Volleyball Offenses

Updated on April 25, 2018

Introduction

In the sport of volleyball, there are many different options you can use when designing an offense. One of the most important questions to ask yourself is how many good setters do you have on the roster. If you only have one, it will be an easy decision. If you have more than one, you'll have some options.

The following article defines those offenses and then highlights some of the advantages and disadvantages of each offense.

The 6-6

The 6-6 is the most basic offense in volleyball. Simply, whoever is in middle front (or right front if you'd like) is the setter. When you rotate, the next player becomes the setter.

Advantages

  1. Only one serve receive rotation needs to be practiced.
  2. Only a few sets need to be put into the offense.
  3. Everyone learns every skill.

Disadvantages

  1. When you have a bad setter in the setter's spot, you can get crushed.
  2. If one of those setters cannot back set, that will be an issue.
  3. With not as many sets in the offense, it becomes very predictable.

The 4-2

The 4-2 is the second most basic offense in volleyball. In this offense, there are two designated setters. The one in the front row (S1 in the photo to the right) sets the ball from the middle of the front row and has one hitter behind and one in front.

The two setters who are lined up opposite each other. Whichever setter is in the front row, will be the setter. If they are not in the middle to start the play, they will switch to that spot as the serve is in the air.

Advantages

  1. Only three different serve receive rotations need to be practiced.
  2. With hitters on either side of the setter, it spreads the block out.
  3. Your hitters should have smaller blockers at times.

Disadvantages

  1. Very predictable offense.
  2. Only two hitters against three blockers all the time.
  3. Inconsistency between your two setters.

US Navy Using the 4-2

The International 4-2

This system is very similar to the 4-2 with the exception that the setters set from right front and not middle front. Whichever of your two setters is in the front row will be the setter, and the other four players will be your hitters.

Advantages

  1. No back sets.
  2. Still have three blockers for only two hitters, but their left front will now have to block from a position they are not used to, the middle.
  3. Should create a seam for the setter to tip to the middle of the court on high and tight passes.

Disadvantages

  1. Because no back sets, it will allow their middle blocker only to have to worry about moving one direction.
  2. Two hitters against three blockers on passes too low to dump.
  3. Inconsistency between the two setters.

The 5-1

The 5-1 offense is one of the more popular offenses out there. In this offense, one player does all the setting and there are five hitters. When the setter is front row, there are only two hitters with them. In the photos to the right, you can have either the middle blocker serve before or after the setter, depending on how you want to position your players.

Advantages

  1. Consistency - same type of set each time because the same person is delivering the ball.
  2. Diversity - with your front row attacking if the setter is dumping (tipping) the ball past the block while the hitters often hit it.
  3. Leadership - when one player is running the offense, everyone knows where to look for direction.

Disadvantages

  1. One less hitter - if the passing doesn't allow your setter to jump and attack, you have one less hitter than if you were in a 6-2 or 6-3.
  2. If your setter is small, they will get targeted by the opposing team's offense.
  3. Blockers can often bunch to one of the other two front row hitters if the setter does not attack often enough.


The 6-2

In the 6-2, you have a similar setup to the 4-2 or international 4-2. The difference is that the setter in the back row (S2 in the photo to the right) will run up and do the setting. This allow there to always be three front row hitters at the net. Many teams also substitute a taller hitter for their smaller setters to create ever greater matchup advantages.

Advantages

  1. Three hitters against three blockers.
  2. Setters who dump the ball from the floor create a fourth attacking option.
  3. Bigger block against any counter attack when there is a dig by the opponent.

Disadvantages

  1. Inconsistency between the two setters.
  2. Harder to handle tighter passes when coming from the back row always.

The 6-3

The 6-3 is very similar to the 6-2, except you never need to train the third serve receive pattern. Your setter will only set when she is in position 1 and position 6 on the volleyball court.

When the setter comes from position 5, it is arguably one of the hardest because she has the greatest distance to move to get to the setters spot. Of course, you could always set it up so your setters only set from positions 5 and 6 if she runs a lot from position 1.

You may need one or two of your setters to be able to hit, but can substitute smaller ones still.

Advantages

  1. Three hitters against three blockers.
  2. Only two serve receive patterns need to be trained. The third one is considered the most difficult.
  3. Big blockers on any counter attack.
  4. Setters who dump the ball from the floor create a fourth attacking option.

Disadvantages

  1. Setters must be good attackers.
  2. Inconsistency issues greater with three setters.
  3. Harder to handle tight passes when coming from the back row always.
  4. It may take a lot of substitutes to run this effectively.

Which offense do you prefer to use?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Bill 

      3 years ago

      In the International 4-2, the MB can do the slide every rotation, so there is a possibility of a right side attack, and the setter can set back sets. Also, the setter can legally attack from the front row anytime. Sid Feldman has written articles on the advantages of the 4-2 offense.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)