Your attack was almost perfect, the speed was well controlled, but your opponent still somehow fended it off and is now preparing his counterattack. To avoid your defenselessness against the attack, we have compiled a list of the different blocking options.
Regardless of the blocking strategy, the initial situation is the same. You have to be about an arm's length from the net. Watch your opponents closely to recognize the possible attack technique early and adapt your block accordingly. When jumping off, the most important thing is timing to reach the right height. The main differences between the different variants are how you use your arms and what you can cover with them.
The first block variation we are looking at is the line block. In this variation, you have to differentiate between the longline block and the angle block. As the name suggests, you use the longline block to block the area along the sideline and the angle block to cover certain angles. The longline block is the counterpart to the line shot, and the angle block is the counterpart to the rainbow shot. In the two variations, you use both arms to block the ball.
A variety of the line block is the reach block. In contrast to the line block, the reach block uses only one arm. The advantage is the possibility to block even higher balls.
You can use the spreading block to block certain angles and corners. The arms are spread for this purpose, creating a hole between them. The spreading block is a mixture of the line block and angle block.
Another variation is the wiping block. Here, the arms are moved, or wiped, from one position to another during the block. The idea behind this variation is to influence the opponent's attack by suggesting one block and then changing it.
The last variation we are looking at is the fake block, and as the name suggests, it is not a real block. Instead of jumping to block the opponent, you withdraw from the net (also known as peeling, dropping, or pulling off) and try to cover more space of the court. The reason for a fake block can be a difference in size that is difficult to overcome.
In your mind's eye, you can already see the complete rally. Your team serves, the opponent traps the ball and starts the counterattack. You prepare yourself for the block. Your teammate is ready. But how do they know which area you will block and where the ball can go? In beach volleyball, you use hand signals to answer this question.
The hand signals are made before the serve. The player who does not serve indicates how they will be blocking in case of a counterattack. Hand signals always indicate the same block. Of course, there are also individual hand signals that teams can make up.
If a hand signal is made with the left hand, the player on the left is executing the block. The same applies analogously to the right hand.
A single stretched finger stands for a longline block.
Two stretched fingers stand for an angle block.
If your teammate stretches out all their fingers, they are indicating that they are going directly towards the ball and are trying to block it completely.
You use a fist to indicate a fake block.
The stretched index finger and little fingers indicate a spreading block.
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