The Volleyball Set Definition Setting Terms and Vocabulary For Setters

A set is an overhand contact of the ball, usually the second contact in a rally, made after a pass in serve receive or a dig in defense to redirect the ball to a hitter in the front row or back row by a setter to run the team's offense.


Volleyball Set Definition

What is a set in volleyball?

A set is an overhand contact of the ball, usually the second contact in a rally, made after a pass in serve receive or after a dig in defense to redirect the ball to a hitter in the front row or back row by a setter to run the team's offense. 


Volleyball Set Definition
Different Types of Volleyball Sets Spikers Hit In A Slow Offense
Third Tempo Sets


The following volleyball sets are slow tempo sets that beginner players usually learn how to hit first.

These sets are the highest and the slowest above the net giving the spiker much more time to take a spike approach that gets them to the ball in the air above the net so they can attack hit the ball into the opponent's court. 


Outside Set

The outside set is delivered by the setter or another player to one of the two outside hitters, waiting to hit the ball in the left front or right front position on the court.

Four Set

A four set is a high ball shaped like the letter A, which reaches a height of 10 to 15 feet and is set outside to the left front (LF) position on the court where it should come down three feet inside the court and three feet off the net just inside of the left antenna.

Five Set

A five set is a high ball shaped like the letter A with an arc that reaches a peak anywhere from eight to ten feet that is a back set attacked from Zone 2 for the right front hitter.



This is an effective point scoring hitting strategy because it's hard for diggers to react to a ball that's been deflected by the block. 



Two Set

The two set is set in front of the setter in Zone 3 which is in the middle of the net. 

It's a ball set 2 - 3 feet in the air reaching a peak like the letter A and goes straight up and down about two feet in front of the setter along the net.



The Volleyball Set Definition
Setting Terms

First Tempo Sets


Different Types of Volleyball Sets: Spikers Hit In A Fast Offense

The following volleyball sets are fast tempo sets that are delivered in front of the setter in Zone 3 or Zone 4 in the front row. 

Fast tempo sets are the fastest paced balls delivered from the setter to the hitter in order to try and keep the opposing team's blockers off balance and unable to stop the attack hit at the net. 


Shoot Set

The shoot set is a

  • high velocity flat set, that
  • runs nearly parallel to the net
  • at its highest reaches about 1-2 feet above/just under the top of the antenna and
  • lands within a three foot by three foot area in Zone 4. 

The shoot set relies on precise timing and precision placement delivered primarily to the left side outside hitter.



Half Shoot Set

The half shoot set is a high velocity set which at its highest reaches about 1-2 feet above the top of the net and lands one foot off the net between Zone 3 and Zone 4. 

The half shoot set relies on precise timing and precision placement delivered primarily to the middle blocker.



The 31 Set

The "31" is a quick paced half shoot set usually to the middle hitter and lands four to five feet in front of the setter between Zone 4 and Zone 3. 

When the "31 set" is run in advanced levels of competition the hitter is in the air just before the setter sets the ball then swings fast once the ball is delivered along the net in their arm swinging zone. 



Three set 

The three set is another name for the half shoot.

The three set, the half shoot and the "31" sets are pretty much all the same and vary only with a hitter's spike approach speed, their ability to jump and be up in the air and to time their or accelerate  their armswing speed.


One Set



Back One Set




The Slide set 

The slide set is like a half shoot set over the setter's head to Zone 2.

The slide is a

  • low flat fast paced set
  • about 1- 3 feet above the net and
  • is delivered nearly parallel to the top of the net 
  • the middle blocker hits the slide with
  • a four step approach that leads her/him to take off on one foot to float or "slide" to the ball in the air towards Zone 2 before spiking it with a quick arm swing

The slide can be run so the ball is set so it falls in the right front positions on the court either right behind the setter or pushed further along the net closer to the right front antenna. 




Volleyball Set Definitions
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Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about the volleyball words, terms and terminology in the Related Links below.  
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page  Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the Terms section in the drop down menu at the top of the page

Read more about volleyball terms on these pages. 



  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
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  3. What's This Volleyball Word? Basic Terms, Slang and Volleyball Lingo
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