The volleyball libero is a back row specialist specializing in the volleyball
defensive skills of passing, serving and playing defense.
Libero, which means "free" in Italian, which is where the volleyball libero
position was invented, can freely enter in and out of the court without
having to be substituted in.
Because she can go in and out of the game often she wears a different
colored jersey so the referee can see the difference between the libero
and the other players.
Up to two liberos can be on the team. When a team has two liberos only
one of them can serve.
Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions
about the libero in volleyball in the information below.
The volleyball libero position should be included on the score sheet of
players the coach presents to the official scorekeepers at the referee's
table before each game starts.
That's if the coach has chosen a player to be a libero on the team, of
There's a special place on the score sheet reserved just for this purpose
and all the liberos expected to play in the match must be
A coach is allowed to pick two players on his or her team to play in
Although two liberos are allowed to be members on a team, only one at
a time can be on the court during a competition.
When the team or the coach pick a team captain, according to
general volleyball rules the player in the libero position can not be
Whichever libero the coach chooses to start the game is called the
The libero that is on the court playing, is called the acting libero.
In the case, that a team has a second defensive specialist that
Like the defensive specialist, the player that takes on the role of the
According to the volleyball subbing rules, the libero is obligated to
come out of the game before rotating to the front row, which means they
definitely cannot block or attempt to block the ball.
The only way this player can hit the ball is if the ball is below the height
of the top of the net.
The libero cannot set a ball to a front row hitter if her feet are inside
the ten foot line.
But she can set a front row player from the back row which means
as long as her feet are behind the ten foot line, otherwise known as the
back court, then the hitter that she is setting, can hit the ball into the
In all levels of competition, whether its high school, college or
international the libero is required to wear a volleyball jersey
To be more specific, the libero's jersey has to be the color of the
predominant contrasting color worn by the other players on their team.
So if the team jersey colors are red and white and the team captain
decides that the team should wear their red jerseys for an away game,
then the libero should wear her white libero jersey.
And if they play a home game then the reverse would happen, the team
would wear their white jerseys and the libero would wear her red jersey.
There are certain team uniform color combinations which aren't
distinctive enough to comply with the USAV volleyball uniform rules like
teams that have uniforms with color combinations with purple/black,
dark green/black, navy/maroon and white/yellow.
The libero jersey can have a different design, it must be in a contrasting
color worn by the other members of the team, and most importantly it
must have a number on it like all the other players' jerseys.
When substitutions are made, the libero must go in and out of
the game for the same person.
According to volleyball rules and regulations as long as they do that,
they have an unlimited number of substitutions.
When a libero goes in the game for someone else their substitution is
not counted as one of their team's regular substitutions.
When the player in the volleyball libero position enters the game
they must do it before the referee blows the whistle to start the next play.
In other words, as long as the ball is not in play a libero substitution can
Even though a libero can
go in and out of the game for the same player
an unlimited amount of times, they can't do it back to back to back,
they must wait so that a rally is played before replacing a player.
If the player in the libero position was registered on the
12-player roster at the beginning of the tournament gets hurt, then
another player can take her place.
Once this replacement libero is named and placed on the roster, she
can only play in the libero volleyball position for the rest of the
Now if the previously injured player in the libero position can
return to play in the tournament, then the player that was chosen to
take her place can be registered again in the normal line-up for later
matches playing in a different position other than the libero position
once the initially registered libero is officially re-instituted.
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