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Can you Attack or Block on a Serve in Volleyball?

Can you Attack or Block on a Serve in Volleyball?

When I was young, I used to ask lots of questions about volleyball. I remember, when watching a volleyball game, I have always wondered can you block or spike a serve in volleyball. I eventually asked my father and his answer was simple.

You can’t spike or block a serve. However, players can directly return a serve, for example, if they have made a mistake receiving the ball.

Why is it illegal not to block or spike on a serve?

FIVB in their rules says that it’s illegal to block and spike on a serve, but they don’t tell us why. I think we should use our imagination and ask ourselves what would happen if we could win points in such a way.

There are 4 types of serves in volleyball: underhead serve, floater serve, topspin serve and jump serve. Different players use different techniques, but the most common ones are floater, topspin, and jump. If you were to block or attack the serve, it would be really hard, because the ball is being hit really hard and it’s hard to predict its trajectory.

But a big chunk of players serve with floater and topspin technique. I guess you know how this technique looks like, if not, watch the video below.

Balls after serving with those techniques are rather floating in the air. It gives more time for the opposite players to set a block or attack. But if they were to block those types of serves, it would be terrible for the overall volleyball experience. I think blocking and spiking slack balls would ruin the game and would make it really boring.

What if you spike or block the ball after the serve?

Technically, you can block the ball after the serving. But I wouldn’t advise doing so, because it will be bad for you and your team.

Of course, if you attack the ball right after the other team serves, they will win one point immediately. If you do it constantly, you can get a red card, so you will not play again in this game anymore.

Do players really attack the ball after the serve?

I’ve seen a lot in volleyball, but I have never seen someone spiking the ball right after the service. At least on the professional level. Every player just knows that it’s illegal and no one just doesn’t do it.

What I know from my experience is that lots of newbies do it. And it’s completely normal and when I was starting out with volleyball I was also feeling an urge to win the point for my team by doing this illegal thing.

Would it be hard to attack the ball after the serve?

I think it depends on the serving technique. It would be nearly impossible to attack the jump service, but things get easier when someone is serving a float.

The most important thing is your position. Ideally, you need to stand right next to the net. Then you have to carefully observe in which direction the ball is coming. Change your place if possible and at the right moment jump to attack or serve the ball. That’s it.

But like I said, it’s not worth doing it during professional games. It’s rather a trick that you use when playing with your friends.

Does the same apply to beach volleyball?

Yes, in beach volleyball you’re also not allowed to block and spike the ball.

Who can block in volleyball?

Maybe you don’t know, but not every player is allowed to block in volleyball. A block is always combined from the defensive players who play on the first line which is called the third meter line (or 10 feet line). There can be one, two, or three blockers.

Attacking players who are set further cannot exceed the third meter line, otherwise, their team loses one point.

How many times can you serve in volleyball?

Serving in volleyball can be a daunting task. Not because it’s hard, but because it can last very long.

A player serves whenever his team wins the point. If the serving player team won the point when he was serving, he can serve again. He serves until his team loses the point. So, in theory, one player can serve even 25 times per set (that’s how long one set is).

But I haven’t seen anyone serving 25 times in a row. Usually, players don’t serve longer than 4 times in a row. But there are exceptions. I remember when my team was winning 23:18, and we were 2 points away from winning the game. All of a sudden the guy from the opposite team started serving so well that they won this set and the whole game. He served 7 times in a row.

What if you touch the net during a block or attack?

Volleyball is a really technical sport. There are lots of rules to be obeyed. One of them is the net rules.

You’re jumping to block the spiker. He hit directly your hands with the ball and you’re happy because your team has just won one point. But, you see the referee is whistling and you actually lose one point. What’s wrong?

You have probably touched the net. In volleyball, it’s illegal to touch the net. If you do so, your opponent wins one point. But there are some surprising exceptions to this rule. Read about them in this article of mine.

Can the ball touch the antenna?

The antenna is a very important part of the net. It’s forbidden to touch it. If the ball or you touch during a block, your opponents win one point. If you want, learn more about the antenna in this post.

In conclusion

It’s an error when you block or spike a serve. Because of that, your team loses one point. If it was legal, the whole game experience would be way worse. It’s actually not that hard to block the service, but professional players don’t do it.

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