Volleyball is a sport in which two teams compete against each other. The objective is to use their hands to hit a large inflated ball over a high net, with the aim of making it land on the opposing team’s court. The governing body responsible for regulating volleyball worldwide is the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), also referred to as the International Federation of Volleyball. This organization was established in 1947 and has since been dedicated to promoting and developing the sport globally. Volleyball was included as an Olympic sport for the first time in 1964 at the Tokyo Olympics.

Brief History of Volleyball


Volleyball was introduced to Nigeria in the early 1960s, shortly after the country gained independence from Britain. The sport quickly gained popularity, and in 1964, the Nigerian Volleyball Association (NVA) was formed.

The NVA organized the first National Volleyball Championship in 1965, which saw the participation of teams from various parts of the country. The championship continued to be held annually, and it helped to popularize the sport across Nigeria.

In 1976, Nigeria hosted the African Volleyball Championship for the first time, and the national team won the tournament. The team went on to win the championship four more times, in 1981, 1991, 1995, and 1999.

In 1984, the NVA has renamed the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), and it became the governing body for volleyball in the country. The NVBF has since then been responsible for the organization of national and international volleyball events, as well as the development of the sport at the grassroots level.

In recent years, Nigeria’s volleyball teams have continued to perform well in international competitions. In 2019, the women’s team won the All-Africa Games volleyball tournament, while the men’s team finished second in the African Volleyball Championship.

The Volleyball Court Dimension

Court size18 meters x 9 metersThe court is a rectangular area that measures 18 meters in length and 9 meters in width.
Net height2.43 metersThe net is positioned at the centre of the court and is 2.43 meters high for men’s matches and 2.24 meters high for women’s matches.
Antenna length1.80 metersTwo antennae are attached to the net on either side of the court, extending 1.80 meters from the poles.
Attack line3 meters from the netThe attack line is a line drawn parallel to the net, 3 meters away from it. Front-row players can jump from behind the attack line to attack the ball. Back-row players are not allowed to jump from behind the attack line unless they take off behind the line and land in front of it.
Service line2.6 meters from the netThe service line is a line drawn parallel to the net, 2.6 meters away from it. Servers must stand behind the service line when serving the ball.
CenterlineDivides the court in halfThe centre line divides the court in half, running perpendicular to the net. It is used to determine which team is serving and to mark the boundary for front-row players.
SidelinesMark the width of the courtThe sidelines run parallel to the net and mark the width of the court.
End linesMark the length of the courtThe end lines run perpendicular to the net and mark the length of the court.
Attack area9 meters from the netThe attack area is the area on each side of the net where front-row players are allowed to jump and spike the ball. It is marked by lines that extend 9 meters from the net and converge at a point above the center of the net.
Substitution zones3 meters from the end lineThere are two substitution zones on each side of the court, located 3 meters from the end line. Players must enter and exit the game from their team’s substitution zone.

These dimensions are used in indoor volleyball, but there are some variations in the court size and net height used in beach volleyball.

Facility and Equipment Used in Volleyball


The facility used for volleyball

Volleyball is a sport played on a court with specific facilities that enable the game to be played fairly and efficiently. Here are the facilities used in volleyball and their explanation:

  1. Net: The net is a rectangular piece of fabric that is suspended from two vertical poles, dividing the court into two halves. The net height for men’s volleyball is 2.43 meters (7 feet, 11 5/8 inches) and for women’s volleyball is 2.24 meters (7 feet, 4 1/8 inches).
  2. Court: The court is a rectangular area that measures 18 meters long and 9 meters wide. The court is divided into two halves by the net. Each half of the court is further divided into three areas: front row, back row, and service area.
  3. Lines: The court is marked with lines to indicate the boundaries of the playing area. The lines are 5 cm wide and are part of the playing area. The sidelines mark the length of the court, while the end lines mark the width.
  4. Antennas: Antennas are attached to the net on either side, 80 cm from the sidelines. They extend 50 cm above the net and are used to determine whether the ball has passed over the net within the boundaries of the court.
  5. Standards: Standards are the two vertical poles that support the net. They are usually made of metal or wood and must be 2.55 meters apart.
  6. Ball: A volleyball is a spherical ball made of synthetic leather or similar material. It weighs between 260 and 280 grams and has a circumference of 65-67 cm.
  7. Scoreboard: The scoreboard is used to keep track of the score, timeouts, and substitutions during the game.
  8. Referee stands: The referee stand is a raised platform from which the first and second referees can observe the game and make decisions.
  9. Whistle: The whistle is used by the referee to start and stop play, signal a fault, or make other calls during the game.

