There are some basic skills within the game:
Sometimes described as the first line of defence - an effective service can stop the opposition from mounting an offence. There are several ways to serve including overarm, underarm and jump serving. The ball can be made to spin or float as it travels.
The best players at service reception in a team line up to receive the service, often two or three at top level.
Usually missed in TV commentaries, the setter is often called the playmaker and they organise the team's attack. They set up the ball attempting to give the attackers the best hitting option with the greatest chance of success.
The most well known of the volleyball skills as the most demonstrative. Whether they use cross court hits, hits down the side line, tips, dumps or backcourt spikes the attackers' job is to ground the ball in the opponents court. Hits off the blocker's hands and out of court is also part of their arsenal. The high jumping attacker on the outside is complemented by fast attackers in the middle and slide attackers along the net. If the ball isn't set to them, each attacker complete their attack run as a dummy attack to fool the opposition blockers. Beach players employ an attack at the net using the hand as a claw to push the ball across.
Used to block the attack. A good blocking team makes this skill look easy, it is not and has as much to do with timing as jumping ability. One, two and three man blocks are all used.
The dig is used to receive service and defensively to pick up attacked balls. An accurate dig into the hands of the setter enables a team to run their attack tactics.
Wearing a different uniform to the team, the libero is a defence player who comes onto court to replace an attacker as they move into the backrow. Purely a defence player, they cannot attack the ball or serve. They are usually part of the serve reception and they organise the team’s defence. Teams may now list two liberos within the permitted 12 players. Currently those teams using two liberos use one to serve receive and the other as defence specialist - only one on court at a time.