Is It Legal to Help a Serve Over the Net?

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Whatever position you play in volleyball, you must know what to do when the service is performed. The indifference to the rules surrounding the service will almost certainly result in a penalty. That’s why novice players frequently wonder if it is legal to help a serve over the net.

Is It Legal to Help a Serve Over the Net?

No, according to the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), it is an illegal move. The serve is considered a fault if the ball touches any member of the serving team before completely crossing the net.

It does not matter whether the contact was intentional or unintentional. If the ball touches a player on the serving team after it has been correctly hit, the service becomes illegal. If this happens, the team is sanctioned with a point and service to the opponent.

Player serving in volleyball

How to Make Your Service Legal

The act of putting the ball into play by the back-right player in the service zone is known as the service. It is the move that initiates a point dispute. Its proper execution transforms it into a potent attacking action.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced volleyball player, you should understand the conditions that make it valid.

Here’s how to make a proper serve:

  1. After being tossed or released from your hand(s), the ball must be hit with one hand or any part of the arm.
  2. You must not touch the court (including the end line) or the floor outside the service zone during the service hit.
  3. Just after the hit, you may step or land outside or inside the service zone.
  4. After the first referee blows for service, you have 8 seconds to hit the ball.
  5. A service performed prior to the referee’s whistle is canceled and repeated.

Faults Made During the Service

A team can commit a lot of illegal moves while performing the serve. For instance, individual or collective screening must not prevent their opponent from seeing the server and the flight path of the ball.

When a player on the serving team jumps, moves from side to side, or waves his or her arms during the service, this is referred to as making a screen. In fact, he can make a screen by doing anything that obstructs the opposing team’s visibility of the ball.

Other examples of faults during serve can be when the ball makes contact with a member of the serving team, goes out of the court boundaries, or passes over a screen.

What Are the Different Types Volleyball Serves?

In volleyball, there are four main types of serves: Underhand, Floater, Top Spin, and Jump Serve. In order to see which one works best for you, you need to learn them and master their technique. Here are the different types of volleyball serve.

Service from a volleyball player

The Underhand Serve

It is a basic service made with your dominant hand, your feet shoulder-width apart, your non-dominant foot forward, and the ball held by your non-dominant hand. After you correctly make this position, you should make a fist with your dominant hand and hit the ball from the bottom.

The Floater Serve

To perform a floater, you must start facing the net with your feet slightly apart, the ball in your non-dominant hand and your non-dominant foot forward. Place most of your weight on your back foot and throw the ball up. Then, step forward and strike the ball with your dominant hand.

The Top Spin Serve

The topspin service is without a doubt the most popular. Start in the same position as the float service and throw the ball higher. This will allow you to spin the volleyball by snapping your wrist. Move your wrist as if you were attempting to wrap the ball from the top.

The Jump Serve

It is the most advanced of all services. It’s basically the same as a topspin service; except you start several steps back from the service line, take a running start, and jump. Because you need the ball to be in the air long enough to hit it, you throw it at the start of the approach.

Related Questions

Here are some related questions about serving in volleyball:

Can You Serve With Two Hands in Volleyball?

Yes, when I talk about an underhand serve, you are performing a two-handed serve. However, you are not allowed to hit the ball with both hands at the same time, after all, this is considered an illegal movement.

Can You Serve Volleyball With a Closed Fist?

Yes, it is legal to serve the ball with a closed fist. In fact, it is recommended to do it when performing an underhand serve. On the other hand, it is recommended to perform a jump serve with your open hand.


Players waiting for the ball

Any member of the serving team is not permitted to touch the ball once it has been hit by the server and is within their court. It is a fault that results in a point for the opposing team and possession of the ball.

Alfonso Andrade is an avid sportsman, growing up playing soccer and volleyball. He is a coach and sports analyst, studying the game to analyze performance and help create improvement.