The Jump Serve in Volleyball

Jump serve volleyball
Erik Isakson/Getty Images

In volleyball, the jump serve is a type of serve where the serving player increases power and serve height by jumping to hit the ball. The extra motion generated in a jump serve allows the server to put additional power on the ball and this can make the serve very difficult to handle for the receiving team.

How to Jump Serve

There are three main types of serves utilized in volleyball. One of the most popular and frequently used is the jump serve. The jump serve can be an extremely effective type of serve, as it adds power and height to a serve attempt. The jump serve can also be difficult to master, however, as there are several steps that need to be followed in order to perform a proper jump serve.

First of all, when attempting a jump serve, it is important to start several feet behind the end line. Once properly positioned, follow the below steps:

  1. Place ball in left hand
  2. Toss the ball high and several feet in front of you.
  3. Use an abbreviated attack approach, swinging both arms behind you and then forward and up while stepping forward with the left foot and then a quick hop.
  4. Jump up and forward, making sure to take off behind the end line.
  5. Contact the ball at the top of your reach and the top of your jump.
  6. Strike the ball toward the top of the back with your palm and follow through with your arm swing, aiming outward and downward to put topspin on the ball.


The drawback to a jump serve is that all that all of the extra motion utilized in the serve process can lead to a higher incidence of serving errors. Jump serves are at times difficult to control for the server, and can also work to tire the server out.

Other Types of Serves

Outside of the jump serve, there are two other main types of serves that are commonly utilized in volleyball. Those are types of serves are the floater serve and the topspin serve.

Floater Serve

A float serve, also known as a floater, is a serve that does not spin at all. It is called referred to as a floater because it moves in extremely unpredictable ways, which makes it difficult to receive, corral, and pass. A float serve catches the air and can move unexpectedly to the right or the left or it can drop suddenly.

Topspin Serve

A topspin serve does exactly what its name implies — spins rapidly forward from the top. The server tosses the ball a little higher than normal, strikes the ball towards the top of the back in a down and outward motion and then follows through with his or her swing.

The topspin serve has a much more predictable movement than the floater serve, but can it can still be very difficult to handle because of the quick speed that is generated

  • Woman serving volleyball

    How to Execute the Topspin Serve in Volleyball

  • high school girl serving volleyball

    5 Volleyball Toss Mistakes to Avoid

  • Woman serving underhand

    The Underhand Serve in Volleyball

  • Photo of BH Sidespin Serve - Ready Position

    The Backhand Sidespin Serve in Table Tennis

  • Woman serving volleyball

    Let Serve in Volleyball

  • Photo of BH Backspin/Sidespin Serve - Ready Position

    Table Tennis: Backhand Backspin/Sidespin Serve

  • Volleyball jump serve

    Learn the Different Types of Serves in Volleyball

  • Photo of FH Tomahawk Topspin/Sidespin Serve - Ready Position

    Forehand Tomahawk Topspin/Sidespin Serve Tips

  • person playing table tennis

    Serve with a Forehand Pendulum Backspin/Sidespin

  • A woman holds a volleyball in preparation to serve it

    Learn the Overhand Serve in Volleyball

  • Photo of FH Pendulum Sidespin Serve - Ready Position

    Forehand Pendulum Sidespin Serve Tips

  • Volleyball player about to spike volleyball over net

    Learn Techniques to Improve Your Volleyball Hitting

  • Back row attack volleyball

    Understanding a Back Row Attack in Volleyball

  • volleyball serve

    Executing a Float Serve: A Fundamental Volleyball Skill

  • Diagram of X's and H's Simple Drill

    Simple Drills for Table Tennis / Ping-Pong

  • STARE JABLONKI, POLAND - JULY 4: Emily Day of USA passes the ball during the match between Austria and USA during Day 4 of the FIVB World Championships on July 4, 2013 in Stare Jablonki, Poland.

    How to Pass the Ball in Volleyball