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In volleyball, there are many faults you can do that may end up as a foul, which wins the opposing team a point. Some of the volleyball fouls are: Touching the net, touching the line that separates the front row from the back row, and carrying the ball (you are not allowed to have except one touch and they cannot move around with the ball). Double touching the ball may also result in a foul, which includes the player touching the ball twice in a row or if the ball touches 2 of the other player’s body parts in succession. Hitting out the court, hitting the net with the ball, and missing to rotate can also cause the other team to gain a point. Also, if a team switches positions early, it is considered a foul. Screening while the other team is serving and touching the line, that separates the front row from the back row, while hitting from the back row is also considered as fouls. Crossing the court line with any part of your body is a violation unless it is the hand or foot. All of the hands or feet should cross the line for it should be a violation.

There are some actions or fouls that can result in a yellow and red card (penalty cards). A yellow card is considered a warning card, and if you gain two yellow cards, you will automatically receive a red card (the final warning). Both coaches and players can receive penalty cards. A player/coach receives a yellow card due to minor misconduct or wasting time. This card is recorded on the scoresheet but causes no harm or damage. A coach/ player receives a red car when the referee shows 2 yellow cards. If the referee holds up a red card alone, that means that the cause of this card was misbehavior, yelling at the referee, or a bad attitude, and a point and service are given to the other team, also recorded on the scoresheet. A referee can also hold 2 cards simultaneously in cases of expulsion and disqualification. If both cards are shown in one hand, it means the player cannot play in that set, and has to be replaced with a substitute. If one card is in each hand, the player is expelled from the match permanently and cannot play anymore, it is also recorded on the scoresheet. (Hall, 2019)

A volleyball offense game plan is a system that organizes the players into a specific formation based on the skills of the players. A team on offense will try to increase the probability of winning a point on a hit by confusing the opposing blockers and disguising the setter’s intended receiver as best as possible. There are three common offense systems: 5-1 (5 hitters and 1 setter), 6-2 (3 hitters and 2 blockers), 4-2, and 6-0 (6 attackers and no substitutes). We will be focusing on the 5-1 offense system. As there are 6 team members/players, there are six rotations and they are repeated until the game of 25 points ends. According to the 5-1 system, in each rotation, there is a different formation. (The Best Volleyball Playbook Ever, 2019)

Rotation 1:

The setter pushes up to the front right of the net, without crossing in front of player one. Player three is assigned to serve-receive to help four and five since the setter moved up. When the serve is contacted, the setter moves towards the middle to its normal setting position. The others simultaneously shift into their hitting and coverage placements. There are two rules the setter should follow: The setter can’t cross in front of player one, nor cross closer to the middle than player five.

Rotation 2:

The second rotation allows the setter to start quite close to their preferred setting placement. The setter moves clockwise and is now in the back-middle position to start. From there the setter will move player three up. Player four will shift back in order to help five and one with serve-receive. As soon as the serve is received, player three goes back to hit, with the setter already in position. Since the setter is technically a back-row player, they must be careful not to be crossed over by either player five or one in the back row.

Rotation 3:

The third rotation is the opposite of rotation 1. The setter moves up to player five at the net and pulls player four towards the left. This position is challenging for the setter, as it is very different from their normal setting placement. When the ball is contacted for service, the setter sprints for their right-of-center positioning. Player three moves to the back to help with serve-receive. The only concern for overlapping is if the setter leaves too soon for their spot and consequently overlaps player one who is on the left for serve-receive.

Rotation 4:

This formation is an easy one as it decreases the concern and percentage of overlapping. The front-row players stay in numerical order but are allowed to be as close to each other as necessary, to help the setter get to their positions easily and quickly. This formation also enables hitters to swap places with ease

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Rotation 5:

In this position, the setter is not in the front-middle position, which makes this formation ideal. The setter can dictate passes to be shifted closer to the middle, which reduces the percentage of a middle attack, and allows two outside hitters to make plays. In addition, one of the players in the outside positions can move to the middle to attack.

Rotation 6:

After this rotation, the formations are repeated until the game ends.

The front row remains very flexible, as the setter is in a position that allows him to easily set (the front-right spot.). The hitters (front-left: 1 and front-middle: 2) are able to hit from any position, as controlled by the play-calling the setter makes.

