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Volleyball Serving Terms - Improve How You Serve a Volleyball

by Terri Ogrady (2019-10-02)

When you learn to play volleyball you want to be able to walk the walk and especially talk the talk in order to be a complete player. Below you'll find a list of six volleyball serving terms, that you can use as your study guide as you take steps to improve your volleyball game.
Serve - The serve is the skill a player performs to start a rally by placing a ball in one hand so it can be tossed in the air and then contacted with an overhand or underhand armswing with the other hand with the intention of sending the ball over the net and into the opposing team's court.
Server - The server is the player that performs the skill of the serve with the intent of sending the ball over the net with a toss and then stepping to the ball, contacting it with an overhand or underhand armswing to begin a rally.
Ace serve - An ace is the result of a player making a direct point with the ball from behind the service line by serving it into the opposing court where the opposing team members fail in one or three attempts to get the ball back over the net with usually the ball being shanked or landing inside the court without any player contacting it.
Floater serve - The floater is a style of serve that is performed by a player who contacts the ball in its center panels after its tossed so that once the ball crosses the net to the opposing side it will float, dip and move in a way that keeps it from descending in a straight path making it difficult to receive the serve.
Foot fault - A foot fault is usually committed by a player in the act of serving who did not stay off of or behind the baseline before contacting the ball.
Jump serve - The jump serve has become a popular style of serve adopted by many beach players and performed by indoor volleyball players, who take off from behind their base line with the approach normally used for a spike, towards a tossed ball, that they contact at its highest height like they would a spike--adding velocity and topspin to the ball forcing it to cross the net and into the opposing court a lot faster than a normal serve.
Hopefully this terminology will help take you one step closer to a better understanding of the game regardless of whether you are a beginner, amateur or recreational player, a fan, coach or volleyball parent.
Be sure to check out the articles with other volleyball serving terms.