What Is A Dump In Volleyball?

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As a setter, the “dump” can be a very helpful tool to have in your toolbox. It’s one of the few opportunities a setter has to take the offensive into their own hands, earn a kill for their side, rather than just facilitating it.

A well-executed setter dump is nearly impossible to stop, and dealing with one as an opposition defender is very aggravating.

An attack by the setter on the second ball that mimics “dumping” the ball over the net as opposed to setting up a spiker is known as a setter dump. A well-executed setter dump ought to be sneaky and challenging to anticipate or counter.

In this post, we’ll go through the specifics of a setter dump, including what it is, how it works, when to use it, and how to counter it.

Let’s start!


What Are The Setter Dump Rules?

When it comes to the setter dump, there is really only one crucial principle to keep in mind: the setter must be in the front court.

The dump is prohibited because it is regarded as an attack on the ball and is done by the back court setter.

When performing a dump, they must also be careful not to “carry” the ball. This is a reference to prolonged ball contact.

There is a slight chance of getting called for a carry with this move because the setter isn’t technically spiking the ball when dumping but instead effectively “guiding” or “swiping” the ball down.


What Are Three Different Ways To Dump?

In volleyball, there are numerous ways to dump a ball. In both men’s and women’s volleyball, in my experience, there are three different ways to dump the ball. A setter must choose which approach best fits their playstyle and skill level in order to know which to employ. Let’s start now, shall we?


  • Right-handed dump technique:

– Jump like if you were going to jump set, both hands ready.

– Turn your right hand to the right to get ready for the touch when the ball reaches the vertical plane of your head.

– Push the ball across your body and behind you with your arm when it touches your right hand. Attempt to direct the ball to position 4, or the front left corner of the court.


It’s clear from this dump that your right hand should be used. Many will like this method since the bulk of people use their right hand. The issue is that, generally speaking, it is a less effective way to perform the dump. It is weaker because general dumping is done in a less aggressive manner.


  • Left-Hand Dump

To dump using your left hand:

– Jump like if you were going to jump set, both hands ready.

– Lower your right hand and reach with your left hand to position yourself for contact after the ball has reached the vertical plane of your left hand.

– Push the ball over the net by attacking it with your left arm when it makes contact with the ball. Face the direction you want to shoot with your palm. It should ideally land in the middle of the court or where a hole is present.

– Make sure your fingertips are making touch with the top of the ball before you dump.

The preferred method for dumping the ball is with the left hand. It is the case for a number of significant reasons. The benefit of a left-handed dump is that it is much more deceiving. Jumping for the set puts you in the perfect position to dump; all you have to do is drop your right hand and use your left hand to push the ball over. The fundamental problem is that many players lack the confidence to utilize their non-dominant hand well. Although the dump does demand good eye-hand coordination, using your non-dominant hand makes it more challenging. Practice, practice, practice is all I have to say. Your efforts will eventually pay for itself.


  • The “Set-Over”

Our less athletic setters are saved by this added skill. Although technically a setter dump, the set-over pales in comparison to the methods described above.

A very brief and tight set over the net constitutes the set-over. It is intended to just clear the net and settle behind the opposing blocker or in the middle of the court. Check out the brief video below to gain a better understanding.


When Should A Setter Dump?

The most difficult aspect of performing this move is knowing when to dump. The pass or dig needs to be quite tight, but not so tight that the blocks get involved right away, as we’ve already established.

Additionally, a setter should never dump haphazardly and should always have a good cause. Strong setters will continually be looking out of their right eye at the court’s other side.

Large areas of empty court are also sought after, as are blockers who aren’t in the ready position or who are committing too early. Sincerity be damned, a lot of this is just down to instinct and experience. You grow better at it the more dumps you create!



An offensive play called a “setter dump” is one that the setter uses to sneak up on the defense on the second ball contact. The setter jumps to set with two hands and pushes the ball over the net with one hand while using trickery. Only when a setter is in the front rotations can the dump be performed.

Learning this ability is a crucial step in becoming a good setter. Having saying that, it is not a simple skill to learn. Join me as I continue to examine several approaches or strategies for dumping the ball, the laws governing this play, and when a setter should dump. Given that it is part of their duty to read and respond to a setter dump, that final sentence may also be helpful to blockers.

David Campbell

David Campbell

"I live and breath volleyball"

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