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Back to Basics: Volleyball Player Positions

Blurred image of girls playing volleyball

There are six positions on a volleyball court, and each position serves a unique role in the success of the team. Just like other competitive teams, you need to depend on each player to not only do their job but do their job well. Volleyball is extremely fast-paced and requires serious athletic ability. Depending on your skill-set and which aspect of the game you excel in the most, you can determine which of these six positions you will play. In today’s blog, Hoover Met Complex will break down each of these volleyball play positions.

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Setter

The setter is the main contributor to the offense of the volleyball team. One of the requirements of the setter is having a delicate touch to set the ball perfectly for one of the attacking players. Communication is extremely important for the setter because they need to get the rest of the players on the same page. Without the setter, there wouldn’t be hard spikes or technical ball movement.

Outside Hitter

The outside hitter is also known as the left-side hitter and is the lead attacker in the offensive strategy. To be a successful outsider hitter, you must be able to jump high, be quick on your feet, and be ready to adapt to different situations. The volleyball won’t always be placed where the outsider hitter would like, so they need to be prepared for hits from a variety of places.

Opposite Hitter

Also known as the right-side hitter, these players need to be a perfect balance of both offense and defense. They will also get many opportunities to hit the volleyball, so similar to the outside hitter, jumping ability is vital. The main difference that sets the opposite hitter apart is their defensive responsibility. Being able to receive the serve from the opposing team is just one of the many requirements of this specialized position.

Middle Blocker

The middle blocker, sometimes known as the middle hitter, is the tallest player on the volleyball team. Their main role for the team is being the first line of defense against the opposing team’s hits. The middle blocker needs to read the other team’s attackers to quickly raise his or her arms above the net in a blocking attempt. However, this is not a defense-only position. The middle blocker will have chances for quick points throughout the set.

Libero

The libero can become confusing for non-volleyball players. They can only play on the back row of the court, and because of this, are the ideal person to receive a hit from the opposite team. There are set rules the libero needs to follow, such as not attacking the ball at the net, playing a set for an attacker from the front, and more. You can always tell a libero apart from the rest of the team because they wear a different colored jersey. 

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Defensive Specialist

The thing that sets the defensive specialist apart from other volleyball positions is their ability to substitute out any player on the court. This will count against the team’s total of 12 substitutions. The defensive specialist traditionally focuses on ball control and passing and works well with the libero.

Practice Your Skills at the Hoover Met Complex

Hoover Met Complex wants to help you improve your volleyball skills through tournaments, open gyms, and practices. Knowing these six volleyball positions will help you understand which you specialize in and how you can take the team to the next level. Hoover Met Complex has space in the Finley Center for 17 full-sized volleyball courts for even large scale tournaments. Contact us today or call 205-739-7364 for more information! 

51 thoughts on “Back to Basics: Volleyball Player Positions

  1. Pingback: 14 Drawbacks and Disadvantages of Playing Volleyball – Sportsver

  2. Xavier says:

    Most times I play middle blocker, how can I improve my jumps to be high? Is there anything I need to check out on?

    • Taryn Fink says:

      Hi Xavier. Thanks for your question. We would first recommend doing box jumps. Another helpful drill is to pick a spot on the wall (at a higher height than you) and jump up to hit it as many times as you can in one minute. These should help you work on your jump height.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Hi,I am a young soon to be volleyball player just joining a team and Im very nervous is there any tips I don’t know anything about volleyball sorry for bothering you

        • sally says:

          Do not be sorry just stay confident and bond with your team.. NO DRAMA its important to know your team so you can work as a team and good luck

        • amaya says:

          Hi, I have been playing volleyball for 5 years and some advice I’d offer is don’t be afraid or embarrassed to make mistakes. You will never learn if you don’t try. wishing you the best of luck!

    • Taryn Fink says:

      Hi Alaysia. Thanks so much for the feedback. Volleyball can definitely be a little confusing, and we are glad to know that this post helped you understand it better!

  3. deanna says:

    so i just started 9 grade and i want to try out for volleyball but ive never played it before other then just passing the ball back and forth with my sister .. is there anything specifically i could do to get good before 2 semester so i have a chance ?

  4. Zachary says:

    I would like to start playing vollyball, but i dont know what position to play. I am 5 ft 9in but i can jump all the way to 8ft 7in but with a running start 9 ft 1 in. I think i am fast. But my ball controlle suck. So what possition Should i play.

  5. amber says:

    i am trying out for the volleyball team i have 6 days to improve being an outside hitter what can i do to get better? and also are team is small so i might have to play all around what can i do with that , i would also like to point out this is my 1st time playing volleyball competitively and i have been training for 2 months.

  6. rebeccaa says:

    i am trying out for the volleyball team i have 6 days to improve being an outside hitter what can i do to get better? and also are team is small so i might have to play all around what can i do with that , i would also like to point out this is my 1st time playing volleyball competitively and i have been training for 2 months.

  7. Chanel says:

    👋 hello
    I’m going to be soon joining a volleyball team in middle school. I have practiced volley ball for a little while. But my issues are : setting & spiking
    Do you have any tips so I can make those better ?
    Thank you for your time. 🙂✨

  8. Chic n says:

    I want to try be on a volleyball team in high school or maybe next year in 8th. I actually never did a sport. Any tips of how I can improve in volleyball and `which position is easier to play?

  9. Sara says:

    This was really helpful because after watching Haikyuu I really got interested but didn’t know that much about the positions .

  10. Alex says:

    I haven’t had much experience with volleyball but I want to learn how to play, I don’t know which position would suit me best though

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