The first exercise you can do to improve shooting on your own is playing with the wall, and it helps you control your shooting. In this exercise, shoot the ball normally at the wall, maintaining a C-shape. You should catch the ball after it leaves the surface of the wall, and then start over. The next exercise improves your hitting strength. The usage of a net is optional. Toss up the ball in the air with both hands like normal, Jump up and hit the ball (over the net if you are using one). The third way to improve your shooting is to do shoulder workouts, as your shoulders are the main muscles you use, and this helps improve your shooting strength. You should also do abdominal workouts in order to improve your mobility, maneuvering, and jumping. As well as a leg workout to strengthen the leg muscles that you use in jumping and running, which is the next exercise. The final exercise is to improve the strength and speed of your wrists. Tie an elastic to the wall, stretch it, and mimic shooting quickly and continuously, this causes you to feel the pressure of the elastic and its strength. Afterward, when you play without an elastic, you do it faster and stronger without the pressure you are used to.

There are also some exercises you can do to develop your skills with a partner. The first exercise you can do is “shoot and defense”. In this exercise, you and your partner should stand face to face, keeping a reasonable distance between you. One of the two of you will shoot the ball in an attempt to attack and the other will be assigned defense. Later on, switch roles. This helps you control your shooting and aim trying to find where to attack. It also has the benefit of improving your defense skills as well. Next exercise, put a net between you two. You set the ball and shoot over the net, your partner receives the ball and passes it under the net back to you to shoot again. Later on, switch roles for you two to benefit from the exercise. The next exercise improves your reflexes, quick noticing, and speed. Give your back to the net, and your partner counts to 3 and tosses the ball, while he is doing that, turn around and spot the ball quickly, run to it, and shoot. Your partner repeats this exercise shooting the ball in different places, so you don’t expect where it will be. Next, exercising with a medicine ball can greatly help develop your skills. It helps you strengthen your shoulder muscles when passing a heavy ball, it is slower due to its weight so it helps you focus on your technique and that improves how you play and your technique in playing.

Both teams had a strategy set in their minds they followed with extreme determination. For Brazil, their outside hitters had good reception (and I discovered that Brazil’s successful receptions were 24, whereas Poland’s were 22), so the setter set quick balls to the team (Brazil’s successful sets were 23 whereas Poland’s were 10). Then, the middle blockers, spiked a couple of times, so that the other team would be confused, as they don’t know where the ball will go and why the middle blockers and not the hitters are spiking. Meanwhile, the setter starts to switch strategy and sets balls to the opposite player on the same team. The outside hitters spike the ball hoping it would land on the opponent’s court (and the good or successful spikes were 45 spikes, whereas Poland’s were 43), and the libero, with the best digger and reception, covers in the case of Poland’s being able to block the ball (Brazil’s successful digs were 17 whereas Poland’s were 15).

Relating to Poland, they were more focused on blocking and serving. Poland had their 3 blockers at the front and they were the main reason Poland did well. The balls Brazil spiked in their efforts to get past Poland’s middle blockers were blocked due to the fact that their jumps were high and synchronized, unlike Brazil’s (and Poland’s successful blocks were 10 and Brazil’s were 4). The blockers had quick reflexes and quickly distinguished the open spot on the opponent’s court for them to shoot the ball into. It was clear that their coach had trained them on serving more than Brazil as Poland’s successful serves were 4, whereas Brazil’s were 2. They took advantage of this and used their skills wisely. They also made sure not to touch the ball if Brazil had an overpowered serve, so they could take the point. It was also clear they had better leg power as their jumps were high, as seen in the middle blocker, and when the other team spiked they were able to defend the ball. On the other hand, Brazil’s players had more than one contact with the ball before it landed outside, and that caused them to lose points.

The video recording techniques in the courts prevent a team from being wrong, as it records everything accurately, so everyone would be able to see clearly what happened. How does it record everything accurately? For the “everything” part, there are several cameras all around the court, so they could film every angle of the court. Also, the cameras are placed high up in the court so they can be taken in “bird’s-eye view”. From a very high angle, they are able to film the whole court with everyone in it, and, if necessary, they are able to move the camera to get a zoomed-in view of a specific person or object. For the “accurate” part, cameras in the court have a connection with a computer that analyzes the speed, location, angle, target, distance, etc. It can simulate the projectile of the ball and accurately measure where it landed, resulting in an animation-like video. They use these videos to make sure of what happened and fairly decide which team was correct if there were any objections, and which team got a foul. The referee was challenged 3 times and had to play this video, 2/3 were to see if the ball landed outside the court and 1/3 times to check if a team member crossed the line separating the front row and the back row. Furthermore, the cameras have gridlines, points, coordinates, or anything that would generally help them pinpoint locations.


    1. Hall, G. (2019). What do the penalty cards mean in volleyball? [online] Quora. Available at: [Accessed 31 Mar. 2019].
    2. The Best Volleyball playbook EVER. (2019). Offensive Schemes. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Mar. 2019].
    3. Volleyball Expert. (2019). The 5-1 Volleyball Rotation Explained (Including Diagrams). [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Mar. 2019].

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