Learning the Basics
Learning the 5-1

The 5-1 is perhaps the most complicated formation in volleyball to run. However, used correctly it
can be a very effective formation which can cause confusion for your opponents.

The line-up is basic: one setter and five hitters. Unlike the 6-2, where there are two setters who
alternate between setting and hitting, in the 5-1, the single setter must be fast, accurate and in
good shape. Also, because of the unique role of being a front row setter, it helps if the setter can
jump over the net for blocking and dinking. A setter, attacking or dumping the ball on the second
hit will ruin even the best defense's day.

In the following article we discuss the proper player positions and rotations. The examples I will give
are generic. A good coach will take the basics and adjust them for their own team. Also, some
coaches have certain variations of the basics that they prefer. I will try and point out some of the
major ones.

A basic line-up is simple. Generally you want to start with your
setter serving, middle blockers
center and opposite of each other, and
strong side hitters opposite in the corner. The weak
side hitter
, or opposite setter will naturally be opposite of the setter. I like to put my stronger
middle blocker up next to the weaker of my two outside hitters. That way we have a strong hitter up
front to start and with the first rotation we will have an even stronger front line, putting the pressure
on the opponents. Some coaches like to start with the both weaker hitters up front and come
strong later. While this normally works with side-out scoring, it will put you at a disadvantage with
rally point.

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