an agressive shot and end up putting it into the net, especially when bumping it over backwards. There's nothing wrong with putting it over fairly high as long as you don't smash it hard into the lights. ** 4) When someone goes up to block, move up a little to cover the court behind them in case of a tip. Also remember that you still have to cover your own position so don't move up _too_ far. Move up slightly & be ready. 5) When a shallow ball goes between the back and front row, usually the back row person should hit it since it's easier to hit forward moving forward than to hit backward or moving backward. 6) Spread out evenly to cover the court. In general, try to maintain your position relative to other players while covering "holes" (big gaps) between players where the opposing team can place the ball for an easy point. Let others cover holes that aren't adjacent to your own position. Avoid clustering in one part of the court (usually at the front) since this also causes holes. Make sure you're in position (as just described) _before_ the opponents hit the ball over the net, since otherwise it's often too late. 7) Do your "job" and count on the other players to do their job. Rushing in to do it for them may save the ball, but will likely result in them playing their shots even less frequently for fear of getting in the way of other players and more lost points. When players don't cover their position, try giving them _more_ room (by moving over) and suggest that they move over to cover the "hole" you make by doing this. Some ball handling violations ============================= (I'm not certain about these layman descriptions, so please correct them if you know they're wrong) Directing: I think "spiking" with two hands is often called either directing or maybe a double hit depending on how hard it's hit. In any case, don't hit the ball over with two hands unless you're volleying or bumping. Spikes should be brief hits, not long contacts with the ball (which is usually either directing or carrying). Also, in volleyball, you're NOT supposed to intentionally volley over the net in a direction NON-perpendicular to your shoulders (if it's done accidentally at the discression of the referee it's allowable). That is, you can only volley over the net either forwards or backwards (at any angle from vertical). If you want to put the ball over in another direction (to your left or right), move your feet and body so that your shoulders "point" in that direction. You ARE allowed to volley in any direction (to set the ball) as long as you don't intentionally put the ball over the net. Scooping: Using an open hand (or two) facing upward to push up on the ball (from underneath it) with your fingers pointing forward is called scooping. It's like bumping with open hands using your hands instead of your arms. The best way to avoid scooping is probably to bump properly instead. Just straighten your arms (since most people bend their arms when they scoop) and hit with your arms instead of your hands. If this is too hard, at least use closed fists rather than open hands. In this case, it's best to make sure your hands are completely together to avoid the chance of being called for a double hit. Palming: Using the palm of your hand to volley is called palming. You should only be fingertips when volleying. Carrying/holding: (I'm not sure what the real name for the fault is) I think any non-"instantaneous" contacts with the ball are called carrying or holding. All contacts with the ball should be short in duration (similar to a service hit for example).
Chip Dyer wrote:Eric Carr wrote:
None of us needs an injury like one of these. Don't forget to shout a warning when a ball gets loose, call balls during play, and avoid net and centre-line violations (or even crossings) like the plague.
Let's remember to play and practice safely!