Volleyball requires every player to fill a specific position and work as a team. They all have to know their roles and hone the skills necessary to fulfill the expectations. Most specialize throughout their entire career while some have the ability to adjust to different volleyball positions depending on the needs of the team. Familiarize yourself with these roles using the list below:

Outside Hitter

This is the spiker positioned on the left side of the net. Most are right-handed to take advantage of the varied angles that can be taken from the area. The outside hitter must be able to jump high, block well, and provide steady passes. When plays get broken, the ball is likely to go to the outside hitter in a last ditch effort to score. To vary the attacks, this player may also hit the ball from the back row.

Opposite Hitter

This is the spiker positioned on the right side of the net. Many are left-handed to make it easier to spike from their designated area and confuse the blockers. They are usually tall as they need to block the outside hitter of the other team. They don’t need to help on the service receives as well but they might need to dig the ball sometimes. They also act as a backup setter in broken plays.

Middle Blocker

The middle blocker is generally the tallest person on the team as you need to intimidate the opponents with your height and wingspan. This main blocker has to be able to move fast from side-to-side and time jumps perfectly to block the other team’s spikers. Middle blockers may receive the ball for quick attacks and divert the attention of the defenders. This frees up the hitters at the edges of the net to attack.


The setter is the control tower of the team. This is arguably the most important position for the offense as it creates the plays and distributes the ball among the players to hit. The setter is responsible for evading the blockers to give the hitters a better chance to score a point. The connection between the setter and the hitter must be solid. Tosses must be made with the right timing, height, and net distance for each hitter.


The libero is the ultimate floor defender. This is a special position that has the ability to come in and out of the court whenever needed. Their presence is not counted against the team’s substitution limit. They have to wear a jersey of a different color to make them easily identifiable. They are often asked to receive serves and dig powerful spikes. They stay in the back row where they cannot block or make an attack with the ball above the net.

Service Specialist

Service errors are fatal during crucial parts of the game. Coaches may call on their service specialist to make sure that they get a good serve. These specialists are also known for getting lots of aces so they might even score quick points in succession.