Volleyball Serve-Receive Formations


When a team is being served at, they are said to be on “serve receive”. Players are required to remain in their rotation home before the serve until the server contacts the ball. This requires teams to create serve receive formations to account for this rule that allows players to be in the best possible place to play the serve and run an offense based on their abilities.*When developing a rotation formation, the following are possible considerations:

• Can I get my best passer in the middle of the floor?

• Are my front-row outside hitters free to hit, or do I make them pass?

• Do I give my best hitters easy access to where they hit best?

• Do I allow for an easy setter entry?

• Can I incorporate a “Plan B” in case I have a player in trouble (passing or hitting)?

Front Row / Back-Row

Here's a general overview of how the overlap rules work in volleyball.

• Players must be in front of (or behind) ONLY their respective back-row (or front-row) counterpart. So left-front must be in front of left-back, middle-front in front of middle-back, etc. Left side positions have no front/behind concerns relative to middle or right side positions.

• Adjacent (side to side): Players in the front-row must be positioned correctly ONLY with respect to their adjacent counterparts in the front-row, as must players in the back-row. So left-front must be to the left of middle-front, middle-front must be in between left-front and right-front, and right-front to the right of middle-front.

• Back-row players must be positioned correctly with respect to their adjacent counterparts in the back-row as well. Front-row players have no adjacency concerns relative to back-row players and vice versa.