Volleyball Positions

Volleyball Positions

There are many positions in volleyball. Today we will discuss the four most common positions. The setter, the middle, the outside and the libero. Each position is unique and important, but they are all very different. Volleyball isn’t a team sport because you have teammates.

Volleyball is a team sport because you MUST rely on your team at all times. You simply cannot win on your own. Even if you are the best outside in the country, and you do most the passing for your team, along with most the hitting, you’re still going to need a good setter. In that example, you’ll likely be playing against a team who will not serve at you, so your teammates will have to be capable of passing.

Let’s talk about the various mental and physical requirements of each position.


In volleyball, the setter is the leader of the court. There are 1-2 setters in the game at all times. They do all the setting, and they run the offense. It is important for setters to be able to take direction from the coach, and apply it on the floor. They are the link between the coach’s vision, and the implementation of that vision. Setters need to be smart, focused and hard working. They should be one of the most athletic players on the court.

Middle Hitter

The front row middle hitter is typically the most demanding of the volleyball positions. Middles are expected to put up a block against any hitter on the other team. This means side to side quickness is essential. If you’re a middle, you should learn to hit quicks, but also slides behind the setter. Middles are typically the tallest players on the team. Although you don’t have to be tall, if you have good hops. They usually lead the team in blocks and hitting percentage.

Left Side / Outside Hitter

The outside hitter has got to be a dynamic player full of athleticism. They are required to do a large portion of the passing, and then be a consistent and smart hitter as well. In the back row, outsides share passing responsibly and must be good on defense as well. In the front row, they will receive the highest number of sets on the team because they are typically the outlet hitter. Outsides must learn how to deal with bad sets coming from awkward locations. They might not be able to score on all those sets, but they shouldn’t make errors on them either.

volleyball positions

Right Side Hitter

Some teams won’t use a right side hitter. Other teams do. The right side hitter hits backsets from the setter. Left handed players will often end up on the right side, because the back set is much easier to hit if you’re left handed. The right side should also be a good blocker. The majority of sets from the opposing team will be hit at the right side blocker. Therefore right sides are usually tall, or they jump well.


The volleyball libero is the player who runs in and out of the game wearing a different colored jersey. She is usually one of the first players recognized because of the different colored jersey, and I warn anyone who isn’t a volleyball player… she is sick of being asked why she wears a different colored jersey. So now you know, and you don’t have to ask. The libero’s job is to pass and play defense. They are the ones who lead the serve receive effort. They typically play back row for middles, although they can play back row for anyone. Libero’s are often one of the shortest members of the team, although it doesn’t have to be that way. They can’t jump and hit and don’t play front row. They cannot set the ball to an attacker in front of the 10′ line.

What Volleyball Position should you play?

I created this little volleyball positions test for you. Obviously there are many many factors that go into deciding what position is right for you. This quiz is a fun way to look at where you might fit in on the court.

Contact me if you want help deciding what volleyball positions to focus on!

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