The women competing in beach volleyball at the Rio Summer Olympics have been using their hands for something other than spiking the ball, and it caught everyone’s attention.
The hand signal system is widely recognized across the sport.
It’s a way for the team to communicate when they’re on the court, and is a lot like when a catcher signals to a pitcher in baseball.
If a player signals a closed fist, it means that no block should be attempted for the opponent on that side of the court.
If it’s an open hand, it means the blocker plans to match up with the hitter, deciding where to block based on the opposing team’s set and the hitter’s approach and arm swing.
When there is one finger as the signal, it means the blocker plans to block the opponent’s line attack.
If there are two that blocker plans to block an opponent’s “angle” attack.
You can watch the volleyball preliminaries Monday and Tuesday on NBC.