Rotation in Volleyball Your 8 Rotation Volleyball Questions Explained

I answer your questions about rotation in volleyball like how does rotation work? Does the libero rotate? and What positions serve in volleyball? and many others 


On this page I answer your 8 most frequently asked rotation in volleyball questions.


What are the 6 volleyball rotations on the court?


  • Right Back - RB - Position 1 - P1
  • Middle Back - MB - Position 6 - P6
  • Left Back - LB - Position 5 - P5
  • Left Front - LF - Position 4 - P4
  • Middle Front - MF - Position 3 - P3
  • Right Front - RF - Position 2 - P2

The more you play, the more you will become familiar with what happens in each area on the court. 


How does rotation work in volleyball?


Players rotate clockwise on the court.

With the exception of the first serve of the game, a team must rotate one position after they've been granted the right to serve the ball.

So, if you are the player in zone 1 at the very start of the game, and you're on the team that won the right to serve first, then you would be your team's first server.

If you are on the other side of the net, in zone 1 but your team is passing the ball because they are receiving the servethen after your team wins their first point, they also win the right to serve the ball for the first time. 


Rotations in Volleyball
What positions serve in volleyball?


For the record all the player positions can serve in volleyball. That includes setters, left side hitters, opposite hitters, middle blockers, and defensive specialists. 

Liberos can serve...in middle school, high school and college competition. 

Only in international competition is the libero not permitted to serve.


What are the volleyball player positions who rotate into and out of the left back rotational court position (P5)?


What are the volleyball player positions who rotate into and out of the left back rotational court position?

Setters and Opposites

b) If this player is the setter or opposite hitter then they will switch places with the right back player who just served so that they can play defense or defend the right back area or zone 1 of their side of the court.

This is a common occurrence in defense among advanced teams, when a right side player like the setter or the opposite hitter has rotated into one of the left side zones in the front row or the back row.

They will switch with the left side player to play defense in the position they are trained to specialize in, located on the right side of the court.

Liberos and Outside Hitters

c) If this player is an agile athletic player in defense or a libero they may be asked by the coach to switch places with the player in the middle back position, zone 6, so they can defend the middle back area of the indoor volleyball court.



What are the volleyball player positions who rotate into and out of the left front rotational court position (P4)?


Left Side Outside Hitters

Position 4 or P4 is where left side hitters and blockers train to excel in playing when they are in the front row.

When on defense, regardless of the rotation they find themselves in, left side players will switch with either the middle blocker or the right side player, after the whistle blows, to play in zone 4 in the front row or zone 5 in the back row because these are the two left side rotational positions on the court.



What are the volleyball player positions who specialize in playing in right side rotational court positions?


Setters and Opposites

Right side players specialize in and are trained to play on the right sides of the volleyball court, both on offense and on defense.

If their team is serving, then the right side players which are the setters and the opposite hitters, will switch with the left side players or middle blockers in order to play in their specialized position, which is located in a right side zone on the court, during a rally.


Remember the right side positions on the court are zone 1 in the back row and zone 2 in the front row.

Those rotational court positions don't move, or change, they stay the same. Only players move in and out of these areas, after their team wins the right to serve.

In other words, what moves are the different players that rotate into and out of those areas, after the serve, so that they can play in their specialized positions during each rally.



What is the Backrow Rotation in Volleyball?
P1, P6, and P5

These three rotational court positions, P1, P6 and P5 make up the backcourt also called the back zone, and this is where the three back row players play defense and serve receive. (Chiba Ryo)These three rotational court positions, P1, P6 and P5 make up the backcourt also called the back zone, and this is where the three back row players play defense and serve receive. (Chiba Ryo)

These three rotational court positions, P1, P6 and P5 make up the backcourt also called the back zone, in volleyball terminology and this is where the three back row players play defense and serve receive.

Remember once a player rotates to the back row, if they need to switch with another player on defense, they can only do it with another player in the back row.

The same goes for players in the front row. 

It's against the rules for a back row player to rotate or switch with a front row player and vice versa.


Does the libero rotate in volleyball?

Rotation in Volleyball: Liberos are volleyball players specially trained to be agile, faster and have better ball control and defensive skills in the back row.(Arvesen)Rotation in Volleyball: Liberos are volleyball players specially trained to be agile, faster and have better ball control and defensive skills in the back row.(Arvesen)


Many times, when a middle blocker has to rotate to the backrow, a libero will come into the game to take their place since they are a defensive specialist and train specifically to be better suited to playing in the back court. 

Liberos are volleyball players specially trained to be agile, faster and have better ball control and defensive skills in the back row.



They will usually play in Zone 6 or Zone 4 until its time for them to rotate up to the front row where the middle blocker will reenter the game.



This has been an important message by your favorite volleyball coach! That's me!!

Thanks for visiting.

Be sure to check out more of my volleyball articles by clicking one of the links below!  (April Chapple)

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I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 



Volleyball Game Rules:
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  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
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Learn more from these volleyball game rules pages!

  • Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
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  • Rotation in Volleyball Your 9 Rotation Volleyball Questions Explained
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