What is a Kill in Volleyball?

What is a Kill in Volleyball

In volleyball, a kill is an offensive play that either is entirely unreturnable for your opponent or is hit straight into your opponent’s floor side of the court. Your team scores a point when you perform a successful volleyball kill shot. Getting that point through pure domination is a great way to motivate your team, which can carry over well in the next play.


So, what is the difference between a kill and a spike in volleyball? How did the name “kill shot” even become a thing in volleyball? What are some examples of this type of shot during a match? Finally, what percentage formulas to know around this type of shot, and what do they represent?


Here is the complete guide to what a kill is in volleyball matches.


Why Do People Call it a “Kill Shot” in Volleyball?

Why Do People Call it a Kill Shot in Volleyball

A volleyball kill squashes the opposing team’s hopes for a rally during the match. When the ball strikes the floor, and a point occurs for your team, all hopes that your opponent had of running a successful volley are over. Your team will gain a point, discouraging your opponents and putting your team further ahead.


Are Kills Good in Volleyball?

Are Kills Good in Volleyball

Volleyball kill shots are great for the team since they can score points and discourage opponents. Since these types of shots are so difficult to return, performing this type of shot leaves a lasting impression on the receiving team, and it might even alter their strategy moving forward in the game. Seeing a player be able to send a shot over the net that was so difficult to return might force the other team to change where they place the ball in future sequences.


Another benefit to this type of shot is the mental boost that it creates for your team. A rally that is never ending can be mentally taxing to a team. By having one of your players deliver this type of shot across the net stops the rally, and thus eliminates the mental stress of that sequence.


What is the Difference Between a Spike and a Kill in Volleyball?

What is the Difference Between a Spike and a Kill in Volleyball

A kill is essentially a type of spike, so while they are similar, there are a few key differences between the two types of hits. A spike is an attack attempt that occurs when the ball is hit high in the air by one player, known as the setter. Then, another teammate, known as the spiker, will hit the ball down toward the floor on the opponent’s court.


A spike can have enormous potential to score a point, but not always. An opposing player can sometimes get to the ball quickly enough to keep it in play. However, when the offensive team cannot hit the ball, a kill occurs, and the attacking team receives a point.


What Is an Example of a Volleyball Kill Shot?

What Is an Example of a Volleyball Kill Shot

Many successful kills in volleyball occur after the ball has been passed to a setter. A setter is usually the front-row player running the team’s offense, and they will hit the ball high and straight into the air directly in front of the spiker. The spiker is also known as an opposite hitter or an outside hitter.


As the ball travels from the setter’s hands into the air, the spiker will jump as high as they can, well over the top of the net. This attacker will then bring their hands down to the ball, hitting it at a downward angle.


To be a kill, the volleyball must travel to the floor without the other team touching it. The other way it is a kill shot is if the opposing team can’t return the shot over the net. Usually, that occurs when they make contact with the ball, but it goes out of bounds due to the speed of the shot and their reflection.


Are Volleyball Kill Shots Difficult to Perform?

Volleyball kill shots can be relatively hard to perform since it takes a lot of ball control, power, and quick reaction. Spikers must know where each opposing team member will be to hit the ball to a free area of the opponent’s court. The spiker must also know where the other team’s blockers are and if they will get in a position to stop the spike. The player in this position must also pay special attention to the opposing team’s libero since they are usually the defensive specialist of the team and the player most likely to return a kill attempt.


Is an Ace a Kill in Volleyball?

Is an Ace a Kill in Volleyball

An ace occurs when a player serves the volleyball, and the other team can’t return it. An ace and a kill are similar because both actions will cause a point earned by your team. That is where the similarities end.


An ace is hit by the server, a back-row player, while a kill occurs by the spiker, a front-row player. While the purpose of a kill is to score points, the purpose of a serve is to put the ball in play. Aces are usually an unexpected result of a serve.


How Do You Calculate the Kill Efficiency Shot in Volleyball?

The calculation for kill efficiency percentage looks like this: (kills-errors)/total attacks. An attack error occurs when the attack results in a point for the receiving team. Some examples of attack errors include when a player hits the ball out of bounds, a four-hit violation, or a centerline violation.


How Do You Calculate the Kill Percentage in Volleyball?

How Do You Calculate the Kill Percentage in Volleyball

The formula for kill efficiency is quite simple: (kills/total attempts). For instance, let’s say that you hit eight kills in your last 20 scoring attempts. Your formula would look like this: 8/20=.4, which is 40%.


To put that in perspective, Claudia Dillon from UCF led the NCAA in hitting percentage for 2022 with a .447. Meanwhile, the second place held a hitting percentage of .443. Also, during that same time period, the top 14 players all had a percentage over 40%.


Conclusion: What is a Kill in Volleyball?

In conclusion, a kill shot is a sequence that the other team can’t return, which results in a point. It gets its name because it squashes any hope that your opponent has in keeping the rally going. While a kill is usually a type of spike, there are some fundamental differences between the two. A kill shot is an automatic point for your team, while a spike can result in a rally and not a point.


Also, it is important to know that a volleyball kill percentage shot around 40% is good. For example, in 2022, the top 14 positions all had a percentage over 40%.  The best player that season had a kill percentage shot of 44.7%.


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What is an Ace in Volleyball?

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