Volleyball Basics

Volleyball basics and tips for learning about volleyball. 

What is Volleyball?

Volleyball is a sport in which two teams hit an inflated ball over a high net using their hands or arms. 

The most popular form of volleyball 6 on 6. Teams are made up of 6 players. 

Start of the Game 
The game starts by one team serving the ball over a net. The net separates the two teams. Volleyball isn't a contact sport. Below the net is a line that separates the court into two equal halves. 

The Volleyball Court 
The court is 60 by 30 feet. There are various markings on the court. There are lines that going around the edge of the court. This is called the sideline. The 10 foot line (3 meter line) divides the front and back court. The 10 foot line is also used for substitutions. A sub may enter the game during a dead ball situation. There are certain rules for substitutions. 

The Players 
There are 3 players that play in the back court while the other 3 players play in the front court. 

The 3 back row players are limited in what they can do. For example, if you are a player on the back row, you can't attack the ball from inside the 10 foot line. Also, if you are back row, you can't block at the net. 

Volleyball Basics

The setter is usually the leader of the team. The setter's responsibility is to set the ball to an attacker. Most teams only have two setters. Some teams only have one. 

An attacker is a player that plays on the front row. This player is skilled at spiking the ball. The attackers job is to hit ball over the into the opponents court to try and score a point. 

digger is a player that is playing in the backcourt. The digger is skilled at digging the volleyball that's been spiked by an attacker. Good diggers are really good at keeping the ball from hitting the ground. The diggers job is to get the ball up to the setter. 

All players that play across the front row will have responsibilities blocking. Blocking is a hard skill to learn. On top of that, many coaches result in not teaching blocking because most teams can get away with not being able to block. Most middles are referred to asmiddle blockers. This is because skills for blocking middle are usually much more valuable than skills for hitting middle. 

defensive specialist is a player that substitutes into the game to play defense and/or pass. The DS usually subs in for the weakest passer or defender on the team. 

Basics of How to Play Volleyball

Volleyball Basics Playing to Win

There are many different strategies for playing volleyball. 

  • Aggressive Serving. When a team servers aggressively, they are trying to give their team an advantage for blocking and defending. The tougher the serve, the more difficult it is for the opponent to run an effective offensive play.
  • Putting up a Monster Block. If a team blocks really well, this will make it more difficult for the opponent to attack. Teams that focus on blocking will mainly focus on one of two things. 1) Block for Points, 2) Funnel the Ball to the Defense.
  • Running a Fast Offense. The goal of the fast offense is to go fast to catch the opponent out of position. Run a fast offense by passing lasers to the setter. It's actually easier to pass low and fast. This makes the ball easier to set quick.
  • Run a 6-2 Offense. This system focuses on having two setters and 6 attackers. The advantage is there's always 3 attackers on the front row. 
  • Run a 5-1 Offense. The advantage is the team gets used to the same setter. Also, the setter will be on the front row for 3 rotations. This provides the front row setter with an option to attack. 

Volleyball Basics Offensive Systems

There are 2 main offensive systems. 

Most teams run a 6-2 offense. 6-2 means there are 6 attackers and 2 setters. 

Sometimes a team might run a 5-1 offense. This means there are 5 attackers and 1 setter. 

Low level teams may decide to run a 4-2 offense. This means there are 4 attackers and 2 setters. In a 4-2, the setter is always on the front row. A 4-2 can be much more simpler because the setter is usually closer to the target position which makes running the offense much easier. The disadvantage is, since the setter is always on the front row, the team will only have two possible options for attackers on the front row at all times. 

Volleyball Basics Playing Defense

Perimeterrotation, and man up are the 3 main defensive systems. 

Coaches will choose the defensive system depending on their coaching philosophy. Most coaches will follow the same defensive system and not change. This is so players can get really comfortable playing a certain type of defense. 

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