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What is an Ace in Volleyball? (The Secret Advantage Explained)

The volleyball jargon is pretty wide. There is a lot of words that normal people just don’t understand. If you watch a volleyball game, you will probably hear the word “ace” a couple of times. Today, I’ll explain to you what it means.

What is an ace in volleyball?

An ace is a volleyball serve that directly earns one point for a server’s team. If the ball touches the opposite team’s court, or they can’t receive it properly and the server’s team earns a point, it’s called an ace.

Now, let’s talk in details about an ace in volleyball.

2 types of aces

For someone who watches a volleyball match for the first time, it’s not that obvious to know there was an ace.

Like I said at the beginning, an ace is just an act of earning points directly when serving. There are 2 types of aces. They don’t have any official names, but I will call them direct and indirect.

A direct ace is when a server serves a ball and it lands on the opponent’s court without any contact with any player. In other words, it touches the orange field, and the last one person who touches it was the server.

There is also an indirect ace. As you can guess, this type of service is more complex. Before a server’s team earns a point, the ball needs to be touched at least one time before it touches the ground or lands on the stands. The indirect ace looks like this: The server hits the ball. Some opposite team member receives it, but he does it so bad, that they can’t keep the ball in the air and it touches the court.

Bartosz Kurek is the master of the indirect aces. They look like this:

How many points is an ace worth in volleyball?

The aces look spectacular in volleyball. It’s a pretty tough art and the team that scores an ace should earn at least 2 points, but is that true?

The ace in volleyball is worth only one point. It’s worth like any other volleyball action. There are no additional points for the beauty of the service. However, when a team scores an ace, they have another chance to serve, and sometimes the server is so focused, he scores another ace.

An ace is not just a regular point. Sometimes when a team is a couple of points down, it can awaken and motivate them. And the team that wins loses its confidence, and they start to make some easy mistakes. It can all start with one ace.

Read it: 10 Best Men’s Volleyball National Teams in 2020 (Updated)

How often is there an ace during a volleyball match?

As I said, an ace isn’t something that happens every 2 minutes in volleyball. In professional volleyball, it is even less frequent.

If you play volleyball for fun or in an amateur team, there is a higher number of aces in a match. From my own experience I know that in a 4-sets match, there can be even up to 20 aces per match! It’s a lot and as a rule of thumb, we should assume that in amateur volleyball, there are 5 aces per set.

In the professional volleyball it’s of course less. In order to see the exact number of sets, I looked at both men’s and women’s stats. Considering about 30 volleyball matches, I calculated that combining both teams, there are about 1,8 aces per set. It’s not a lot. Assuming that there are 4 sets in a match, it gives slightly over 7 aces per match.

Read it: Top 7 Tallest Volleyball Players in the World. It’s not Musersky…

Fastest volleyball serves in the world

To score an ace in volleyball , you need to be precise, but moreover, hit the ball with all your strength not to give your opponent a chance to react. There are players who do it really well, for example, Wilfredo Leon or Ivan Zaytsev who are able to serve the ball 134 km/h (83.27 mph). If you want to see the fastest serves in the world, go to this post.

In men’s volleyball, it’s not extraordinary to serve the ball 120-130 km/h. These speeds are pretty normal because most of the men’s players serve with the jumping technique, which is the most powerful. In women’s volleyball, the speeds are of course lower, in most cases up to 90 km/h.

How to be the master of aces?

If you want to score the ace more often, it’s good to know some basics first. As a player who plays volleyball for over 10 years, I can give you the best tips, so you can significantly increase your chance of scoring an ace.

  1. Before you even start thinking about scoring aces, it’s good to decide what way you are going to serve the ball. I’d recommend choosing only one technique and sticking to it until you are good at it. There are 3 types of service: the jumping serve, the floater, and the topspin. If you’re just starting out, I’d suggest you start with the floater, but if you are comfortable with the jumping serve, it can also be good for you. Once you train both services, it’s time to ask yourself how to score an ace.
  2. If you want to serve, you should stand in the right place of the court. I know many beginners tend to stand to the right or to the left. I always recommend standing in the middle of the service zone, a couple of feet in front of the line.
  3. Decide where you want to serve the ball. Of course, your goal is to serve it on the opponent’s side, but you should be more specific. Choose a place, somewhere in the 8-9 meter of the court of your opponents, and choose a defensive player who has the most trouble receiving the ball. Why is it the best to serve in the 8-9th meter on the weakest player? Because he/she might think the ball is going out, and he can make a bad decision. Even if he receives it, there is a decent chance he’s going to do it wrong.
  4. Once you decide, it’s time to execute. Use your favorite serving technique, hit the ball with power, and aim exactly where you wanted. In the beginning, it might be hard to aim the ball in the right place, but practice makes perfect. It worked for me, and I’m sure it’ll work for you.

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