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Beach Volleyball jargon and the shots:

Most sports have their own 'Language', much of it totally baffling to the uninitiated. Golf has its birdies, bogies and eagles; football has backheels, dribbles, in-swingers and out-swingers, while cricket has Dibbly-dobbly bowlers and Googlies.

Beach Volleyball is no exception, with a raft of terms some of which are explained here:

Ace - When a serve hits the sand without your opponent touching it.

Block - When the player at the net jumps high in line with the opponents spike and plays or 'blocks' the ball directly back towards their opponents feet.

Cut shot - A soft shot, disguised and played at the very last minute, which drops close to the net and the sideline.

Dig - Using the forearms to pass the ball making a sturdy platform from which the ball rebounds. The dig is usually the first contact by a team when receiving serve and it is also used in defence.

Dink or 'pokey' - Played using the fingertips or knuckles, it can be a soft shot which lands just over the opponents block or a deep shot into space at the back of the court.

Faking - When backcourt players (defence players) show they are going one way but at the last minute they change direction - the idea is to tempt the opposition into playing a shot directly towards them.
Hubby & Wife - When a serve is directed straight down the middle between the two players, in the hope that indecision causes both opposing players to leave it. Often results in an ace serve.

Loop - A disguised shot played at the last minute. It is a high 'looping' shot landing deep towards the back of the court over the top of the defender.

Pulling - When a blocker chooses not to block the attacker but to 'pull' back into court to play defence. This usually happens when the opposition is not in a good position to spike the ball successfully.

Roof - A blocking term for when the blocker connects perfectly with the oppositions spike and sends the ball directly to the opposition's feet with no chance of recovery.

Serve - The shot used to put the ball into play - the ball is tossed in the air, then hit with one hand to go over the net. There are a variety of serving techniques including, underarm and overarm serves.

Service Order - Players must alternate serves. The players number themselves 1 or 2 and decide who is serving first.

Set - A shot used to 'set' your partner up for a spike or hit. This is usually a volley or a dig.

Shank - When a forearm pass or a dig goes badly wrong and the ball ends up in the crowd rather than towards your partner.

Skyball - An extremely high serve that is difficult to pass because of the sun and movement of the ball in the wind.

Spike - This is the action that usually follows the 'set' when the ball is hit over the net.

Volley - A shot played above the head with two hands. On the beach, this shot has to be played perfectly or you automatically loose the point/rally. A perfect volley will usually result in the ball flying through the air without spinning. Both hands have to play the ball simultaneously and the actual contact time of the ball on the player's hands must be exceptionally quick.


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