To learn how to serve all of the serves below (31), please visit out tab
"S.E.D.H." which stands for Serving Explanation Detailed Helper .
Although there has been many names for each volleyball serve and each person who creates or thinks they have created a new serve, well everybody is right. It all depends on the majority of the people who accept that name for that serve. There are four basic types of serves a: a float serve, topspin serve, overhand, and underhand serve. I will explain the rest of the serves that I personally invented, and have seen. I will also rate them by difficulty to perform and difficulty to receive. I have spent the last 17 years mastering each one of them as best I can.
Of course there are many more, but these are just a few.
Click on Serve Name for Information
**Difficulty is based on a 1- 7 scale (7 being more difficult) Not in any order
Names of Serves Difficulty to perform Difficulty to receive
Jump serve 7 3
Underhand serve 1 3
Knuckle Ball 4 4
Mexican Sidearm 3 5
Short Ball 7 5
AKA: Sky Ball CLICK HERE to see video on YouTube
Key Points - There are two areas in which to point to in order to make this serve successful. When performing this serve, make sure you pick a spot on your opponent’s areas highest point. You can aim at the highest point on top of the net. The ball should land inside the 10 foot line. If you aim at the 10 foot line at its highest point, your opponent should receive the ball in their back yard area in which I consider the back yard area to be from the 10 foot line to the back line of your opponent. Always hit the ball trying to reach the ceiling as close as possible.
Key Points - On this serve it is very important to practice spinning the ball sideways on top and in front of your head. I would suggest you practice serving the ball with your middle hand knuckle. You will see that the ball will create a small build up and a quick kick will occur. This quick kick will give the impression that the ball is moving at a fast pace. The ball will sway from side to side. If you perform this serve with the spinning movement, the ball will move to a side a soon as the ball is touched by an opponent.
Key Points - This serve is exactly like the sidewinder with knuckle hit except for the hammer hit. Again spin the ball on top and in front of your head and hit the ball as if your hand is a hammer. The ball should move to a side at a very fast pace. Keep in mind that the ball will also drop very fast. If you practice this serve against the wall the ball will not come back to from where you served.
AKA: Jump Serve
Key Points - Of course you need the prerequisites of an overhand serve in order to perform this serve. We have the toss with a spin on in it spinning the ball towards the net. A spike approach, and an extended follow through. Practice the toss many times until you feel comfortable with the height of the ball and that the ball stays in a certain area. Give a medium jump but a strong hit and follow through. Jump into the net. I would recommend you face the net side ways and turn into the spike for a more efficient serve when there is a little room in the court.
AKA: Underhand Serve
Key Points - Please also see - Underhand Sky ball - An underhand serve is a basic serve that has minimal use other than to get the ball over. This serve is usually for beginners. There are many players who can totally destroy a team with this type of serve but would have to create new serves. This serve can be controlled if the player spent enough time practicing this serve.
Key Points - Please also see - sidewinder with knuckle ball - This serve provides a quick kick from the ball when hit with the middle knuckle. It will take some time to get distance with this serve. The aiming points for this serve are the left, middle, and right back yard areas. Backyards areas are those areas from the 10 foot line to the back line of your opponent’s court. The ball will drop quickly so make sure that you aim at a point much higher than the net. The harder the hit, the more the ball will sway to one side
AKA: Mexican Sidearm
Key Points - This serve is called this way because most Mexican students learn this type of serve rather than learning an underhand serve. This serve is considered to have the power of an overhand serve with the ease in serving an underhand serve. This serve is very dangerous in that the ball drops faster than any other serve except the jump serve and the standing top spin serve. This serve is also very dangerous because the ball travels a longer distance with a quick drop at the end. Most players will let this ball go thinking the ball is going out only to see it drop quickly after that.
Key Points - With your opposite non serving leg forward for balance, spin the ball forward towards the net ,toss the ball low about two feet and arch your back while hitting the ball with as much force as possible. This type of serve will almost always land behind the 10 foot line. The bad thing about this serve is that the ball is very predictable since it travels in a straight line. This serve is a great serve because it helps players with back row hits as well as spiking from anywhere in the court.
