Volleyball Positions and Roles

Personality Plays a Role in Choosing Positions

NAKHONPATHOM, THAILAND - APRIL 18: Mizuta Yumi #5, Kotoh Chizura #2 and Ishii Yuki #6 of Hisamitsu block as their competitor spikes during the FIVB 17th Princess Cup Asian Women's Cup Volleyball Championship on April 18, 2014 in Nakhonpathom, Thailand.
Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

Volleyball positions determine what your role is out on the court during a game. Each player has a specific job to do and each position works with the teammates to make the best play possible. Learn about the role of each position, a list of things you should do if you're playing that position, and a list of attributes you need in each spot.


The setter is the backbone of the offense and makes the decisions about who gets the ball when. She touches the ball on the second contact and delivers it to her hitters. She needs to be able to take in a lot of information at once and to make good decisions in a split second. Consistency here is key.

Outside Hitter

An outside hitter is a great all-around player. Not only does the outside need great ball-handling skills, but he needs to be a solid hitter and blocker.

Middle Blocker

A good middle can read the opponent's setter like a book and is quick enough to get from one end of the court to the other to block the ball. The middle also hits quick sets and keeps the other team's defense off balance. A great middle blocker is a major key to your team's defense.


The libero plays in the back row and has impeccable ball control. The libero needs to be a great passer and an even better digger. She is all over the court to keep the ball in the air for her team to create scoring chances.


The opposite plays opposite the setter on the right front and hits sets behind and in front of the setter. The opposite is responsible for blocking the opponent's outside hitter, which means the person who plays opposite needs to be a solid blocker as well as a good hitter. The opposite is also needed to pass and set, so should have great ball handling skills.