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1 vs 1 Competitions


Written by Rob Browning, Head Volleyball Coach, Saint Mary’s College

Ideas on how to run 1 vs 1 competitions

Volleyball Drills – Objective: 

Competitive serve and pass reps. Measurable results.


Player A serves 3 balls to Player B, who must pass one half of the court. After 3 serves they switch places–Player A is now the passer, and Player B serves.


Good Pass = 2 points for passer

Medium Pass = wash (no points)

Bad Pass/Over Pass = 1 point for server

Ace = 2 points for the server

Service error in the net = -2 for the server

Service error out = -1 for the server


If the serve is in the court but not in the passer’s half of the court, it counts as a service error out.

Serves may land anywhere in the passer’s half of the court.

If a serve hits the tape, but lands past the 10′ line, it counts.

If a serve hits the tape and lands inside the 10′ line, it is a replay. If it happens twice in a row, the second serve counts as an ace.

The passer should go for every ball she thinks is in. If she goes for a ball that is outside her half of the court or off the tape and inside the 10′ line, she will get points for a good pass. Otherwise the serve is ‘out’ or a replay. The passer will not get punished for a medium or bad pass on a serve that is in the regulation court, but outside her designated half of the court.

In the case of a tie, each player serves one ball each. If they are still tied they continue until the tie is broken. The final score, however, will be recorded as a tie, with each player keeping the number of points she earned.

Recording Data

Wins, losses, and points should be recorded so that you know a player’s win percentage, average score, and win loss record versus teammates.

You can set up a matrix so that teammates play each other an equal number of times, or you can run this as a ladder, with winners moving up and losers moving down.

I love this volleyball drill and run it often in my practices.  Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

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