double set in volleyball

What is a Double Set in Volleyball? Detailed Guide

Understanding the intricacies of volleyball can make a significant difference in how the game is played and won. One such tactic employed by teams is the double set

Let’s delve into what a double set is, its rules, and how to effectively execute this strategic move in the game of volleyball.

The Basics of a Double Set in Volleyball

A double set, not to be confused with a “double hit,” is a volleyball setting technique where two different setters touch the ball in succession to confuse the opposition’s blockers and defense. 

This move is a crafty way to disrupt the opposing team’s expectations and create more opportunities for attackers.

Importance of the Double Set

Variety in Attack: A double set adds an element of unpredictability to the offense, making it difficult for the defense to read and react in time.

Reduce Blocking Efficiency: When executed properly, it can reduce the effectiveness of the opponent’s blockers by making them commit early or hesitate.

Enhance Team Dynamics: It requires great team coordination, and improving this skill can enhance overall team dynamics and communication.

Rules Regarding the Double Set

While a double set is a legal play, there are important rules to remember to avoid violations such as double contacts or lifts:

Simultaneous ContactThe ball may be simultaneously contacted by two parts of the body or by two players, but the contacts must occur at the same instant.
Double ContactA double contact violation is called when a single player hits the ball twice in succession or the ball rolls over a player’s body.
Clean ExecutionThe set must be executed cleanly, without lifting, holding, or pushing the ball.

Note that these rules are subject to the governing body of the tournament or league. It is always best to check with your league’s specific volleyball rules.

Executing an Effective Double Set

To successfully implement a double set, the following steps are recommended:

  1. First Setter’s Contact: The first setter touches the ball as if setting for an attacker, drawing the defense’s attention.
  2. Transition: The ball is directed to another setter, who is often the off setter or a player in the back row.
  3. Second Setter’s Action: The second setter quickly decides and sets one of the attackers, leveraging the momentary confusion of the opponents.
  4. Attackers’ Timing: The attackers must time their jumps and be ready to hit the ball, regardless of who finally sets it.
  5. Cohesion and Practice: Successful execution depends on the whole team’s cohesiveness and ample practice.

Key to this is deception and quick decision-making to keep the opposing team off-balance.

When to Use a Double Set?

The double set is best used:

  • When the traditional setting patterns become predictable to the opposition.
  • In critical points to gain an advantage over the opponent during tight matches.
  • When you have strong hitters that can hit from both the first and second set.

Remember, the element of surprise is crucial in making a double set effective.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Does A Double Set Benefit A Team?

Executing a double set can disrupt the opposing team’s defense and create more scoring opportunities for the attacking team.

Are Double Sets Common In Professional Volleyball?

Double sets are used by professional teams as an advanced tactic to outsmart their opponents during critical points in a match.

What Skills Do Players Need For A Double Set?

Players must have quick decision-making abilities, precise ball control, and a strong understanding of team strategy to successfully perform a double set.


The double set is an advanced volleyball strategy that, when mastered and executed at the right moment, can turn the tides of a game. It demands teamwork, precision, and practice and is a testament to a team’s skill level and strategic depth. 

As with any skill in volleyball, the double set requires dedication and repetition for successful implementation during competition.

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