Volleyball Blocking Rules: Official Rules, Blocking Types & Tips

Blocking is a defensive skill that stops the opposing team from scoring by spiking the ball over the net. Good blocking can mess up the other team’s offense, open counterattack chances, and help a team win. Regardless of skill level, all players must understand the volleyball blocking rules.

What is a volleyball block?

Volleyball block is a defensive technique where players intercept the opponent’s attack near the net. Blocking requires precise timing, communication, and athleticism to execute.

Types of Blocks

Volleyball blocking involves various techniques and strategies designed to counter different attacking patterns. Here’s an overview of some standard blocking techniques:

Soft Block:

The blockers aim to deflect or redirect the spiked ball in a soft block rather than stop it completely. This is used against skilled spikers to maintain ball control and transition to defense.

Hard Block:

On the other hand, a hard block aims to stop the spiked ball completely. This strategy is used when anticipating a weak or predictable attack. It has the potential to completely shut down the opponent’s offense.

Delay Block:

Delay block: jump later than usual to catch the opposing spiker off guard and disrupt their timing. This is effective against spikers who rely on predicting the blocker’s movements.

Middle Block:

The middle block is performed by the center front player, who has the best vantage point at the net. Their primary responsibility is to block attacks from the middle of the court.

Side Block:

Executed by the outside front players, who are responsible for blocking attacks from the sides of the court. They often coordinate with the middle blocker to form a solid blocking wall.

These are a few of the various blocking techniques employed in volleyball.

Official Volleyball Blocking Rules

Players must follow specific volleyball blocking rules to avoid penalties and maintain game flow.

Legal Blocking Actions:

  • Players can block the ball using any body part above the net’s height. But not below the waist.
  • Players can block the ball multiple times within the same contact.
  • Players can block the ball on the opponent’s side, over the net, and in front of the net.

Illegal Blocking Actions:

  1. Players cannot touch the net while blocking the ball.
  2. Players cannot carry the ball after blocking it.
  3. Players cannot touch the ball below the waist while blocking it.
  4. Players cannot double-hit the ball (two consecutive contacts with the ball by the same player) while blocking it.
  5. Players cannot block the ball before it crosses the net.

Read our new guide on official volleyball hitting rules.

Common Volleyball Blocking Mistakes

Players often make mistakes, giving opponents scoring opportunities and penalties. Here are some common blocking mistakes to avoid:

  • Double Hit: Hitting the ball twice in succession while blocking is a common mistake that can result in a penalty.
  • Jumping too Early or Too Late: Timing your jump is crucial for effective blocking. Jumping too early can leave a gap for the attacker to exploit; jumping too late can make it difficult to reach the ball.
  • Not Extending Arms: Fully extending your arms during the block creates a more enormous barrier for the attacker to penetrate.
  • Not Focusing on the Ball: Maintaining focus on the ball while blocking helps anticipate the attacker’s movement and react accordingly.
  • Not Communicating with Teammates: Clear communication with teammates is crucial for coordinating blocking strategies and ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Practical Blocking Drills and Exercises

Developing practical blocking skills requires regular practice to improve timing, coordination, and instincts. Here are some valuable drills enhance your blocking skills:

  1. One-on-One Blocking Drill: Partner with a teammate and practice blocking their spikes from different positions and angles.
  2. Ghost Blocking Drill: Practice jumping and extending your arms without a ball to develop muscle memory and timing.
  3. Blocking Against Different Spikers: Practice blocking against players with different spiking styles and tendencies to adapt to various attacking patterns.
  4. Blocking with Communication: Practice blocking with teammates, incorporating verbal and nonverbal cues to coordinate strategies and prevent gaps.
  5. Blocking Against High-Speed Sets: Practice blocking against fast sets to improve reaction time and anticipation skills.

Tips for Improving Your Blocking Skills

Beyond drills and exercises, here are some valuable tips to help you become a more effective blocker:

  • Watch Experienced Blockers: It’s recommended to watch experienced blockers in high-level competitions. By observing their techniques, timing, and positioning, you can learn a lot and apply it to your game.
  • Analyze Your Opponents: When preparing to play against an opponent, reviewing video footage to identify their spiking tendencies is helpful. Using this information, you can adjust your blocking strategies accordingly.
  • Focus on Your Timing: Practice jumping in sync with the setter to close off the net at the right moment.
  • Communicate Clearly with Teammates: Use verbal and nonverbal cues to communicate blocking assignments, anticipate plays, and adjust positioning.
  • Stay Consistent and Persistent: Blocking requires consistent practice and dedication to master the timing, coordination, and instincts needed to be an effective blocker.

The above tips can help you improve your blocking skills, contribute to your team’s defense.

Wrapping Up

Going through official volleyball blocking rules, identifying common mistakes, incorporating effective drills, and adopting valuable tips, you can elevate your blocking skills. Remember, consistent practice, unwavering dedication, and a thirst for improvement are the cornerstones of blocking.

Aditional Tips

  • Warm up before blocking: Jumping and extending your arms can strain your muscles, so it’s important to warm up before blocking. This includes doing dynamic stretches, such as arm circles and leg swings, to improve your range of motion and flexibility.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can affect your performance in volleyball, including your blocking ability. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and during matches to stay hydrated.
  • Visualize success: Visualization is a powerful technique that can help you improve your blocking skills. Imagine yourself making successful blocks and shutting down the opponent’s attack. This can help you develop confident and improve your execution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you touch the ball after a block in volleyball?

Yes, you can touch the ball after a block in volleyball. In fact, a block is the first contact with the ball by a defensive player. Yet, there are some restrictions on when and how you can touch the ball after a block.

  • You cannot touch the ball below the waist.
  • You cannot double hit the ball (touch it twice in a row).
  • You cannot interfere with the opponent’s spiking motion.

How many touches are allowed in volleyball after a block?

There are three touches allowed in volleyball after a block according volleyball blocking rules. This means that after a block, the receiving team has three more contacts with the ball before they must send it over the net.

What happens if you touch the net while blocking in volleyball?

If you touch the net while blocking in volleyball, it is a fault and the opposing team is awarded a point. This is because touching the net can give the blockers an unfair advantage by providing them with support and making it more difficult for the hitters to spike the ball over the net.