What is a Double Contact and a Lift in Volleyball?

In the game of volleyball, there are specifications regarding how a setter or passer is authorized to contact the volleyball. It could be truly infuriating to have players endlessly called for illegal contact of the ball. Being a coach is often stressful enough without having to always put up with a player that may not stop doing this.

There are in essence two categories of errors when it comes to touching the ball – double contacts and lifts. There are conditions to the double contact rule; nonetheless as you can notice, you can find no exceptions to lifting. The following regulations pertain to both beach and indoor volleyball rules. Beach volleyball does include one exception though.

Double Contacts

A double contact performed by a player on the initial touch is basically legitimate. For instance, in the event that a spiker spikes the volleyball, the player performing defense can contact the ball twice in an effort to dig the ball. Double contact isn’t going to be called till contact is made after the primary play on the ball. A second probable circumstance for a player that makes a legitimate touch is if the ball bounces off the arm, then your shoulder. This is certainly acceptable as long as the player makes an “athletic movement” throughout the touch of the ball. When a player makes an error setting or passing the ball, after the first contact, this will typically result in a double contact call. It will be easy to see the lift because the ball will come out of the setters hands.


Lifting the volleyball, which is essentially catching or throwing the ball, is not legal throughout the whole match. There are no exceptions to this rule. A lift happens when a player basically catches the ball while playing it. the volleyball will look like it is caught and then thrown. This is a called a lift and players in indoor volleyball likely will never get away with it. a great example of this is when a setter tries to set the ball from “below the belt”. The ball will have to be lifted up above the shoulders for the setter to set it. This happens during matches more than you think and is almost always called a lift . Beach volleyball is slightly different though. While being set, the ball can actually be lifted slightly.. It actually looks like the setter catches the ball and throws it. However, for some reason, this is allowed in beach volleyball. Not surprisingly it cannot be a complete catch and throw. It must be all-in-one action. So if you try to set the same way indoor as setters set in beach, the referee will most likely blow the whistle every time. It is funny as you can frequently notice setters who obviously are beach volleyball players.

Finally, if you are trying to find more volleyball rules and drills, come check out eVolleyballRules at https://www.evolleyballrules.com.

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