Rotation Formations & Overlap Rules – Ro 5

Rotation 5 Analysis

Rotation 5

The two front row attackers in Rotation 5 are the H1 and the M1. This should be the best outside hitter on the team and the best middle attacker on the team, for reasons that were explained in part one of this series.

Rotation 5 is a very simple rotation for the serve-receive options available. But it also allows for a versatile M1 to hit a wide array of different attacks. As you’ll see in this post, the M1 will have opportunities in this rotation to hit a quick attack, a back-quick attack, a slide, or even a red.

Rotation 5 - Player Positioning

Here is where the players are in Rotation 5.

Volleyball Rotation 5 Player Positions
Bold & Underlined Text = Front Row Players
Volleyball Rotation 5

In Rotation 5, the H2 is in Zone 1,  followed by the M1, the Setter, and the H1 in the front row. The M2 is replaced by the libero in Zone 5, followed by the Opposite in Zone 6.

ROTATION 5 – M1 Starting Spot Options

Before we dive into specific formation options, let’s look at the different starting spot options that are available to the M1 in Rotation 5.

The H1 will be somewhere on the left side of the court, most likely passing in Zone 5. This allows the Setter and M1 to start anywhere in the front half of the court as long as the setter remains to the right of the H1 and the M1 remains to the right of the Setter.

If the M1 starts on the right side of the court, offensive attack options include a middle attack, a back middle attack, a slide, or a red. A versatile middle attacker should take advantage of these different options throughout the course of a match.

 

If the M1 starts closer to Zone 3 or Zone 4, offensive attack options include a quick middle attack or a slide.

Volleyball Rotation 5 M1 Starting Options

When deciding where you want the M1 to start in this rotation, do what’s most comfortable for the M1 and the setter, and have them start where they will be most effective from. Keep in mind that whatever you do will probably have an impact on what the opposing blockers and defense will do, which could also help your H1.

Because we’ll mix and match the M1 starting positions in each possible formation in this blog post, we’ll discuss the advantages and drawbacks to the possible starting positions here right now.

M1 Starting on the Right Side

Advantages/Benefits:

  • Four offensive attack options are available: Quick, Back Quick, Slide, and Red.
  • The Setter can start the rally at the passing target.
  • There isn’t much traffic or anything distracting in front of the three passers.
  • Opposing blockers will have a harder time defending the H1 and the M1 at the same time when they are on opposite sides of the court.

Disadvantages/Drawbacks:

  • The M1 needs to be able make adjustments based on the pass (for example, if a “quick” is the play call, but it’s a bad pass, the M1 might want to audible into a Red).

M1 Starting in the Middle

Advantages/Benefits:

  • Three offensive attack options are available: Gap, Quick, or Slide.
  • The M1 might be more comfortable running these attacks from the middle of the court rather than from the right side of the court.

Disadvantages/Drawbacks:

  • The Setter can’t start at the passing target.
  • There is more traffic in the middle of the court in front of the three passers.
  • Opposing blockers have less area of the court to focus on at the beginning of the rally.

ROTATION 5 – Traditional Serve-Receive Option

Volleyball Rotation 5

Player Assignments by Position:

S: Starts in Zone 4, 3, or 2

H1: Passes in Zone 5 and hits Gos

L: Passes in Zone 6

OP: Moves back to the end line and doesn’t pass

H2: Passes in Zone 1

M1: Starts in Zone 3 or 2 and hits Gaps, Quicks, Back Quick, Slides, or Reds

Advantages/Benefits:

  • The Libero is passing in the middle of the court.
  • The Opposite can help call “in” or “out” for the passers.

Disadvantages/Drawbacks:

  • It might be easy for opposing teams to try to wear down the H1, by making the H1 pass and also hit in this rotation.

Important Overlap Rules Considerations:

  • The Setter must be to the left of the M1.
  • The Setter must be to the right of the H1.
  • The H1 must be in front of the Libero.
  • The Opposite must be between the Libero and the H2.

ROTATION 5 - Opposite Passing Option w/out H1 Passing.

