The Volleyball Libero Position Everything You Need To Know

Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About This Specialized Backcourt Position Called The Libero in Volleyball

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. 

The libero only enters the back row and goes into the game for a front row player who rotates back to Zone 1 to serve.

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. 

Because of its specialized position, there are a few rules that pertain only to players in the volleyball libero position.

Since the libero is a newly created position introduced to the game in the late 90's, many people have questions about the role.

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the libero in volleyball in the information below.

Is There Space To Record The Libero On The Official Scoresheet?

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 course.

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 recorded in this area.

How Many Liberos Are Allowed Per Team?

A coach is allowed to pick two players on his or her team to play in the volleyball libero position.

Although two liberos are allowed to be members on a team, only one at a time can be on the court during a competition.

Can A Libero Be A Team Captain?

When the team or the coach pick a team captain, according to general volleyball rules the player in the libero position can not be named as a team captain.

Who Are The Starting, The Acting and the Second Liberos?

Whichever libero the coach chooses to start the game is called the starting libero.

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 plays in the volleyball libero position but didn't start the game, that player is called the second libero.

Can A Libero Play Front Row?

Like the defensive specialist, the player that takes on the role of the volleyball libero position can only play in the back row.

This means they can serve receive, pass the ball or play defense in any of the back court positions in zone 5, zone 6 or zone 1.

Can A Libero Block A Ball?

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.

Can A Libero Hit A Ball?

The only way this player can hit the ball is if the ball is below the height of the top of the net.

When Can A Libero Set The Ball?

The libero cannot set a ball to a front row hitter if her feet are inside the ten foot line.

The Volleyball Libero: UOP Libero Back Setting A Backrow Player (inkyhack)The Volleyball Libero: UOP Libero Back Setting A Backrow Player (inkyhack)

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 opponent's court.

The Libero Volleyball Jersey

In all levels of competition, whether its high school, college or international the libero is required to wear a volleyball jersey that's a  contrasting color than the jerseys worn by the other members of the team.

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.

What Colored Jerseys Should Liberos Avoid Wearing?

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 Volleyball Libero: Creighton Bluejays(White and Blue Review)The Volleyball Libero: Creighton Bluejays (White and Blue Review)

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.

The Volleyball Libero Subbing Rules

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 Can A Libero Enter The Volleyball Game?

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 be made.

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.

What Happens When A Libero Gets Injured?

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 tournament. 

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.

Volleyball Positions: Where Do You Go From Here?

Good times! Where do you need to go now? Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about the Volleyball Libero position.
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the Volleyball Positions section in the drop down menu at the top of the page

Recent Links: 


Positions in the Game


The Libero

The Setter

The Hitter

Middle Blocker

Defensive Specialist

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