Does a Block Count as a Hit in Volleyball? Rule Explanation

Does A Block Count As A Hit In Volleyball

Imagine watching a volleyball match between the USA and Japan, exciting and energetic.

The players are ready, the audience is cheering, and the game is on.

In a critical moment, a middle blocker from the USA team jumps up and stops the ball with a great block.

The crowd cheers loudly, but you might wonder, “Does a block count as a hit in volleyball?”

Quick Answer: No, a block does not count as one of the team’s three allowed hits according to the volleyball official rules. Additionally, any player, including the one who executed the block, can make the first hit following the block. 

In this guide, I will explain this blocking rule in detail and discuss why it matters in the game.

Plus, I’ll talk about how this rule works in beach volleyball to give you a complete perspective of its variation.

Scenarios Where a Block Does Not Count as a Hit

To understand the scenarios where the block does not count as a hit, we need to reference the three rules in the FIVB Rulebook: 14.4.1, 14.4.2, and 9.1.2.1.

Let’s start with section 14.4.1, which is straightforward yet vital.

1) Block Dynamics: Rule 14.4.1

It says that a block contact does not count as a team hit.

This means that after your teammate blocks the ball, your team still gets three more chances to hit the ball over the net.

Let’s break this down with a simple example.

Your team is playing a friendly match with a strong competitor.

The opponent attacks and your teammate blocks the ball.

Right after the block, your team still has three hits to use.

This rule is crucial because it gives your team a fair chance to set up your attack, even after a great defensive move like a block.

After understanding Rule 14.4.1, let’s move on to another crucial rule 14.4.2.

2) Simultaneous Contacts: Rule 14.4.2

This rule adds an essential layer to our understanding of post-block actions.

Section 14.4.2 states that the first hit after a block can be executed by any player, including the one who touched the ball during the block.

Let’s visualize this with an example.

Imagine your teammate just made a fantastic block.

Typically, a player can’t hit the ball twice in succession in volleyball.

But this rule changes that scenario.

If your teammate blocks the ball, they are perfectly within the rules to hit it again as the first of the three allowed team hits. 

It is also beneficial in fast-paced situations where the blocker is in the best position to continue the play.

an enthusiast volleyball player trying to block a spike
Photo by KLM volleyball

3) Simultaneous Contacts: Rule 9.1.2.1

Rule 9.1.2.1 is about what happens when multiple players simultaneously touch the ball.

In most cases, if two or three of your teammates touch the ball together, it counts as two or three hits.

But there’s an exception for blocking.

To clarify, let me explain it with another real-match scenario.

You and your teammate are jumping to block a ball together.

Both of you touch the ball at the same time, stopping the opponent’s attack.

According to Rule 9.1.2.1, this simultaneous touch in blocking doesn’t count as two hits.

So, your team still has three hits left, giving you a better chance to organize your counter-attack.

How Many Players Can Block in Volleyball?

In volleyball, up to three players can block at the same time. 

But there’s a catch!

Only the players in the front row can do the blocking.

If you’re playing in the back row, you cannot join in on the block.

So, when the ball comes over the net, the three front-row players (Opposite Hitter, Middle Blocker, and Outside Hitter) can jump up together to try and stop it.

front row players trying to block a spike
Photo by Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games

One common mistake is when someone playing in the back row tries to join in on a block.

It is known as a “back row block violation” or “illegal block.”

Basically, if you’re not in the front row, you have to stay on the ground and can’t jump up to block the ball with the front-row players.

Doing so breaks the rules, and the other team gets a point.

So, players need to know where they are on the court and what they can do to avoid these mistakes.

Does a Block Count As a Touch in Beach Volleyball?

Yes, the block counts as a touch in beach volleyball.

Interestingly, the rules of sand volleyball are slightly different from their indoor counterparts, especially regarding blocking.

According to the FIVB Beach Volleyball Rulebook, a blocking contact counts as a team hit. 

Specifically, Rule 14.4.1 states that after a player makes a blocking contact, the team is left with only two more hits to return the ball over the net.

This rule significantly affects gameplay, as teams have one less hit to work with after a block compared to indoor volleyball.

However, there’s flexibility in what happens next.

Rule 14.4.2 provides that any player, including the blocker themselves, can execute the first hit after the block.

If a player blocks the ball, they or any teammate can make the next touch.

This rule is actually similar to what I discussed above in Rule 14.4.2 for indoor volleyball.

In some beach volleyball leagues where teams consist of four or six players, you might see rules that resemble those of indoor volleyball.

However, in the standard beach volleyball format with two players, the rules as stated above apply.

Blockers in action in beach volleyball
Photo by cmfgu 

Significance of the Rule

I already discussed the special blocking rules above for indoor and beach volleyball regarding FIVB Rulebooks.

Let’s discuss why these rules are important and how they make volleyball more fun and challenging.

  • They enable players to learn to think on their feet, especially in beach volleyball, where a block counts as a hit. It encourages quick decision-making and demands faster strategy adjustments.
  • Knowing who can hit the ball after a block, including the blocker, promotes better teamwork and communication among players.
  • Players become skillful at blocking and setting up for the next play. It also enhances their defensive strategies and makes the game more dynamic.
  • In indoor volleyball, the rule that a block doesn’t count as a hit opens up more offensive strategies, allowing teams to plan more complex attacks.
  • The need for players to act immediately after a block, regardless of their position, helps develop versatile skills across the team.
  • Knowing these rules makes watching volleyball more fun. You can see how teams use different strategies to win, especially when you know a block can be a game-changer.
Players trying to block in intense volleyball match
Photo by Neon Tommy

Speaking of game-changers, have you ever wondered if you can block a serve in volleyball?

Well, my decided guide talks all about it, so don’t forget to read it thoroughly and share your remarks at the end!

Lastly, these rules and strategies make volleyball an incredible sport to play and watch.

Whether you’re trying to block a ball or serve it, knowing the rules can help you become a better player or a more knowledgeable fan.

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