The roles of volleyball_ here_s how to recognize them

The recent positive results of the women’s national volleyball team in the world championship played at home have rekindled interest in this sport in the Italians; the blues have touched the company and have given way only in the semifinals in front of the Chinese, but the crowded hall and the excellent television ratings confirm the involvement of sportsmen, but are we all sure we know the roles of volleyball well? Let’s make a brief summary.

The sectors on the field and the positions

Let’s start from the beginning: on the field, the team is made up of six players who arrange themselves on the field, dividing themselves into two sectors: three players line up in the attack zone (between the net and the three-metre line) and the other three players in the defence zone (delimited by the three-metre line and the bottom line).

At the beginning of each action, the players must take sides occupying the six theoretical positions in which the field is divided: the position number 1 occupies the right zone of the defense sector, then proceed counterclockwise, with the position 2, 3 and 4 that occupy the attack zone and the turn that is closed by the position 6 that corresponds to the one in the center of the defense zone.


There are five specific roles in volleyball:

  • dribbler;
  • central;
  • side spiker;
  • opposed spiker;
  • free.

We now try to analyze individually the roles of volleyball, their task and the typical characteristics of the players who cover them on the field.

The setter

The setter is often referred to as the offensive director of the team: it is in fact the player who takes care of sorting all the balls coming from the reception or from the defense to the crushers. Obviously he must have an excellent precision of the dribble and a great vision of the game. Of course, he must also be able to take advantage of the second touch attacks.

Often at the start of the action the setter is far from the position from which he will actually perform the riser for the crushers, so he must be quick and responsive in moving so as to get on the ball at the right time and with the right coordination. Since in defensive actions he is engaged in the wall against the side crusher of the opposing team it is preferable that he be of high stature.

The central positions of volleyball

They are usually the tallest players, but they must also be powerful and must be able to read quickly the progress of the action, their main function is to go to the wall, in fact they must guard the entire front line to support the side and the opposite in this fundamental and be careful of any fast attacks of the central opponent. After his turn of strike he is often replaced by the free, much more skilled than him in defense

The side crusher

Also called a receiver crusher, this player perhaps plays the toughest role because he must be able to both attack (varying the shots) and receive, even on the front line. The lateral crusher must therefore be a complete player in the two phases and of sure trust for the setter.

The opposite crusher

The name of this role depends on the position it takes on the field, which sees it opposite to the setter. He must be a formidable crusher, but he must also be able to do the wall very well. Very often in this position coaches prefer to field left-handed players.

The free

Chronologically it is the last role introduced; it is a player strongly specialized in the fundamentals of reception and defense and plays exclusively in the second line; by regulation it cannot go at bat and it cannot conclude an attack action by hitting the ball over the net. He is usually the lowest player on the team, but for more details on this role I refer you to this specific article.

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