What Are The Positions In Volleyball? Quick & Easy Answers For Beginners

what are the positions in volleyball

Indoor Volleyball, a game of precision, agility, and teamwork, involves specific player roles and positions that contribute to the team’s overall strategy. Each position carries unique responsibilities, and understanding them is essential to appreciate the game’s depth. Let’s go over the various positions in volleyball and what each entails.

What Are The Positions In Volleyball?

1. Outside Hitter (OH, Left Side Hitter, PIN hitter)

  • Responsibilities: Typically your most athletic and offensive player. Primary attackers and hitters for the team and often receive the most sets. They also play at the net’s front-left position and transition to back-row defense.
  • Skills Required: Strong attacking skills, high jumper, versatility in hitting from various spots, good defensive skills for back-row play, and solid passing skills during serve receive.

*The term “pin hitter” is used to describe hitters who play on the antennas or “pins” of the volleyball net. These antennas delineate the boundaries for legitimate cross-court attacks.

2. Right Side Hitter (OPP, Opposite, RS)

  • Responsibilities: Positioned on the right side of the net. They attack, block, and cover tips and off-speed shots from opponents. When back-row, they can also serve as a secondary setter.
  • Skills Required: Strong blocking against opposing outside hitters, high jumper, powerful attacking, especially when the primary setter is out of play, and back-row defensive skills.

3. Middle Blocker (MH, Middle Hitter)

  • Responsibilities: Typically the tallest players on your team. Central players at the net who specialize in blocking but also have quick attacking plays. They often execute quick sets and hit the ball at a faster tempo than outside or right-side hitters.
  • Skills Required: Quick reflexes for blocking, ability to read opposing attackers, agility to move laterally along the net, and powerful, fast attacking skills.

4. Setter (S)

  • Responsibilities: Volleyball’s equivalent to a quarterback in football or a point guard in basketball. They touch the ball more than anyone else and make decisions in real time about which of the hitters will get the ball. Their main job is to deliver accurate sets, typically aiming for the outside, middle, or right-side hitters.
  • Skills Required: Precise ball-handling skills, good decision-making, agility to move around the court quickly, and strong communication skills.

5. Libero (L)

  • Responsibilities: Your best defensive player! A specialist in defensive skills, especially receiving serves and digging (defending against) attacks from opponents. Liberos cannot attack the ball above the net’s height and can’t serve, block, or attempt to block. They are so important they wear a different color jersey and can replace any back-row player without prior notice to the officials.
  • Skills Required: Exceptional passing and digging skills, agility, quick reflexes, and strong game awareness.

6. Defensive Specialist (DS)

  • Responsibilities: Similar to the libero in terms of specializing in defensive skills. However, unlike the libero, a DS can serve and attack, but they usually play in the back row.
  • Skills Required: Strong defensive skills, especially passing and digging, good serving skills, and game awareness.

**EXTRA** Serving Specialist (SS)

A serving specialist in volleyball is a player primarily subbed into the game to serve in place of another player, typically because of their exceptional serving ability. Their primary goal is to produce a strong serve, either aiming for aces or putting the opposing team in a difficult position, making it harder for them to execute a good offensive play.

Rotations and Switching Positions

In volleyball, players rotate positions as they win points on the serve. This means players must be versatile and able to play both at the net and in the back row, even though they might have a specialized primary role. The rotation ensures that every player rotates through the front and back row, keeping the game dynamic and strategic.


Volleyball is a game of strategy, athleticism, and teamwork. Each position plays a pivotal role in the team’s success, requiring specialized skills and a deep understanding of the game’s nuances. Whether you’re a player aiming to refine your position or a fan seeking to understand the game better, recognizing these positions and their responsibilities is essential.

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