Volleyball Basics: Learning Base and How to Rotate | How to Make a Volleyball Lineup


As a new volleyball coach, one of the hardest
things to understand about volleyball is how to teach base position and rotations. So that could be creating your lineup, and how
to put your players in order for a match. I’m going to make it really simple for you,
all you need to do is you need to understand these three concepts. The first concept is that the court is divided
into the front row and back row. The second concept is that players typically
specialize in one of three areas on the court, either the left side, middle, or right side. And that players stand opposite from their
position partner in the lineup. Now, position partner isn’t a technical volleyball
term, but I’m going to use it because I think it makes sense. Let’s talk about what base is to begin with. Base is where players stand on the court when
the opponent has the ball during a rally. So it’s after your team has served, your team
will run into base. After the opposing team has served at you
and you’ve returned it from serve receive, your team will run to base. So, I always tell my players to think of this
as your “home base” position, and that seems to help with the understanding. OK, so our first concept is that there is
a front row and a back row. This is my beautiful illustration of a court
with the net at the top. We’re going to split the court using that
10′ line. So we have the front row, and we have the
back row. Pretty simple. The second concept is that there are three
areas on the court. We have the left side, the middle, and the
right side. Combining concepts number one and number two,
we can see the different positions on a volleyball court. We’ve got left front, middle front, and right
front, and then we’ve got left back, middle back, and right back. These are all the names of positions that
players will play. This is not the confusing part. The confusing part is when we try to make
a lineup. In volleyball, we rotate clockwise. So let’s say we rotate one from here, our left
back will now come up to the front row and would be standing next to our other left front. We don’t want two left front players in the
front row. That would also put two right side players
in the back row. All we need to do is just switch up a couple players, and have them start opposite of their position partner in the lineup. So the right sides are going to be opposite
of each other on the court, same with middles, same with left side players. When they step on the court, they should know
that there are two people in between them and their position partner on both sides. After you have your correct rotation written
down for your lineup, let’s say that your team has the serve. As soon as your right back player serves the
ball everyone needs to run to base. So in this instance, all that’s going to happen
is that left front and right front are going to switch and they’re going to run to their
base positions because everyone else is already in base. You can see by the squares, a general idea
of what each position is in charge of protecting on the court, but as a bonus, I wanted to
show you where players typically stand on the court when they are in base position. So you can see the X’s on the court that show
where players stand. Our front row is all going to be up at the
net ready to block, this includes players who are not tall enough to get their fingers
over the net. We still want them up there. That’s a long discussion that we can get into
another time. Then when we look at our backrow, you can see
that the wings or the left and right side players are up on the 10′ line, or maybe just
a little bit behind playing defense, and middle back stays deep. This is traditional, simple, basic base for… I would say 95% of teams, maybe even more
than that. I also wanted to include another bonus for
you guys, because it seems simple in the first rotation, and then when you get into rotation
two, it starts to get more and more and more confusing. With our right back starting back to serve,
now let’s say, we’ve lost the rally, the other team is serving, we win the rally back, it’s
time to rotate. So again, we’re going to rotate clockwise,
now the left front player is going to rotate and they become a backrow player. Same with the left back player, as soon as
they rotate, they come up into the front row. This is often when teams will make substitutions. If I have another player who I’d prefer to
have back passing in left back, now’s the time that I would put them in for the player
who was previously playing left front. If I have a player who is just a stud I’ll
leave them in and they’ll play all the way around. Now everyone has shifted one position and,
whereas before only two people needed to switch, now only left front is in their current base
position, so as soon as the serve is made, everyone will run again to their base position. Alright, and that is a very brief description
of base. It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of
it, but it does take teams a little bit of time to figure it out, so just be patient. Usually, my club teams will take about a month
or two to really get comfortable with these rotations and if you switch positions for
anyone throughout the season there will be some growing pains. Be patient, but also expect your players to
learn this! This is why I recommend having your players
watch this video as well, because not only is it difficult for them to learn, but it
is substantially more difficult for a coach to remember base position and rotations for
six players on the court, not to mention all of the substitutions that need to come in. Do yourself a favor and have your players
watch this video! That is a simple explanation of how base works. Let me know if you have any questions in the
comments, this is perfect for 5th grade, up through 8th grade just to keep it nice and
simple without overthinking. Thanks for watching, and good luck!

1 thought on “Volleyball Basics: Learning Base and How to Rotate | How to Make a Volleyball Lineup

  1. Based on what I watched and learned, I decided that I would not focus any player on a specific skill, i.e. setter, hitter. In my case, I felt it was still important for the players to learn and do all things in the game. I've tried to set up a defense by saying, "LF & RB are setters, RF & LB are hitters" but even then it's restricting players from setting if they're not LF or RB (in their minds). The MAJOR problem I have when I tell someone "you're the setter" is that the ball drops to the court because 4 people are waiting for the setter to run over and set it or don't attack it for the same reason. I'd like to see a video where you explain the solution to that problem….;). Any suggestions?

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