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: three different types of front row hitters.
Right side hitter/off setter: If you’re running a 6-2, the setter who is on the front row is the backup setter as well as a typically a right side hitter. Left-handed players often prefer this position because it gives them more range and is an easier approach than the left side of the court. If you’re running a 5-1 this player should still be comfortable stepping in for the setter, but s/he will be a regular defensive player when on the back row. You may hear this position referred to as the “weak side hitter,” but I think that’s an unfair misnomer.
Strong side, left side or outside hitter: Traditionally a right-handed power hitter, the strong side/left side/outside hitter will be the person taking the majority of the attacks. Often this is because the high outside set is the easiest one for a setter to pull off, particularly if s/he is in trouble or has to set off a bad pass. As the name indicates, this person hits from the left side of the net.
Middle Hitter: The middle hitter is responsible for helping both the right and left side hitters block any attacks by the opponent, and is often the tallest on the team. In addition to blocking duties middle hitters often run fast attacks from their position in the center of the net to try and confuse the blockers on the other team. This may enable them or other hitters on their side to get an easier kill. Oftentimes on higher level teams the tall middles are replaced by smaller, quicker liberos on the back row.
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