When I was playing volleyball in high school, some of my friends didn’t know some rules of volleyball. Some didn’t know whether you can touch the net or not, but the most popular question I got asked was can you kick the ball in volleyball. I know many beginners are still confused about it, so let’s answer this question.
Yes, you can kick the ball in volleyball. According to the FIVB, rule 9.2.1 “The ball may touch any part of your body”. So in reality, you can hit the ball with your foot all the time.
If you can kick the ball, why don’t players do it more often?
Like I said at the beginning, you can kick the ball with your foot all the time. Moreover, you can even hit the ball with your knee, shoulder, and even head. But 99,99% of players hit the ball only with their hands.
Playing with your hands is logical and has a simple explanation. It’s just more effective. You have way more control over the ball once you attack with the palm of your hand than with your head. When you’re setting the ball it’s also more comfortable and efficient than using your leg.
Even when players are in defense, it’s still better to use arms. Your arms are more cunning than your legs so you have a better chance of reacting. If you’re not sure about it, do a short experiment: move your arms and your legs simultaneously to the right and to the left a couple of times. You’ll learn that your arm is reacting way faster.
When volleyball players usually kick the ball?
Kicking the ball with any part of your body other than your hands is extraordinary. When I’m watching a volleyball match, maybe in 1 out of 4 matches there’s a situation when some player needs to touch the ball with his leg.
99% of all ball kicks take place because players have to save the ball. Usually, when they are running to save the ball, and they almost get it, but they don’t have enough time to receive it with their hands. That’s when they decide to use their legs. And in lots of cases, this move is successful, and they are able to keep the ball in game.
Below you can watch one of the best volleyball foot saves.
Kicking the ball is hard (and dangerous)
If you’ve watched the video above, you’re probably amazed at how athletic those players are. Although this kind of commitment might seem easy, it’s not that simple.
If you want to do the same while playing volleyball, keep in mind that kicking the ball can be sometimes really dangerous. Especially when you’re chasing the ball. You’re running, not looking at what’s ahead of you. You’re following only the ball and you might end up hitting a chair, bench, or other stuff. It’s the easiest way to get injured. Kicking the ball in beach volleyball is also legal and I think it’s a bit safer.
Even when there is nothing on your way, the ball kick alone can be harmful to you. Once you string your leg to kick the ball, you’re likely to pull your leg muscle and get injured really bad. It once happened to me and I wasn’t able to play for almost 2 months.
So, is it worth to save the ball by kicking it? Well, it depends. If you have a big chance of saving it and you don’t risk your health, go ahead and do it. Commit to your team and maybe you will become a hero of this game.
But in many cases, I think it’s not worth it. Especially when you’re an amateur player and play with your mates. Losing one point is not the end of the world. If you play for fun, not getting injured is better than losing one point. Think about it. Would you rather lose one point or miss volleyball for the next couple of months.
Can you attack the ball on a serve? Get to know here.
The limit of kicks?
Like I said earlier, when it comes to kicking the ball, there is not any limit, but you have to remember one thing.
When the ball is on the side of your team, you and your teammates can touch it only 3 times. If you touch the ball with your leg, remember it’s counted as a normal hit, so it’s the same as hitting the ball with your hand. Even when it seems spectacular, according to rules it’s like a normal hit. You can find volleyball in-depth rules in this FIVB document.
Serving with your foot is allowed?
There are lots of inadequacies online and some people still don’t know whether you can or can’t serve with your foot. If it’s allowed to use it, why not to serve with it, you might ask.
Well, it’d be nice, but in FIVB rules it’s not permitted. In rule 12.4.1, the FIVB says “The ball shall be hit with one hand or any part of the arm after being tossed or released from the hand(s).”
So, as you can see, you can only serve with your arm. By the way, can you touch the net in volleyball? Get to know it in this post!
Honestly, serving with your foot would be meaningless. Serving is all about making your opponents’ life harder. If you serve with your hand, the hit is usually powerful, aimed and you avoid surprises when it comes to the trajectory. Kicking the ball can be also powerful, but the chance of putting a perfect ball in the court is extremely slow.
Touching the ball with any part of your body, considering a foot is allowed in volleyball. Players do it only when they want to save the difficult ball, but they are risking injuries. Don’t forget that ball kick is counted as a normal hit, but it’s illegal when you want to serve.
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