Understanding the intricacies of volleyball is essential for players, coaches, and enthusiasts alike.

One crucial aspect of the game is the concept of 'lifting.' In this article, we delve into the definition, implications, and nuances of what constitutes a lift in volleyball.

Exploring its significance, legality, and impact on gameplay, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of this fundamental rule within the sport.

By dissecting the rules and nuances surrounding lifts, this article serves as a guide for players, coaches, and fans to enhance their comprehension of this pivotal element in volleyball."

What is a Lift?

In volleyball, a lift, also known as a carry or double contact, refers to an illegal play where a player handles the ball in a manner that results in prolonged contact or lack of clean execution.

This violation occurs when the ball is not cleanly hit but rather held, caught, or momentarily carried.

It typically involves a situation where the ball comes into contact with a player's hands or arms and is visibly held, stalled, or controlled for an extended period, deviating from the swift, distinct contact expected in the game.

The primary objective in volleyball is to maintain a fair and continuous flow of the game, emphasizing clean, distinct hits, which makes any form of prolonged ball handling, carrying, or lifting a violation of the rules.

A lift is determined by the judgment of the referee based on how the ball is contacted.

It's often recognized when the ball appears to momentarily stick to a player's hands or is visibly held before being released, impeding the fluidity and fairness of the game.

Players are encouraged to use their fingertips for cleaner, quicker contact with the ball, avoiding any prolonged holding or excessive manipulation that could lead to a lift violation.

The rule aims to maintain fairness and prevent players from gaining an unfair advantage by unnecessarily controlling the ball, ensuring that the game progresses smoothly with crisp, decisive ball contacts.

What Is A Lift In Volleyball
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Why Are Lifts Unallowed?

Lifts are disallowed in volleyball primarily to maintain the integrity and fairness of the game.

The prohibition against lifts serves to uphold the fundamental principle of the sport, which is to ensure clean, controlled ball contact and a continuous, dynamic flow of play.

Allowing lifts would lead to a lack of consistency in the execution of plays, potentially enabling players to manipulate the ball unfairly, and disrupting the natural pace and rhythm of the game.

By outlawing lifts, the sport emphasizes the importance of skillful, precise handling of the ball, promoting a level playing field where teams can compete based on their abilities to strategize, pass, set, and spike within the defined rules, fostering an environment of fair competition and sportsmanship.

What is a lift in volleyball?
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How Can I Avoid Lifts?

Avoiding a lift in volleyball necessitates mastering proper ball-handling techniques and focusing on clean, swift contacts.

Players can minimize the risk of committing a lift violation by using their fingertips rather than their palms when making contact with the ball.

Emphasizing a quick, controlled touch allows for a more precise and immediate release, reducing the likelihood of the ball being held or carried.

Additionally, maintaining good hand positioning and ensuring the wrists are firm but flexible enables players to execute clean hits without the ball sticking or being trapped, thereby reducing the chances of being called for a lift.

Practicing consistent and deliberate ball handling during training sessions and being mindful of the rules surrounding prolonged ball contact will aid in refining players' skills and reducing instances of lift violations during competitive gameplay.

Some Final Thoughts

All in all, lifts are illegal moves in volleyball that should be avoided at all costs to ensure fair play between teams. Make sure you practice proper technique when spiking and passing so that you don’t make any accidental lifts during games! With some practice and dedication, soon enough avoiding lifts will become second nature!

What Is A Lift In Volleyball
Photo by Ildar Garifullin / Unsplash


What is a lift in volleyball?

A lift, also known as a carry or a double contact, occurs when a player illegally holds or carries the ball, often resulting in a prolonged contact or a non-clean hit.

A lift is legal if the ball contacts a player's body but comes off immediately without being held, providing it's a quick, clean hit using the fingers.

What are the consequences of committing a lift during a game?

A lift is considered a fault in volleyball, leading to the opposing team winning the rally and being awarded the point.

How can players avoid making a lifting violation?

To avoid lifting violations, players should focus on proper hand placement, using fingers instead of palms, and executing clean, quick contact with the ball.

Are lifts always called by the referee in volleyball?

The judgment on lifts can be subjective and may vary depending on the referee's discretion. Sometimes, minor lifts might not be called if they don't significantly impact

Can a lift be unintentional when playing volleyball?

Yes, lifts can happen unintentionally, often when the ball hits an unexpected part of the body or when a player mistimes their contact. Players should aim for clean, controlled touches to reduce the likelihood of lifting.

Do lifts often occur during specific volleyball plays or techniques?

Lifts can occur during various plays, but they might be more common during setting or passing sequences when players handle the ball for more extended periods.

Is a passing lift the same as a double hit in volleyball?

A lift and a double hit are somewhat similar violations. A double hit refers to contacting the ball twice in succession, while a lift usually involves holding or carrying the ball, resulting in an extended or prolonged touch.

Can coaches help prevent lifts during training sessions?

Yes, coaches play a significant role in training players to avoid lifting violations. They can emphasize proper ball-handling techniques, focusing on using fingertips and executing clean hits.

Are there different rules regarding lifting at various levels of volleyball play?

While the fundamental rule for lifting remains consistent across levels, the interpretation and strictness of enforcing lifting violations might vary between recreational, high school, college, and professional levels of play.

Remember, understanding and practicing proper ball-handling techniques are essential to minimize lifting violations and ensure fair and clean gameplay in volleyball.

What Is A Lift In Volleyball


Playing volleyball is an exciting sport filled with a variety of moves and techniques. One of the most important aspects of the game is understanding the lift call.

During a volleyball match, players must be aware of any ball touches that may result in a lift call.

In indoor volleyball, a lift call is made when the ball is caught or comes to rest on any part of the player's body and is then propelled upwards.

This illegal hit is often identified by a closed fist and may result in a point for the opposing team.

In beach volleyball, a passing lift call is made when there is ball pause momentarily or when there is more than a moment of in and out motion during a set.

As volleyball players, it is important to master the art of passing and setting lift calls to avoid any penalty and secure a win for your team in the match.

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