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The 6 Positions Of Volleyball Show Where To Play And Where To Start Your Rotation

The 6 positions of volleyball are important to understand as a player and coach. They are really zones (or rotations) on the court more than they are actual positions.


The 6 positions of volleyball are outlined like this with the top of the diagram being the volleyball net:

6 positions of volleyball diagram

Coaches usually refer to these as zones or positions. In the diagram you see above, this is usually the starting rotation for a 5-1 offense.

Position 1

In position 1, you have your setter serving and coming off of the back row. Why does the setter usually start in the first back row position? In a 5-1 offense, this allows your strongest three hitters to be hitting first. Because this is your best lineup, you should side out and play offense easily from this rotation.

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Position 6

The 6 positions of volleyball will have either your middle blocker or libero playing this position on the back row in the middle. If you are playing competitively, then the libero will play the entire back row positions for the middle blocker. Since your back row players are your defensive players, you want to have the libero back there passing and playing defense.

Position 5

Position 5 is taken by the outside hitter. Most offenses call this your second outside hitter. Usually, your best outside hitter will start in the front with the other outside hitter starting in zone 5. The outside hitters always play opposite each other in the rotation so that you will always have your best passers handling the serve receive.

Position 4

Position 4 is occupied by the opposite. This player plays opposite the setter so that there is another hitter when the setter is in the back row rotations. Because they will be hitting from the right side of the court (assuming you are facing the net), it is best if this player is left handed. They will be able to hit better angles from that side of the floor.

Position 3

Position 3 is taken by the middle blocker. Usually the middle blocker in this position is called middle blocker one. The best of the two middle blockers will start out in this position. This allows them to match up against the best hitters on the other team.

Position 2

Position 2 is for the outside hitter. This is usually your best outside hitter on the team. That way, when they have rotated, you will have your best middle blocker, setter, and outside hitter on the front row at the same time.

Hopefully, this explanation of the 6 positions of volleyball gives you a starting point for knowing how to line up your offense. Again, this explanation and diagram are based on a 5-1 offense, but could be adapted if you play a different offense.

If you enjoyed this page, you might want to see some beach volleyball videos. They include some awesome plays!

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