Basic Rules of Volleyball - Double Contact on Setting

This rules of volleyball page explains one commonly mistaken rule - double contact on volleyball setting.

Case: Double Contact on Setting

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One junior volleyball player sent us a question about the double hit. She had been called for the double contact when setting the ball (on the second contact).

Referee told her "there was too much spin on the ball". This player went and examined the rule book and was confused because she didn't find anything about the spin on it.

Basic Rules of Volleyball - Double Contact - Bad Call or Good Call?

Rules of Volleyball

This was absolutely a false call from a referee. (It is quite common that referees incorrectly call off the set, when there is too much spin on it.)

There is no rule in indoor volleyball about the "spin on the ball."

What referee should call?

"Setter has committed to a double contact only, if setter's hands do not touch the ball simultaneously."

What referee should not call?

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In indoor volleyball, if referee doesn't see a double contact, referee shouldn't call it.

Referee should not call a bad technique. (Even if it looks bad, referee should not call it, unless there is an actual double contact.)

In other words it doesn't matter..

  1. what direction the ball leaves the setter's hands..,

  2. how much there is a spin on the ball..,

  3. how bad the sound is... as long as the hands touch the ball simultaneously (there is no double contact.)

In reality referees call those balls fairly often - and probably even the players feel they have committed a fault - even if according to the rules they haven't.

Basic Volleyball Rules - Double Hit in General

Double hit is ALLOWED on the first contact, when

  1. Serve receiving, or

  2. Digging


When player serve receives the ball overhead, the double contact is allowed. BUT it is NOT ALLOWED on the second contact when the player is setting the ball!

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