The volleyball libero is a defensive specialist who wears a
contrasting color jersey that differentiates her from her
teammates. The libero goes freely in and out of the court to take
the place of a front row player who's rotated to the backrow
when the ball isn't in play.
The volleyball libero position was first introduced In Italy in the late 80's
The word "libero" means "free" in Italian.
The Italian concept of the "libero" meant that a particular
designated player was "free" to roam in and out of the court in the back
row positions to play defense.
That meant, liberos were "free" not to follow the traditional
rules of volleyball for rotation and substitution and they could come
in and out of thegame with few limitations.
Although, the designated libero had a lot of freedom in the back
prohibited from becoming a spiker who could hit the ball in the front row.
According to the volleyball libero rules, the player in the libero position is
prohibited from playing any front row or front court position.
Okay I promise I won't use the word "free' anymore but I think you get
Congratulations to senior Melanie Aguayo on recording her 1,000th career dig today! pic.twitter.com/KuBWXzZR2c— Ashland Eagles (@goashlandeagles) October 14, 2017
Outside of the United States many international professional indoor
Where there are pro sports with millions of spectators, there are also
a lot of international companies and sponsors that spend money
supporting the sport and paying big contracts to the best players in all
parts of the world.
In order to keep those sponsors interested in supporting the game,
event organizers and the officials in the international volleyball
federations were always looking for ways to make the men's game more
Olympic Volleyball Libero: Stacy Sykora (USA)
The professional men's game was popular but it needed more
spectators because the TV audience was attracted to the women's
One of the ways that the "powers-that-be" wanted to make the game
more exciting was to introduce and promote the use of liberos.
You see the men's game in the 70s and 80s and early 90's had always
been a power game with lots of strong hitting and very little defense
since many coaches emphasized front row skills in their practices
In contrast, the women's game
This type of game drew more fans and increased the TV audience for
The skimpy uniforms didn't hurt either.
Introducing and promoting the role of liberos and by adopting a
international tournament and professional league organizers thought
this new position with its new rules would draw more television
spectators to the men's game because they hoped these elements
would make the game more exciting.
Volleyball event officials hoped that with shorter, more agile
and more exciting, longer and more suspenseful rallies which would
hold the interest of the television audience longer.
The longer the rallies, the more exciting the play, the more exciting the
play, the more spectators, the more spectators then the more sponsors.
This was the thinking of the international volleyball federation
The women's game had more spectators because they already
had longer rallies since pro women volleyball players played more
According to the "experts" this was why there was more suspense and
interest in their games.
To encourage more defensive plays, especially in the men's
professional leagues, the role of libero was promoted and then
officially introduced by the FIVB to help make the men's game faster,
more suspenseful and more TV friendly.