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: offense, defense and rotations.
Offense : Offense refers to the system being used to attack the ball, usually a 6-2 or a 5-1. The offense is setup to ensure an effective pass, a capable set, and a strong attack. Some teams, especially those just learning the game, run a 4-2 offense.
Detailed guides to running a 6-2 and 5-1 offense can be found in our offense ebooks. For a limited time we’re offering both of these ebooks for free when you join Volleyball-life.com OR purchase one of our skills ebooks.
Rotations/rotation: This basically refers to the order in which all the players are placed. Usually you’ll have (beginning in the service position and moving counter-clockwise around the court) setter, left-side hitter, middle blocker, setter/right side hitter, left-side hitter, middle blocker. The players must stay in this order until the ball has been contacted by the server, either on their side or on their opponent’s side.
After the ball has been served they are free to move around wherever they want, but only the three players who are on the front row can attack the ball in front of the 10-foot line or block. (Note: this can vary in some co-ed leagues). If players are out of order when the ball is served the ref may call them “out of rotation” and award the other team a point.
Defense: Defense refers to the arrangement of the team that’s not hitting the ball. It’s a combination of blockers and passers, all of which are setup to try and maximize their chances of digging the attack and getting a good pass to the setter.