Reception and attack sequence

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1 court
5 to 7 players
2 to 3 balls

Aim of the task:

Attack opposing target.

Roles and instructions:

  • 1 to 3throwers send balls towards the defended court in a serve hit from the middle or from the back 1/3 of the opposite court. They pick up the balls and go back i place to ensure in turn a flowing distribution.
  • The team of four defends the court and builds an attack. Each player makes a series of at least 10 actions in each post then we rotate to enable everyone (including the throwers) to occupy each post.


  • If attacks are formal we place precision in the court under attack.

Errors in the game are generally foreseeable from the placement of players. This placement supposes that the players have a hit precision which is unrealistic. This is an unlikely scenario.

We see the players blaming each other in a more or less polite manner (..) when the reception doesn't come directly onto the setter or when the pass is not served on the attacker's hand.

We are trying here to take markers for placement and movement which correspond to the actual trajectories. We must establish an organisation mode which integrates error. On this basis the game will become, in the long term, more and more precise and fast.

The setter

The setter tends to place himself against the net with his back to it. In this position:

  • He is not in a position to take information in the opposing court.
  • He is forced to move towards the back while he should pass the ball to the sides.
  • An important proportion of receptions sent to him will be too close to the net to be played efficiently or will be directly sent back to the opponent. There is no possible margin of error for receivers.

In order to adapt to the players' level of precision and to their errors and to become tactically efficient, the setter should:

  • Stand in the right 2/3 (between posts 25 and 3) and turn at 90° to the court's axis.
  • Place himself at arm's length of the net.

These markers present many advantages:

  1. Turned sideways relative to his team, he sees the ball arrive. He sees the opposing team at the beginning of the action. Most of the game area is within his vision range.
  2. At a distance from the net he can allow a tolerance in the precision of receptions and his partners are not tempted to 'aim for the net" (too often the obvious visual target of the net organises the players' hits and causes faults).
  3. Having a wide game area in front of him, he favours moves forward and has a great width in front of him to give the ball to an attacker (posts 3 and 4). This way, he will almost always be able to pass in front of him which is always easier even if sometimes, when he has the technical faculty and the tactical opportunity, he can chose to pass to post 2.
See the resource on
the position of the setter


Attackers should make themselves available to the setter; to do this they should:

  • Align on the setter's position in order to have the ball in front of them.
  • Wait to be able to read the efective trajectory before moving towards the ball (we see very often attackers rushing in before the psetter has touched the ball).
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Reception / pass:

  • If the setter stands in the centre (post 3) close to the net he causes a fault on balls of imprecise length which end up in the net. We look for the setter and find the net.
  • Moreover he finds himself with very important angle constraints to make his pass.
  • To take into account the margin of error at reception the setter places himself at arms length from the net.
  • He moves sideways to the right (between posts 2 and 3) this way he will have most balls in front with a narrower passing angle and therefore easier to use.
  • Assistants move backwards and away to adapt to the reception.
  • Players must not hesitate to make large movements to ensure continuity of the game.

Pass attack:

  • An error being probable, we must move on from an attitude where players blame the one who misses a reception or a pass, to one where we congratulate the one who adapts to all trajectories.
  • Adapting each time to the real situation is better that achieving 5 times out of 100 an ideal scenario.
  • Attackers align themselves on the ball to enable the setter to place the ball between them and the net for the attack.
  • During their engagement time they often make mistakes by setting off too soon.
  • They find it difficult to move away towards the outside of the court (to post 4) to ease their reading of the trajectory and open their angle of attack.
  • Moving away from the ball to come back in a better position is not a spontaneous type of action.
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