Understanding Volleyball Rotations

volleyball rotations

A Comprehensive Guide To Volleyball Rotations

Each team in volleyball has 6 (six) players on the court at a time and each player must start in a specific location which is named by its placement. Front row players include the right front (RF), middle front (MF), and left front (LF). Back row players are the right back (RB), middle back (MB), and left back (LB). However, these positions are simply the starting positions which should not be confused with the position played; libero, setter, outside hitter, opposite or middle blocker. Each player, except the libero should rotate to each position both back row and front row. Understanding volleyball rotations, when to rotate and where to line up is very critical to playing volleyball.

Front row players are responsible for hitting and blocking, while back row players are responsible for defense and digging. Back row players, except the libero, can attack the ball only if they take off for their attack behind the attack line (the 10 foot line).

Understanding volleyball rotations

Whenever a team gets possession of the serve, or wins a side out, the serving team should rotate clockwise with each player rotating one spot. The left front (LF) rotates to the middle front (MF), the middle front (MF) rotates to the right front (RF), the right front (RF) rotates to the right back (RB) and so on. The new RB (right back) serves the ball.

If a player moves out of their position before the serve is contacted (before the ball is put in play), they’ll be called for being out of position or for overlapping. The other team is then awarded a point and if the side at fault was serving, the team loses the serve and the ball is passed to the opposing side for service. Therefore, players should be mindful of their positions and ensure that they are always in the right location in relation to other players around them

understaing volleyball rotations

How can you avoid the overlap?

When a player is in the wrong position or if they leave before the ball is served, it is known as an overlap in order to comply with the rules, right and left players should be mindful of the players directly behind and ahead of them in the rotation. For instance, the left back (LB) must ensure that they are behind the left front (LF) and to the left of the player in the middle back (MB) position. On the other hand, the right back (RB) must ensure that they are to the right of the Mb (middle back) and behind the RF (right front).

Middle back and middle front players must be mindful of their teammates on both sides and directly behind them. The middle front (MF) should be to the left of the right front (RF), to the right of the left front (LF) and in front of the player in the middle back (MB) position. These rules apply to both the receiving team and serving team before the ball is put in play.

When to rotate?

You should rotate when the other team is serving, but your side wins the point (when you side-out). You rotate clockwise if your side has won the point and the other side has the service. Therefore, the front right (FR) moves to the right back (RB) and becomes the new server. However, if your side has the service and you win a point, you stay in the same position.

After serving the ball from position 1, the player should rotate to the middle back position (position 6), then to left back (position 5), then to left front (position 4), then to middle front (position 3), then to right front (position 2), before returning to the serving position (position 1).

It’s essential to have a solid understanding of how volleyball rotations work. Remember, each player only rotates once after their side wins possession of the serve and the next time the players rotate will be after the opposing side gains possession of the serve and loses the point.