Key Points - This serve is very hard to both serve and receive. When done correctly this serve will have a quick drop with the look of a long distance serve. To serve this serve face backwards towards the net., throw the ball in front of your face. Arch your back and hit the ball towards the net. Make sure you put some top spin on the throw.
AKA: Libero's Nightmare
Key Points - I created this serve and called it "It's Over". I changed it to the "Libero's Nightmare in 2005". To serve this serve you start with a corner of the court. You are side ways to the net. Both hands are extended while holding the ball where the valve of the ball is on the right side. Spin the ball towards you as you face the court. Throw the ball to the side of your non hitting shoulder and on top of your head. Reach across your opposite shoulder and hit the ball towards your opponents back corner on the same side as yours. The ball will look like it is going to hit the right antenna and then move back into the court. The ball will loose it's spin and drop after your opponent has touched it.
AKA: Short Ball, Soft Drop
Key Points - In this serve you want to have the same stance as if you are going to serve an overhand serve. The bow and arrow look is what you want to see. You want to point at the ceiling right before ball contact. You want to throw the ball back at your hitting arm while arching back and hitting the ball with little follow through.
AKA: Side Pocket
Key Points - The title Side Pocket refers to a billiard table where the side pockets would represent those areas right behind the 10ft line. The idea of this serve is to serve in these side pockets depending on where the setter rests to set or from where the setter is coming from the back row. You serve to which ever side the setter is coming from. If the setter sets on there right side you will serve this serve. To serve this simply place the ball valve in front of you and to the left. As you hold the ball in front of you, you should see the valve to the left of the ball. Hit a float serve aiming at that player. You do not have to hit it hard. The ball will slide a little to the left side of the court once the player hits the ball. The idea is that the setter will not get a good ball from this player.
AKA: Corner Pocket, Yard Attack
Key Points - Please see "side pocket left or right". These particular serves were made for the libero positions. The idea of these serves are to make the liberos move to unnatural areas. We do this by serving to the corner pockets on the left and back sides. To serve these types of serves we simply aim directly at those players or corner areas if the liberos are not in those areas. We then serve a floater serve with the valve of the ball on the same side as to where the ball is going. You should see the ball and the valve of the ball on the left side if you are going to serve to that side. The ball will sway to the left side and make the player move. The player will have to make an excellent bump just to get the ball to the setter.
AKA: Back Yard
Key Points - In this serve, you will have a little of an advantage if the lights are bright or if you have a young team. Just like the underhand sky ball this serve is made to land within the back line on your opponents court. The best way to practice this serve is to have 3 player standing on the back line on the other side of the net. Your job is to reach your serve as close as you can to the back line. At the same time any one of those players you call will have to go into the court and bump the ball to the setter. To serve this ball, position yourself like if you are going to serve an underhand sky ball but focus on trying to land the ball near the back line on your opponent's court. You can do this by aiming at the middle part of your opponent's court.
AKA: Back & Forth , Thrust
Key Points - In this serve there is an 85% chance that the ball will be over bumped to the net and maybe back on to your side if the set is done correctly. To perform this serve, simple toss the ball backwards towards you with a lot of backspin and hit the ball with a lot of top spin. The ball will over bounce off the player’s arms. If the ball is received with two hands, the ball will slip and a carry will be called.
AKA: Jump Serve/Short Ball, Air Deception
Key Points - deception is the main key. You need to be able to perform a regular jump serve. You must also be able to disguise your swing. In this serve you must perform the same steps as in a jump serve but at the point of the swing, swing hard, tap the ball softly and hit the ball up. The weight and the transfer from the tap will cause the ball to drop immediately after it looses it's momentum.
AKA: Jump Serve Floater, Twister
Key Points - As with the jump serve with a short ball, this serve will work better if you follow the following steps. One, position the valve of the ball facing down. Two, hold the ball in front of you with both hands. Do not provide any top spin. Three, toss the ball up into the air and start your swing further back than usual. Come to a complete stop just after you hit the ball with your open hand. The ball will travel fast as in a jump serve but will drop quickly.