What Is a Double Hit In Volleyball

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While watching a volleyball game, you might have seen that the referee calls out the players several times for several penalties. A double hit is one of those penalties. Thus to avoid this penalty, it is essential to understand what is a double hit in volleyball.

What Is a Double Hit In Volleyball?

Double hits are something that can form a streak of multiple callouts from the referee. There are several types of double hits, one of the most challenging things to avoid during the game. Thus here are some insights about different types of double hits in volleyball and some pointers about avoiding those double hits during the play.

The Look of a Double Hit

If you are a newbie to volleyball, you need to understand the look of a double hit to avoid it during the play.

Know the different types of double hit in volleyball
  • The players who fall into the beginner lever usually hit the ball two times because they have forgotten the rule or do not trust their fellow team members to hit the ball.
  • Usually, in the higher level matches, decoding a double hit becomes a challenge, as everything happens quickly. There the calling of the referee is taken into consideration.
  • Double hits are usually failed attempts made by the player to pass the ball. It usually happens when the player ends up misjudging the speed and trajectory of the ball.
  • Sometimes the double hit is not a mistake but an attempt to recover from a tough spike on the court.

In most cases, a double hit is open to the referee’s interpretation; if he does not call you out, you can play on. Here’s a video about double hits and their explanation.

Exceptions to the Double Hit Rule

Double hit is something open to the referee’s interpretation, but there are still some exceptions to the double hit rule.

  • A block is not considered a hit; thus, if the player and the ball go into the air, the same player can still hit the ball.
  • The total hits of the whole team are not limited to 2, and the team can hit the ball a total of three times when the ball is on their side.
  • The first player near the net can hit again if a hit separates the hit from another player in between.

The Two Players Hit Simultaneously

Now the question arises what happens when the two players hit simultaneously when the ball is on their side of the court.

  • It is completely fine, as the ball is not hit consecutively by the same person. However, it is still considered as two separate hits from separate people.
  • The challenge is that 2 out of 3 hits are gone, and both cannot make a second hit.
  • The player should step away from the ball if they have touched it.
  • If you are pretty close to making a hit, and so is your team, make a call. Either let your teammate handle it or call for help.
  • If you are nowhere close to making a hit and neither your teammate, take that hit, yell ‘MINE’. This is where the communication drills come in.
A bird's eye view of a volleyball court with players setting a play

Double Hits off the Serve

The other hits I need to discuss are the double hits off the serve.

  • These hits are the consequences of a misunderstanding on the parts of the receiver or the referee.
  • The players during their drills are taught to receive the service rather than setting it, so when the situation of an overhead pass arises, the players are not that prepared.
  • The technique of an overhead pass and a set are quite similar, so if the player goes for a set after the service, that is where the blunder is made.
  • If the approach taken by the player is that of a pass or a freeball, a double contact will be made, and the referee will call it out.

An Overhead Pass to Avoid a Double Hit

An overhead pass can get you a double hit on the court; thus, some tips and tricks to play an overhead pass to avoid a double hit.

  • If you have decided to take an overhead pass, make sure you are in a lower position and leaning forward to receive the ball.
  • Make sure your hands are firm and in the position to take the pass with a smooth, straightforward position to your target.

An overhead pass is quite sloppy and rough to undergo; thus, a video guide shows you a perfect way to make an overhead pass.

Why Are Setters Called Out for Double Hits?

Most setters are the ones who are called out of double hits during the game; here are the reasons why are setters called out for double hits:

  • It is difficult for a setter to make a clean pass, as they try to avoid any collision, and things move at a high pace on the court.
  • Therefore, most of the calls are due to consecutive hits.
  • The setters are also called out if the spin of the ball is sideways.
A man jumping high ready to spike

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Double-Double in Volleyball?

In volleyball, there are five significant categories of play, one of which is the double-double category. Everyone looks out for aces, kills, digs, blocks, and assists. Now, if the player manages to get a double-digit total, they fall into the double-double category.

What Is a Hard Driven Ball in Volleyball?

A hard-driven ball is the one that comes with an aggressive force and is aimed in the downward direction. They are usually spikes, or hard overhead serves.


Even knowing the general rules of the game, double hit is one of the penalties of volleyball that everyone wants to avoid, but it is easier said than done.

Sometimes aggression is seen on the court due to the unseen double hits; one should remember that the referees are also human and have certain human limitations. In this fast-paced game, try to make your play as smooth as possible.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.