The rules in some sports, such as football, allow players to occasionally huddle together to come up with the next offensive play or defensive strategy. Players in other sports, such as volleyball, use hand signals to communicate the same thing. Specifically, volleyball hand signals let the setter know the planned action of her teammates after the ball is served.
When a teammate shows a closed fist, it means he plans on dropping away from the net in order to prepare for the return hit. This move could be used to set up a play such as a dink, spike or kill. To help your teammate out, drop over to his opposite side and play defense. Be prepared to either receive or pass, set, dig or hit the ball to your teammate to keep the ball in play.
Thumbs play an important role in communicating to the server where the ball should go. If your teammate has her right thumb up, then she would like for you to serve the ball to the right side of the court. The same rule applies for the left thumb. If your teammate has both thumbs up, then she would like you to serve the ball up the middle.
Volleyball players learn to read each other, and evaluate their skills and playing ability. It is through this observation that players determine which team member on the other side is the weakest. Shaking hands also help communicate to the server where he should serve the ball. If your partner shakes his right hand, then he would like you to serve the ball to the player located to the right. The corresponding rule applies for the left hand.
A one-finger volleyball hand signal communicates the message that your teammate plans on heading toward that particular part of the line, or in front of the net, in order to block or score. If your teammate raises one finger on her left hand, then she plans to head to the left part of the line. As your teammate rushes to the line, it is your responsibility to watch the back of the court. Be prepared to save, set, dig or pass the ball to your teammate.
A two-finger volleyball hand signal communicates the opposite message of the one-finger volleyball hand signal. If your partner flashes two fingers, this means he is going to drop to the back of the court in order to block, pass, set or score. The hand that holds the two fingers communicates which side of the court he will move to. It is now your responsibility to rush to the line, or in front of the net, and assist your teammate, block, pass, set or score.