Friday, March 24th, 2017

Beach Volleyball Hand Signals

Published on June 2, 2010 by   ·   No Comments

From a closed fist to an open hand, what do the hand signals of beach volleyball players mean? volleyball block hand signal

This is something that family members and casual volleyball spectators often ask, so here’s a run down on what they all mean. The player who is blocking gives a signal for each of the opponents so their partner knows which part of the court they’re trying to cover with their block. The passer will then attempt to cover the half of the court not being taken by the blocker.

  • Two fingers: Blocking angle. The blocker is going to try and take the cross court shot, the most common attack for most hitters.
  • One finger: Blocking line. This time the blocker will be taking away the line shot, which means the shot directly in front of the hitter. It’s a more difficult shot because the ball has a shorter distance to travel.
  • Closed fist: No block. The blocker has decided not to block one or both of the hitters, meaning s/he will pull off the net and play defense.
  • Open hand: Blocking the ball. The blocker will be watching the ball and deciding how to block based on its location and the type of approach and arm swing. His/her partner must then read the block and adjust his/her defensive positioning accordingly.

It’s a totally personal decision for each team/person determining what kind of blocking strategy to use, but you won’t often see the closed fist at the professional level because it’s vital to have a block in place against that caliber of hitter.

You can also sometimes see a blocker wiggling one of his/her hands, which is an indication of which player the blocker wants his/her teammate to serve to. In doubles this is an important decision because the player that passes will automatically be the hitter.

Next time you’re watching (or playing) beach volleyball you’ll be prepared to explain (or use) these hand signals to notify your teammates of your blocking intentions.

Here’s to sand volleyball season!

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