Volleyball Skill Levels

Playing at the skill level that fits you best not only gives you a better experience, but it makes for a better game overall.

Use this page to help you determine which level to start at with us. When in doubt, start at a lower level and work your way up. Our Ladder Tournaments are a great way to play with players at different levels and push yourself to play against teams at a higher level.

To play in our B+, BB, BB+, and A level games, you will need permissions added to your Grab A Game account. Click here to read why we require permissions for these games. To get approved for these higher-level games, attend one of our weekly tryouts.  Please note that BB+ and A permissions require approval from two of our staff.

know the general rules of the game but may not know the more technical rules.

I may or may not understand basic positions and how to rotate.

I can serve the ball over the net and in play 50% of the time or higher. 

I try to pass to my teammates most of the time, but sometimes I just hit it back over the net.

When I hit the ball over the net, I am trying to keep it in bounds, not necessarily trying to place it strategically.

I may or may not understand how to score points, keep score, and when to announce the score.

I may or may not know what blocking is, but don’t see a lot of it at my level of play.

I know when to call for the ball to avoid collisions.

I know I’m not supposed to touch the net.

Other notes about this level: Many sets are technically carries. Hitters do not utilize a true approach. Many points are “given” due to execution errors, i.e. shanks, bad passes etc.

I have a thorough understanding of rules.

I can Pass at a Level 1: Most of my passes get to the setter so they can set to a hitter.

I enjoy playing in games where there’s a set position for the setter and each person on the team gets a chance to be setter. 

I have control of my momentum and land safely on my side of the court after going up for a hit.

I typically attempt to block when a hitter is front of me.

I am capable of passing, setting, and hitting proficiently.

I get about 75% of serves in play.

I have good sportsmanship and encourage the other players on the court.


Additional Notes About this Level:

Teams regularly attempt to make three hits per side. 

Most of the time the setter is the person in the middle front position.

Players play the position into which they rotate rather than assigned positions.

A solid “B” player has reasonable consistency. Skill level easily trumps height. Many “B” level hitters do not employ a standard hitting approach. A few points are scored due to execution errors but not the majority, most points have to be earned.

Our Intermediate Plus (B+) Level requires pre-approval and is designed for players who have met all of the Intermediate Level requirements and some of the Upper-Intermediate requirements. These players are looking for a higher level game but have one or more areas to improve in before playing at the Upper-Intermediate level.

This is also the perfect level for players who used to play at a higher level and haven’t played in a while or are returning from an injury. 

Getting approved for B+ games can happen by attending one of our tryout sessions, talking to the event host at an Intermediate Level game, and occasionally by performing well at one of our ladder tournaments . 

This is a great way to play with higher level players as you work on getting approved for the Upper-Intermediate BB and higher levels.

I know of all the technical rules of the game.

I have a thorough understanding of different types of sets to each hitter.

I can accurately serve to a zone regularly.

I can Pass at a Level 2: Most of my passes get to the setter so they can set the outside or right side hitters.

I fully understand how to run a 5-1 and 6-2.

I am proficient at blocking, setting, passing, and hitting.

I know how to cover the court defensively during a serve and during a hit. 

I get 90% of serves, or more, in play.

I know what covering a hitter means. 

I am capable of playing more than one position.

I am capable of directing free balls into a certain area of my choice to make it difficult for my opponent to return.

I play with good sportsmanship and show encouragement towards other players on the court without coaching them.

Additional notes about this level:

Front row hitters are able to take an approach and hit the ball consistently. 

Teams play with positions: outside hitter, middle hitter, right side hitter, setter and defensive specialist.

Setters can set a basic outside, middle, and right side ball with minimal spin.

Upper-Intermediate players are very good players, but not as consistent as BB+ or A-level players. Shorter players can compete if they have good skills.

Meet or exceed all of the BB level requirements PLUS…

I have the ability to hit with different hits at the same position.

I can pass at a level 3 – My passes get to the setter so they can set all three hitters.

I know how to spot a double or lift and I’m aware of when I do it myself.

More information about this level of play:

Superb players. Highly athletic. Indoors they use complex offenses. Passing is stellar.

Setters understand/run tempo sets and run different types of offenses.

Perform all skills consistently at a high level: BLOCKING, SETTING, PASSING, and HITTING. 

Know what 5-1, 6-2, and 4-2 offenses are. 

Know how to cover the court defensively during a serve and during a hit. 

Can pass a hit or serve to the setter consistently. 

Front row hitters are able to take an approach and hit the ball consistently. 

Know what covering a hitter means. 

Play with positions: outside hitter, middle hitter, right side hitter, setter and defensive specialist.

Setters can set a basic outside, middle, and right side ball with minimal spin. 

Get 90% of serves, or more, in play.

Most of the players are tall. Indoors they almost always use a 5-1 or 6-2 offense (i.e., the setter is often a back row player, so that there may be three hitters in the front row).

Rarely offered in our schedule, these games are reserved for the highest level players who are usually on tour traveling the world as an AVP pro or playing with a national team. 

You are NOT automatically qualified as an A-Level Player because you played:

– For several years

– High School Varsity

– Club Volleyball

– D1 or D2 College Volleyball

– With a friend who is really – good

– Upper-Intermediate Leagues through a Sport and Social group

– Intermural in College

Instead, you might be looking for one of our other levels like B, BB, or BB+.

Don’t get us wrong… if you are an A level player, some of the things listed above might apply to you. We take our skill levels seriously so that you’re matched up with other players at your level. Come out to one of our games and show us what you’ve got!

Want to play at the Intermediate Plus (B+) or higher levels with us?

New and existing players seeking to get the B+, BB, BB+, or A approval on their account are encouraged to attend our weekly Tryouts sessions, where the hosts will be able to assess their level and even chat with players about what they need to improve on in order to level up. 

Read this… it’s important:

All of our levels focus on safety and the player experience, which is why we encourage players to play in games that best match their skill level. Players at every level are expected to play with good sportsmanship and encouragement towards all players on the court. To maintain the quality of play at our Upper-Intermediate and higher levels, players may be demoted if they do not consistently demonstrate the requirements for that level. Additionally, someone can be an excellent player, but if their attitude on the court impacts the quality of the game for the other players, this alone may disqualify them from our higher levels and, possibly, playing with us in general.

At our Intermediate level we aim to provide safe, fun, and quality games for players who know how to play but without the intensity of the higher levels. These games should feel competitive for the players in attendance because they’re playing with others at a similar level. We encourage players to learn and improve by playing in these games and discourage higher level players from “showing off.” Players are expected to have a good understanding of the game, but they may not have the athleticism, precision, tactics, and/or advanced skills we require for the higher levels. These are also great games for experienced volleyballers who have taken some time off from playing or who are coming back from an injury. At times, the Grab A Game host may provide tips to help players improve.

Beginners and Recreational Level player should look for Learn to Play Volleyball sessions on our calendar. These are pickup games where our staff teach the rules and strategy. They’re the perfect intro to volleyball that you can play over and over until you’re ready to level up to Intermediate Games.

Why Are We Doing This?

While most players have a self-awareness of their level of play, players sometimes join higher-level games by mistake and it significantly impacts the quality and safety of the game. By requiring pre-approval for some of our levels, players can sign up knowing they will be playing with other players a similar skill level. 

We aim to have a good reputation upholding our advertised skill levels and providing a quality experience at every game.