What is a lift in Volleyball? Here is your answer now !!

lift in volleyball

We all have played Volleyball in our life sometime or the other. Be it in school or college, Volleyball is one such sport that rarely anyone has missed. But if we look carefully, how many of us can tell the game’s rules? Very few, right !? The reason being most of us are casual players. But Volleyball also has some rules which the professional players abide by. One such thing is “lift in Volleyball.”

As mentioned, lift in Volleyball is a significant thing most of us did not know about. It happens when the volleyball player has been in contact with the ball for a very long time. If the player refuses to pass the ball or hit or set move, it is a lift in Volleyball.

How to identify a lift in Volleyball?

Lift in Volleyball is considered to be unlawful. So if you are caught lifting, then you may be penalized. There could be various reasons which the referees may take into account, such as the lift in Volleyball. So to prevent any such circumstances, you should know how to identify the lift in Volleyball.


In this context, we mean “hitting lift call ” by the term attacking.” This is a situation which is not very prevalent but does occur in some cases. When this is considered to be a lift in Volleyball, then the player might have been using their fingertips to “guide” the ball instead of using their palm. Now when the player “tips” the ball over the net, it is essential that they are sure about their target. They can achieve it with fast movement.

This sometimes makes it difficult, and the referee might call the player for a lift in Volleyball if you are unsure how to prevent being called for the lift.

Passing lift call

There are situations when a player wants to pass the lift call. But a problem arises here: he often holds the ball for way too long. This is often considered a lift by the referee. To prevent this, the coaches often advise the players to pass on the ball to the next player as quickly as possible.

This goes pretty directly with the definition where a lift is referred to a situation where the Volleyball may have been in contact with the hands of a particular player for too long. A small technique to prevent this could be that the players should always maintain their arms straight out. This prevents forming a space at the elbows, which ultimately results in a ball to rest on.

Setting lift call

This is another situation where a lift in Volleyball may be called for. When this is named for a “set,” it refers to a case where the player who was setting was holding the ball in his arms for an extended period. It can also be because they brought the ball down too low in height facing their face or chest.

In the same circumstance, a lift is called if the referee finds the ball touching the palms of the hand instead of the fingertips of the player. The catch to prevent a lift in the setting is to set the ball in a very smooth motion with the help of the fingertips and above the head.

Ways to avoid a lift

After reading through the above section, you might have realized that the lift in Volleyball is unintentional primarily and sometimes occurs due to a lack of technique and proper knowledge. So, to prevent a lift in Volleyball, make sure to keep in mind the following points:

  • Don’t let the ball rest: This is one of the most crucial steps to ditching the lift. Follow the three seconds rule. It would be best if you did not allow the ball to remain in contact with your hands for more than three seconds without making another move.
  • Set, block or hit: Do either of these three things before the three seconds.
  • Always an overhand pass: You should always do it with a closed fist and a suitable platform whenever you are using an overhand pass.
  • Pass it on: You should remember to pass on the ball within three seconds to prevent the lift in Volleyball.
  • Know the posture: It is essential to know the stance whenever passing, setting, and hitting. Without the correct posture and timing, it may be identified as a lift.

Cases where a lift in Volleyball is not considered

Although it might seem obvious that the lift in Volleyball is quite a common occurrence yet, there are cases where the lift in Volleyball is not considered.

Case 1

When there is a player from both teams, they hold the ball above the net to block the ball. This is a situation where even having the ball for more than three seconds will not be considered a lift by the referee. The match resumes once again when the ball falls on either side of the net.

Case 2

This is more of a self-defensive case. When a ball is driven very hard by the offense and a player holds the ball for more than three seconds to protect their face, this will not be considered a lift. Since it is an act of self-defense, the team is not penalized for it.

Lift Vs. Carry in Volleyball

Lift in VolleyballCarry in Volleyball
when the contact with the ball during a pass is for a longer period, it is called a liftCarry is also the same thing, but it is for a shorter span as compared to the lift.
To avoid the lift, pass on the ball as soon as you get it in your hands.Try o keep your hand “overtop” the ball to prevent making a carry.

The Bottom Line

Mistakes are common when you do not know the techniques to avoid them. Thee are players who make mistakes even after knowing the rules, which is perfectly normal. we all must remember- “to error is only human.” All you need to do is practice more and be skilled enough so that the percentage of mistakes decreases gradually.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is considered to be the lifter in Volleyball?

The lifter in this sport is the “brain” of the team. He is the one responsible for arming the attacking moves.

What is the maximum time limit allowed before it is considered a lift?

A player is allowed to remain in contact with the ball for three seconds. If a player remains more than that, it would be called a lift by the referee.

Is it possible to lift on a serve?

If the game is indoor Volleyball, lift on serve receive is impossible.

What is a lifting violation in Volleyball?

The lifting violation in Volleyball is when a player catches and throws the ball without moving it with a hit, pass, or set.

Can you lift a person in Volleyball?

Yes, you can definitely lift a person in Volleyball as long as there is only one player touching the ball at a particular time.

What is a dive lift in Volleyball?

One of the defensive techniques is to dive after a volleyball. This technique is used to keep the ball off the ground.

What is a lift signal in Volleyball?

To make the lift signal in Volleyball, raise the extended arm, palm facing upward. Then raise eight fingers and spread them wide open. Vertically raise both arms, palms facing forward. With the forefinger, make a circular motion.

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