Each Player Position in Volleyball And The Court Zones They Play In 

There are specialized areas that each player position in volleyball plays in. Learn where setters, opposites, middle blockers, liberos and outside hitters play. 


There are specialized areas that each player position plays in.

The six volleyball positions or roles that players specialize in are


Each Player Position in Volleyball
Where Do Setters and Opposites Play?


Setters and Opposites 

  • Position 2 when they're in the front row 
  • Position 1 when they are on defense in the backrow


Each Player Position in Volleyball
Where Do Middles and Liberos Play?


Middles/Liberos

  • Position 3 when they're in the front row
  • Position 6 if they stay in the backrow but if they're rotated out and replaced by a libero, the libero then plays defense in middle back
  • On more teams now the libero plays left back in Position 5 so the left side/wing spiker can play defense in Position 6 and hit from the backrow from there as well. 



Left Sides/Wing Spikers

  • Position 4 when they're in the front row
  • Position 5/6 when they're in the backrow. This depends on the coach and whether he wants the wing spiker to attack from the middle back position 6 on the court, when they are backrow 



When your team is on defense, at the start of each rally, each player starts in their rotational position on the court.

Once the whistle blows and the server has served the ball, then each player from their rotational position on the court switches to play in their specialized position on the court for the duration of the rally.



So when the whistle blows and the server serves then setters go to the right side of the court, if they are front row they switch to Position 2, if back row they switch with whoever is in rotational Position 1 to play in their specialized position on the right side.

Left side players will switch to play on the left sides of the court.

Middles and liberos switch to play in the middle positions on the court (with some exceptions for liberos.)

Once the rally ends they go back to their rotational position on the court. 

If they won the rally they rotate one position.

If they lost the rally they go back to their serve receive offense pattern and receive serve again. 



In the photo above Illinois State Redbirds Blockers On Defense Ready To Switch After Their Server Serves The Ball

#2 Will Go To Position 4 on the court, switching from her rotational position on the court to her specialized volleyball position because she's the left side hitter.

The Player Behind Her Will Go To Zone 2 because she is the setter or the right side hitter;

#21 The Middle Blocker Will Stay In Zone 3 because she's already in her rotational position on the court (MF) and doesn't need to switch with anybody after her server serves.  

(photo by Bill Shaner)

The more you play, the more you will become familiar with what happens in each position and where you need to be on the court. 


Position in Volleyball 
Where Do I Go From Here?


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

  1. Learn more about the various Rotations.  
  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


You might like these
basic skills pages. 

  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. Positions: What Are They On The Court?
  4.  ›
  5. Volleyball Basics: Six Essential Skills Varsity Players Have To Know
  6. Each Player Position in Volleyball And The Court Zones They Play In


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