Volleyball Rotation, Zones and How To Rotate on the Volleyball Court

Learn how to rotate in volleyball, when and what each player position needs to do in each of these rotational positions on the court. 

Volleyball Rotation When you rotate in volleyball your entire team moves clockwise, to one position or zone on the court.Volleyball Rotation: When you rotate in volleyball your entire team moves clockwise, to one position or zone on the court.


A volleyball rotation occurs when the receiving team wins a rally. 

  • The receiving team also wins a point and the right to serve.


When you rotate in volleyball your entire team moves clockwise, to one position or zone on the court

If you're in the back row each player moves into the next rotational position on their left.

If you're in the front row each player moves into the next rotational position on their right. 


Volleyball Rotation
How To Rotate From Backrow to Front Row On The Court


How does the volleyball rotation from back row to front row work?

After the team on offense has won a rally and the right to serve...

The player in the LB position called P5, Position 5 or zone 5 would move up to the front row into the LF Position 4 on the court. 

The teammate in volleyball rotation Position 2, also known as the RF, right front or zone 4, would now move back row to Rotational Position 1 to be the team's next server

Once you are in a back row rotation you are a backrow player until you have rotated into Rotational Position 5, the left back position.

When your team in serve receive offense wins the rally while you are in P5, you would then rotate up to Rotational Position 4, to be in the front row. 


Volleyball Rotation Basics 
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This gives you, the beginner player, a very basic idea of volleyball rotation based on the position you specialize in.

If you are a setter or right side hitter your specialized position is on the RF and RB sides of the court. 

If you are a left side hitter your specialized position is on the LF and LB sides of the court.*

If you are a middle blocker/hitter or libero your specialized position is in the middle of the court.**

As you play more advanced volleyball there will be exceptions to these rules where coaches may place left side hitters middle back (MB in Position 6) and liberos in left back (LB, Position 5) so they can run a backrow attack.

Let's stick with the volleyball rotation basics for now. 


The Front Row Volleyball Rotation


If You're In Volleyball Rotational Position 4/Zone 4 where do you go on offense or defense?

If you are a left side hitter/blocker

  • on offense - you'd stay and pass/hit from LF
  • on defense - after the serve you'd stay and block and play defense in LF

If you are a middle hitter/blocker

  • on offense - you'd slide over to MF and spike approach from the ten foot line and hit from Position 3
  • on defense - after your team serves you'd switch to MF to block in volleyball rotation Position 3/Zone 3

If you are a setter or right side hitter/blocker

  • on offense - as a right side hitter depending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely when your team is served, you'd pass/hit from LF and when the ball goes over the net you'd switch to Position 2 to continue the rally blocking, defending and hitting from P2 until the rally is completed.
  • on offense - as a setter depending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely when your team is served you start at the net and slide over to be the target in Position 2/3 that your passers need to pass to
  • on defense - after your team serves you'd switch to RF to block and play defense in Rotational Position 2/Zone 2 


If You're In Rotational Position 4 ... If you are a left side hitter thenon offense - you'd stay and pass/hit from LF on defense - after the serve you'd stay and block and play defense in LFIf You're In Volleyball Rotation 4 ... If you are a left side hitter then on offense - you'd stay and pass/hit from LF on defense - after the serve you'd stay and block and play defense in LF


If You're In Volleyball Rotation Position 3/Zone 3 where do you go on offense or defense?


If you are a left side hitter/blocker

  • on offense - you'd slide over and pass and hit from LF
  • on defense - after the serve you'd switch and block and play defense in LF

If you are a middle hitter/blocker

  • on offense - you'd stay MF and pass any short balls, spike approach from the ten foot line and hit from Position 3 
  • on defense - after your team serves you'd stay MF to block in Rotational Position 3/Zone 3

If you are a setter or right side hitter/blocker

  • on offense - you'd pass/hit from RF, Position 2 and/or set from Position 2/3
  • on defense - after your team serves you'd switch to RF to block and play defense in Rotational Position 2/Zone 2 


If You're In Volleyball Rotation Position 2/Zone 2 where do you go on offense or defense?


