Positions in Volleyball

If you have made the decision to play, or are considering playing volleyball, you should be aware of the positions available, and what each entails. The following will be a brief summarization of each.

  1. Setter  

    In this position, you are in charge of offense. Your responsibilities include serving the ball which starts game play. In addition, you will also have the ability to choose which teammate the ball will be passed to. During game play, this player will move to the front line, just right of the center of court. More information on the setter can be read here.


  1. Outside Hitter

    This person is a player who both hits and blocks the ball on the front left side of the court. On offense, this person is also responsible for being a go-to hitter, and also for passing the ball as game play allows.


  1. Right Side Hitter  

    As with all other positions, this player has set responsibilities. For this player, this includes hits on the right side of the court. If you are left handed, this is considered the strongest position for you to play. During game play, this person is located on the right front of the court; directly in front of the Setter.


  1. Moving on, we have the Opposite Hitter. This player gets its name from his or her location on the court. This simply means that during game play, this player is opposite of the setter during the course of rotation. This player is responsible for playing on the right side of the court on both the front and rear lines. In addition, they may occasionally fill in for the setter.


  1. Middle Blocker

    Which is also known as the center or middle hitter.This person plays at the net, between the outside blockers. During game play, this person is responsible for helping block any of the opposing team’s hitters, regardless of where it may land on the court. In this position, you need to be quick on your feet, and very focused on the game, so that you can attack quickly and efficiently when needed.


  1. Libero

    This player is a newer position that was only introduced into indoor volleyball in 1999. Like all other positions, this one is unique, but can require a high stamina. For this position, you are on the court during the games entirety. When playing this position, you will be required to wear a different color jersey than the other members of your team. In addition, you cannot serve (except in NCAA women’s games, as introduced in 2004.), attack the ball above the net, block or attempt to block, or set an attack from the front court. Something especially unique about this position, is that you can replace any back row player, at any time, without having to notify the game officials. More information on the Libero can be found here.


  1. Defensive Specialist

    This position is similar to the Libero position, although it comes with a couple of differences. The person playing Defensive Specialist is able to substitute for any player as needed, including front net. Also, as long as the player is behind the 10 foot line, they are also able to attack the ball. When in this position, you can usually fill in for any player, whether it be on the front or rear lines. Typically, this is to substitute for a back row player. Unfortunately, this will count against your 12 substitutions allowed. Also, a defensive specialist is allowed to be on the court at the same time as the Libero. Also worth noting, is that a Defensive Specialist, like a Libero, also needs to be lightning fast, and on their game, and the ability and willingness to dive and dig for anything within their reach.


With the right education and training, volleyball can prove to be very intense and fulfilling sport to play. If not played as a hardcore sport, it proves to be a great source of cardio workout.