Carry in Volleyball

What is a Carry in Volleyball? (Full Explanation)

In volleyball, a carry refers to an illegal ball-handling technique where a player holds or controls the ball for too long during contact.

It occurs when the ball comes to rest on the player’s hand, forearm, or any other part of their body, disrupting the natural flow of the game. Carrying the ball violates the rules of the sport and is considered a fault. 

What is a Carry in Volleyball?

Volleyball is an exciting sport that requires skillful ball handling. One important aspect of the game is understanding what a carry is and how it affects gameplay. 

Now, we will understand the concept of a carry in volleyball, its various instances during play, the consequences of committing a carry, and provide tips to improve ball handling to avoid carries.

Carry in Volleyball

Identifying a Carry in Volleyball 

A carry occurs when a player holds or controls the ball for too long during contact, disrupting the flow of the game. It is important to recognize the signs of a carry to ensure fair and consistent gameplay.

 A carry can be identified by:

  • The ball visibly coming to rest on a player’s hand or forearm.
  • The player excessively spinning the ball during contact.
  • The player making a prolonged or excessive motion while contacting the ball.

Carrying During an Attack 

During an attack, a carry can happen when a player’s contact with the ball is not clean or when the ball excessively rotates off their hand.

It is crucial for players to avoid carrying the ball during offensive plays to maintain fairness and proper technique. 

When executing an attack, players should focus on a quick and decisive contact with the ball, ensuring it does not come to rest on their hand.

Carry During Setting 

Setting is a crucial skill in volleyball, but it can also lead to carries if not executed correctly. 

When a setter holds the ball for too long or uses excessive spin during the setting motion, it can result in a carry violation. 

To prevent carrying during setting, setters should aim for a clean release of the ball, using their fingertips and a soft touch to provide an accurate set for their teammates.

Carry in Volleyball

Carry During Passing

Passing, or receiving a serve or an attack, is another area where a carry can occur. 

If a player fails to cleanly strike the ball or lets it rest too long on their forearm, it can be considered a carry. 

To avoid carrying during passing, players should focus on a firm and controlled contact with the ball using their platform (forearms), ensuring it doesn’t come to rest during the pass.

Consequences of a Carry in Volleyball 

Committing a carry violation can result in a loss of the rally or point for the offending team. It disrupts the natural flow of the game and is considered a fault. 

When a carry is called by the referee or noticed by the opposing team, the point is awarded to the other team, giving them an advantage.

Understanding and avoiding carries is crucial for players to maintain fair and competitive gameplay.

How Long Can You Hold a Ball in Volleyball? 

According to the rules of volleyball, a player should not hold or carry the ball at any time during play. The emphasis is on clean contact and quick, decisive movements. 

Holding the ball for an extended period is not permitted and can result in a carry violation. The duration of ball contact should be minimal, allowing for a fluid game and fair play.

Carry in Volleyball

Tips to Improve Ball Handling and Avoid Carries

Improving ball handling skills is essential for avoiding carries in volleyball. 

Here are a few additional tips:

  • Practice proper footwork: Position yourself well to get in the right position to handle the ball effectively.
  • Develop hand-eye coordination: Work on drills that improve your ability to track the ball and make accurate contact.
  • Communicate with teammates: Effective communication can help in avoiding confusion and mishandling of the ball.
  • Study the rules: Familiarize yourself with the specific rules regarding carries and other violations to ensure you are playing within the guidelines of the game.

What is a Carry in Volleyball Set? 

In volleyball, a carry in a set occurs when a player holds or controls the ball for too long during the setting motion, disrupting the natural flow of the game.

It is important for setters to avoid carrying the ball and focus on clean, quick contact for a fair and effective set. A proper set should be released smoothly, allowing for the hitter to attack the ball effectively.


Understanding what a carry is in volleyball is crucial for players to maintain fair and consistent gameplay. 

By identifying carries, improving ball-handling skills, and adhering to the rules, players can enhance their performance and contribute to the overall success of their team. 

Remember, clean and decisive ball handling leads to a more enjoyable and competitive volleyball experience. With practice and a focus on proper technique, players can minimize carries and play a more effective game.

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