The equipment used in volleyball

  1. Volleyball – The most important piece of equipment in volleyball is the ball. A standard volleyball is made of synthetic leather with an inner bladder made of rubber or synthetic material. The ball should be between 65-67 cm in circumference and weigh between 260-280 grams.
  2. Shoes – Volleyball players wear shoes specifically designed for the sport. These shoes have gum rubber soles that provide good traction on indoor courts and are also lightweight and breathable.
  3. Jersey and shorts – Volleyball players wear loose-fitting jerseys and shorts that allow for ease of movement. Jerseys are typically sleeveless and made of lightweight and breathable material.
  4. Corner flags – Corner flags are used to mark the corners of the court.
  5. Shin guards – Some players may choose to wear shin guards to protect their legs from impact and injury.
  6. Whistle – The referee uses a whistle to signal the start and end of each play, as well as to call fouls and violations.
  7. Scoreboard – The scoreboard displays the current score and game time.
  8. Score sheet – The score sheet is used to keep track of points, substitutions, and other important information during the game.
  9. The net – The net divides the court in half and is 1 meter wide by 9.5 meters long. It should be set at a height of 2.43 meters for men and 2.24 meters for women.
  10. Stopwatch – The referee uses a stopwatch to keep track of the game time and to signal the end of each set. 

Volleyball Terminologies

  1. Ace: A serve that results in a point immediately, because the opponent can’t return it.
  2. Block: A defensive technique used to stop an opposing player’s attack. A player jumps and extends their arms above the net to prevent the ball from crossing over.
  3. Dig: A defensive technique where a player digs a ball by keeping it from hitting the floor after an opponent’s attack.
  4. Kill: A successful offensive attack that results in an immediate point.
  5. Pass: Also known as a “bump,” a pass is a technique used to receive the service or pass the ball to a teammate.
  6. Serve The act of putting the ball into play by hitting it over the net to the opponent’s side of the court.
  7. Set: A technique used to accurately place the ball near the net for a teammate to attack.
  8. Side out: When the serving team loses the rally, resulting in a point and a change of serve.
  9. Spike: An offensive attack where a player jumps and hits the ball over the net with a downward motion.
  10. Rotation: The movement of players on the court, clockwise, after each side-out.
  11. Libero: A specialized defensive player who wears a different coloured jersey and can replace any back-row player without counting as a substitution.
  12. Joust: A situation where two opposing players simultaneously contact the ball at the net.
  13. Net violation: A player touches the net with any part of their body during play.
  14. Antenna: Vertical rods attached to the net indicate the boundaries of the court.
  15. Rally: A sequence of plays starting with the service and ending when the ball hits the ground or goes out of bounds.
  16. Rotation error: A player fails to rotate in the correct order and the opposing team is awarded a point.
  17. Tip: A soft offensive attack is used to deceive the opposing team and place the ball in an open area on their side of the court.
  18. Overhand pass: A pass that is made using both hands with the fingers extended and the ball contacted above the player’s head.
  19. Overhand serve A serve that is made by striking the ball with an extended arm above the player’s head.
  20. Float serve is a type of service where the ball doesn’t spin and moves unpredictably through the air, making it more difficult to pass.

The Skills and Techniques in Volleyball

The basic skills and techniques in volleyball are;

  1. Serving: This is the act of initiating the game by putting the ball into play. It is usually done by a player from behind the backline and can be done in various ways such as jump serves, float serves or underhand serves. Jump serves involve jumping before striking the ball, float serves to involve a low-speed spin on the ball, while underhand serves are done with the hand below the waist.
  2. Passing: This is the act of receiving and controlling the ball after an opponent’s serve. The objective of passing is to keep the ball in play and prevent it from touching the ground. Passes are usually done with the forearms, and players should try to pass the ball towards their team’s setter for a better chance of scoring.
  3. Setting: This is the act of accurately and strategically placing the ball above the net for a teammate to attack or spike. The setter usually uses their fingertips to control the ball’s direction and speed, and the objective is to make it easier for the hitter to score by putting them in a good position to make a successful attack.
  4. Spiking: This is the act of hitting the ball forcefully over the net to the opponent’s court, with the aim of scoring a point. The spiker usually jumps before hitting the ball, and the objective is to make it hard for the opposing team to dig or block the ball. Spiking requires good timing, technique and power.
  5. Blocking: This is a defensive move that involves stopping an opponent’s spike by jumping and positioning oneself in front of the net. The blocker’s objective is to prevent the ball from crossing the net, either by deflecting it back to the opponent’s court or forcing them to make an error. Blocking requires good timing, coordination and jumping ability.
  6. Digging: This is the act of making a defensive move to prevent the ball from touching one’s court after an opponent’s spike. It involves using the forearms and fingers to control the ball’s direction and speed, and the objective is to keep the ball in play and prevent the opponent from scoring. Digging requires quick reflexes, good technique and agility.

