Volleyball terms and technical talk.

Cut shot

A soft, spinning shot intended to drop close to the net and the sideline. An intelligent player has a wide range of cut shots to keep opponents guessing. Sinjin Smith of the US owed much of his brilliant career to developing cut shots that looked identical until the moment of contact, frustrating those who played against him.

Dink or pokey

Since using the fingertips to ‘tip’ or push the ball is not allowed in beach volleyball, players use their knuckles instead. This is usually a soft shot played just over the net or blocker’s hands. It is also a commonly played deep to a corner, or over the defenders head when the ball is set close to the net, or on a joust situation.

“Go to” or “Off-speed hit”

This is about a 40 – 60% hit to the sharp angle. The trick is to contact the ball at the top of your usual spike zone, and drive the ball down. Most cut shots will have a little bit of “up” before they drop. The “Go to” never goes up. It is a soft spike, to a much sharper angle than you would usually spike.

This shot is a high loopy shot that clears the back court defender and lands in the back corner. It can be extremely effective when played into a strong wind, and is quite hard to defend if played well. The name comes from the shape of the balls trajectory, which is a high arc, or rainbow shape.

These are a quiet, gentle creatures, known for their stubourness and usually found loitering by one of the posts beside a beach volleyball court. Although they are fairly mild mannered by nature, once annoyed, they can be very difficult to control. The best way to behave around a referee is to ignore him/her completely, and hope that the favour is returned.

The most important thing to remember about referees is that regardless of your opinion, the crowds opinion or even your oponents opinion… the referee is always right.

Originally a golfing term, (I think), a shank is a bad mishit. Usually occurs on serve reception when the ball contacts the outside of one arm.

If you are trying to set a ball from the third row of the grandstand, you know your partner has “shanked” the pass.

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