If you are a left side hitter/blocker

  • on offense - you'd slide over to pass and hit from LF or depending on your coach and the offense you run, when your team is served, you'd pass/hit the first serve from RF and when the ball goes over the net you'd switch to Position 4 to continue the rally blocking, defending and hitting from P4 until the rally is completed.
  • on defense - after the serve you'd switch and block and play defense in LF

If you are a middle hitter/blocker

  • on offense - you'd switch/slide over to MF and spike approach from the ten foot line and hit from Position 3 
  • on defense - after your team serves you'd switch to MF to block in Rotational Position 3/Zone 3

If you are a setter or right side hitter/blocker

  • on offense - you'd stay in RF and pass/hit from Position 2 and/or set from Position 2/3
  • on defense - after your team serves you'd stay RF to block and play defense in Rotational Position 2/Zone 2 


The Back Row Volleyball Rotation

If You're In Volleyball Rotation Position 1/Zone 1 where do you go on offense or defense?

If you are a left side hitter/blocker

  • if serving - after completing your serve you run into the court to get into base defensive position in Rotational position 5, (left back, LB, Zone 5) If you win the rally, your team earns a point and you go back to serve again. 
  • in serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely when your team is served, as the libero you'd pass from RB (Position 1, P1, Zone 1) and when the ball goes over the net you'd switch to Position 5 to continue the rally digging, playing defense and possibly hitting from backrow* until the rally is completed.
  • *many teams, depending on their offensive strategies will place left side hitter in the MB position (P6) so they can dig and hit backrow


If you're a libero in serve receive, depending on the offense you run when your team is served, you'd pass from RB (Position 1, P1, Zone 1) taking as much court responsibility as possibleIf you're a libero in serve receive, depending on the offense you run when your team is served, you'd pass from RB (Volleyball Rotation 1, P1)


If you are a libero/middle hitter/blocker

  • if serving - after completing your serve you run into the court to get into base defensive position in Rotational Position 6, (middle back, MB, Zone 6) If you win the rally, your team earns a point and you go back to serve again. 
  • in serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely as the libero, when your team is served, you'd pass from RB (Position 1, P1, Zone 1) taking as much court responsibility as possible and when the ball goes over the net you'd switch to Position 6 to continue the rally digging, playing defense from backrow* until the rally is completed.
  • *many teams, depending on their offensive strategies will place liberos in the LB position (P5) so they can dig the cross court attacks and set when necessary from the backrow. 


If you are a setter or right side hitter/blocker

  • if serving - after completing your serve you run into the court to get into base defensive position in Rotational position 1, (right back, RB, Zone 1) If you win the rally, your team earns a point and you go back to serve again. 
  • In serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely when your team is served, as the setter you'd stand behind the right front player who is passing. Once the ball is served you sprint to go to the net to Position 2/3 to be the setter target your passers pass the ball to. Once you run the offense and set one of your hitters and the ball goes over the net you return backrow to your base position to play defense.
  • in serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely as the right side hitter, when your team is served, you'd pass from RB (Position 1, P1, Zone 1) taking as much court responsibility as possible alongside the libero in P6 and the left side hitter in P5/P4 and when the ball goes over the net you'd stay in Position 1 to continue the rally, digging, playing defense from backrow* until the rally is completed.


If you're a libero in volleyball rotation P6: in serve receive, depending on the offense you run when your team is served, you'd pass from MBIf you're a libero in volleyball rotation P6: in serve receive, depending on the offense you run when your team is served, you'd pass from MB


If You're In Volleyball Rotation Position 6/Zone 6 where do you go on offense or defense?

If you are a left side hitter/blocker

  • on defense - you start in Rotational Position 6 and after your team serves, you switch going to your base defensive position in Rotational position 5, (left back, LB, Zone 5) to continue the rally digging, playing defense and possibly hitting from backrow* until the rally is completed.
  • in serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely when your team is served, you'd pass from MB (Position 6, P6, Zone 6) and when the ball goes over the net you'd switch to Position 5 to continue the rally digging, playing defense and possibly hitting from backrow* until the rally is completed.
  • *many teams, depending on their offensive strategies will place left side hitter in the MB position (P6) so they can dig and hit backrow


If you are a libero/middle hitter/blocker

  • on defense - you start in your base defensive position in Rotational Position 6 and stay there after your team serves, to continue the rally, digging, playing defense until the rally is completed.
  • in serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely as the libero, when your team is served, you'd pass from MB (Position 6, P6, Zone 6) taking as much court responsibility as possible and when the ball goes over the net you'd stay in Position 6 to continue the rally digging, playing defense from backrow* until the rally is completed.
  • *many teams, depending on their offensive strategies will place liberos in the LB position (P5) so they can dig the cross court attacks and set when necessary from the backrow. 


