Sunday, December 17th, 2017

So What’s a Libero Anyway?

Published on October 21, 2009 by   ·   No Comments

One of many articles outlining a few helpful volleyball-related terms, to help those new to the game figure out what the heck the rest of us are talking about. Covered here: the libero.


  • The libero is a highly specialized defensive player who must wear a different colored jersey from the rest of the team in order to make sure s/he stands out.
  • The libero can go in and out of the game an unlimited amount of times; this does not count against the team’s total number of substitutions. The substitutions take place between the 10-foot (3-meter) line and the end line and can take place at any time that the ball is not in play. Although the libero can replace any back row player, s/he can only be replaced by the player s/he replaced.
  • Liberos can’t overhand set the ball from on or in front of the 10-foot line. If they do the ball can’t be attacked above the height of the net in front of the 10-foot line. An underhand set (pass) is allowed from anywhere on the court.
  • When originally implemented liberos weren’t allowed to serve, but a 2004 rule change allowed liberos to serve for one player in NCAA women’s volleyball. A similar rule change was applied to high school and club shortly after.

The libero has had a huge impact on the game of volleyball, especially at the international level. It has allowed for longer rallies and increased specialization, and it’s given shorter players the hope of playing at the highest levels. If you  have more questions about this position, hit up the comments and I’ll try to go into more detail. It can seem really complicated, but once you get going in a game it’s not too difficult to track.

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