Kira Walkenhorst - Mikasa Ball
Laura Ludwig - Block

The BVB Guide

Part 1: Say what? BVB Terminology

Laura Ludwig - BVB


Beach Volleyball has a language of its own. So here's my idiots guide to Beach Volleyball so you'll know what's going on, both on and off the court.


Off court terminology­


Beach Volleyball. Hopefully you're still with me.  :) 



FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball):
The official governing body of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. Not a term you'll need in an actual game of Volleyball though!


The original name for Beach Volleyball, when it was created by William G. Morgan.


On court terminology


A serve that is not returned by the opposition and scores a point.


The lead up to attacking the ball. (see attack)


Some sort of shot with the aim of scoring a point


Asse (German):
See 'Ace'


Aufschlag (German)
see "Serve"


A player who tenses up and does not play aggressively. Nothing to do with the Babmi Awards in which Laura & Kira were nominated!


Bang (or 'Thump')
A hard attacking shot hit downwards at a steep angle and lands inside the 10-foot line.


When a players blocks an opponents attack at the net. Kira Walkenhort is the main blocker in the Ludwig-Walkenhorst partnership although they sometimes switch roles to keep their opponents guessing. From a spectators point of view a successful block is often accompanied with the "Mein block" song, complete with hand actions. A definite crowd pleaser when executed successfully.


When an opposing side wins a point off the serving side
a sudden change in the direction of an attackers attack which can often wrong foot the opposition


When both arms are held together to receive  ball. The ball 'bumps' off the forearms and a skilled player can accuratley control where the ball goes from here.


Butter (also known as 'nectar' or 'sauce')
When a player does a good job at setting the ball for their teammate to attack.


Chicken wing:
When a defending player digs a ball away from danger. The player will bend their arm into a shape which resembiles a chicken wing - hence the name.


A shot played at extremely sharp angle, e.g. playing the ball close to ­the net from the left side of the court to cloes to the net on the right side of the court.


The defence from an attack shot. These can range from the mundane to the spectacular dive across the court to make contact with the ball.


Facial (also known as 'six-pack' and 'tattoo':
When the defending player receives the ball in their face. The alternative term 'six-pack' comes from folklore that the received of the facial buys the spiker a six-pack of beer. The term 'tattoo' refers to the imprint left behind by the ball. So if you see a  Mikasa imprint on a players forehead they have probably received a facial/six-pack/tattoo).


Getting caught in the net.


Float Serve:
An unpredictable serve that 'floats' over the net. This makes it hard for the defender to accurately read the ball. It's also a difficult serve to execute well.


Hechtbagger (German):
A diving dig.


Husband and Wife:
When a serve lands between the two players which both player assuming the other is going for the ball. This tends to make both players look faintly silly. Yes, it has been known for even the epic Ludwig-Walkenhorst pairing to make this error!


Jedi Defence:
A player thrusts one arm in the air - and achieves the perfect pass!


This occurs when the two opposing players make contact with the ball at the net.


A very powerful show that the opposition has no chance of returning. In Rio 2016 this was accompanied by the jingle "Boom, here come the Boom, here comes the Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom".


A one handed block. Named after Sinjin Smith who put this technique to good use.


A poke/pokey is a ball which is poken over the net with the knuckles. A very effective little shot and can often put the ball out of reach of the blocker.


A shot that arches and travels over the head of the opposition, then landing in the court.


The first shot of a rally. It must go over the net in one hit. Serve types include float and jump float.