volleyball game image

6 Volleyball Positions and Roles – Winning Guide

In Volleyball, teamwork, strategy, and athleticism do matter! To be perfect in these, players must know about their clear roles, goals, and strengths. So get ready to understand the volleyball positions that help you to choose the best role, and fulfill the goals according to your strength. In an Indoor volleyball court, there are six player positions, and each position is unique and players perform their vital role. It’s not just about hitting the ball over the net; It’s like creating a winning melody from various skills. From the determined Setter who makes the strategic setting, to the Libero who defends like a fighter, and the powerful outside hitter who unleashes thunderous spikes. So, every player is a star in their own right. Each position interlocks and forms a masterpiece on the court. 

Volleyball Heros!

Let’s move on and unleash all player positions in volleyball on the court. In this blog you will learn:

What Are The Volleyball Positions?

image of volleyball positions

The name of six basic positions of volleyball players on the court are:

  • Setter (S)
  • Outside Hitter or Left-Side Hitter (OH/LH)
  • Opposite Hitter or Right-Side Hitter (Opp/RH)
  • Libero (L)
  • Middle Blocker or Middle Hitter (MB/MH)
  • Defensive Specialist (DS).

“Position” is a designated area and a role that a player occupies on the playground or a court. Each position has specific responsibilities, tasks, and goals that contribute to the team’s strategy and the success of a game. These positions work together and form a cohesive team that covers both offensive and defensive aspects of the game. Sharpen your knowledge of volleyball positions and roles with the help of diagrams.

Setter (S)

image of Setter positions in volleyball

The Setter stands as a dynamic leader on the court which has the power to shape the game’s offense. The setter is often hailed as the team’s quarterback, and decision-maker of a team and has the responsibility of aligning teammates’ movements and strategies. They gently set the second ball for attackers to use well. From the back row to the front row, the setter is the heartbeat of the team’s offense, dictating the flow of the game with every touch.

  • Communication is the secret weapon of the setter. They communicate through secret hand signals and plot intricate attacks and
  • Court awareness, Accuracy, consistency, and delivery of the ball to the perfect hitting window are requirements of the setter role. They know how to exploit the weaknesses of their opponents. 
  • They chase down erratic passes, through their agility quickness, and decision-making power, as they set up the second ball.
  • The height of the setter becomes an advantage, enabling him/her to block more effectively and make life tougher for rival blockers.

Outside Hitter (OH/LH)

in this image outside hitter position on court

The outside hitter also known as a left-side hitter, stands as a rock star and is always ready to hold the dual role of attacker and passer with their powerful attacks and unmatched athleticism. Yet, being an outside hitter demands more than just hitting prowess; they’re also skilled passers and adept defenders, making them the ultimate all-rounder. They have responsibilities to attack, defend, pass, and serve.

  • Athleticism is their middle name, with the highest vertical jumps among all positions, enabling them to soar above the net and transition seamlessly from defense to attack. So, they can jump sky-high and do thunderous hits which help them to unleash spikes.
  • The hitters know when to unleash their full power and when to finesse the ball to outwit blockers.
  • He has also abilities of power, precision, and adaptability.

Opposite Hitter (OH/RH)

in this image opposite position is shown

The Opposite Hitter also known as a Right-Side Hitter (position 2) has a unique role that demands a seamless fusion of offense and defense. The role of a right-side hitter is similar to an outside hitter in their primary goal of attacking but there are a few differences. An opposite hitter is not responsible for a pass and serve, his role demands excellence in attacking, blocking, and even assisting in the setting. 

  • They do their jobs on the court, like hitting the ball from the front and back row, protecting the right side, and stopping the opponents’ hits.
  • The height and jumping abilities are also important for opposite hitters like outside hitters.
  • Opposite hitter Uses both hands well, especially if He/She is left-handed it make their attacks from the right side more impressive. 

Middle Blocker (MB/MH)

image of middle blocker position

Middle blocker also known as the middle hitter. He is the tallest player in a team that forms a solid wall against opposing hits that truly define their purpose. They raise their hands first above the net, to attack the ball with unparalleled swiftness from the front row. He needs quick thinking and rapid movement. 

  • As the tallest member on the team, the middle blocker’s role extends beyond blocking and spiking and makes a strong blocking system for the team. 
  • Beyond height and power, fast footwork becomes a secret weapon, responding to the opponent. 
  • The middle blocker reigns supreme as a dynamic force that shapes the course of every match.

Libro (L)

Libero positions in volleyball

The Libero is an agile hero of defense in the back row. The primary role of Libro is defense and serve-specialist. He /She controls the back row and is also the best passer on the team. He is in a different-colored jersey that sets them apart. 

  • The libero has some limitations such as he can just move in bake row and they cannot spike (above the height of the net) or block at the net, their value is not measured in height but in agility and tactical prowess. 
  • Their position at the back allows them to survey the court and Understanding to how the flow of the game.  

Defensive Specialist (DS)

defensive specialist position on the court

The defensive specialist and Libro have the same mission on the court, control of the back row, keep the ball in play, and orchestrate the art of defense. The defensive specialist usually focuses on passing. They (Defensive Specialist and Libero) work well together but the defensive specialist does not wear a different jersey. 

  • Defensive Specialists come on the court when need the best server or passers in the tight situation of the game.

Serving Specialist- Rare Position

Serving Specialist is a very rare position in the volleyball team. Serving specialists enter into the game to deliver their remarkable service. A Reliable server on the team has the power of a game-changer. Under specific circumstances, a player is substituted into the game just to make a strategic point-winning serve, and utilize their exceptional serving prowess.

Indoor Volleyball Positions are Summarized in the Table:

Positions NoPosition NameAbbreviationPlayer Roles
Position 1 or 2SetterS Captain, Best and hardest position,
Second touch, and Communicator
Position 4 &  5Outside HitterOH Attacker and Passer
Position 1 & 2Opposite HitterOPP Attacker, Blocker, and main scorer
Position 3 or 6Middle BlockerMD Tallest and main blocker on the
front row
Position 6LiberoLShortest defensive, Agile, and quick.
Wear a different Jersey from the
rest of the team. 
Position 5Defensive SpecialistDS Passer and continue the flow of
the game
Extra PositionServe SpecialistSS Delivering strategic serves.

Beach Volleyball Player Positions and Roles

Positions in beach volleyball are not specific. This game is for just two players, and they switch roles as the game goes on. One serves the ball while the other team fellow blocks the net, but they’re quick to adjust, switching their roles to fit the ever-changing tides of the match. Positions in indoor volleyball are special due to the larger court size but beach volleyball does have not a larger court size. An advantage of less number of players is that it demands versatility and that’s why each player masters in multiple skills.

Blocker/Attacker

In a two-player setup, both players take on various roles, including blocking at the net and attacking from the sand.

Defender

The player at the back of the court is responsible for digging and passing.


What are the positions in volleyball?

There are six specific designations and roles in volleyball which have some responsibilities. The names are Setter, Outside Hitter, Opposite Hitter, Libero,  Middle Blocker, and Defensive Specialist.

What volleyball position should I play?

It depends on your skills, speed and strength. First, observe yourself and think you like defense or blocking.

Can a libero serve?

Officially it is not allowed but sometimes it depends on skills and strategies. On rotation, it can be.

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