Ace: A serve that lands in the opponent's court, which is untouched or unplayable by the receiving team.
Attack hit: Any attempt by a player to win a point by hitting the ball over the net toward the opponents, with the exception of service and block.
Attack line: A line three meters (almost 10 feet) from the net, on either side, which marks the limit for where a back-row player may advance to hit a ball from above the net. It divides the volleyball court into a front zone and a back zone.
Back-row player: Any of three players positioned at the back of the court.
Block: An attempt by a player or players to interrupt a hit or spiked ball before, as, or just after it crosses the net by jumping at the net with arms in the air.
Bump: A technique of playing the ball using the forearms, with the hands together, to hit the ball. It can be used for passing or setting.
Center line: The line running directly under the net and dividing the court in half.
Cross court (cut shot): An offensive hit in which a player, instead of hitting with power, slices the ball sharply across the court just over and nearly parallel to the net.
Crossing space: The zone above the net and between two antennae through which the ball must pass during a rally.
Dig: A defensive move in which a player gets one or both arms on the ball just before it hits the ground, keeping the ball in play.
End line: The back boundary line of the volleyball court, connecting the side lines and extending 9 meters (29 feet, 6 inches) in length.
Fault: A foul or error that results in the loss of the rally.
FIVB: The French acronym -- F?d?ration Internationale de Volleyball -- for the organization that governs and manages all forms of volleyball and beach volleyball worldwide. FIVB is the largest international sporting federation in the world.
Floater: A serve that follows an uneven trajectory (floats) through the air because it has no spin, much like a knuckleball in baseball.
Front zone: The area between the net and the attack line.
Front-row player: Any of three players positioned closest to the net.
Hit: To touch the ball as an offensive player.
Hold: To let the ball settle into the hands briefly on a shot instead of releasing it immediately. This is illegal. Also referred to as a lift.
Interference: When a player does not allow the opposition to complete a play on the ball.
Kill: To smash the ball over-arm into the opponent's court; also called a "spike."
Kong: A one-handed/one-armed block. More common in beach volleyball, it recalls noted movie ape King Kong swatting at planes from the Empire State Building.
Libero: A specialized defensive player especially adept at digging who always stays in the back row. The libero wears a different colored jersey from the rest of the team.
Match: A series of sets to determine a winner. The team that wins three sets wins the match.
Mintonette: The original name for the sport of volleyball.
Out: The ball is out when it touches any surface, object or ground outside the court.
Pass: Usually the first of three contacts on the offensive side; can be overhead or forearm.
Rally: The sequence of playing actions that decides each point, from the moment of the service hit by the server until the ball is out of play.
Rally scoring: In 2000, a new scoring system was implemented in international competition. Teams now score a point on every rally, regardless of which team serves. If the serving team wins a rally, it scores a point and continues to serve. If the receiving team wins a rally, it scores a point and serves next. Formerly, a team could only win a point if it served the ball.
Red card: The second level of sanctioning by a referee. A red card signifies expulsion.
Roof: When the blocker or blockers form a wall in front of the opposing attacker, propelling the attempted attack straight back and down on the attacker's side of the net.
Rotate: To move to the next position on the floor in a clockwise manner.
Screen: To impede the opponent's view of the ball during the serve. This is illegal.
Service (serve): The hit executed by the back-right player at the beginning of each rally to put the ball into play.
Set: What a team needs to win three of to win a match. In the first four sets, the team which first scores 25 points with a minimum lead of two points wins the set. There is no ceiling, so a set continues until one of the teams gains a two-point advantage. In the case of a 2-2 set tie, the deciding set is played to 15 points with a minimum lead of two points.
Setting: Positioning the ball so a teammate can attack.
Setter: A player who excels in setting up teammates to attack.
Sideline: A side boundary line extending 18 meters (59 feet) from end line to end line.
Side out: Occurs when the receiving team effectively puts the ball away against the serving team, or when the serving team commits an unforced error and, as a result, the receiving team gains the right to serve.
Spike: To smash the ball over-arm into the opponent's court; also called a "kill."
Technical time-out: A 60-second pause in the match, applied automatically when the leading team reaches the eighth and 16th points in sets 1-4.
Yellow card: The first level of sanctioning by a referee. A yellow card indicates a team penalty of loss of rally and is generally used to sanction rude conduct.