The roles and primary volleyball positions on the court: the setter, hitters, middle blockers, defensive specialists and liberos and the responsibilities they each have are usually explained as soon as you join a new club, high school, college or professional six player team.
Let's go through and learn the roles and responsibilities of:
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The setter position in volleyball is the most important one because the setters are the unofficial leaders on the court.
Although it may not happen all the time, setters are trained to get to and attempt to set every second ball to one of their three front row or any of their two non-libero back row attackers or players so that they can hit the ball over the net.
The setter runs the team's offense by telling
or signalling each of her intended hitters, before the referee blows their whistle, what
kind of set she is going to deliver to them.
The middle blocker volleyball position has the primary responsibility once their team has served the ball to travel laterally along the net in such a way that they put up a block, either by themselves or with the help of their outside blockers, against any of the hitters on the opposing team in an attempt to stop them from hitting or tipping the ball over the net and into their court.
In the photo above the player wearing the #21 jersey is playing in the middle blocking position for the Illinois State Redbirds collegiate team.
If a team is on offense, and by this I mean if they are about to be served the ball, then the players that were middle blockers become middle hitters.
Liberos are specialized defensive volleyball positions on the court for those who excel in
The word "libero" means "free" in Italian and it refers to the libero's ability to move freely in and out of the back court since they can take the place of any back row player.
The role and requirements of the libero were invented to be one of the volleyball positions on the court that's exclusively limited to the back row.
The outside hitter, usually has the third contact on the ball and is responsible for sending the ball over the net into the opponent's court with the goal to score a point.
Their primary job is to score offensive points. They are quite often the athletes on the team who are the quickest, jump the highest, and are physically coordinated and agile.
Regardless of the accuracy of the set an outside hitter may get, they are responsible for attacking the ball so the end result is a point or sideout.
Just like there are two middle blockers on every
team, there are two left side hitters per team, so when one is in the
front row, the other plays opposite her in the back row.
And just like middle blockers, if a left side hitter is on defense, then she becomes the left side blocker.
If two middle blockers play opposite each other on a team, and two left side hitters play opposite each other, then who plays in the position that's opposite the setter?
That would be one of the final positions on the court to talk about which belongs to the offside hitter, also known
as "the opposite" or right side hitter.
Remember the left side hitter is usually the more prolific hitter on her team, so the opposing right side blocker has a pretty important job, trying to block the ball hit by one of the best athletes on the opposing team.
This alone often makes the right side hitter position one of the toughest positions on the court to play in.
Another responsibility of the right side player occurs when her team is on defense.
If the setter digs the ball then it use to be the right side hitter's responsibility to step in to become the temporary setter, now its up to the libero to set the second ball...
She sets the ball, usually a high ball out to her opposite hitter.
The opposite hitter especially right handers have to be able to attack the ball from the right side.
When the right side player rotates to the back row to play defense, the setter who plays opposite her/him rotates up to the front row.
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