Volleyball is an exciting and fast-paced sport that is played all over the world by men and women alike. During a volleyball match, six players from each team will occupy their side of the court and try to hit the ball over the net onto the other team’s side to score a goal. The ball must be kept off the ground at all times to avoid having a point scored by the other team.
Read on below for an in-depth explanation of the rules regarding using your feet and other body parts to hit the ball during a volleyball match.
Are You Allowed to Kick the Ball in Volleyball?
Of course, every sport has certain things that players are not supposed to do or off-limits tactics. For instance, everyone knows that it is forbidden to handle the ball with your hands in soccer. While most volleyball hits are made with the player’s hands and arms, the question must be asked: are you allowed to use your feet in volleyball?
According to the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, or FIVB, the official regulating body based in Switzerland that determines the rules of the sport for players worldwide, players can use any part of the body to hit the ball over the net. So, kicking the ball and using your feet to handle the ball is perfectly acceptable and in line with the official rules.
However, this hasn’t always been the case. Before 1993, the rules stated that only parts of the body located above the waist could be used in gameplay, but this was later changed to allow for more exciting plays.
The official rules of volleyball make it clear that kicking the ball is permissible during gameplay. However, just because this move is allowed doesn’t mean it’s always the smartest move for the player to make. For this reason, many volleyball coaches tend to frown on this practice, causing many players and spectators to believe that it is prohibited despite the rules.
The trick to kicking the ball well during a volleyball match is knowing when to do it and when to use your hands instead. Using your feet is only recommended when precise control is not necessarily required.
So, when is it appropriate to use your feet when playing this sport? The short answer is that it’s better to make this move in defensive situations than in offensive ones. For instance, if the opposing team has hit the ball over the net, and you need to make a quick save to keep it from hitting the ground on your side, kicking it with your foot is a smart move.
On the other hand, if you are setting up the ball or trying to score a goal against the other team, it’s definitely recommended to use your hands instead since this will give you more control over where the ball goes.
Can You Head the Ball in Volleyball?
As the rules state that any part of the body can make contact with the ball during gameplay, this certainly includes the head. Of course, for the same reasons that apply to using your feet, you probably don’t want to hit the ball with your head in every gameplay situation because it makes it hard to control its trajectory. This move is usually reserved for getting the ball back over the net at close range.
What is an Illegal Hit in Volleyball?
While all body parts are fair game, certain methods of handling the ball are, in fact, prohibited. Illegal hits include moves like carrying the ball instead of hitting it. Another is slapping or palming the ball. Take note that when hitting with two hands, the hands must be held together. Making contact with the volleyball with both of your hands individually at the same time is considered an illegal hit.
The official rules of volleyball state that players may use any part of their body to handle the ball throughout a match. Therefore, it is perfectly legal to use your feet. However, it is most advantageous to do this in defensive situations rather than when trying to score a point.