Synopsis: This is a variation on Winners 3s or 4s which narrows the attacking options. That should produced more rallies while getting in good work on defense against live hitters and out-of-system offense, among other things.
Age/Skill Level: This is a game for intermediate to advanced players
Requirements: 12+ players, full court
Execution: This game features 4 players on each side, two front row and two back row in a box type of formation. The two front row players are pin hitters, with the two back row players as wing defenders. The area within 6′ (2m) of the hitter’s line is declared out (so if the hitter is attacking in 4 then zones 1 and 2 are basically out of play. In other words, the hitter must attack middle or cross-court. The game is played like Winners in terms of having a winning side, rally initiation by a serve, etc.
- You can change up which areas of the court are out. If you exclude the middle of the court, then you make the hitters attack line or cross. If you exclude the cross court you force the hitters to attack middle or line.
- You could eliminate the Winners element and just have the two sides playing each other with the sides rotating each time they send the ball over the net.
- You can have positional specialization either by keeping players in fixed positions, or by left side players just playing on the left and right side players just playing on the right.
- You can require that one of the back row players take the second ball.
- I saw this run an an Art of Coaching Volleyball clinic. It was presented as an alternative to playing back row Winners for teams who don’t do much back row attacking and/or don’t see it very often in competition.
- You could make this a cooperative drill and run it very similarly to Continuous Cross-Court Hitting drill or Rotating Cooperative Cross-Court Hitting.