A Joust in Volleyball

Spiker and blocker
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A joust in volleyball is when two blockers from opposing teams reach a ball on the net at the same time, and both try to hit it over to the other side. As a result, the two blockers trap the ball between them as each try to make the ball fall on the opponent’s side. A joust is often won by the player who applies the hardest and latest pressure.

Rule Change

A joust between two blockers at the net used to be considered a double fault (caught ball), and would result in a dead ball and re-set play.

However, the rules regarding jousts, along with several other areas of the game, were altered in 1998. Such rule changes were adopted largely to speed up the game, make it more spectator and viewer friendly, and to eliminate the referee’s overall impact on the game.

Under the new rules, a joust is no longer considered a double fault. Instead, when a joust situation occurs, play is to continue as normal, and when the ball falls over the net after contact by one of the blockers the side will have three additional contacts to return the ball back to the other side of the net.

As with any other ball that is simultaneously contacted by blockers from each team, if the ball goes out of bounds after the contact, it is to be considered the fault of the team that last contacted the ball. Similarly, if a net fault occurs during a joust then an infraction will be called and play will be stopped. If a simultaneous net fault occurs, then the re-play of the play takes place.

These rule changes eliminated the referee’s impact on average joust plays, as the play just gets to continue, rather than being slowed and stopped by a referee’s whistle.


Blocking in volleyball refers to the action taken by players positioned at the net, who try to keep the ball on the other side of the net, or slow and control the ball so that it is easier to hit.

There are both offensive and defensive blocks. A block that is aimed at stopping the opponent’s offensive attack, by pushing the ball back onto their side of the court, is called an offensive block. A defensive block occurs when the main purpose of a block is to slow down and control a hard-hit ball from the other team. On a defensive block, the blockers at the net look to slow the rate of the incoming ball, and to control it so that it is easier to defend and return. Both of these types of blocks can be extremely useful throughout the course of a match.

A joust is typically considered to be an offensive block, as the main goal of a joust is to knock the ball back onto the opponent’s side of the net, rather than simply controlling it.

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Your Citation
Oden, Beverly. "A Joust in Volleyball." ThoughtCo, Mar. 10, 2016, thoughtco.com/a-joust-in-volleyball-3428819. Oden, Beverly. (2016, March 10). A Joust in Volleyball. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/a-joust-in-volleyball-3428819 Oden, Beverly. "A Joust in Volleyball." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/a-joust-in-volleyball-3428819 (accessed November 20, 2017).