An Explanation Of The 5-1 Volleyball Rotation

There are a few different rotational systems a volleyball team can run; one is the 5-1.

The first number, five, represents the number of hitters on the court, and the second number, one, stands for the number of setters. When the setter is in the back row, there will be three front-row hitters. After three rotations of this, the setter rotates to the front row, and there are now two front-row hitters. The opposite hitter simultaneously rotates to the back row and becomes a defender and potential back-row attack option.

A 5-1 offensive system means that there is one setter running the offense at all times. One reason coaches like this system is they can have the same setter running the offense continuously. In addition, with a front row setter, middle hitters have an open lane to run plays behind the setter, because there is no right side hitter. Slides, an attack behind the setter off of one foot attack, can be very effective at high levels.

Another positive of the 5-1 system is that while the setter is front row, if a pass is tight to the net, the setter can save it by either tipping it over or jumping and blocking the ball, which, as a back row player, they would be unable to do.

A challenge to running a 5-1 is if the setter takes the first ball, the libero usually steps in to set; in doing so, it takes the middle hitter out of the offense and is challenging for most teams to be in system without the setter setting the ball.

Some teams sub out their opposite hitter when he or she rotates to the back row, choosing instead to play a defensive specialist. Substitution limitations, 12 subs per set, rarely come into play with the 5-1 rotational system, since the setter is in the match the entire time.

Below is a diagram of how to arrange a team into serve receive rotations within a 5-1 system. The serve receive rotation one is the first box and descends down the left column to rotation six. The same rotations are on the right column but it shows where to have players in transition/defense, meaning once the ball goes back over the net from their serve receive spots.

5-1 rotations serve receive and defense

Mater Dei, Walton Among National Powers Headed For Tournament of Champions

Last week, many of the top high school teams in the country gathered in Las Vegas to compete in the Durango Fall Classic. Just six days later, some of those same teams will be joined by other elite high school volleyball programs in Phoenix, Ariz., for the Nike Tournament of Champions. 

Coach's Take: Cathy George Previews Michigan State-Iowa

FloVolleyball Is The Home Of Big Ten Volleyball

Michigan State head coach Cathy George knows what to expect across the net when she and her team face Iowa in the Big Ten opener on Friday: Dominant play from pin hitters Taylor Louis, Cali Hoye, and Reghan Coyle, and skillful, smart setting from sophomore setter Brie Orr. 

USA Opens Second Round vs. Canada, Eyes Gold

Men's FIVB World Championship Hype Video

With a 5-0 record and 13 points, the USA Men’s National Team not only advanced to the second round of pool play at the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship, but did so as the third-ranked team overall.

USA Undefeated, But Not Unchallenged in World Champs Round One

Men's FIVB World Championship Hype Video

At the conclusion of the first round of the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship, the USA men are undefeated, but the 5-0 record and a spot in the 16-team second round didn’t come easily.

Big Ten Notebook: Week of Sept. 18

FloVolleyball Is The Home Of Big Ten Volleyball

After four weeks of pre-conference competition, it’s finally Big Ten volleyball season, and the first week of league play features some big-time matchups. 

Big Ten Preseason Report Card

FloVolleyball Is The Home Of Big Ten Volleyball

The Big Ten has proven to be the most competitive volleyball conference in the country over the past few seasons. On Sunday, Big Ten teams wrapped up the pre-conference portion of their schedules and are poised to dive into league play. 

Coach's Take: Chris Tamas Previews Illinois-Creighton

Eight consecutive victories (three of which came over ranked teams), zero losses, a Top 10 ranking, and—finally—a weekend at home. 

Americans Rally To Knock Off Serbia In World Championship Opener

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloVolleyball!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

USA vs Serbia | 2018 FIVB Men's World Championships

So much for easing into the drama.

Nike Tournament of Champions: How To Watch, Time, & Live Stream Info

The 10th Annual Nike Tournament of Champions (September 20-22, Phoenix, AZ) will showcase 96 of the most elite high school girls’ volleyball teams in the United States, including many of the preseason top 25 teams in the nation.

Durango Fall Classic: How To Watch, Time, & Live Stream Info

The Durango Fall Classic has brought together the top high school volleyball teams in the country since 1995. In its 24th season, the DFC will be a one-stop chance to watch top junior athletes who will make big impacts on elite college rosters in the future.