What is a Dig in Volleyball: Complete Guide

What is a Dig in Volleyball

In volleyball, a “dig” refers to a defensive move used to prevent the ball from hitting the ground after it has been spiked or served by the opposing team. The primary goal of a dig is to keep the ball in play and allow your team to transition to offense.

When a player performs a dig, they typically use their arms or hands to bump or pass the ball to a teammate, ideally setting up for an attack. Digs require quick reflexes, good positioning, and precise control to accurately redirect the ball. Defensive specialists and liberos often excel at making effective digs, as they specialize in defensive play.


The dig is fundamental in volleyball as it is often the first line of defense against powerful attacks from the opposing team. A successful dig not only prevents the opponent from scoring but also provides an opportunity for the defending team to counter-attack. It can shift momentum in a game and demoralize the opposing team by showcasing solid defensive prowess. Read about How Long is a Volleyball Game

Technique of Digging

Body Positioning

To execute a successful dig, proper body positioning is crucial. Players should square their shoulders to the direction of the incoming ball, keeping their feet shoulder-width apart for stability. Bending the knees slightly helps in maintaining balance and agility.

Dig in Volleyball
Dig in Volleyball

Arm Movement

The arms play a pivotal role in digging. Players should form a platform with their arms by clasping their hands together, creating a flat surface for the ball to bounce off. The platform should be angled slightly upward to direct the ball to the target area. Discover about How to Tie a Karate Belt


Quick and precise footwork is essential for effective digging. Players should move their feet to get underneath the ball, adjusting their position to ensure proper alignment with the trajectory of the incoming attack.

Types of Digs

Platform Dig

The platform dig is the most common type of dig, where players use their forearms to create a platform for the ball to rebound off. It requires proper positioning and technique to direct the ball accurately to the target. Learn about How Long is a Basketball Game NBA

Dive Dig

In situations where the ball is out of reach, players resort to a dive dig. This involves sacrificing the body by diving to the ground to make a defensive play. It requires courage, agility, and quick reflexes to execute effectively.

Overhand Dig

The overhand dig is employed when the ball is too high to be reached with a platform dig. Players use their hands to intercept the ball overhead, redirecting it to the desired location. It requires good hand-eye coordination and timing.

Key Tips for Successful Digging

  • Anticipate the opponent’s attack by reading their body language and positioning.
  • Stay low and ready to react quickly to incoming shots.
  • Maintain focus and concentration throughout the rally.
  • Communicate with teammates to avoid collisions and ensure seamless defense.

The Role of Libero in Digging

The libero, a specialized defensive player, plays a crucial role in digging. With exceptional defensive skills and agility, the libero is responsible for digging out difficult shots and initiating the team’s defense-to-offense transition.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Incorrect body positioning, such as standing too upright or not bending the knees.
  • Using excessive force, resulting in loss of control over the ball.
  • Lack of communication with teammates, leading to defensive breakdowns.
  • Failing to anticipate the opponent’s attack, resulting in late reactions.
Dig in Volleyball
Dig in Volleyball

Digging Drills for Practice

  • Pepper Drill: Players partner up and practice passing the ball back and forth using various techniques.
  • Digging Lines: Players form lines and take turns digging balls tossed by a coach or teammate, focusing on proper technique and footwork.
  • Defensive Transition Drill: Simulates game-like scenarios where players transition from defense to offense after making a successful dig.


In conclusion, a dig is a fundamental skill in volleyball that plays a pivotal role in defensive strategy. Mastering the technique and principles of digging is essential for any aspiring volleyball player looking to excel in the sport. By understanding the nuances of digging, players can contribute effectively to their team’s success and elevate their overall game.


  • What is the difference between a dig and a bump in volleyball?
    • While both techniques involve passing the ball, a dig is specifically used for defending against powerful attacks, whereas a bump is a more general passing technique used for various situations.
  • Can any player perform a dig in volleyball?
    • Yes, any player on the team can perform a dig, but certain positions like the libero are specialized in defensive play and excel at digging.
  • How can I improve my digging skills?
    • Consistent practice focusing on proper technique, footwork, and anticipation is key to improving digging skills. Additionally, participating in drills and receiving feedback from coaches can help refine your abilities.
  • What should I do after making a successful dig?
    • After a successful dig, focus on transitioning quickly from defense to offense by setting up for an attack or passing the ball to a teammate in position to make a play.
  • Is digging physically demanding?
    • Yes, digging requires agility, quick reflexes, and endurance, making it physically demanding. However, with proper conditioning and technique, players can minimize fatigue and perform more effectively.

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