What Is a Dink in Volleyball?

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To be successful in volleyball, you must understand the many techniques and skills accessible to you as a player. If you’re new to volleyball or want to improve your skills, you might be asking what is a dink in volleyball, and how to do it right.

What Is a Dink in Volleyball?

Dinking is the act of tipping a volleyball in order to deceive the opponents and score an unexpected point. This can be accomplished by convincing your opponent that you are going for a spike and then softly contacting the ball over the net with your knuckles or fingerprints.

As you can see, in order to perform this move successfully, you must be able to fool your opponent into thinking you are going for a powerful hit. This implies that in order to master dinking, you must first understand how to mislead effectively, when to do so, and what the benefits are.

Two women playing volleyball

How to Correctly Perform a Dink

To perform a dink, lightly tip the ball with your fingertips or knuckles (thus why this technique is also known as a “tip”). This is done to shift the ball’s path enough to make it unreachable by the opponent. However, it might be tough to execute since you must carefully control your movements.

To tip legally in volleyball, you must complete the same movements as if you were trying to spike. Swing your arm, position your hand (closed fist if you want to strike it with your knuckles, open palm if you want to hit it with your fingertips), and make contact with the ball.

Finally, keep in mind that you should never expose your intentions to your opponent. Therefore, you should trick them into thinking you’re going for a spike until the very last second.

How to Mislead Your Opponents

In essence, the purpose of dinking is to deceive your opponent. To do this, you must enter your opponent’s head and get them to overthink their decisions, thus affecting their decision-making. One of the most effective deception strategies is to use your body language and provide false signals to your opponent’s team.

For example, if your opponent is constantly analyzing your footwork and anticipating your strikes, you might use this to your advantage. Set your posture as if you’re about to go for a spike and then, at the last second, go for a dink. You can do this with other parts of your body as well, including your arms and even your eyes.

When Can You Dink?

Because dinking adds a surprise factor to your attacks, if you use it too frequently, your opponent will begin to anticipate your offensive plays and, eventually, will be able to stop them effortlessly. Therefore, you can use this technique when you have already used other kinds of attacks (spikes and volleys).

Man playing volleyball

This way, your opponent won’t know when a tip is coming and won’t know how to counteract your strikes. After all, a single defender cannot be prepared for both a spike and a dink, so they must concentrate more on you as a hitter by performing double or even triple blocks.

How to Master Dinking

To master this movement, you must first study all of the elements that influence it and how to control them. Even though they are small details, they will allow you to score more points and improve your understanding of the game. Here is some advice on how to properly dink.

  • Quickly examine your opponent’s locations, and if they are far from the bottom, tip the ball there. If they are disorganized, they may leave their bottom half of the court undefended, letting you score easy.
  • Examine their locations, and if they leave the middle of the court alone, send the volleyball there.
  • With the ball, aim for the opponent’s upper forearms or wrists. This improves the probability that the ball will drop exactly in front of the net and prevents the opponent from blocking it. This makes it particularly tough to save.
  • Try to fool your opponent by keeping your elbow up (as if you were going to spike) and tipping the ball at the last second.

Related Questions

Here are some related questions about dinking.

Can You Dink in Beach Volleyball?

Beach volleyball rules allow you to perform a dink using your knuckles, however, you cannot use your fingertips. If you do, the dink will be considered illegal and your team could lose the point and the right to serve; hence why this move is not as common in this version of the game.

What Is the Difference Between a ‘’Power Tip’’ and a Dink?

A power tip is similar to a dink, however, it is performed with greater force; sending the ball quickly to the opposing side of the court. This makes the movement far more dangerous and unrecoverable for the opposing team, allowing you to score more points.


Woman playing volleyball

To score more points, you must be able to make clever plays that deceive your opponent. In this case, the dink is a highly useful strategy that allows you to trick your opponent and score an unexpected point. On top of that, it will prevent the opponent from guessing your next moves.

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.