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.
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.
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.
When the Opposing Team Passes the Ball
You, the middle blocker should be watching the ball being passed,
reading 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.
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
Now that you know where the ball is being set its time for you to look at
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Discover more volleyball blocker information below.
The Volleyball Voice
Boot Camp Class, Clinics and Competition
Stupak Recreation Center, 251 W. Boston, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89142
Home to the Volleycats Elite Volleyball Club