Rules and Regulations Governing Volleyball

Volleyball is a popular sport played worldwide, and like all sports, it has rules and regulations that govern how it is played. The rules are designed to ensure fairness, safety, and uniformity of play. Here are the most important rules and regulations that govern volleyball:

  1. Court Dimensions: The court is a rectangle measuring 18 meters by 9 meters, divided into two halves by a net that is 2.43 meters high for men and 2.24 meters high for women.
  2. Teams: Each team consists of six players on the court at any given time, with up to six substitutes allowed. There must be a minimum of two women on the court at all times in co-ed games.
  3. Service: The game begins with a serve, which is done by one player hitting the ball over the net to the other side of the court. The server must stand behind the end line when serving.
  4. Scoring: Points are awarded to a team when they successfully hit the ball over the net and it lands on the opposing team’s side of the court or when the opposing team makes an error. The first team to reach 25 points with a two-point advantage wins the set, and the first team to win three sets wins the match.
  5. Rotation: After a team wins the serve, all players on the team must rotate clockwise, which means that each player will take a new position on the court.
  6. Faults: Players can make several faults in volleyball, including stepping on or over the centre line, touching the net during play, carrying or holding the ball, and hitting the ball more than three times before it goes over the net.
  7. Timeouts: Each team is allowed two timeouts per set to strategize and rest.
  8. Uniforms: Players must wear matching uniforms that meet the requirements of their league or organization.
  9. Ball: The ball used in volleyball must be spherical and made of leather or synthetic leather. Its circumference should be between 65-67 cm, and its weight should be between 260-280 grams.
  10. Net Faults: A player may not touch the net during play. If a player makes contact with the net, it is considered a fault, and the opposing team is awarded a point.
  11. Player Positioning: Each player must occupy a specific position on the court during play. The positions are numbered 1-6, and players must remain in their assigned position unless they are substituting.
  12. Substitutions: A team is allowed a maximum of six substitutions per set, and a player can only enter the game once per rotation. A substitution is only allowed during a dead-ball situation.
  13. Libero: A team can designate a specialized defensive player called a libero who wears a different colour jersey and is allowed to replace any back-row player without counting as a substitution.
  14. Attack Line: The attack line is a line on each side of the court, located 3 meters from the net. Only back-row players are allowed to attack the ball from behind the attack line.
  15. Block: A block is a defensive move where players jump to stop an opponent’s attack. It is not considered a hit, and a player can block the ball multiple times in a row.
  16. Double Contact: A player cannot hit the ball twice in a row unless it comes off the opponent’s block. This rule applies to all touches, including setting, hitting, and blocking.
  17. Antennae: Antennae are vertical poles attached to the net, which mark the sidelines of the court. The ball must pass between the antennae to be considered in play.
  18. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Players are expected to behave in a respectful and sportsmanlike manner at all times. Any verbal or physical abuse directed at opponents, officials, or spectators can result in penalties, including ejection from the game.

Officials of Volleyball


In volleyball, there are various officials who oversee and enforce the rules of the game. The following are the most common officials in a volleyball game:

  1. Referee: The referee is the head official who oversees the entire game. They are responsible for enforcing the rules of the game and making decisions on violations and faults. They also have the final say on disputes between other officials, coaches, and players.
  2. Assistant Referee: The assistant referee assists the main referee by making calls on out-of-bounds balls, touches, and net violations. They work on the sideline and communicate with the main referee to make accurate calls.
  3. Scorekeeper: The scorekeeper keeps track of the score and records the substitutions made by the teams. They also communicate with the referees to ensure that the score is accurate.
  4. Line Judges: The line judges are responsible for determining whether the ball lands inside or outside the court boundaries. They work at the corners of the court and communicate with the referees to make accurate calls.
  5. Scorer: The scorer keeps track of each team’s points, assists, blocks, and other statistics. They communicate with the scorekeeper to ensure that the score is recorded accurately.
  6. Timer: The timer keeps track of the time during each set, including the intervals between sets. They signal the end of each set and ensure that the game is played within the allotted time.
  7. Ball retriever: The ball retriever retrieves the ball whenever it goes out of bounds or into the crowd. They work quickly to ensure that the game is not delayed.

