A Quick Guide to Volleyball Rotations

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Simon N. Hodnett serves as head coach for men and women’s track and field at Long Island University. Simon H. Hodnett also previously taught courses at Long Island University. In his free time, he enjoys playing volleyball.

Watching college volleyball can be fun, but also confusing for those who are unfamiliar with the game, especially when the six players rotate in what may seem to be a meaningless fashion. However, there is logic behind these movements.

First, the players rotate after every sideout, which occurs when the receiving team wins a point or the serving team commits an error. Through this rotation, all players get a chance to be in the serving position. The order is determined by the starting lineup, which refers to where each player stands in the front and back rows of three. Players must be in their positions before the serve is put into play, but then may move around the court, with some limitations.