Can You Kick the Ball in Volleyball?

can you kick the ball in volleyball

Volleyball is a sport filled with various skills and techniques. From powerful spikes to defensive digs, players use numerous body movements to keep the ball in play. One question that often arises among newcomers and even some seasoned players is, “Can you kick the ball in volleyball?” The answer might surprise you.

The Rulebook Says…

Yes, it’s typically called a kick save.

According to the official rules governed by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), players can use any part of their body to hit the ball, including their feet. Thus, technically, you can kick the ball in volleyball. However, it’s essential to understand the context in which this action might occur and its practicality.

Practicality on the Court

While the rules allow it, kicking is not a commonly employed technique in volleyball for several reasons:

  1. Control: Volleyball relies on precise ball control, and using hands and arms typically provides more accuracy than feet.
  2. Speed: Reacting to a ball coming towards you and positioning your foot to kick it effectively is often slower than using your hands or arms.

Situational Use

That said, there are situations where a player might opt to kick the ball:

  1. Desperation: If a player is on the ground or out of position, and the ball is about to hit the floor, they might kick it as a last-ditch effort to keep it in play. Or they are running to the ball and the only way to reach it is with the feet.
  2. Unexpected Ball Trajectories: Sometimes, the ball might take an unexpected bounce or be deflected in such a way that the player’s only option to hit it is with their foot.

Beach Volleyball vs. Indoor Volleyball

While the fundamental rules remain the same, beach volleyball is played on sand. Which can make movements slower and more challenging. In some instances, players might find it easier to kick a ball rather than dive for it, especially if it’s close to the ground.


While kicking the ball in volleyball is allowed by the official rules. It remains a rare occurrence due to the sport’s demands for precision and control. However, as in any sport, players will sometimes find themselves in unexpected situations. Where thinking on their feet (literally) can make the difference between scoring a point or letting one slip away. So, the next time you see someone kick the ball during a match, know that it’s not against the rules – it’s just a less conventional way to play the game!

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