Best Position in Volleyball

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Volleyball has a lot of roles that play an important part during the game. If you are curious about which role is considered to be the best position in volleyball, then you need to dig deep into their objectives and tasks.

Best Position in Volleyball

From defenders to attackers, there are numerous positions inside of the court that help the team to keep the ball off the ground and send it to the other side of the net. To tell which is the most optimal position in volleyball, you need to learn about what they do, and how they influence the game.

Knowing this is essential for most volleyball players, after all, this allows you to have a better understanding of the game. This can lead you to better develop your individual skills as well as your teamwork. 

Volleyball players uniting as a team

Setter

The setter is a player who’s often referred to as “the coach on the court,” as he is frequently the court captain. This is due to his significant influence on the game’s flow. He directs the offense, controls the ball, and passes it to the strikers.

When it comes to the team’s offense, this position is critical. Without a strong setter, the team would lack an effective attack and, therefore, they would be unable to score points. After all, they are in charge of deciding which attacker will spike the ball.

For example, when a setter has the ball, he needs to examine the opponent’s court and spot a good area where the ball could be sent. Then, he needs to check which hitter is best positioned to take the shot. Lastly, he should send a clean ball so the hitter can spike it.

Hitter

The hitter is the player who’s in charge of attacking the volleyball and scoring as many points as possible throughout the game. This position often receives the ball from the setter and performs the attacking movement that he believes to be the best.

This is an important role in the team’s offense, after all, without good hitters, the team would not be able to convert good opportunities into points. For example, if the setter sends a good ball to the hitter yet fails to hit it correctly, they can lose the point and the right to serve.

A great hitter will be able to understand the setter’s ideas and score points. That’s why, if you don’t develop good teamwork, you will struggle when playing as a hitter.

Defender

The defenders are the players who stand behind the ten-foot line and are in charge of receiving the ball from the opponents. Whether it is a spike, a serve, or a normal attack, the defenders should be attentive to quickly contact the ball and keep it alive on their side of the court.

Additionally, they can dig to save a difficult ball, which is a movement that occurs when a defender needs to throw himself into the ground to keep a ball alive. On top of that, even though they are not allowed to attack, they can perform a movement called the “back row attack”

In this movement, the defenders can attack the ball from behind the ten-foot line. If they accidentally do it above the ten-foot line, the attack would be considered illegal. The libero, on the other hand, can never attack the ball. 

Libero

The libero is a defensive specialist with many limits on the volleyball court. The major goal of this player is to keep the ball off the ground on his side of the net. As a result, they are permitted to roam freely within the court.

Beach volleyball players posing for a picture

However, as we mentioned, it has a lot of limitations that influence his role during the game. For example, a libero can never serve, nor attack the ball (not even behind the ten-foot line).

Though, one exception to this rule is when the libero passes the ball to the setter. 

In this case, the libero can contact the ball and send it to his teammates without any problem. If, on the other hand, the libero passes the ball to a player who intends to attack, it is considered an illegal move.

Libero Do’s and Don’Ts

The liberos are very unique players that have to follow a strict set of rules in order to play correctly. If they fail to follow them, a point will be awarded to their opponent, or worse, the team could be disqualified from the tournament. Here you can see the liberos do’s and don’ts:

  • Liberos are not allowed to start the game. They have to be subbed in after the referee checks your initial lineup. 
  • They are not allowed to attack the ball from behind nor above the ten-foot line. However, the only exception to this is for the libero to contact the ball when it is behind the height of the net.
  • If they are behind the ten-foot line, they are allowed to “bump pass” or set the ball with a bump to a player who intends to attack. On the other hand, they are not allowed to set the ball with a volley.
  • When you substitute a libero, it doesn’t count as an official substitution. You can sub a libero in and out as many times as you want; as long as it is for the same player, of course.
  • Liberos are not allowed to block throughout the match. This means that they cannot jump and interfere in the opponent’s attack. If they fail to do so, a point will be awarded to the opponent.
  • A libero is not allowed to attempt a block. This means that they cannot fake to block a shot. If they attempt this, the opponent will receive a point.
  • The libero has to wear a different colored jersey than the rest of the team. This rule was made to make it easier for referees to keep an eye on this player.  

Server

The server’s role in the game is to shoot powerful balls toward the opponent’s side of the net in hopes of scoring an ace. Most servers practice their aim relentlessly to be able to score a point directly after serving the volleyball, that is what is considered an “ace” 

A great server will be able to highly inconvenience the opponents on every to serve he does. This will allow his team to take advantage of the situation and score as many points as possible. If everything goes perfectly, the team will keep scoring points and he will keep serving.

Additionally, the server needs a good mentality in order to be successful. There are a lot of elements that can influence a serve, meaning that the server needs to trust himself and be highly focused on the game. If not, the serve could be affected, no matter how good the server is.

Volleyball players training

Blocker

The goal of the blockers is to “stuff” or reflect the ball back into the opponent’s side of the court. However, if the block fails, the blockers should try to direct the ball to another teammate behind him. A great blocker not only reflects attack, it also prevents the ball to fall out of bounds.

When it comes to blocking, there are three common types, the singular block, the double block, and the triple block. Each one of them are used on specific occasions to debilitate the opponent hitters. 

For example, if the opponent has a very strong hitter, then the coach might order the blockers to focus on him and perform a triple block every time he attacks. On the other hand, if the hitter is not very skilled, the blockers could just perform a single block on him.

Which Position Has the Most Influence on the Game?

Having explored the objectives and tasks of every position in volleyball, we can tell which one has the most influence on every match. The setter is considered to be the player who has the biggest impact on the team. This is due to their good decision-making and control of the game.

As a setter, the majority of the plays should pass through your hands, meaning that you are the player that connects your teammates and makes them operate as a team. This is why it is one of the most supportive positions with the most control over the offensive game.

Additionally, it is an indispensable player. For example, if a poor setter sets the ball to a great hitter, the hitter might fail the shot due to a bad pass from the setter. On the other hand, if a great setter set s the ball to a poor hitter, the hitter could be able to reach the ball and attack.

Conclusion

Each position on the court plays a vital function, which means that all players are significant on a volleyball team. However, some positions play an important role in the development of the team. In this case, the setter has the most influence on the game.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.