Volleyball: The 5-1 Rotation
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 for 2 to be to the left of 4, as long as 4 remains to the left of 5 and 2 remains to the right of 3.) 5. Transition. Once the server makes contact with the ball, the receiving team should transition quickly. Before the ball passes the plain of the net, the setter should be in position, right-of-center, ready to receive the pass. Hitters should move to their position and be ready to take an approach. 6. Always pass right. It does not matter where the setter is coming from, passes should always be right-of-center about 2 feet off the net. It is the setter’s responsibility to be in position each and every time. The passers need a visual and auditory target to direct the ball. Even when passing falters, it is critical that the setter be in position; all ‘emergency sets’ should begin from right-of center. 7. Listen to your setter. The Setter is the quarterback of the team. When setting up the serve receive, each player should look to the setter for hitting instructions. Setters, therefore, should be familiar with the set-up of each rotation.
The following diagrams will help you to visualize positioning on the court. The diagram on the left shows where each player begins in the rotation. The diagram on the right shows where each player should be for serve-receive. After the offensive attack has been completed, middles should transition to the middle, outsides to the left and the setter and opposite to the right-side. This is especially critical for the opposite, as he or she is expected to be the back-up setter when the setter plays the first ball. Since all passes go right, if the setter requires help, the opposite should be in close proximity to assist. Rotation #1 (Stack Right)
In the first rotation, the Setter pulls 1 up to the right-hand corner. As soon as the server makes contact with the ball, the Setter should move to the setter’s position, right-of-center on the net. 1 and 2 should move to their hitting...
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