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Ace: A serve that is not passable and results immediately in a point.

Assist: Passing or setting the ball to a teammate who attacks the ball for a kill.


Attack: The offensive action of hitting the ball. The attempt by one team to terminate the play by hitting the ball to the floor on the opponents side.

Attack Error: An unsuccessful attack which does one of the following: 1. the ball lands out of bounds, 2. the ball goes into the net and terminates the play or goes into the net on the third hit, 3. the ball is blocked by the opposition for a point or side out, 4. the attacker is called for a center line violation, or 5. the attacker is called for illegal contact(lift, double hit..) on the attack.

Block: A defensive play by one or more players meant to deflect a spiked ball back to the hitter's court. It may be a combination of one, two or three players jumping in front of the opposing spiker and contacting the ball with the hands.

Block Error: An unsuccessful block which does one of the following: 1. the ball is deflected off the blockers and goes out of bounds, 2. the ball goes into the net and terminates the play, 3. the blocker reaches over the net interfering with the opponents ability to play the ball-providing they have one contact left, 4. the blocker commits a net violation or center line violation.

Ball Handling Error: Any time the official calls a double hit, a thrown ball or a lift.

Campfire: A ball that falls to the floor in an area that's surrounded by two, three, four or more players. At the instant after the ball hits the floor, it appears as if the players are encircling and starting a campfire.

Centerline: The boundary that runs directly under the net and divides the court into two equal halves.

Dig: Passing a spiked or rapidly hit ball. Slang for the art of passing an attacked ball close to the floor.

Dink: A legal push of the ball around or over blockers.

Double Hit: Successive hits or contacts by the same player. (Illegal)

Down Ball: A ball that is hit overhand and driven over the net with topspin while the player remains standing.

Floater: A serve which does not spin or rotate and therefore moves in an erratic path. This is similar to a knuckle ball pitch in baseball.

Free Ball: A ball that will be returned by a pass rather than a spike.

Held Ball: A ball that comes to rest during contact resulting in a foul.

Jump Serve: A serve that is started by the server tossing the ball into the air and jumping into and hitting the ball in its downward motion.

Joust: When 2 opposing players are simultaneously attempting to play a ball above the net.

Kill: An attack that results in an immediate point or side out.

Off-Speed Hit: Any ball spiked with less than maximum force but with spin.

Overlap: Refers to the position of the players in the rotation prior to the contact of the ball when serving.

Pancake: A one-handed defensive technique where the hand is extended and the palm is slid along the floor as the player dives or extension rolls, and is timed so that the ball bounces off the back of the hand.

Power Tip: A ball that is pushed or directed with force by an attacking team.

Quick: A player approaching the setter for a quick inside hit.

Quick Set: A set usually 2' above the net in which the hitter is approaching the setter and may even be in the air, before the setter delivers the ball. This type of set requires precise timing between the hitter and setter.

Reception Error: A serve that a player should have been able to return, but results in an ace.

Roof: A ball that when spiked is blocked by a defensive player such that the balls deflects straight to the floor on the attackers side.

Rotation: The clockwise movement of player around the court and through the serving position following a side out.

Serve: Used to put the ball into play.

Service Error: An unsuccessful serve in which one or more of the following occurs: 1. the ball fails to clear the net, 2. the ball lands out of bounds, or 3. the server commits a foot fault.

Setter: the player who has the 2nd of 3 contacts of the ball who 'sets' the ball with an overhand pass for a teammate to hit. The setter is like the quarterback in football - they run the offense.

Side Out: Occurs when the receiving team successfully puts the ball away against the serving team, or when the serving team commits an unforced error, and thus the receiving team gains the right to serve.

Six Pack: Occurs when a blocker gets hit in the head or face by a spiked ball.

Spike: Also hit or attack. A ball contacted with force by a player on the offensive team who intends to terminate the ball on the opponent's floor or off the opponent's blocker.

Stuff: A ball that is deflected back to the attacking team's floor by the opponents blockers. A slang term for block.

Wipe: When a hitter pushes the ball off the opposing block so it lands out of bounds.