Common Injuries in Volleyball


The most common injuries in volleyball are:

Volleyball is a popular sport that involves quick movements, jumping, and repetitive motions. As a result, players are at risk of various injuries that can range from minor to severe. Here are some of the most common injuries in volleyball and their explanations:

  1. Ankle sprains – Ankle sprains are the most common injury in volleyball. They occur when the ligaments in the ankle are stretched or torn. This injury often happens when a player lands awkwardly after a jump or when they pivot quickly on one foot.
  2. Knee injuries – Volleyball requires a lot of jumping and sudden changes in direction, which can put a lot of stress on the knees. Knee injuries can range from minor strains and sprains to more severe injuries like ACL tears.
  3. Shoulder injuries – Shoulder injuries are common in volleyball because of the repetitive overhead motions used in serving, spiking, and blocking. These motions can lead to overuse injuries like rotator cuff strains, tendinitis, and shoulder impingement syndrome.
  4. Finger injuries – Volleyball players often sustain finger injuries from blocking or spiking the ball. These injuries can range from simple sprains to dislocations or even fractures.
  5. Back injuries – Volleyball players are at risk of developing back injuries due to the repetitive jumping, bending, and twisting motions involved in the sport. These injuries can range from minor muscle strains to more severe herniated discs.
  6. Concussions – Concussions can occur in volleyball when players collide with each other or the ground during a dive or a fall. Players may also sustain a concussion from being hit in the head with the ball.
  7. Wrist injuries – Volleyball players are also at risk of developing wrist injuries from repetitive motions involved in serving, passing, and hitting the ball. These injuries can range from minor sprains to more severe injuries like tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or even fractures.
  8. Hamstring strains – Volleyball players are required to make quick movements and sudden changes of direction which can cause a strain on the hamstring muscles. A hamstring strain occurs when one or more of the three hamstring muscles tear or stretch.
  9. Achilles Tendonitis – Volleyball players often jump repeatedly which puts a strain on the Achilles tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf muscles. This can lead to inflammation of the tendon and pain in the lower leg.
  10. Plantar Fasciitis – Plantar fasciitis is a common injury in volleyball players that involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes. This injury can cause pain in the heel or arch of the foot and can be caused by overuse, improper footwear, or poor foot structure.
  11. Groin strain – Groin strain occurs when the muscles of the inner thigh are overstretched or torn. Volleyball players are at risk of this injury due to the quick and sudden movements involved in the sport, such as jumping and diving.
  12. Heat exhaustion – Volleyball is often played in hot and humid conditions, especially during the summer months. This can cause players to become overheated, and dehydrated, and experience symptoms of heat exhaustion like dizziness, weakness, and nausea.

Practical Demonstration of Skills in Volleyball


While the skills required in volleyball are diverse, there are a few fundamental skills that are essential for players to master. Here are some practical demonstrations of skills in volleyball:

  1. Jogging round: Jogging around the court is an essential skill for warm-up and endurance building. It helps in loosening up the body and preparing the muscles for the game.
  2. Hand swinging: Hand swinging is a skill used for serving, spiking, and blocking. Players need to practice swinging their arms to generate power and accuracy in their shots.
  3. Windmill: The windmill is a technique used for spiking. It involves swinging the arm in a circular motion, generating maximum power and speed in the ball.
  4. Beating imaginary drum: This technique is used for forearm passing or digging. It involves hitting the ball with the forearm, much like one would hit an imaginary drum.
  5. Running on the spot: Running on the spot is another warm-up exercise that is used to build endurance and stamina. Players need to practice this skill to maintain their energy levels during the game.
  6. Waist rotation: Waist rotation is used for setting the ball. It involves rotating the waist to generate the necessary power and accuracy in the shot.
  7. Press up: Press up is a strength-building exercise that is used to improve the player’s overall strength and stamina. It helps in developing the upper body muscles, which are essential for volleyball.
  8. Frog jump: The frog jump is a technique used for blocking. It involves jumping up and extending the arms to block the opponent’s shot. It requires explosive power and quick reflexes.

The Skill

  • The practical demonstration skill in volleyball refers to the ability to serve the ball over the net using various techniques such as underarm, overhead, windmill, or push, with one hand open or closed, or any part of the arm. The objective is to send the ball into the opponent’s court, either to score a point or to start a rally.
  • To perform a successful service, the player must first position themselves behind the baseline and wait for the referee’s signal whistle before executing the serve. Their legs must be behind the line when making the service.
  • Underarm service is when the player holds the ball in one hand and swings the other arm in a pendulum motion, hitting the ball with a flat hand to send it over the net.
  • Overhead service is when the player tosses the ball up in the air and jumps to hit it with their hand above their head, using either a closed or open hand technique.
  • Windmill service involves swinging both arms in a circular motion and hitting the ball with one hand.
  • Push service is when the player uses their fingertips to push the ball over the net, usually with a soft touch and a short distance.
  • After a game or practice session, players should engage in warm-down activities such as light jogging, breathing in and out, neck rotation and shuttle race to gradually lower their heart rate and reduce muscle tension, preventing injury and promoting recovery.

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