Learn Volley

Learn the Volleyball Formations by Watching Simple Animations

There are a lot of information about Volleyball on the web and we assume that you already got the basics covered. Here we teach you how to play the volleyball formations; You can play animation of the well known volleyball formations such as 4-2, 6-2 and 5-1. Keep in mind that these animations are simplified models that should be adjusted to your teams ability. 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. 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 standing on zone 3 in the current rotation is the setter (S - highlighted in blue color). Use this easy formation for new players so they can focus on improving their techniques and try each position.

  • Stats:

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

  • Setter (S): Player currently on zone 3 is the setter
  • Player (P): Everything
  • Pros: Every player gets to play all position - good for learning.
Serve
Receive
P1
P6
P5
P4
P2
S3

Formation 4-2

The formation 4-2 is an easy formation that utilizes 2 dedicated setters. The setter (S1 or S2 - highlighted in blue color) in the front will set the balls from zone 2 and the 2nd setter in the back will play as a back player until he or she becomes a front player. Consider starting with basic rotation and then upgrading to this formation for volleyball beginners. Useful when at least 2 players on the team wants to specialise in setting.

  • Stats:

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Strength: Weak
  • Pros: Dedicated Setters
  • 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 utilizes player expertise for most of the positions by having dedicated setters, middle blockers and outside hitters. The setter (S1 or S2 - highlighted in blue color) in the front will set the balls from zone 2 and the 2nd setter in the back will play as a back player until he or she becomes a front player.

  • Stats:

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Strength: Moderate
  • Pros: Dedicated setters, blocking expertise, hitting 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 (S1 or S2 - highlighted in blue color) in the back sets the balls and therefore the 2nd setter in the front will play as an right side hitter. In this formation it makes good sense to include a libero (L - highlighted in red color) to the team. Libero is always optional.

  • Stats:

  • Difficulty: Moderate / Hard
  • Strength: Strong
  • Pros: Dedicated Setters, blocking expertise, hitting 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 (S - highlighted in blue color). 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 dedicated training on specific skill sets.

  • Stats:

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Strength: Very Strong
  • Pros: Dedicated setter, blocking expertise, hitting 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 (S - highlighted in blue color) 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: Dedicated setter, blocking expertise, hitting expertise, 3 front hitters, 2 back hitters, libero, designated defend positions, Only outside hitters and libero receives
  • 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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