A team’s success in volleyball is directly linked to each player’s ability to understand his or her position on the court. The 5-1 rotation—1 setter and 5 hitters—provides the greatest flexibility and consistency for a team’s offense and defense. The following document describes the basic serve-receive set-up and a basic defensive posture. The diagrams are only a starting point. In both serve-receive and defense, players should be able to adapt to the opposing team.
Some basic principles to keep in mind:
1. Communicate. There is no greater tool on the court than your mouth. Call every ball. Talk to your team before, during and after each play. Stay positive. Focus on what the team needs to do; resist the urge to spend energy on what the team should not be doing.
2. Know your position. Each player should have an identified position—2 middles, 2 outside or left-side hitters, a setter, and an opposite (i.e. opposite the setter) or right-side hitter. After the serve-receive or after the ball is sent to the other side, players should transition to their designated positions—the front-row middle to the middle; the back-row middle to middle-back, deep; the front-row outside to the left; the back-row outside to left-wing; the setter and opposite, always to the right-side
3. Know your opposite. Players line up opposite each other and remain so throughout the rotation. In Diagram I-1, S is the setter, lined up diagonally across from the opposite (3). 2 and 5 are middles; 1 and 4 are outsides. If you get confused during the match, look for your opposite.
4. Don’t overlap. At the moment of the serve, players must be in the correct position. Those out of rotation are considered to be “overlapping.” This applies among front-row players and among back-row players. In the rotation shown in Diagram I-1, for example, 3 can never be to the right of 2; 5 can never be to the left of 4. (It is possible... [continues]
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