When the ball is tight to the net, setters often have to contend with an opposing blocker. In these situations, the joust is a great shot for them to have in their toolbox.
The golden rule of the joust, as Jed Stotsenberg from Wave Volleyball points out here, is: “The player who pushes last wins.”
This is usually the way it plays out, even if the offensive player is shorter than the blocker. Pushing last gives you added leverage, which often leads to the ball going down on the other side of the net.
Stotsenberg says good joust technique includes the following:
- Big hand on the ball so you can feel contact with the block
- Apply pressure
- Push through. If the pressure from the blocker is weak, push straight. If the pressure from the blocker is stronger, push straight first and then to the side. (Blockers can’t do much if the setter pushes the ball to the side.)
“Jousting is a big part of your kills if you’re a setter, especially if you are little,” Stotsenberg says. “If you have a setter who can joust, they can score a lot of points when the ball is tight.”