Hitting Signals in Volleyball Explained (With Pictures)

Volleyball is a dynamic and exhilarating sport that demands precision, teamwork, and effective communication among players. One of the most crucial aspects of the game is the attack or hitting phase, where players aim to score points by smashing the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court. To execute successful attacks, players rely heavily on hitting signals, which are visual cues that guide them in determining the type of attack to execute. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of hitting signals in volleyball, accompanied by illustrative pictures to provide a comprehensive understanding of this vital aspect of the game.

The Importance of Hitting Signals

Hitting signals play a pivotal role in fostering seamless coordination between setters and hitters on the team. Since volleyball is a fast-paced game, split-second decisions can make all the difference between a successful attack and a missed opportunity. Setters and hitters work in tandem to outwit the opponent’s defense, and hitting signals serve as the roadmap for executing well-timed, powerful attacks.

Types of Hitting Signals

Quick Set:

The quick set is a rapid attack that aims to catch the opposing blockers off-guard. The hitter approaches the net with speed, and the setter delivers a low, fast set close to the net. This type of attack requires excellent timing and coordination. The hitting signal for a quick set often involves a closed fist or a closed hand signal from the setter, indicating the speed and timing required for the hitter to connect with the ball at its apex.

High Set:

The high set is a slower, higher trajectory set that allows the hitter more time to assess the defense and adjust their approach accordingly. The hitting signal for a high set is usually a raised hand, indicating that the setter intends to place the ball high above the net. Hitters can use this signal to prepare for a powerful spike or a strategically placed tip over the blockers.

Back Set:

A back set involves the setter delivering the ball to a hitter positioned behind them. This attack can catch the defense off-guard, providing the hitter with a variety of angles to exploit. The hitting signal for a back set often involves the setter pointing to the back of the court, indicating the direction the ball will be sent.

Slide Attack:

The slide attack involves the hitter approaching the net at an angle and connecting with a set that is delivered quickly and slightly behind them. This attack is highly effective in confusing the blockers and finding open areas on the court. The hitting signal for a slide attack usually includes the setter holding their hand at an angle, mimicking the trajectory of the set.

Pipe Set:

The pipe set, also known as a back-row attack, involves a back-row player executing an attack from behind the ten-foot line. The hitter usually receives a high set, allowing them to approach and jump from behind the attack line. The hitting signal for a pipe set can be a combination of the setter raising their hand high and pointing toward the back row.

Communication and Adaptation

While hitting signals provide essential guidance, effective communication between setters and hitters goes beyond mere hand signals. Players must be adaptable and ready to adjust their approach based on real-time observations of the opponent’s positioning and defensive strategies. If the opposing team is anticipating a particular attack, players should be prepared to change their strategy to exploit gaps in the defense.


Hitting signals in volleyball are more than just gestures; they are the threads that weave together the complex tapestry of teamwork and coordination. These signals empower players to anticipate and execute attacks that keep opponents guessing and defenders struggling to react. As the heart of successful offensive plays, hitting signals exemplify the beauty of precision, timing, and collaboration in the world of volleyball. Whether it’s a quick set, a high set, a back set, a slide attack, or a pipe set, these signals provide a visual language that speaks volumes on the court. With practice, communication, and a keen eye for the game, hitting signals become second nature, resulting in electrifying plays that elevate the sport to new heights.

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