Volleyball Serve Receive Formations in a 6-2 Offense (Setters for Middles)

Updated on April 14, 2020
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I love the sport of volleyball and enjoy sharing strategies to help teams win.

One of the most popular offenses in volleyball is the 6-2. That is when you have six hitters (two outsides, two middles, and two right side hitters) and two setters. Typically, the setters get substituted out when they go front row, and a right side hitter replaces them. However, in recent years, some coaches have been using their libero for the right side hitters and substituting the setters for the middle hitters.

While a little over half the game is spent in transition, the other half will be spent in serve receive. This article will look to provide simple formations for a team running a 6-2 offense with their setters subbing for their middle hitters and the libero going in the back row for the right side hitters.

In all the photos, the front row players will be highlighted in red so that they stand out.

Rotation 1

Rotation 1 can be a little tricky because all three of the front row players are lined up out of position. The front row outside hitter (OH1) is hitting right side, the right side hitter is in the middle, and the middle hitter (MH1) is outside. Ideally, your right side hitter in this rotation can also hit some of the quicker options, and that gives you some different playsets to implement.

Rotation 1
Rotation 1

Rotation 1 and 4 Alternative Formations

Rotations 1 and 4 both allow a few other options. In the left side of the photo below, you can stack all three hitters to the left, allowing your outside hitter (OH1) to be able to attack from the left side. Your middle hitter (MH1) should also be able to get to the middle. Your right side attacker will have some issues, but they can combination with the middle hitter or race over to the right side while the serve is in the air.

On the right side of the photo, if your outside hitter (OH1) is struggling or you'd like them to safely be in the offense, you can pull the right side hitter (RSH) back to pass and push the outside hitter forward.

Rotation 1 and 4 Alternatives
Rotation 1 and 4 Alternatives

Rotation 2

Rotation 2 is an extremely clean rotation as every hitter is already attacking from where they would want to be. The outside hitter (OH2) is on the outside, the middle hitter (MH1) is in the middle, and the right side hitter (RSH2) is on the right side. This should be a fairly efficient rotation from that standpoint.

Rotation 2
Rotation 2

Rotation 3

Rotation 3 creates a couple of interesting situations. The outside hitter (OH2) will be able to get to the outside right away. Your right side hitter (RSH1) and middle hitter (MH1) are both switched. This is where you would like to have right side hitters who also have the ability to hit the same sets as the middle hitters. That way you can keep a quick option in front of the setter.

Rotation 3
Rotation 3

Rotation 3 and 6 Alternative

If your outside hitter (OH2) is struggling to attack on the outside, you can always shift them across the formation. This allows the right side hitter (RSH1) to hit on the left side for the sideout play. The middle hitter (MH1) can slide to the middle and the outside hitter can hit from the right side. You could always drop the middle hitter (MH1) back into serve receive also and keep the outside hitter (OH2) up.

Rotation 3 and 6 Alternative
Rotation 3 and 6 Alternative

Rotation 4

Much like your traditional 6-2, rotations 4-6 will be mirror images of rotations 1-3, just with a new middle and setter in the mix. The beauty of the 6-2 is that you should get very efficient in the three rotations you need to learn.

Rotation 4
Rotation 4

Rotation 5

Rotation 5 has your top outside hitter (OH1) and your top right side hitter (RSH1) already attacking from their preferred positions. It should allow for a quick sideout.

Rotation 5
Rotation 5

Rotation 6

Rotation 6 could be the tough one as you have your second right side hitter (RSH2) and second middle hitter (MH2) up in the front row and attacking out of position. Your top outside hitter (OH1) is still in the front row, but they could be served deep to try to take them out of the attacking.

Rotation 6
Rotation 6


The 6-2 with setters for middle is a good option to use when you have right side hitters who are good servers. It is run best when you have right side hitters who can also hit quick options. There will be a couple of tricky rotations, but with players attacking from different spots than normal, it should also make it more challenging for the opposing team's blockers.

Good luck running this fun offense in serve receive!

© 2015 JOC


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