Can You Kick the Ball in Volleyball? [The Real Reason Coaches Don&39t Want You To Use Your Feet] – Volley-Pedia

    sort of like parents telling you it’s illegal to have the light on in the car (I definitely fell for that), I remember one of my first coaches clearly telling me:

    “never kick the volleyball if you want to play on my team.”

    Reading: Can you kick the ball in volleyball

    So, in this post, I thought I’d finally put aside a long-standing volleyball question:

    can you kick the ball in volleyball? The answer is a resounding “yes”. kicking in volleyball is perfectly fine, in fact you are allowed to use any part of your body to play the ball. whether it’s an arm, a leg, a foot or the head, as long as you only touch the ball once it’s fair.

    In fact, some of the most spectacular plays are made by international players who turn to their feet in a last ditch effort. And while it is certainly legal to use your feet in volleyball, this post will dig a little deeper to find out. :

    • whenis it a good idea to use your feet
    • if or why you should really try to avoid it</li
    • why your coach hates it
    • if kicking is a skill worth practicing in volleyball.

    *have you ever made a big stop? Leave a comment below to tell us about it!

    according to fivb rules, yes: you can kick the volleyball

    it is official:“9.2 stroke characteristics 9.2.1 the ball can touch any part of the body.”fivb volleyball rules 2017-2020but it was not until 1993 that this rule was enforced.before this new wording, a players were not allowed to touch the ball with any part of the body below the waist, somewhat of a reversal of the ‘handball’ rule in football. the idea behind this new rule was that players would have more freedom to make spectacular plays. plays with the ball on defense – prolonging exchanges and ultimately making the game more enjoyable for both spectators and players.

    Interestingly, the libero position was also introduced to the game for a very similar reason. To learn more about the role of the libero in volleyball, I really suggest reading Volley-pedia’s libero competition guide. is the most extensive resource available on this important volleyball position, and we’ve been working on it for days to make sure we didn’t miss a thing. the ball whenever possible? of course not. volleyball is a highly controlled sport. Retired Australian national team sweeper Phil Desalvo once put it to me this way: “In what other sport are you required to take a ball coming at over 60mph and control it in a 3ft x 3in box?” feet?” (although, to be fair, he said it in km/h and meters) well, that’s the reception of the service at the highest levels, and let’s just say you don’t get a chance to get it right with your feet.

    so when should you use your feet in volleyball?

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    Actually, there are some situations where using your feet is perfectly fine. These are some of the most common ones that occur in almost every game:

    • defense:

    either by accident or as a last resort, kicking the ball up with your foot may be the only way to save a ball on defense. your feet will save the ball… check it out.

    • On the web:

    not. I don’t mean blocking with your feet like sepak takraw, I mean playing the ball quickly with your feet after a screen. this is actually one of the most common times to use your feet in volleyball. after you block, you land and spin to see where the ball is on defense, right?

    well, the reaction time is fast. and when your defense has made a great play, but the ball is shooting low at your feet, you don’t have time to bend over and play it with your hands. (particularly Brazilian setters, I wonder why…) they are incredibly good at this.

    • The Chase: The most spectacular standups decorating the walls of popular sites like are the ones you may have already seen. players jumping barriers. spreading like crazy, crashing into banners and advertisements – that’s what volleyball is all about.

    Generally speaking, when you’re chasing a ball off the court, you’ll have more control when performing a swan dive. *For a detailed guide to volleyball diving without breaking your chin, check this space while I post my tutorial. -dive guide soon. however, in drastic circumstances, or when there are obstacles where you really don’t want to dive headfirst, kicking the ball with one leg may actually be your best option.

    why should you avoid kicking the ball?

    again, this has to do with controlling volleyball.lionel messi, if you’re reading this and thinking of changing your sport to volleyball: you can ignore what I’m going to say.

    Controlling the ball with your hands is easier than using your feet. think about the role of the setter: to make the perfect pass, you have to place the ball in a space of one foot by one foot. if you can do this with a kick, congratulations! Of course, you’re not trying to use your feet at the catch or point guard position, but every time you practice using your feet when the ball drops below waist height. you miss an opportunity. an opportunity to get comfortable controlling the ball with your hands in different situations. Bottom line: when you train, you’re not just “getting reps”, you’re instilling habits. Usually, if you practice a habit that you have less control over (kicking the ball) just because it’s easier, it can hurt you on game day.

    why your coach hates him

    Instilling bad habits is one reason, but there’s another reason your coach is likely to say, “Those volleyballs aren’t cheap, you know?” The idea is that volleyballs aren’t made for kicking, so it might do some damage and cost the coach or club some money.

