Volleyball tactics without secrets: What are settings in volleyball?

Volleyball tactics without secrets: What are settings in volleyball?
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Setting up in volleyball is the foundation without which you can’t even go out on the court. Whether you’re a die-hard volleyball fan or just going to play with your friends away, these tactical issues should be familiar to everyone!

Ignorance of the rules on the pitch and poor positioning can have devastating consequences. Therefore, the basic rule is that each team must be on its side of the net (without this, the match cannot begin) and set up according to the rotation order (skipping the moment of play).

Setting in volleyball

The setting in volleyball is divided into an offensive line (three players) and a defensive line (three players).

The offensiveline is, of course, along the net. Going from the left side:
– the left attack is position #4,
– Middle Offence is position number 3,
– Right offense is position #2.

Thedefensive line is positioned further away from the net. These players must be behind their offensive line mates:
– left defender is position #5,
– central defender is at the 6 o’clock position
– right defender is position number 1.

Proposed settings in volleyball

Variant I

The setting used by beginner volleyball players allows them to get a better feel for the court, gain some experience, and organize the game properly.

The player from position 3 (P3, center-forward) becomes the playmaker. From there, it is much easier to prepare the action (field the ball) for the players on the wings, i.e. left and right attack (P4 and P2).

But why is this tactic only used by beginners? Well, it doesn’t give you the opportunity to develop interesting attacks. The players are too far away from each other, it is clear who will play the ball, so the whole game is very clear (typical for school).

Variant II

In this case, the positioning of the players is already changed. The quarterback does not take such an obvious place as before (P3), but moves to the border between zone III and IV (the quarterback should be positioned slightly more to the left of the center in the front line).

The change is seemingly small, but it already creates interesting possibilities for attack combinations, as there are two attackers on the left wing (about 3 meters apart) who can work much better together. And although this is still a setup for beginner teams, it provides more finesse opportunities for aggression.

Variant III

Let’s get out of the school tactics already and try something more interesting. This variant lends itself to very good, dynamic counterattacks. Only one P3 player remains in the attacking line (center-forward). The players from the attacking wings move back to the defensive line, and they are additionally joined (although slightly backwards) by a player from position 6 (center-back). Players from positions 1 and 5 stay in position.

So we have one player in attack (P3), three (2, 6 and 4) in midfield and two in total defense. The three in the midfield are supposed to receive the opponent’s plays – it is very important that the number of players in the back doesn’t increase to four, because then the formation falls apart and chaos starts to reign.

The back two are just a defensive element “just in case”. After the reception, the ball goes to the team member in position 3 (center-forward), who has a lot of freedom here and can put the ball in almost any direction.

A well-communicated team will be able, for example, to construct a dynamic counterattack thanks to this positioning. After the ball is passed to P3, it is exposed on the wing (left or right attack) and then the attacker can run the ball into the opponent’s box. Defending such a play is extremely difficult.

Variant IV (play)

In this case you should already know the tactics of the game and have a well-connected team. The initial setup is as follows: In the attacking line, starting from the left, there is the attacker, then the center, and on his right, the first receiver (after the service, he will switch places with the attacker).

In the defensive line, from the left, there is the second receiver, next to the so-called libero (a volleyball player who plays only on defense and cannot attack), with whom he will also switch places. The playmaker, on the other hand, performs the service.

At the moment of impact, the aforementioned substitutions take place – in front: the attacker with the receiver 1, while in the defensive line: the receiver 2 with the libero. In this way, the team is already protected from a possible counter-attack (this applies to the rotation of the players in front), and a second receiver enters the possible attack, who can attack the opponents’ zone VI (i.e. the equivalent of his place).

Variant IV (reception)

If the situation would be the opposite, so the service on the opponents’ side, this variant can also be used. The offensive line consists of (from the left) attacker, center and receiver 1, while the defensive line consists of quarterback, receiver 2 and libero. The whole team is strongly withdrawn to the back of the court.

After the opponent’s play, there is an immediate movement: the quarterback goes to the middle position under the net to prepare to put the ball in play. The attacker and the center run to the left wing to immediately launch a counterattack. The right wing is occupied by the first receiver, immediately after receiving the ball. The game starts, you can move to attack, and there are many variants, because there are already four players in the attack line.

Featured photo: 2017 Canada Summer Games, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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