Volleyball 101 – front 6 vs. back 6

Ok guys. Since most of you know that I’m kinda volleyball addict, I decided to integrate this topic more into my blog. If this frustrates the tech-freaks among you, sorry for that. I hope you won’t blame me completely 😉

First lesson is a basic defense tactic and actually shouldn’t be much of a concern if you play on a higher level. But since I just received some questions about the difference I thought I’d cover it in a quick blog post. So here we go. Front 6 vs. Back 6 with back 6 as our way to go. But let’s check it out:

volley 6 front 1
volley front 6 - 1

So that’s how some teams try to play with the player on position 6 covering the front court while both front players try to block the opponent’s attacker. Sounds reasonable? wait and see…

volley front 6-2
front 6 - 2

Second possibility: Placing the 6 more to the extreme. Meaning it would cover more of the front court, but would leave more of the rest open to the other players. Not looking quite well, don’t you think?

volley front 6-3
volleyball front 6 - 3

And now this is the way, it usually looks like. While the situations mentioned before might even look a little reasonable this shows the MAIN problem of the front 6. Since Volleyball is quite a fast game, it always happens that the 6 somehow stands in the block shadow. Meaning this position becomes completely useless – except the block is asleep and you will be hit directly by the spike. If this is the case, well…call the ambulance…

While being in the block shadow you aren’t able to see what happens on the other side, you can only react. Doesn’t provide that much to the court coverage. So please please please forget this way of playing!

volley front 6-4
volley front 6 - 4

Alright. Last thing showing the worst case. The guy on the 6 is asleep oder simply stays in the middle (’cause he won’t see anything when moving forward as we learned before). What happens now? I, as a hitter, would either way kill the guy on the 6 (if the block would give me the chance) or simply play a cut straight behind the block where the 6 couldn’t see it. So once more: forget this way of playing!

volley 6 back - 1
volleyball back 6 - 1

So here we go. Back 6. Let’s just explain it:  As you can see the 6 covers the back court. Meaning all long shots on 1 and 5 should be reached by the guy on 6. Sounds to much? Wait for it. The short balls are covered by the guys on 1 and 5 – while the 5 usually is played by the Libero (blue). Having an defensive specialist on 5 increases the chance of reaching more of the short balls.  If the opponent wants to leave out the Libero, they’d have to play high onto 1 or 5 (the guy on 6 should cover it) or short on 4 (1 – which also should be covered by the block since it’s the setter / diagonal). It’s as easy as that.

volley back 6 - 6
volleyball back 6 - 2

Same thing over here. Attack through the middle blocker. Short balls covered by 5 (Libero) and 1 (setter). Long shots covered by the guy on 6. Got it? Fine!

volley back 6 - 7
volleyball 6 back - backrow hit

Las positive thing about the 6 in the back. The backrow hit! When the 6 is already in the back, waiting for long shots, he is already ready for the backrow hit. If he’d cover the front field, he’d be in the need to first step back to get the right approach. If we play with Libero on 5 we’d only have one backrow hitter on position 1 (as long as the setter’s in the front).

So what have we learned today? The 6 in the back of the field provides us with a plus in defense, covering the long shots and bringing the Libero in for the short ones AND brings the outside hitter who covers the 6 into the right position for a backrow spike!

Any questions? Feel free to ask. I hope we’ll catch up for my next Volleyball 101! c’ya!

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