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    So does kicking a volleyball really screw it up?

    To be honest, not really. Unless you’re kicking the ball as far as you physically can every day, using your feet to play the ball won’t do any more damage than serving a 60+ mph jump serve. I will say this, though: There are two good reasons why your coach is probably against kicking balls in practice and games. and they make a lot of sense.

    1. kicking balls in practice exponentially increases your chances of losing them

    I couldn’t count how many practices have ended with a player kicking the ball into the rafters so it never goes down (naturally, we spent the next 15 minutes throwing more balls at the stuck ball). to try to bring it down… okay, I can understand how the trainers might not appreciate that).

    2. probably not the best partner tag

    Although I would definitely kick the ball on the ground passing it to the other team’s servers, I can see that it may not be the most courteous method. especially in the younger leagues. just imagine kicking the ball out of reach of the server (something I’m certainly guilty of) – it just doesn’t reflect well on your team and is unlikely to make you a manager’s favourite.

    Is it a good idea to practice kicking the ball as a skill?

    So, I told you that there are some situations where kicking the ball is not only useful, but it’s your best option. I told you why you should avoid it whenever possible, but it will still happen. from time to time. so if it’s something that needs to happen in a match, maybe you should practice it, right? not necessarily. Personally, I think there are a good 25 different skills and situations where you should be spending your time. -especially if you are just starting out. kicking the ball is not one of them. it is more of a reactive skill and as you play more volleyball you will start to develop a natural touch for it. so don’t worry about that!

    additional advice

    I like to reward readers who make it to the end of my posts. so here you go, a little extra tip: while kicking the ball as a practice drill probably isn’t necessary, it can actually serve as a great warm-up exercise. having played professionally in europe, i know what it’s like to warm up – i prepare for volleyball with a football match. Mainly, I just try not to twist my ankle, but when you can, it’s really more than just a good warm-up. It’s a much-needed mental shift. you start playing volleyball on a regular basis, when you practice 4 or 5 times a week, it is common that you start to feel a bit exhausted. changing things is crucial. and stimulating your motor cortex (the part of your brain responsible for movement and control of your body) is really very important.

    *I was lucky enough to study psychology at university and it is also one of my passions. but I don’t want to bore you with this! From time to time I will try to incorporate some of what I have learned about sport psychology into these posts, so that you too can start thinking about your mental game. I know if you think this is a good idea, or if you prefer that I stick to the more physical things of volleyball!

    In today’s top teams, a very common trend is to create fun and challenging warm-ups. I’m talking about world-class volleyball teams that balance things on their heads, play games like vollis before a big match, and expand their skill base with fun and challenging new activities. While kicking the ball may not be the first skill you need to learn, it can be a great way to keep your body learning new movement patterns and skills. it’s like a mental test for your feet (for me it certainly is) and while you don’t have to be good at it, simply kicking the volleyball towards you with your feet can be enough to strengthen some important connections between the body and your body! the mind!


    long story short? yes, you can certainly kick the volleyball. but when and why you are doing it is more important than knowing that it is fivb-legal to do it. take a moment to think about your team’s ultimate goal, and whether kicking the ball is really the best thing to do. Will it give your team an advantage? Will it put you in a better position to score? will it save the rally and increase team spirit? For another interesting question answered by volleypedia, check out our post on whether or not it’s okay to block the service. You have to love this sport. Did you find this helpful, or if I missed any of your questions. I’ll be happy to answer!

    See also: Who is the best shortstop of all time

    other rules in volleyball

    • How long does a volleyball game last? (high school, college, beach)
    • when does volleyball season start? (broken down by level)
    • what does sideout mean in volleyball? [rally score vs. sideout]
    • can you touch the net in volleyball? [official volleyball net touch rules]
    • can the ball hit the net on a serve in volleyball?
    • substitution rules in volleyball (complete guide)
    • can you go over the net in volleyball? (3 illegal plays and one okay)
    • can you take a volleyball on a plane? (6 things you didn’t know you could do with a volleyball)
    • yellow card in volleyball? [6 things you didn’t know about volleyball card penalties]
    • volleyball timeout rules (and 4 key strategies explained)
    • can you use your head in volleyball?
    • can the libero be captain in volleyball? [plus 3 useful libero rules to know]
    • in volleyball, how is the server determined?
    • why do volleyball teams and benches switch sides?
    • can you wear volleyball shoes outside?
    • can you block the serve in volleyball?

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