What is a Double Hit in Volleyball? Rules And Its Types

A double hit in volleyball occurs when a player makes two consecutive contacts with the ball during a single attempt to play it. This can involve using any part of the body or a combination of hits, such as a hit followed by a set.

Rapid action and strategic plays make volleyball exciting. Always avoid a “double hit.” A player who touches the ball twice in one play commits this penalty. Let’s examine this rule’s implications for the game.

What is a Double Hit in Volleyball

Double Hit Basic Rules in Volleyball

A player smashes the ball twice quickly with any part of their body or combination of hits (e.g., a hit followed by a set). To understand a double hit, you must understand its causes. Players often unwittingly commit this offence during frantic rallies or strong serves.

Volleyball players must understand double hit rules to play pretty and skillfully.

Double Hit Basic Rules in Volleyball

Prohibition of Successive Hits

Players are not allowed to intentionally or unintentionally hit the ball twice quickly during a play.

This rule applies to various scenarios, including receiving serves, digs, and sets.

Double Hit Exceptional Rules

Understanding exceptional rules regarding a double hit in volleyball is crucial for players and officials. Here are some outstanding scenarios:

Hard-Driven Spiked Ball

A double hit is allowed if the ball is played off a hard-driven spiked ball. In this situation, consecutive contact with the ball is permissible and not considered a violation.


When the ball is blocked and it contacts various parts of the body successively, it is not deemed a double hit. The exception recognizes the dynamics of blocking plays.

Legal Consecutive Contacts

A player legitimately contacts the ball twice owing to unavoidable circumstances, such as an opponent deflection, which may be exceptional.

These exceptions give the double hit rule nuance, ensuring fair volleyball play evaluations.

Double Hit Exceptional Rules

Types of Double Hits

Double hits can occur during both offensive and defensive plays.

Offensive double hits often happen when setting the ball, while defensive double hits can occur during digs or passes.

Avoiding Double Hits

Players must develop proper techniques for various plays to minimize the risk of double hits.

Setters are crucial in ensuring clean and precise sets to avoid violations.

Referee’s Decision

The referee enforces the double hit rule during matches.

Another team scores a point, and the violator loses the rally for a double hit.

Player Responsibility

It is the responsibility of each player to be aware of the double hit rule and strive to execute clean and controlled plays.

Regular practice and skill development contribute to minimizing inadvertent double hits.

Players of all skill levels must understand and follow double hit rules. Players ensure game integrity and fairness by complying, making the game fun and competitive for everyone.

Types of Double Hits

Simultaneous Contact and the Double Hit Rule

A double hit in volleyball occurs when a player hits the ball twice, intentionally or unintentionally. This violation is deemed illegal, aiming to ensure fair play and prevent any advantage gained through successive hits.

The rule applies to various actions, such as setting, passing, or hitting. It’s important to note that some exceptions may allow a double hit after a hard-hit ball, acknowledging the challenging nature of such plays.

Simultaneous contact, where players from opposing teams touch the ball simultaneously, is distinct from the double hit rule. Referees signal a double hit violation by raising their arms and spreading their first two fingers to form the number two.

Players, referees, and fans must understand the double hit rule to appreciate fair and competitive volleyball.

Simultaneous Contact and the Double Hit Rule

Serve and the Double Hit Rule

Serving is critical in volleyball, and the double hit rule is fundamental. Double hits occur when a player touches the ball with two different body parts, excluding block interactions. To start the game, players must hit cleanly and controllably.

Hence, this violation is vital. Referees struggle to call double hits during serves due to the speed of the play. The FIVB defines a double hit in volleyball as two consecutive hits or multiple body contacts.

Players must improve their serving techniques to minimize multiple hits for fair play and game integrity.

Serve and the Double Hit Rule

Setter and the Double Hit Rule

The double-hit rule is vital for volleyball setters. A double hit happens when a player, including a setter, hits the ball twice in one play. Double contact is when the ball hits multiple body parts quickly, according to the FIVB.

Setters are penalized for double hits if their hands do not touch the ball simultaneously during a set. Referees decide these cases to ensure fairness and rule compliance. The setter orchestrates offensive plays; precision is needed to avoid double hits and preserve the game.

Setter and the Double Hit Rule

Overhead Pass and Double Hits

A volleyball player utilizes their fingertips to pass the ball upwards, frequently in setting or passing. Double hits must be avoided throughout this action. A double hit occurs when a player makes consecutive contact with the ball using various body parts.

In the context of an overhead pass, it could involve the player unintentionally hitting the ball twice in quick succession.

In volleyball, specific rules govern the legality of double hits during overhead passes. For example, when a player performs a serve receive overhead, the rules may permit a certain degree of double contact.

However, it is essential to observe that volleyball generally does not permit double hits, particularly in setting actions where precision and fairness hold paramount importance.

Players and referees should be mindful of these rules to ensure a fair and consistent application of the double-hit rule during overhead passes in volleyball.

Overhead Pass and Double Hits

Importance in Volleyball Strategy

  • Fair Play: The double hit rule is in place to ensure fair and competitive play. It prevents players from gaining an unfair advantage by manipulating the ball using successive hits.
  • Skill Development: Enforcing the double hit rule encourages players to enhance their skills, promoting cleaner and more controlled ball handling. This improves game quality.

Common Scenarios and How to Avoid Them

  • Digging and Passing: When digging or passing, players must focus on using proper technique to avoid double hits. A well-executed pass requires precision and control.
  • Setting: Setters play a crucial role in preventing double hits. They must master the art of clean, one-touch sets to facilitate seamless plays.


What is double hits in volleyball?

A volleyball double hit occurs when a player touches the ball twice or when the ball touches different regions of their body. It is considered an illegal hit and can result in a violation.

What is a double foul in volleyball?

A double foul in volleyball occurs when both teams commit a fault simultaneously. It results in a replay of the point without any penalty.

What is doubling in volleyball?

A volleyball player double hits the ball, which is unlawful and breaches the regulations. A player needs to make a clean, single ball contact.

Can setters touch first ball?

Yes, setters can touch the first ball during a serve receive in volleyball. However, setters must adhere to specific rules regarding double contacts.

What is a double libero?

Volleyball double liberos allow both sides to have specialized defensive players simultaneously, improving defense and strategy.


Finally, volleyball players and judges must comprehend the double hit rule. This regulation prohibits players from touching the ball twice in a row during a try to maintain the game fair and competitive.

While hard-driven spiked balls and stopping situations are allowed, players should strive to prevent unintentional double hits to maintain the fairness of the game. Avoiding double hits requires skill improvement. This applies notably to setters and players who serve, overhead pass, dig, and set.

Game referees are crucial to enforcing the double hit rule. If someone breaks it, the opposite team scores and the breaker loses the rally. The “double hit” rule helps players play fairly and manage the game. This makes volleyball exciting and competitive for all.

All skill levels can appreciate the game and the intricacies of clean and accurate plays as long as the focus is on skill development. Knowing and observing the double hit rules makes volleyball more fun and fulfilling for everyone, especially spectators.

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