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The 5 1 Offense Revealed With Tips and Strategies

Run a 5 1 offense by following this guide. This is the offense that I know the most about and that I prefer. All of the really good teams that I have been a part of, had one great setter. So running a 6 2 offense or a 4 2 offense never made sense for our team.


The basic idea on the 5 1 offense is that there are five attackers and one setter. The reason that there are only five attackers is that once the setter has set the ball, there are only five potential attackers.

Here is a diagram of how we would line up when running the 5 1 offense with the top of the diagram being the volleyball net:

5 1 Offense Diagram

As you can see in the diagram above, one of the major differences of this particular offense is that there is an opposite hitter instead of a second setter. The opposite hitter is going to be attacking on the right side of the net (assuming that you are facing the net). If the setter cannot get to the second hit to set the ball, the opposite hitter will usually step in as necessary to set.

The opposite hitter ends up being the person that needs to be able to do everything. They will be passing when receiving the serve, they will usually be lined up to block on the outside hitter, they are the back up setter, and responsible for digging too. This should be a good all around player.

The 5 1 offense, like all other offenses, has pros and cons.


* There is only one setter for the hitters to adjust to for all rotations.

* Only having one setter means more consistent sets as a result.

* Sacrificing one hitter also results in better defense than a 6 2 offense would provide.

* Since the opposite hitter is replacing a setter from a 6 2 offense, a better hitter is gained. Generally speaking, the opposite hitter is going to be a better hitter than a setter.


* One hitter is being sacrificed.

* There are some rotations that players must stack (see the rotations page for details) in order for the setter and hitters to be where they need to be.

* Only needs one setter since a setter is a highly specialized position and can be difficult to find a good setter.

For three rotations while the setter is in the back row, the offense will benefit from having all three attackers. Personally, I also like it when the setter is on the front row as they are now a weapon. The setter can hit if the opposite hitter had to set the ball, or they can dump the ball to be a weapon that blockers must respect.

Again, my preference for this offense stems from the fact that we always had one great setter. I would prefer to be on a team with one great setter rather than two mediocre ones.

Where to go next?

Volleyball Lineup Sheets – Download a free lineup sheet for your next match

Serving A Volleyball – Learn how to score easy points with these strategies

Volleyball Locker Room – The volleyball locker room is our community page. Come share your stories and photos!

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