The Middle Volleyball Blocker

The middle blocker position learn the skills and requirements for success

Illinois State middle blocker (Photo Bill Shaner)Illinois State middle blocker (Photo Bill Shaner)


The middle volleyball blocker better known as the "middle blocker" is the

player most responsible for keeping the ball from crossing the net into

her team's court when the opposing team is in attack.  


As the primary blocker on the team, the middle blocker is the first line of

defense in keeping the ball on the opposing team's side during a rally. 




Where Does The Middle Blocker Play on the Court?


Quite often the tallest person on the team, if you are the volleyball

blocker who's been told to "play in the middle" when your team is

serving the ball, you would be in the front row at the net in the middle

area called Zone 3. 


The Middle Volleyball Blocker:
What Happens on Defense in the Front Row


Once your teammate's served ball crosses the net into the opposing

court, your team is officially on defense.


Your team's first defensive goal is to block the ball, to do

everything possible in the front row to keep the ball from reaching the

back row.




Ball - Setter - Ball - Hitter: What The Middle Blocker Watches in Defense


When the Opposing Team Passes the Ball

You, the middle blocker should be watching the ball being

passedreading and anticipating whether the ball is going to be a

perfect pass to the setter waiting for it in the opposing team's Zone 3. 



When the Opposing Team Sets the Ball

Once you, the middle blocker see that the ball will travel to Zone 3 now

your eyes should go immediately to the setter.


Its the opposing setter's job to fake you out as the middle blocker, period.

She is going to try and fake you out and trick you into believing that she

will set one of her hitters when she will actually set a different hitter.


Her job is run her offense in a way that you as middle blocker will

not be able to guess who's she is setting in her front row or her back

row. 


She wants to deliver a set to one of her hitter's that you can't get to. She

knows that her hitter has a better chance of hitting the ball to your team's

court floor if that hitter is hitting against one blocker. 


Its much harder for a hitter to attack a ball against two blockers,

that would be you and one of your outside blockers, chica!


It's your job to read her body language and quickly anticipate,

correctly, who she is going to set the ball to and get there to help your

outside blocker put up a two girl Wonder Woman block (that's

instead of the usual two-man block) which makes it harder for the 

opposing hitter to attack against. 


Once you understand who the setter is going to set the ball to, you use

specialized foot work while watching and following the ball as her

set travels to one of her hitters.


Watch USA Oympic Middle Blocker
Rachael Adams


Your specialized volleyball blocker foot work helps you travel along the

net  to join your left side blocker or your right side blocker in a timed

block jump. 


When To Look At The Hitter


Now that you know where the ball is being set its time for you to look at

your hitter.


You look at the opposing team's hitter who's making their spike

approach in your direction on the other side of the net. 

You are reading her body language and arm to see where and how she

plans to attack the ball.



Together, you and your outside blocker, reach both of your arms over the

net, in front of the hitter, in an attempt to create a human wall with your

extended arms and hands that "block" the hitter from spiking the ball

over the net and into your court. 


If the ball gets past your block, then its up to one of the three

players in the back row to dig the ball up in defense. 


Once the ball is dug up, your team is now officially on offense.

The roles have switched and now its your team's turn to use the next two

contacts to get the ball to the floor of the opposing team's court

to score a point. 



Now on offense, you are not the middle volleyball blocker, you are now

the middle volleyball hitter and your primary responsibility is to hit balls

from your team's Zone 3 better known as the middle zone of the net. 


Middle Volleyball Blocker
Hitting Responsibilities


The middle volleyball blocker, now the middle hitter attacks from Zone 3

and the sets you receive are quicker, faster and depend alot on precise

timing between you and your setter.


Tennessee Middle Attack (Tennessee Journalist)Tennessee Middle Attack (Tennessee Journalist)


Once the ball re-enters the middle blocker's court during a rally and is

dug up by the back row player  the middle blocker transitions off the net. 


What does that mean?


The word 'transition" means "to change" in latin,  which is what the front

row hitters are doing once one of their teammates digs the ball up in

defense to the setter, they are changing from blockers in defense to

hitters in offense during the rally. 


The hitters will back up to the ten foot line and wait for the setter to get to

the ball that was just dug up in defense.


The setter will then  run the offense by setting one of her hitters. 




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 Defensive Specialists
  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
  4. Reintroduce yourself to Miss O.I. Gotchu the Octopus, #8 , libero for the All Beast VolleyBragSwag All Star Team. 
Miss O.I. Gotchu, Octopus and libero for the VolleyBragSwag All Beast team.Miss O.I. Gotchu, Octopus and libero for the VolleyBragSwag All Beast team.




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