What Is a 6-2 Formation in Volleyball?

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In volleyball, there are a lot of terms and strategies that are used to communicate and organize the teams. If you are new to this sport, you might be wondering “what is a 6-2 in volleyball?” and how effective it could be.

What Is a 6-2 Formation in Volleyball?

The 6-2 formation is an offensive system in which a back row setter plays until he is rotated to the front row. When this happens, the setter will be replaced by a hitter, and one of the back row players will be replaced by another setter.

Before digging deep into this formation, it is essential to understand what the numbers “6” and “2” mean. On every volleyball lineup, the first number represents the attacking options available. On the other hand, the second number represents the number of setters.

In this case, the 6-2 is a formation that counts six attackers and two setters. However, this doesn’t mean that there are eight players inside of the court; this means that there are six attacking options (all players, including the setter), and two setters (one in court and one in the benches).

Group of players playing volleyball

How Does the 6-2 Work?

As we said, the 6-2 is a formation that uses two setters and six attackers. In this strategy, there are two outside hitters, two middle blockers, one opposite, and a setter. They all contribute to the offense, meaning that even the setter can attack by doing a setter dump.

The setter has to rotate between the three positions in the back row until it reaches the front row. As soon as this happens, two substitutions are made; the setter (who just reached the front row) is replaced, while one player in the back row is swapped by a setter (not the same one).

To make this lineup work, the coach has to always substitute a player in the back right position; that is the only way the setter can go through all three positions in the back row.

Serving in the 6-2

Since the setter has to be subbed by a player in the back right position, he needs to serve every time he is subbed in. This is because this position always has to always serve the ball which could be considered a disadvantage. After all, the setter might not be the best option to serve.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the 6-2 Formation

Male player in volleyball in game position

If you are a novice player who’s not used to strategies in volleyball, this might be a bit hard to understand. Because of that, you need to learn the pros and cons of using this formation. By doing so, you will improve your understanding of volleyball and, ultimately, your game.


  • Since it uses two setters, the players will have different types of sets and passes, which can deceive the opponents. After all, it is impossible for two players to play the same way.
  • It is more aggressive than other kinds of formations. In the 6-2, there will always be three attackers in the front row; as well as one setter generating opportunities for them.
  • If your team has two good setters, this formation will be optimal. By using it, they will have equal time inside of the court, which can prevent problems between them. After all, it is common for players to compete with each other, especially if they have the same position.
  • This lineup is great for novice players. It allows them to understand the basics as it is much more simple than other strategies.
  • If it is executed correctly, it can generate a lot of good opportunities that could end up in a point for your team.


  • It uses a lot of substitutions, which can highly affect the game. After all, professional volleyball teams only have six substitutions available. On the other hand, high school teams have twelve, which is why it is more popular at this level of play.
  • It can be very predictable and easy to defend. There are a lot of substitutions in this formation, however, there’s no true change of structure during the match. There will always be three hitters, two back row players, and one setter inside of the court.
Players waiting in position

Related Questions

Can There Be Two Setters Inside of the Court?

Yes, a team can have two setters inside of the court. However, that is not the case with the 6-2 formation. Even though there are two setters constantly playing in this lineup, they are not inside of the court at the same time.

Besides that, there are many other lineups that include two setters inside of the court.


Volleyball is heavily influenced by how your team approaches the game. After all, this affects the offensive effectiveness of the team. In this case, the 6-2 strategy is ideal for new players who want to begin learning and understanding game strategies.

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.