Understanding Volleyball Rotation
How Players Rotate on the Court

How do players rotate from zone to zone on the court?

A volleyball rotation occurs when the team that wins the point during a rally rotates with each player, moving clockwise, one position to the next zone on their court.

  • The team that wins the right to serve during a rally will rotate. The team that lost the point will not rotate.
  • Front row players move one position to their right. The right front player in zone two will rotate back to the zone one position and step behind the service line to serve.
  • Back row players will also rotate, but one position to their left.
  • The person in middle back position which is Zone 6 will rotate to their left to Zone 5 the left back position on the court. 
  • The left back position in Zone 5 will rotate up to the front row to now be in Zone 4. 

The Six Person Indoor Volleyball Rotation

In this sport players are required to move clockwise to rotate. Players who start in zone 1, which is the serving area located in the right back, after their team wins the right to serve, that player would then slide to the left to move into zone 6 which is the middle back area.

When it's time to make the next rotation, that same player slides to the left again to the third position in the back court which is the left back area also known as zone 5.

Volleyball Rotation In The Back Court Zone 

The primary responsibility of the players in the back court, also called the back row, is to play defense behind their blockers who're at the net attempting to block the ball in the front row.

In serve receive, the responsibility of the back court players is to receive serve, so the front row hitters can run their offense.

In the picture below, the dark green line that's a few feet in front of the back row players is the ten foot line which divides the front court from the back court.

If you are a player in one of the three back row rotations you are allowed to hit a ball across the net as long as you don't cross the attack line while doing so.

The volleyball rotation in the back court starts in Zone One (right back), then goes to Zone Six (middle back) then goes to Zone Five (right back) before a player will rotate up to the front row. 

Where's the Front Court?

Once again in beach volleyball there's no officially designated front court, but on an indoor court the front court  is the area between the net and the ten foot line.

To be more specific the front court, also known as the front zone extends from the center line, that's the line that runs parallel and underneath the net, to the very far side of the ten foot line.

On its sides, the front court extends outside of the sidelines all the way to the free zone.

The front court contains three of the six zones that a player rotates in and out of and in each zone the front row hitters are allowed to either hit or set the ball if they're on offense or block the ball or dig a ball if they are on defense.

No one is allowed to serve a ball from anywhere in the front court.

The volleyball rotation in the front court starts in Zone Four (left front), then goes to Zone Three (middle front) then goes to Zone Two (right front) before a player will rotate to the back row. 

Volleyball Rotation, Responsibilities and Positions In Each Front Court Zone 

Zone 2 is the right front area and is where the setter usually plays when she is front row. This can vary depending on the offense a team is running but 75% of the time a setter will be right front when she's on defense in the front row. 

Zone 3 is the middle front area reserved for the player specialized in hitting from the center of the net and is called the middle blocker or middle hitter.

In Zone 4 (my zone yayy!) is reserved for the player who is specialized in hitting the ball from the left side in offense and is also the left side blocker when the team is on defense.

Volleyball Positions: Where Do You Go From Here?

Good times! Here's where you need to go now? Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about the Liberos.
  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

Recent Links: 


Positions in the Game


The Libero

The Setter

The Hitter

Middle Blocker

Defensive Specialist

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

The Fantastic Four.. #eczacibasivitra

A post shared by Jordan Larson (@gov1007) on

The Weekly Award-winning Las Vegas Volleyball Boot Camp Class Schedule


as the Volleyball Voice Boot Camp Classes receive the 2018 Nevada Recreation and Park Society award for

Best Sports Program in Nevada 

Boot Camp Volleyball Class Requirements

  • No online registration for Volleyball Voice Boot Camp classes
  • Arrive 15-20 minutes before class begins
  • Pay $10 at front desk
  • Kneepads mandatory
  • Classes close at 6:05, latecomers will not be admitted
  • You WILL sweat

Click for info on Semi-Private Training with Coach April

Private and Semi Private Lessons with Coach April
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays