What Is a Scrimmage in Volleyball?

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There are a lot of terms in sports that can be quite confusive, mainly for beginners. If you are a novice volleyball player hearing new terms, you might be wondering ‘’what is a scrimmage in volleyball?’’, and how to correctly perform it.

What Is a Scrimmage in Volleyball?

In volleyball, the term scrimmage is used to describe drills where players need to simulate real volleyball matches in order to practice. This is done to help athletes prepare to make decisions and plays during an actual game. These drills are often organized by placing six players on each side of the net.

An image of players practicing volleyball

This is one of the most significant practices for volleyball players since it helps them to simulate a real match. Without this, no matter how much they study and prepare their movements, they would be unable to perform them accurately in the middle of a match.

Therefore, in order to improve your talents as a volleyball player, you must completely understand how to organize a scrimmage as well as the several drills available to develop different skills. Also, you must realize that these workouts can be entertaining, allowing you to have fun while improving your skills.

How to Organize a Scrimmage

Whether you are a player who wants to organize a drill with his friends, or a coach who needs to teach his students, you need to know how to set up a scrimmage drill. These practices will allow you, and your players to gain more experience, improve their muscle memory, and improve certain skills.

Here you can see a step by step on how to organize a scrimmage.

  • Before even starting the drill, you need to divide your group into two halves of six players (if there are not enough players for this, you can choose to divide your group into two halves of three players).
  • After separating your players, position one half in one side of the court and the other half in the opposite side. Make sure that they are well-posioned and assign them roles; each team needs to have a setter, a server, front row hitters, and back row players.
  • You must next select the sort of scrimmage you will participate in; this is what the exercise will focus on. To do this, you may set specific rules on them, such as assigning one team to only pass the ball and instructing the opposing team to only set it. This will train their passing and setting skills.
  • Have someone control the game. This person needs to be someone with enough experience to spot mistakes and call them out. If you are a coach, this person needs to be you, if not, you can ask a experienced player for help.
  • Play normally and alternate sides. You can play normally until the middle of the match, then switch sides. Using the same example as before, the passing team would become the setting team, and vice versa. This assures that both teams are practicing the same abilities.
  • Lastly, you can always add a fun twist to each scrimmage, making it entertaining to play.

How Long Should a Scrimmage Go?

It is no lie that, under certain circumstances, a volleyball match can last a lot of time; a long set can last up to one hour and fifteen minutes after all. However, since a scrimmage is a drill, you should not go for too long (unless you are practicing your endurance), or your muscles could get fatigued and weak.

An image of what is a scrimmage in volleyball

Your scrimmage should take up to an hour so that you can practice without getting too exhausted. To keep track of time, set a thirty-minute timer; when it goes off, the teams can switch sides and continue for the following thirty minutes. The drill is then over, and whoever got the most points wins.

Related Questions

Here are some related questions about scrimmages.

What Is the Difference Between Scrimmage and Match?

The main difference between a scrimmage and a match is that a match is an official competition between two teams, and whoever loses may be eliminated from the tournament. A scrimmage, on the other hand, is an unofficial competition between two teams in order to develop their skills.

When it comes to tournaments and competitions, this practice has no impact on the teams and can be repeated as many times as they wish.

What Are the Most Famous Scrimmage Drills?

When it comes to scrimmage drills, the most well-known is the “Setters vs Passers Drill,” in which one team is only permitted to set and the other is only allowed to pass. The “25 Touches Drill” is also well-known. You must complete 25 touches between the two squads without losing the ball in this one.


To progress as a player, you must practice and improve your abilities, and replicating a genuine match is one of the greatest methods to do so. This allows you to have fun, improve your skills, and even test out new movements you have recently learnt.

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.