Dig in Volleyball

What is a Dig in Volleyball? Ultimate Defense Move Revealed

When it comes to understanding the core mechanics of volleyball, mastering the art of the dig is crucial. This vital defensive tactic encompasses a range of volleyball skills, playing an essential role in both amateur and professional level gameplay. 

The dig is not just a reactive move; it’s a strategy that can shift the momentum of a match and help guarantee success. Now, we will explore the defensive tactics involved in establishing a solid dig technique.

What is a Dig in Volleyball?

A dig is a defensive move used by a player to prevent the ball from hitting the court after an opponent’s attack, typically a spike. 

This maneuver is not only about keeping the ball in play but also about controlling the ball in such a way that your team can transition into offense smoothly.

Importance of Digging 

Digging is a crucial component of volleyball defense. It often sets the tone for rallies and can be the key to a team’s resilience in the face of aggressive offense. A successful dig can shift momentum and inspire a team, while a failed dig can do just the opposite.

Understanding the Rules to Dig

While the dig is a vital part of volleyball defense, it is essential for players to understand the official volleyball rules related to dig execution to avoid committing errors during a match.

Some of the fundamental rules include:

1. The ball may only be contacted by the forearms or any other part of the body above the waist.

2. Players cannot catch, hold, or throw the ball during a dig.

3. A dig may only be performed when the ball is hit by an opponent on their attacking play, and it is about to touch the court or within the bounds of the court.

By incorporating the knowledge of these rules into their gameplay, players can perform digs effectively and legally. 

Dig in Volleyball

Techniques: How to Execute a Proper Dig

Learning to dig a volleyball requires a combination of proper technique, quick reflexes, and a dash of fearlessness. 

Below is a step-by-step guide on the proper technique for digging a volleyball.

1. Starting PositionBegin in a balanced, athletic stance with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and weight on the balls of your feet.
2. Hand PositioningJoin your hands by placing one fist in the other hand and wrapping the thumbs parallel along the top fist, ensuring a flat platform for the ball to bounce off.
3. AnticipationStay alert and keep your eyes on the ball at all times. Read the spiker’s approach and arm swing to anticipate the direction of the ball.
4. MovementMove quickly to the path of the ball using short, quick steps or a shuffle—avoid crossing your feet.
5. Body PositionPlace yourself in line with the ball’s trajectory, bend your knees further if necessary, and keep your platform angled towards your target.
6. ContactAbsorb the power of the spike by giving with your arms slightly upon contact, directing the ball upward and toward the setter.

Tips for Improving Your Digging Skills

Practice Footwork: Good digs often come from being in the right place at the right time. Practice your footwork to move efficiently and position yourself correctly.

Work on Reflexes: Digging a fast-moving spiked ball requires sharp reflexes. Drills that focus on reaction time can be beneficial.

Drill Consistency: Repetition is the mother of skill, so include digging in your regular volleyball drills to improve consistency.

Strengthen Core Muscles: A strong core can help you maintain balance and quickly get in position for a dig. Incorporate core strengthening exercises into your fitness routine.

Study the Game: Watch experienced players and study their technique. Understanding various spikers’ tendencies can also help you anticipate where a hit might go.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is A Dig Important In Volleyball?

A Dig is Important for preventing the ball from hitting the court after an opponent’s aggressive hit and keeping the play alive.

How Do You Perform A Proper Dig?

To perform a proper dig, position yourself with bent knees, use your forearms to contact the ball, and aim it upward to a teammate.

Can Any Player Execute A Dig?

Yes, any player on the volleyball court can execute a dig, although it’s often the defensive specialist’s role, such as the libero.

How do Digs impact a volleyball game’s outcome?

Digs have a significant effect on match outcomes, as they often reflect a player’s or team’s defensive strength. 


Whether you’re new to the game or an experienced volleyball player, mastering the dig is essential for a strong defensive game. It takes practice, perseverance, and sometimes, a whole lot of floor burns to be able to dig like a pro. 

By understanding the techniques and consistently working on your digging skills, you can become an indispensable member of your team’s defense and keep those hard-hitting spikes in play.

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