A block is an action close to the net, while one part of the body is higher than the top of the net and the ball is coming from the opponent. The height of the contact with the ball is not relevant.
Only front-row players may take part in a block. Back-row players may try to block, but may not take part in a completed block. Liberos are not allowed to attempt a block.
For blocks involving multiple players, the block is considered as a unit. If a player who is not allowed to block (back-row player) participates in a completed block, a blocking error is committed, no matter which player actually touches the ball.
The blocking action is not bound to any technique, i.e. a block can be executed with both hands, but also with one hand. For the ball handling assessment, it is crucial that the ball is not caught and thrown.
The following actions are considered blocking errors: - A back-row player blocks a ball or is involved in a completed block. - The libero makes a block attempt. - The ball is blocked in the opponent's area outside the antenna. - The service is blocked.
Further explanations can be found under blocking faults.
A ball coming from the opponent can be either blocked or attacked in an action close to the net. Such an action is considered an attack, and thus the first contact, if an attacking motion (arm movement) is recognizable.