The title of this post came up as a question in a coaching group. Not surprisingly, there was a mix of answers. Here are my thoughts on the subject.
If you believe attacking the ball via a spike, tip, or whatever is an offensive action, then you must also think of the serve as part of the offense. Why? Because they have the same purpose.
In both attacking and serving you can attempt to score a direct point (kill/ace) or you can attempt to force the other team into a disadvantageous position. This does not assume aggressive serving, though it does mean doing something more than just putting the ball over the net to start the rally. The same is true of attacking. We’re not talking here about a player just trying to get the 3rd contact over the net.
And note that I said “attempt” above. It’s about intent, not outcome.
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Please share your own ideas and opinions.