Defensive placing in the game

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4 defence players
4 attackers
1 court
1 to 2 balls

Aim of the task:

  • For the attackers drop the ball in to the opposite camp (note: if there are no blocks, attacks are done with feet on the ground).
  • For the defenders ensure court defence and counterattack.


  • For the attackers ensure the circulation of ball and players parallel to the net with a self-pass and try to push the defence to fault on their replacing.
  • For the defenders constantly adapt the defence system to the ball's moves to defend all sectors.

With beginners, team organisation is rational and formal, tending to draw defence zones of equal size. The players use lines as reference points, therefore their placing changes very little or not at all when the ball changes position upon serve or during the game.

See the resource on representations of
the target to defend and attack orientations

Defending collectively involves building a common representation of the surfaces threatened by the service or the attack and of their layout, by adapting them constantly to the moves of the ball. This layout takes the shape of angles which can be represented in a table*.

* In reality the trajectory is defined by its length, its height and from right to left (in three dimensions) which result in a cone and projects a cone-shaped image on the floor. To help represent this better, imagine the flood of a projector on a stage, the ball taking the place of the light, even if in reality trajectories are not straight lines.

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Attacks underline the gaps in:

  • The common representation that players must build into the organisation of their defence.
  • The speed of adaptation and of movement.
  • The real watchfulness of defenders.

Reports are based on these aspects. It is very useful to make the players draw a graphic representation (blackboard, flip chart) of the organisation. Trajectory times are long enough here to allow the defender to act. We can see clearly that it is the times of reaction and of decision that determine success or failure.

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