The Volleyball Players Set
Types of Sets The Setter Needs To Know

The setter is responsible for running her team's offense. 

When her team is in service reception, at the beginning of each rally, its

her job to tell her hitters what type of set each of them are going to get if

a) she gets a good pass and/or

b) she doesn't get a good pass. 

Required to try and contact every second ball in a rally, the

setter chooses from a slew of options, the types of balls to deliver

to each of her hitters. 

When a setter tells her eligible hitters what set each of them will hit, its

called "running a play". 

The "play" or "offense" she decides to run consists of different types of sets,

some higher, some lower, some faster, some slower, most are front court

sets but she can also deliver some back court sets to her hitters.  

Players Set Terminology

A setter can "run a play" with a series of slow or fast sets. 

While fast sets are lower to the net, slow sets are higher sets pushed

well above the top of the net.

The setter contacts the ball overhead with her ten fingers shaped

in the shape of the ball and delivers a high set, usually between

6 - 8 feet to a specific spot on the net where a hitter in that zone

knows she needs to make a spike approach to that spot and

spike the ball at its highest point.  

The Volleyball Players Set: The Four Set, The One Set, The Five Set

The "4 - 1 - 5" play is the play most commonly run by setters.

This a high ball set to each of the front row hitters, except the middle


The only person who gets a quicker lower set in this offensive play is the 

middle blocker, who on a good pass, will approach the setter 

with a three-step spike approach and attempt to a hit a quick 

and low set that's 1-2 feet in the air right in front of the setter in 

Zone 3. 

The "Four" is a very high ball delivered to the player in Zone 4.

This is the type of set that setters use the most because when they

don't get a perfect pass, they can still get to the ball and deliver it to

Zone 4 easier than they can to the middle (Zone 3) or right side

(Zone 2) position. 

After the pass, the setter gets to the ball, then squares her hips to face 

Zone Four.

With her body under the ball and hands outstretched above

her forehead the setter pushes the ball high to the ceiling

towards Zone Four so once the ball peaks 8 - 10 feet in the air, it comes

down just inside the antenna closest to the first referee and 1-2 feet off the


The "Five" is a high ball set delivered to Zone 2. 

The setter contacts the ball with all ten fingers above her forehead, but

then she pushes it behind her, high towards the ceiling so that it drops

just inside the antenna closest to the second referee, inside the

court and a foot off the net. 

Volleyball Players Set: Faster Left Side Sets to Zone 4

The setter can deliver faster sets to their left side outside hitter. 

Why does a setter run a faster play?

Because the faster the set, the harder it is for the opposing

blockers to position themselves to block the hitters.

The most common volleyball players set to the left side:

  • The "Hut" - a medium high/medium speed that falls inside the left antenna after peaking 5-6 feet above the net
  • The "Go" - a fast speed/low to the net set that falls inside the left antenna after peaking 3-5 feet above the net

Volleyball Players Set: Middle Sets in Zone 3

  • The "A" set is a high speed set 1-2 feet high that falls just behind the setter's back
  • The "31" set is a high speed set  that falls just 4-5 feet away from the setter between Zone 3 and Zone 4 after peaking one foot above the top of the net 

Volleyball Players Set: Right Side Sets to Zone 2

  • The "Red" set is a medium high speed back set  that falls just 3-4 feet away from the setter to Zone 2 after peaking 1-3 feet above the top of the net and falling just inside the antenna closest to the second referee.  The Red set is also known as a back shoot set. 

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