Learn Volley

Learn the Volleyball Formations by Watching Simple Animations

There are a lot of information about Volleyball out there and we assume that you already got the basics covered. Here you learn how to play the volleyball formations; You can play an animation of the four standard volleyball formations known as 6-6, 4-2, 6-2 and 5-1 and some variations of them for each rotation of the game. Team formations in Volleyball are assigned by two numbers. The first one stands for the number of spikers, and the second – the number of setters. For example, 6-6 formation means that all players partake as spikers and setters, according to their position on court. Keep in mind that these animations are simplified models that must be adjusted to you and your teams ability. You can even mix and apply bits of each formation to your team. To master volleyball you must learn its stages (see diagram below), formations, rotations, positions and roles by heart so you can focus on skill and improvisation in the heat of the moment. Welcome to learnvolley.com - Use the main links to navigate to each formation or simply scroll down.

Volleyball Playing Stages

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Formation 6-6

The formation 6-6 is the most elementary formation that simply follows the rules of volleyball regarding rotation of positions; when the receiving team has gained the right to serve, its players rotate one position clock-wise. In this formation everyone sets, defends and attacks equally and therefore this formation does not utilize player expertise. The player on zone 3 sets the balls. Use this in the earliest phases of development for new players to volleyball.

  • Stats:

  • Difficulty: Very Easy
  • Strength: Very Weak
  • Responsibility:

  • Setter (PS): Player currently on zone 3 sets the balls
  • Player (P): Everything
Serve
Receive
P
P
P
P
P
PS

Formation 4-2

The formation 4-2 is an easy formation that utilizes 2 dedicated setters. The setter (S) in the front sets the balls from zone 3 and the 2nd setter (SP) in the back plays as an ordinary back player until he or she becomes a front player. Consider starting with basic rotation and then upgrading to this formation for volleyball beginners.

  • Stats:

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Strength: Weak
  • Pros: Setter Expertise
  • Responsibility:

  • Setter (S): Set, block, serve, receive
  • Player (P): Everything except setting
Serve
Receive

Formation 4-2: With Middle Blockers

The formation 4-2 with middle blockers is an intermediate formation with 2 setters. This formation starts to utilize player expertise for most positions by having dedicated setters, middle blockers and outside hitters. The setter (S) in the front will set the balls from zone 2 and the 2nd setter (SO) in the back will play as a back player until he or she becomes a front player.

  • Stats:

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Strength: Moderate
  • Pros: Setter expertise, blocker expertise, hitter expertise
  • Responsibility:

  • Setter (S): Set, block, serve, receive
  • Center / Middle Blocker (M): Middle block, middle attack, serve, receive
  • Outside Hitter (O): Outside block, outside attack, serve, receive
Serve
Receive

Formation 6-2

The formation 6-2 is an intermediate formation with 2 setters but unlike formation 4-2 with middle blocker, the setter (S) in the back sets the balls and therefore the 2nd setter (SR) in the front will play as an right side hitter. In this formation it makes good sense to include a libero to the team. Libero is always optional.

  • Stats:

  • Difficulty: Moderate / Hard
  • Strength: Strong
  • Pros: Setter expertise, blocker expertise, hitter expertise, 3 front hitters, libero, designated defend positions
  • Responsibility:

  • Setter (S): Set, block, right side hit, serve, receive, defend zone 1
  • Center / Middle Blocker (M): Middle block, middle attack
  • Outside Hitter (O): Outside block, outside attack, serve, receive, defend zone 6
  • Libero (L): Serve, receive, defend zone 5
Serve
Receive

Formation 5-1: Right Side Hitter Receives

The formation 5-1: Right side hitter receives is an advanced formation with 1 setter. Instead the team gets a dedicated right side hitter. In this formation the right side hitter will receive serves. Also see the more advanced formation 5-1 where the right side hitter does not receive serves. Keep in mind that fewer responsibilities means more focused training on specific skill sets.

  • Stats:

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Strength: Very Strong
  • Pros: Setter expertise, blocker expertise, hitter expertise, 3 front hitters, 2 back hitters, libero, designated defend positions
  • Responsibility:

  • Setter (S): Set, block, serve, receive, defend zone 1
  • Center / Middle Blocker (M): Middle block, middle Attack
  • Outside Hitter (O): Outside block, outside attack, serve, receive, defend zone 6, play zone 2 in S1
  • Libero (L): Serve, receive, defend zone 5
  • Diagonal / Opposite Hitter / Right Side Hitter (R): Serve, receive, right side block, right side attack, defend zone 1, zone 4 in S1
Serve
Receive
O1
O2
M1
M2
R
S
L

Formation 5-1

The formation 5-1 is an advanced formation where the team has 1 setter and 5 hitters. In this formation the Right Side Hitter will not receive serves. Also see the less advanced Formation 5-1: Right Side Hitter Receives where the Right Side Hitter player receive serves. Keep in mind that fewer expertise means more focused training on specific skill sets.

  • Stats:

  • Difficulty: Very Hard
  • Strength: Very Strong
  • Pros: Setter expertise, blocker expertise, hitter expertise, 3 front hitters, 2 back hitters, libero, designated defend positions, dedicated serve receive
  • Responsibility:

  • Setter (S): Set, block, serve receive, defend zone 1
  • Center / Middle Blocker (M): Middle block, middle attack
  • Outside Hitter (O): Outside block, outside attack, serve, receive, defend zone 6, play zone 2 in S1
  • Libero (L): Serve, receive, defend zone 5
  • Diagonal / Opposite Hitter / Right Side Hitter (R): Right side block, right side attack, defend zone 1, zone 4 in S1
Serve
Receive
O1
O2
M1
M2
R
S
L
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