American Soccer-Volleyball



This advanced soccer practice activity is a combination of volleyball concepts using soccer skills.


Players attempt to use three or fewer headers, or combination traps with volley kicks, to pass to teammates and then get the ball over the net in order to score a point.

Court Set-Up

A traditional indoor, hard-surface, volleyball court may be used, with appropriate lines and net in place, or a sturdy volleyball net may be placed outside on a grass surface with lines identified by saucers or painted with a field marker.  The overall size of the court is recommended to be 20-yards long by 10-yards wide.  The top of the net bisecting the court is usually set at six feet.  (Notes:   A badminton net and poles are not strong enough.  Good poles with a rope tied between them at the proper height will work.  A sand volleyball court will work, but the level of difficulty increases.)

Number of Players

From two to five players per side are suggested, based on the skill level of the players.  Successful play is generally achieved with players 13 years old (U13) and older.

The Ball

A traditional volleyball or a standard soccer ball may be used.

Method of Scoring

As in regular volleyball, only the serving team may score.  Traditional ball-out-of-bounds or ball hitting the “floor” in bounds counts as one point.

Start of Play

Each rally is served with a simple, lobbed, throw-in from behind the back line, over the net and into the opponents’ half of the court.  Unlike volleyball, the throw-in is only used to put the ball into play, not as a device for trying to score.

Rules of Play

Players need to be versed in the basic rules of volleyball.  The ball must stay in the air.  The players may pass the ball to one or two teammates, using two-touch as necessary, but the ball must be sent over the net by at least the third player to touch the ball.  Once it hits outside the boundary line or comes off the net (and either hits the “floor” or is touched by a fourth player), it is out of play and a point or change of service is scored by the other team.  No player may extend any body part under the net.  Players may go outside of the boundary lines, however, to keep a ball in play.  No handling is permitted.  As in volleyball, players rotate positions and the server after an unsuccessful point.  The winning team is the first one to 15 points.


  • Allow two-touch.
  • Reduce the height of the net.
  • Permit the ball to bounce once.
  • Increase the number of bounces permitted.
  • Reduce the number of points needed for a win.
  • Increase the number of points scored if directly from a header.
  • Reconstitute teams based on dominance.
  • Require the ball to be touched by at least two players before being sent over the net.
  • Change the throw-in serve to an instep-volley serve.

Soccer Coaching Tips:


  • Heading
  • Volley Kick
  • Combination Trap and Volley Kick
  • Accuracy

CRITICAL NOTES:  Tennis shoes only on a hard, indoor, surface!  No soccer cleats indoors!  Dry surfaces only indoors; wipe up any wet areas!  Playing on a wet surface outdoors is not recommended.

© Copyright, John C. Harves