The Opposite in Volleyball Positions

Female volleyball players excited at the gym
Camille Tokerud Getty

The opposite position gets its name because this player is placed opposite of the setter in the rotation. The opposite plays on the right side in the front and back row. Because of the location on the court, the opposite may be responsible for some setting when the setter is unavailable.

What Does the Opposite Do During a Play?

  1. Calls out the opponent's hitters on the other side of the net before the serve.
  2. Watches to see where the hitters are going and to be ready to help out with blocking a shoot set to the middle or an "X" play.
  3. Sets the block on the outside hitter so the middle can close to you
  4. Is prepared to set the dig if it comes quickly and your setter cannot get there.
  5. Covers your hitter if you do not get the set.

What Attributes Are Important in an Opposite?

  • Height
  • Blocking skill
  • Good hands
  • Good passer
  • Quickness

Starting Position

The opposite plays at the net on the right side of the court. The opposite is responsible for blocking the opponent's outside hitter and also helps out with blocking their middle if appropriate. If the middle is a significant threat, the opposite may cheat in to the court a little to help out blocking.

Play Development

When the ball is served, watch the hitters to see if they are switching and who is coming your way. Call out any plays you see developing to help out the middle blocker. Help out with blocking in the middle if necessary and if not, step out to the outside antenna and set the block for the middle blocker. If the ball is set to the other side of the court, back off to the three-meter line to dig. Be ready to set the second ball if need be.

Before the Serve

The opposite may be one of the main passers in serve receive. However, if you are a key part of the offense, you may have help from your teammates on serve receive so that you are freed up to hit. Make sure to find out from your setter what play you are to run. Concentrate first on passing the ball but be cognizant of your hitting duties.

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