Volleyball Plays
Why A Setters Sets Vary In Speed, Height And Location

The offensive volleyball plays the team runs is determined by the setter who chooses the speed, height and location on the net of the sets the hitters will attack.  


The setter calls the volleyball plays which are made up of different types of volleyball sets, that vary in

  • speed 
  • height 
  • location on the net

and are delivered in an overhand contact and called with the use of hand signals to each of their eligible hitters when running the team offense. 


Volleyball Plays: Why Are There Plays in Volleyball? 


When running offensive volleyball plays, volleyball setters must learn a series of ways to deliver the ball to their hitters.

They can choose to run slower offensive volleyball plays giving high balls to their hitters to attack.

Or they can choose to use a quicker offense distributing faster lower sets to their hitters to attack. 


Volleyball Plays:
High Ball Slow Tempo Sets


High ball sets are the slowest but highest sets a setter delivers in most volleyball plays they call.

Zone 4

  • Four set - high ball 8 - 10 feet in the air delivered to the left side hitter

Zone 3


Zone 2

  • Five set - a high ball 6 - 8 feet in the air delivered over the head of the setter to the opposite hitter

Click here to learn how the setter uses the hand signals to tell the hitters what high ball volleyball plays they'll run in serve receive. 


Volleyball Plays: 
Medium Height Mid Tempo Sets


Medium height ball sets are the mid-tempo and medium height sets a setter delivers in most secondo tempo volleyball plays they call.

These sets are lower than the high ball sets and higher than the quick sets. They usually have more arc at the height of each set instead of a peak. 

Zone 4

  • Hut set - medium high umbrella shaped ball 6 - 8 feet in the air delivered to the left side hitter and falls just inside the antenna

Zone 3

  • Two set - a ball set in front of the setter 2-3 feet in the air delivered to the middle hitter
  • Back Two - Same as above but behind the setter
  • 32 set - an umbrella shaped set that falls between Zone 3/4 delivered to the left side hitter

Zone 2

  • Red set - a medium height umbrella shaped ball 6 - 8 feet in the air delivered over the head of the setter to the opposite hitter

Volleyball Plays:
Low Height Fast Tempo Sets


Low height quick ball sets are the fastest but lowest sets to a net that a setter delivers in most volleyball plays they call.

Zone 4

  • "Go" set - high ball 4 - 6 feet in the air delivered to the left side hitter at high speed

Zone 3

  • One set - a ball set in front of the setter 1- 2 feet in the air delivered to the middle hitter
  • Back One - Same but behind the setter
  • "31" - a ball set 4 to 5 feet in front of the setter - with the same speed and height of the Go set 

Zone 2

  • Slide set - a back set 4 - 6 feet in the air delivered over the head of the setter to the middle hitter or opposite hitter who takes a one foot spike approach to attack the ball in Zone 2

Backrow Attacks

Sets to backrow hitters are delivered in four different areas in the backcourt and land just inside the ten foot line. 

The backrow is divided in four sections starting from Zone 1 and moving to Zone 6 the invisible court sections are A, B, C and D.  

Pipe

A - the A is a backrow set to Zone A

B - the Pipe is a backrow set to Zone B/C

C - 

D - the D is a backrow set to Zone A




Advanced setters deliver faster balls to their middle and outside hitters  to create point scoring opportunities for them to outsmart the opposing team's blockers.


All State Durango varsity setter Tehani Faitau sets a back one to assistant Coach Tibbs


If a setter can fake out an opposing team's middle blocker by getting her to stay in the middle while she sets the ball to one of her outside hitters, then that increases the chances of her outside hitter scoring by hitting the ball to the opponent's floor.

Why is this?

When an outside hitter goes up to hit, they usually have two blockers go up in front of them to try and stop them from hitting into their court.



One is the blocker that's in front of them and the other is the opposing team's middle blocker. 



If the setter can make the opposing middle blocker think that she's going to set her middle, then the opposing middle blocker has to stay and block the middle hitter. 

But if at the last minute the setter can shoot a faster set out to her outside hitter before the opposing middle gets outside to help her teammate, the opposing outside blocker, then the hitter has a better chance of scoring against one blocker instead of two. 



The faster volleyball setters run their offense, the harder it is for the opposing team's middle blocker to go back and forth along the net to try and block the outside hitters. 


Combination Volleyball Plays


Combination volleyball plays are a combination of sets that setters call to hitters that vary in speed, height and location on the net.

  • 4 - 1 - 5 - a high ball to left front, a one in the middle and high ball back to Zone 2. 

  • 31 - 32 - a 31 to Zone 3/4 for the middle hitter and a 32 to Zone 3/4 just behind the middle hitter for the outside hitter

  • X play - is a front one and the right side player comes around in front of the setter to hit a front 2

  • Fake X - same as above but the right side hitter fakes like they're going to Zone 3 but then at the last minute they go back and hit the back two instead of the front 2

Do You Follow Me on Instagram?


Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap to improve your game even faster!

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 Plays:
Where Should You Go From Here?


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

  1. Learn more about the volleyball setter player by exploring he Related Links below. 
  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
  4. Reintroduce yourself to Miss Ricci the Raccoon, #5 , the setter and team captain for the All Beast VolleyBragSwag All Star Team. 



  1. IImprove Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. Volleyball Plays Why A Setters Sets Vary In Speed, Height And Location
  4.  ›


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