Player Assignments by Position:

S: Starts in Zone 4, 3, or 2

H1: Starts on the left sidelines and hits Gos

L: Passes in Zone 5

OP: Passes in Zone 6

H2: Passes in Zone 1

M1: Starts in Zone 3 or 2 and hits Gaps, Quicks, Back Quick, Slides, or Reds

Advantages/Benefits:

  • The H1 doesn’t have to worry about passing and can focus on attacking.
  • The Opposite may be a better passer than the H1, especially if the Opposite is now a Defensive Specialist sub.

Disadvantages/Drawbacks:

  • The Libero isn’t passing in the middle of the court.
  • If the Opposite is also a good back row attacker, it might be easy for opposing teams to negate the D by serving to the Opposite. 

Important Overlap Rules Considerations:

  • The Setter must be to the left of the M1.
  • The Setter must be to the right of the H1.
Volleyball Rotation 5 NC State

ROTATION 5 - Opposite Passing Option w/out H2 Passing

Player Assignments by Position:

S: Starts in Zone 4, 3, or 2

H1: Passes in Zone 5 and hits Gos

L: Passes in Zone 6

OP: Passes in Zone 1

H2: Steps back to the endline and doesn’t pass

M1: Starts in Zone 3 or 2 and hits Gaps, Quicks, Back Quick, Slides, or Reds

Advantages/Benefits:

  • The Libero is passing in the middle of the court.
  • The Opposite may be a better passer than the H2, especially if the Opposite is now a Defensive Specialist sub.
  • The Opposite is in position to hit a D.
  • The H2 can help call “in” or “out” for the three passers.

Disadvantages/Drawbacks:

  • It might be easy for opposing teams to try to wear down the H1, by making the H1 pass and also hit in this rotation.
  • If the Opposite is also a good back row attacker, it might be easy for opposing teams to negate the D by serving to the Opposite.

Important Overlap Rules Considerations:

  • The Setter must be to the left of the M1.
  • The Setter must be to the right of the H1.
  • The H1 must be in front of the Libero.
  • The H2 must be to the right of the Opposite.
Volleyball Rotation 5 USC Trojans

Gap, Quick, Slide, or Red?

The Slide is a very effective attack option for Middle Attackers because it forces the opposing blockers to defend the entire length of the net. Your Outside hitter is hitting on the left side of the net, and your Middle Attacker is hitting on the right side of the net. This requires opposing blockers to defend all ten meters of the net instead of just a portion of that.

In women’s volleyball, Middle Attackers hit Slides with a high amount of frequency in Rotations 4, 5, and 6.

In men’s volleyball, Slides are much more rare. The reason for this is because the men’s game regularly has Opposites that will hit a back row D attack. You can’t have a front row player running a Slide approach and a back row player running a D approach because they would crash into each other. This back row D attack forces the opposing blockers to worry about the entire length of the net, similar to what a Slide would.

This is why Slide usage differs so much between the women’s game and the men’s game. However, this is also dependent on your team and your players. Regardless of the gender of the team you are coaching, you can have your players hit any of these types of attacks. Do what is best for the skill sets and strengths of your players. You might also consider not doing the same thing every time, because that will make your team too predictable.

In Rotation 5, the M1 has the opportunity to hit a Red when the M1 starts on the right sideline. This can help prevent opposing blockers from keying in on the H1 when there is a bad pass.

Look at the strengths of the M1 to determine what you want to do with your offense in Rotation 5. It would be a good idea to have all of these options in your arsenal that can be used at different times throughout a match and/or season.

Later Posts in this Series

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One comment on “Rotation Formations & Overlap Rules – Ro 5

  1. For me, with younger and/or inexperienced teams, I find that the passing is often not great nor can the Middles hit a quick and/or the setters can’t set a quick in the earlier stages of their playing. In Rotation 5 I like to start the setter in their regular setting position 5 feet off the net and the M1 slightly to the right of her and back around the 10 foot line. The pass doesn’t have to be perfect, just relatively good. Then the M1 can move with the setter and hit a front 2 set or a back 2 set. Most inexperienced opponent teams will only commit their MB to blocking our MH. At this level a good 2 set works very well. Also, a good back 2 set catches an inexperienced MB off balance and the M1 can get a free swing without anyone blocking them.

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