The fun and excitement of volleyball lures many children and adults into playing the sport. However, in order to have as much fun as possible, volleyball safety is something that you must always keep in mind. There is no fun in a sport if you are injured and cannot play due to something as simple as knowing when or when not to bend your wrist. Your first consideration when preparing to play volleyball, or any sport for that matter, is to make certain you have all of the equipment you need to play safely. Depending on where you are playing volleyball, there are several types of equipment you can purchase that can help prevent injuries. The basic equipment falls under several categories:
- Protective Gear
- Miscellaneous Accessories
The most common type of equipment is the basic protective gear. Pads and palm protectors fall into this category. Pads, such as elbow pads and knee pads are generally used in hard floor based volleyball, such as indoor courts located in schools world wide. All three are also highly suggested in sand based courts, and are considered a vital part of volleyball safety, as they protect the most vulnerable parts of your body. Volleyball pads are used to prevent injury due to impact with the ground from purposeful dives and accidental falls. Palm guards are used to protect your hands and wrist from impact of the volleyball, as well as from falls.
The second category of equipment that is vital for volleyball safety is the style and type of shoes worn during game play. Specially designed men and women’s volleyball shoes allow for better grip on the court, which prevents sprained ankles and dangerous falls. Without the proper shoes, you put yourself at risk. Nike and Reebok are two companies which specialize in sports shoes.
During a volleyball game, wearing the proper style of clothing is the only way you can ensure accidents are prevented. Some styles of clothing, such as high riding shorts, can cause discomfort to the player, which can lead to a lack of concentration and injury. By wearing proper sports jerseys and comfortable low rise shorts, you can enjoy a comfortable game without additional risk of injury.
When selecting your other accessories, you need to always keep your safety in mind. While ear rings and other piercings may be aesthetically pleasing, they do not belong on a volleyball court. Choosing what to wear besides the standard volleyball safety gear is very important. A volleyball to the stomach could cause a great deal of pain and danger should you have a naval piercing, for example. Earrings being ripped from earlobes is another common volleyball injury which is easily prevented. Play it safe. If you do not need the accessory, take it off for the duration of the game. If you play volleyball a great deal, arrange for any piercings to be done and finished healing before or after the season. If you must have volleyball accessories, some good wholesale accessories for volleyball include hair scrunchies, temporary tattoos, and arm bands. Another thing to consider is most, if not all volleyball leagues do not allow temporary tattoos to be worn during matches. Much like glitter, they could be considered a distraction to the competition at hand.
After you have been fully equipped for playing volleyball, there are other things that you need to keep in mind. These are the basic safety rules of volleyball, and should be adhered to at all times.
- Body Positions – Setting, Serving, Spiking and Passing
- Physical Contact
In volleyball, an important aspect of the sport is the position your body is in, whether you are setting the ball, serving, or spiking. Improper body positions can cause injury to yourself, or potentially others, so you should take great care in assuring that you assume the proper positions.
When setting the ball, you should always be careful to watch the ball, and be in position several ball lengths before arrival. Facing the target rather than the origin can prevent being hit in the face with the ball. Losing focus on the ball can also result in being unbalanced due to reacting to the ball being where you do not expect it. This can result in injury, as sprained wrists and ankles are a likelihood.
When performing the serve, you want to make certain your lead foot is opposite from your hitting arm. If your lead and hitting arm are both on the same side, you will be unbalanced, which can result in a wide serve and injury. You must also make certain to hold a firm wrist position when completing the serve.
This can be one of the more dangerous aspects of volleyball. When spiking the ball, you will be in motion, and using a heavy, hard action on the wrist and your body. As you are jumping in this move, you run risk of sprained ankles and other foot related injuries. Injuries resulting from falls are also extremely potential in this move. When performing your spike, there are several things you need to remember. First, you should be jumping with both feet. A one foot jump can lead to injury. Also, you should not perform a “tennis” swing. This is where you side-sweep with one arm, while your other arm swings backwards. This is a risk to yourself and your teammates, and should be avoided. Your wrist should also be held back in this position, and snapped forward on the spike. A dead-on hit can jam or sprain your wrist. By keeping these small tips in mind, you should be able to prevent injuries.
This is the one of the most common moves in volleyball. The pass, or the forearm bump, is performed by holding your hands together and hitting the ball with your forearms. A good pass involves your hands being held together, while your elbows are held straight, and your wrists remain firmly in position. Your body should be positioned towards your target when the pass is completed. If any of these things are not done during the pass, you run a risk of injury to yourself and others. This is where a great deal of wrist injuries occur, as hitting the ball with your hands instead of your forearms can cause sprains or breaks in your wrists.
In Volleyball, physical contact should be avoided at all times. As this is a no-contact sport, collisions usually result in injuries that prevent you or your teammates from participating in future games. While many sprains only take a week or two to heal, broken ankles and wrists from collisions take far longer and can ruin your season. Always keep in mind where your teammates and opponents are. By doing this, you can save yourself and your comrades a lot of pain and trouble.
At first, all of these volleyball safety tips may be overwhelming. However, without them, you will find yourself out of play due to a painful injury. Persistence in following the basic rules of safety can prevent this and enable you to enjoy the game to its fullest extent.