Position of the setter

Setter at the centre: a bad idea

Thinking rationally, placing the setter at the centre seems like a logical and balanced solution. In reality this is a source of problems from three points of view:

  • From the point of view of the probable error on reception
  • From the point of view of the obligation to pass
  • From the point of view of the passer's visual information gathering

Higher level teams play with a setter standing at the side. This is not a sign of complication but rather of simplification in the organisation. This is therefore also an advantage for beginner or intermediate players.

Note however that this organisation takes into account the organisation of visual fields and of the ease of hit by right handers. If a team was mainly made up of left handed players inverting the system wouls follow the same logic.

Probable error at reception

Any hit presents a margin of imprecision relative to the target aimed for. This dispersion can be measured as the dispersion perimeter of the landing points. It is proportional to the difficulty of the received trajectory and to the receiving player's level of mastery but it still exists. It is particularly great with beginners.

Placing a setter close to the net at the centre (post 3) implies that we accept the probability that 50% of the balls sent to him will be lost because they will be received too close to the net or given back to the opponent (with the risk of a direct counterattack). All length errors (too long) are prohibitive.

Conversely, if we place the setter on the right hand side, (between posts 2 and 3) and at a distance grom the net (at arms length) arrors can be offset by a movement of the setter.

Pass constraint

We have seen that a hit can be assimilated to ad trajectory deviation. The greater the angle between the received trajectory and the issued trajectory, the more difficult it is to take in visual information, on the movement, on the placement of supports and on the touch of the ball. See defending your court and sending back to a target

The setter must control the length, the height of his pass on top of its direction. We have represented here the most favourable deviation sector, the one manageable through movements and reorientations and the unfavourable sector in which it is very difficult for the setter or even impossible for a beginner or intermediate player.

Here we can see that the setter wants to distribute his pass laterally fom the central position to attack the the widest possible area: very quickly, his trajectory angle is difficult to control and he only has héalf a court in front of him, whichever side he turns.

On the contrary, from his position offset to the right he has all or part of the court in a favourable or manageable angle of attack and he threatens a very wide space. In addition, a back pass on post 2 is in this case a short trajectory that rapidly becomes possible and will increase uncertainty for the opponent.

Visual information gathering

The setter's role is essentially a tactical one. This forces him to gather visual information in the opposing camp and in his own.

  • In the central position he has to either turn his back to the opposing court or be blind to a large portion of his own court.
  • In an offset position the setter has access to information from the opposing camp and from most of his own court.
Back to top