What Is Lifting In Volleyball: Lifting Vs Carrying, Rules, Techniques

Lifting in volleyball, also known as a carry or double hit, occurs when a player makes contact with the ball, suggesting prolonged contact or a momentary pause. In volleyball, players cannot lift or carry the ball; it must be cleanly hit with minimal contact.

Lifting is a violation in volleyball because it goes against the principles of clean and fair play. A proper hit ensures a level playing field, allowing both teams an equal opportunity to engage in rallies and score points.

Eliminating lifting violations promotes a more enjoyable and competitive game.

Lifting in volleyball

Difference Between Lifting And Carrying

CriteriaLifting In VolleyballCarrying In Volleyball
DefinitionOccurs when the ball remains in contact with a player’s body or hands for an extended period, indicating an improper hit or pass.Involves holding or guiding the ball during contact, often resulting in a prolonged and controlled touch.
Violation ConsequenceLeads to a violation, with the opposing team gaining a point and regaining possession of the ball.Results in a point awarded to the opposing team due to an illegal play.
Commonly Associated withPlayers trying to lift the ball excessively rather than making a distinct hit, often seen in improper setting.A player attempting to manipulate the ball for deceptive plays or struggling to execute a clean pass.
Referee’s SignalReferee indicates a carrying violation with a lifting motion using both hands.Referee makes a lifting motion with one hand to signal the violation.
Prevention TipsEmphasize a quick and distinct hit, refining setting skills through targeted drills and exercises.Focus on clean, concise ball contact, and practice proper passing techniques.
Lifting VS Carrying
Lifting VS Carrying

Techniques to Avoid Lifting Violations

Proper Hand Positioning

Players must focus on hand positioning when touching the ball to avoid lifting. Hands should be firm and steady, creating a clean surface for the ball to bounce off without prolonged contact.

Use of Fingers and Wrists

Players should primarily use their fingers and wrists to direct the ball. This involves a quick and controlled touch rather than a prolonged hold. Players can achieve a cleaner hit that minimizes the risk of lifting violations by utilising the fingers.

Controlled Contact

Maintaining control over the ball is crucial. Players should strive for quick and precise contact that allows the ball to rebound off their hands smoothly. Avoiding excessive force or unnecessary movement helps in achieving clean hits.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Over-reliance on Palms

One common challenge leading to lifting violations is the over-reliance on the palms of the hands. Players may unintentionally trap the ball against their palms, leading to a perceived lift. Players should focus on using their fingers and wrists more actively to overcome this.

Lack of Timing

Timing plays a crucial role in avoiding lifting violations. Players must synchronize their movements to meet the ball at the right moment. Practising timing drills can significantly improve players’ ability to make clean and legal hits.

Reaction to Off-Center Balls

Dealing with off-centre or unexpected balls can be challenging. Players should practice adjusting their hand positioning and body stance to ensure a clean hit, even when the ball is not coming straight at them. This adaptability is critical to preventing lifting violations.

Improving Lifting Skills through Drills

Wall Hitting Drill

Players can practice hitting the ball against a wall to improve hand-eye coordination and refine their technique. The division provides consistent feedback, helping players adjust their movements for cleaner hits.

Partner Passing Drill

Engaging in passing drills with a partner allows players to work on their lifting skills in a controlled setting. Partners can provide feedback on hand positioning, timing, and overall technique, fostering improvement through collaboration.

Solo Juggling Exercise

Juggling a volleyball using fingertips is an excellent solo exercise to enhance finger strength and control. This drill encourages players to develop a gentle touch, minimizing the risk of lifting violations.

Improving Lifting Skills through Drills

Role of Coaching in Lifting Skills Development

Coaches play a pivotal role in shaping players’ lifting skills. Here are some coaching tips to guide players toward cleaner hits:

Role of coachingDescription
Emphasize Technique Over PowerEncourage players to prioritize proper technique over power. A well-executed hit with correct hand positioning is more valuable than a forceful hit that leads to lifting violations.
Provide Regular FeedbackCoaches should consistently provide constructive feedback during practice sessions. Addressing hand positioning, timing, and lifting tendencies ensures that players can make real-time adjustments to their technique.
Incorporate Drills into Training PlansIntegrate lifting-focused drills into regular training plans. Consistent practice is essential for skill development, and dedicated exercises can target specific aspects of lifting to improve overall proficiency.

Addressing Misconceptions about Lifting in Volleyball

Lifting vS Legal Contacts

It’s important to distinguish between a lifting violation and a legal contact. While lifting involves prolonged or excessive contact with the ball, legal contacts are clean hits involving quick and controlled interaction.

Players should understand the nuances to avoid unnecessary penalties during a game.

Referee Interpretations

Referees play a crucial role in determining whether a contract constitutes a lift. Players need to be aware of how different referees interpret lifting violations. Players can adjust their technique by attending rule briefings and staying informed about officiating styles.

Advanced Techniques for Expert Players

Using Spin to Control the Ball

Expert players can manipulate the spin of the ball to their advantage. Playing spin with their fingers during contact allows players to control the trajectory and reduce the chances of a lifting violation. This advanced technique requires precision and finesse.

Off-Speed Shots

Mastering off-speed shots involves intentionally slowing down the ball’s pace to surprise opponents. Skilled players can execute off-speed shots without incurring lifting violations by adjusting their hand positioning and touch.

Lifting in volleyball

Mental Aspects of Lifting Mastery

Stay Calm Under Pressure

Players may inadvertently resort to improper techniques in high-pressure situations, leading to lifting violations. Mental resilience is crucial. Training sessions that simulate game scenarios with added pressure can help players maintain composure and execute clean hits.

Visualizing Clean Contacts

Incorporate visualization exercises into training routines. Players can mentally rehearse, making clean hits and focusing on proper hand positioning and timing. Visualization enhances muscle memory and reinforces the correct technique.

Evolution of Lifting Rules in Volleyball

Understanding the historical context of lifting rules sheds light on the game’s evolution. As volleyball has progressed, rule adjustments have been made to accommodate playing style and technique changes.

Players should stay informed about rule updates to align their techniques with the latest standards.


How do you identify a lift in volleyball?

In volleyball, a lift is identified when a player contacts the ball and allows it to come to a rest momentarily during the course of a single contact, violating the rule of a clean hit.

Are carrying and lifting illegal hits in volleyball?

No, carrying and lifting are not inherently illegal hits in volleyball. However, the manner in which the ball is handled during these actions may determine their legality, as prolonged contact or excessive spin is generally not allowed.

What is an illegal set in volleyball?

There is no specific concept of an “illegal set” in volleyball. However, a set may be considered illegal if the player commits a fault, such as double touching the ball or lifting it during the set.

What is the difference between lift and carry?

In volleyball, “lift” refers to an illegal prolonged contact with the ball, while “carry” involves holding or guiding the ball during contact. Both actions result in a violation, with lift being a more common term for this infraction.


Lifting in volleyball is more than a technical aspect; it reflects a player’s commitment to fair play and sportsmanship. By embracing the fundamentals, consistently refining techniques, and staying attuned to the evolving dynamics of the game, players can master the art of lifting.

Coaches, players, and referees collectively contribute to a volleyball culture that values skill development, understanding, and a shared passion for the sport.

As players strive for excellence in lifting, they contribute to their individual growth and the overall integrity and enjoyment of volleyball as a competitive and exhilarating game.

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