In serve receive, depending on the offense you run, as the libero, when your team is served, you'd pass from MB (Position 6) taking as much court responsibility as possibleIn serve receive, depending on the offense you run, as the libero, when your team is served, you'd pass from MB (Position 6) taking as much court responsibility as possible


If you are a setter or right side hitter/blocker

  • on defense - you start in Rotational Position 6 and after your team serves, you switch going to your base defensive position in Rotational position 1, (right back, RB, Zone 1) to continue the rally digging, playing defense and possibly until the rally is completed.
  • In serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely when your team is served, as the setter you'd stand behind the middle front player who may or may not be passing. Once the ball is served you sprint to go to the net to Position 2/3 to be the setter target your passers pass the ball to. Once you run the offense and set one of your hitters and the ball goes over the net you return backrow to your base position (P1)  to play defense.
  • in serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely as the right side hitter, when your team is served, you'd pass from MB  (Position 6, P6, Zone 6)  and when the ball goes over the net you'd switch to your base defensive position in Position 1 to continue the rally, digging, playing defense from backrow* on the right side of the court until the rally is completed.


II you're a libero in rotational position 5 in serve receive, depending on your coach and the offense you run, when your team is served, you'd pass from LBII you're a libero in rotational position 5 in serve receive, depending on your coach and the offense you run, when your team is served, you'd pass from LB


If You're In Volleyball Rotation Position 5/Zone 5 where do you go on offense or defense?

If you are a left side hitter/blocker

  • on defense - you start in Rotational Position 5 and after your team serves, you stay in your base defensive position in Rotational position 5, (left back, LB, Zone 5) to continue the rally digging, playing defense and possibly hitting from backrow* until the rally is completed.
  • in serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely when your team is served, you'd pass from LB (Position 5, P5, Zone 5) and when the ball goes over the net you'd stay in Position 5 to continue the rally digging, playing defense and possibly hitting from backrow* until the rally is completed.
  • *many teams, depending on their offensive strategies will place left side hitter in the MB position (P6) so they can dig and hit backrow

If you are a libero/middle hitter/blocker

  • on defense - you start in Rotational Position 5 and after your team serves, you switch going to your base defensive position in Rotational position 6, (middle back, MB, Zone 6) to continue the rally digging, playing defense and possibly hitting from backrow* until the rally is completed.
  • in serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely as the libero, when your team is served, you'd pass from LB (Position 5, P5, Zone 5) taking as much court responsibility as possible and when the ball goes over the net you'd switch back to your base defensive position in Rotational Position 6 to continue the rally digging, playing defense from backrow* until the rally is completed.
  • *many teams, depending on their offensive strategies will place liberos in the LB position (P5) so they can dig the cross court attacks and set when necessary from the backrow. 

If you are a setter or right side hitter/blocker

  • on defense - you start in Rotational Position 5 and after your team serves, you switch going to your base defensive position in Rotational position 1, (right back, RB, Zone 1) to continue the rally digging, playing defense and possibly until the rally is completed.
  • In serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely when your team is served, as the setter you'd stand behind and to the left of the left front player who may or may not be passing. Once the ball is served you sprint to go to the net to Position 2/3 to be the setter target your passers pass the ball to. Once you run the offense and set one of your hitters and the ball goes over the net you return backrow to your base position (P1)  to play defense.
  • in serve receivedepending on your coach and the offense you run, most likely as the right side hitter, when your team is served, you'd pass from LB  (Position 5, P5, Zone 5)  and when the ball goes over the net you'd switch to your base defensive position in Position 1 to continue the rally, digging, playing defense from backrow* on the right side of the court until the rally is completed.


How To Rotate in Volleyball: 
Where Do You Go From Here?


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Related Links:


How To Rotate 

Basics Six Essential Skills Girls Have to Know

Rotation, Zones and How To Rotate on the Court




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