Determining a Lineup for my Volleyball Team

From a Coach:

Where is the best place to put your MB1 and OH1 in a 5-1 lineup and why?

Our Answer:

This isn’t a question you can answer easily, especially with girls – but the most common place to put your “best” (as measured by hitting efficiency) MB1 and OH1 is on either side of your setter, with the MB1 leading your setter. In other words, the rotation goes MB1 – S – OH1.

The rationale for this is that while your setter is in the front row you only have two hitters, and it would be nice if most of the time those two hitters were your best ones, since they’ll have to carry a bigger load in the front row. Each hitter next to the setter will be in the front row with the setter two times out of three.

But that is just the conventional thinking, and you might want to make some changes based on some other implications:

– Rotation formations and passing. You can set up things however you want, but typically the OH2 passes on the far left side four times and the OH1 two times. How does this affect your offense?

– Slides. Does one middle hit slides better than the other? It is nice if the MB next to the setter can hit slides well (but not necessary).

– Back row offense. How good is your back row offense, especially your opposite? Can they contribute when your setter is front row?

I am sure there are other questions as well, but this is one of those things where you might need to run some experiments and move some kids around and see how your side-out efficiency and point-scoring efficiency in each rotation is affected. It wouldn’t hurt to start out with the traditional lineup and see where that gets you, but don’t get bogged down by it either.