Bump set performed by Brandon Joyner, professional beach volleyball player

The Volleyball Bump Set - Why And How To Do It

Bump setting in volleyball is one of the most essential techniques you can master. It is a relatively simple skill to conquer, that you need to have in your bag of tricks at all times.

Using your forearms to bump the ball is one of the two main methods of setting the ball in beach volleyball.

In this guide, you'll learn all about it and how to do it right.


What Is A Bump Set In Volleyball?



Bumping has historically been the most popular way of setting your partner up for an attack.

It's less risky than using your hands, and still offers good accuracy. It has been the dominant technique especially in the women's game.


Windy days cause the hand set without spin to drift and dance and wiggle.

On breezy days, it’s useful to be equipped with a bump set where you can intentionally throw top spin on the ball to hold it in place rather than having it ripped this way and that.


More recently, fewer professional players are exclusively bump setting.

This is because of two main factors:

  1. The setting rules have been relaxed over the years, making using your hands easier
  2. The game is becoming faster and has more attack variations. The classic underarm technique is not suitable for this style of play


The How-To Of Bump Setting


Key Points To Remember for a great bump set:


1. Platform straight and hands together

This is a technique that should be the exact same as passing in volleyball. It is important that you hold your hand tight and keep your arms straight throughout the entire process of the set, just as you would the pass.

2. Net foot forward

When approaching the ball to set, you should think about getting your net foot forward. The reason we say ‘net foot’ is because throughout a play you may have your left foot or right foot forward depending on what side of the court you are on. There are two reasons why this is going to be important.

First, it will allow you to develop a rhythm to your bump set because you will be moving from your back foot to your front foot, allowing your energy to end up on your front foot during contact. This rhythm will make your technique replicable while also allowing your hitter to pick up on your rhythm which will make the set easier for them to get to.

Second, it will allow you to accomplish key No. 3.

3. Square to Target

Unlike passing, where your shoulders should be square to the net, bump setting is going to be easiest when you are square to your target. You should always try to finish a set with your belly button facing your attacker. If you are able to be square while setting then you have made the skill as easy as you can relying on a straight pass/set. 



Our 30-Day Blueprint does cover both hand setting and bump setting, by the way.

If your goal is to become the best beach volleyball setter you can, quickly -- then I encourage you to check it out:

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