Volleyball rotations are an essential aspect in the game of volleyball.
Rotations allows each team to position their players optimally and substitute new players when necessary.
There are five types of rotations, and if your team does not follow proper procedures for rotation, you could lose points for violations.
Volleyball Rotations: How to Rotate
In a 6-2 rotation, you play with 2 setters and 6 hitters. Generally, your setters are in the front center and back center and all players act as hitters.
When one designated setter remains in position, three players act as the principal attackers. This rotation gives you the option of putting in taller attackers and setters as needed.
Teams use a 6-6 rotation when everyone on the team can assume any position. Many times, 6-6 is used with younger, newer teams so that everyone can practice and perfect their best position.
This is a great way for coaches to identify who their best servers, spikers, and setters will be as the team coalesces.
In 4-2, there are two setters who play across from each other on the court. The remaining four players act as hitters. This is the most frequently used rotation in volleyball.
During play, the setter is always front row center, ready to set and prepare for the attacker.
When using a 5-1 volleyball rotation, you have 1 designated setter and 5 hitters. No matter which position the setter is in during rotation, the setter always sets.
This gives the setter the flexibility to play from either the back or the front. Setters in 5-1 rotations set for everyone else on the team and can also be a surprise attacker!
This is the rotation commonly used with new, younger players who have not yet specialized as attackers, setters, or servers. Anyone, in any position can serve as a functional setter or hitter.
The W rotation gives everyone on the team the chance to practice every position and find their specialty.
Each rotation gives the coach the opportunity to maximize the talents of his or her players. But, if a player is out of position, it can cost the team points.
‘Out of Rotation’: How to LOSE Your Team a Point
Both teams rotate after every side out – when the serve switches from one team to another after the awarding of a point. So, when the serving team loses a point or the receiving team wins the point, the team now serving has players rotate clockwise one position.
These move every player on each team through the serving position. If you have a killer server on your team, you could stay in the same position for several points during the game.
But there are very specific rules, however…
There are very specific rules on how players must be positioned during and after rotation. The rules on positioning are provided by the NCAA volleyball rule book:
“In the front or back row, the right-side player must have at least part of one foot closer to the right sideline than the feet of the middle player in the corresponding row, and the left-side player must have at least part of one foot closer to the left sideline than the feet of the middle player in the corresponding row. Each front-row player must have at least part of one foot closer to the centerline than the feet of the corresponding back-row player.”
So, what’s the difference in the violations?
Volleyball Rotations: Violations
You can easily lose a point if your players are in the correct position during the serve. This violation awards a point to the other team and you lose service if it was your team’s turn to serve.
Line judges observe the player closest to the sideline to determine out of position or overlapping violations.
For example, when comparing players in the serving and center back positions, if they are overlapped, the server must have a foot touching the court nearer to the sideline than either foot of the center back player.
For center court errors, when determining whether the player serving and the player in the front right position are overlapped, the player in front must have a foot touching the court nearer the centerline than either foot of the serving player.
Positional Out of Rotational Violation
Row position faults – when players in the same row are overlapped – meaning their foot positions are not correct, the team is called for a positional fault.
Back row/front row position faults – if the two players opposite each other in the front row and back row are too close together, this is also a positional fault.
The general idea of avoiding faults is by making sure your team players are evenly spaced and not intruding on each other’s positions.
Staying in proper formation and knowing the rules of volleyball rotations and positioning are critical if a team doesn’t want to lose points on violations. The more experienced a player becomes, the less likely these types of mistakes will be made.