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What Is The Hardest Volleyball Serve?

Published: 2022-03-28
What Is The Hardest Volleyball Serve?
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How to serve in volleyball

In modern volleyball, there have been many breakthroughs in technical expertise, but serving has been the skill that has most evolved since the 80s. In the mid 80’s Brazil created the sky ball serve with Hall of Famer, Bernard Rajzman.

The spectrum of serving expertise reveals that the underhand serve, the side serve, the roundhouse serve, the overhead serve, the side sliced serve, the overhead topspin serve, the jump floater serve, the jump spike serve with power and the hybrid serve are the most typical serves, documented in volleyball so far.

But in September of 2013 as well as in September of 2014, I was able to document the hardest serve of all.  In my opinion, the Hybrid Serve. 


The hybrid serve is a variation of the jump serve in which the server pretends to perform a jump topspin but instead delivers a jump floater.  Or inverse to that plan of action, the server demonstrates a position to perform a jump floater but instead, changes his/her wrist grip in the air and delivers a spike serve.  I have observed this serving style in detail.  I have also analyzed it using Dartfish Software to break it frame by frame, as well as analyzed it live in four world-class championships. 

volleyball braces

This type of serve was first performed by Brazilians who since 1992, have been known as aggressive servers.   I have named this serve Hybrid because it is a combination of two distinct styles performed to deceive the passers.  In the men's team, the Hybrid serve has been very effective and in the women's team, now, it has been adopted more often than ever.  The dedication of top players to practice the Hybrid serve can be decisive in any volleyball match at any level.

To practice the Hybrid serve players need to repeat it, consistently but I like to use a mat to protect players landing (see the video below).

Regardless of what serve is the hardest, in my book 21st Century Volleyball Expertise, I explain to parents, athletes, and PE teachers that the variability of serves is a weapon in itself.  That means if a team has different volleyball players mastering a higher variety of aggressive serves this tactical disposition is very efficient to determine the winner of a match.