Volleyball Positions

Volleyball Positions

Meghan King, Contributor

Volleyball is a game for two teams. There are usually six players from each team on the court at a time. A large ball is hit by hand over a high net. The goal being to score points by making the ball touch the ground on the opponent’s side of the court. There are seven volleyball positions in a team: Outside hitter, Right side hitter, Opposite Hitter, Setter, Middle Blocker, Libero, and the Defensive Specialist.  

The front row consists of the opposite hitter, the right side hitter, and the middle blocker. The opposite position gets its name because the player is placed opposite of the setter in the rotation. The Opposite plays on the right side in the front and back row. Because of the placement on the court, the opposite may be responsible for some setting when the setter cannot get to the ball. Right side hitters try to place themselves to the right front playing position. When playing volleyball on the back court right side hitters usually have 10 feet attack responsibility from the middle back position. Right side hitter can also be called a wing spiker. On defense, the Middle Blocker position is the player at the net in the middle of the court between the two outside blockers. The middle blocker is responsible for being involved in blocking the opponent’s hitters when they are on the court.  

The back row consists of the setter, the libero, and the outside hitter. At a high level, there is usually one setter on the court at a time and the person across from them on the court is called the “opposite.” If there are two setters, the one in the front row plays as a right side hitter or one will sub out for a right side hitter. The setter is like the quarterback in football or the point guard in basketball. The setter is in charge of the offense and decides who should get the ball. It doesn’t matter how good a team’s hitters are if it doesn’t have a setter that can consistently give a good ball to hit.  A libero or defensive specialist is a position in volleyball that should be consistent, quick, a good passer, and a skilled ball handler. Liberos usually stay in the game at all times and are the only ones that are not limited by the number of rotations. The Libero player is required to wear a uniform of a different color and/or design than the rest of the team in order to be recognized on the court. The Libero may replace any player in a back row position. The Libero may not block or attempt to block. An outside hitter is the player who hits and blocks on the front left side of the court. This person is usually one of the main passers and a go-to hitter. Outside hitter is also known as a left side hitter. 

The setter position is considered one of the most important positions. This position takes someone who is really dialed into the game and can act as a leader on the court. Depending on the player who plays in this position, they can either considerably improve the team or break it. The setter is the backbone of the team.