Game: Cross-Court 4s

Synopsis: By allowing you to narrow the focus of play you can use this drill to work on specific elements of hitting and/or defense, as well as on player assessment in both attacking and defending.

Age/Skill Level: This game is for intermediate to advanced groups.

Requirements: 8 players, full court, 1 ball

Execution: This game turns the cooperative cross-court hitting drill into a competitive game. The teams are comprised of a setter, an OH, a left back in 5 and a middle back in 6. They can only score into the opponents cross-court half of the court, making it a kind of OH vs OH competition.

Variations:

  • This 4 v 4 could easily be adapted to run as RS vs OH and/or RS vs RS
  • The setter could block or not
  • MBs could be added for a double block with the setter.
  • Players can be required to rotate after they send the ball over the net, or remain in specialized positions.
  • This could be run in a Winners fashion.

Additional Comments:

  • This can be a good game to evaluate not just hitters, but also defenders.
  • By including a MB and creating a double block, an limiting play to only high outside sets, you will force hitters to problem solve on the attack, such as encouraging going high hands or wiping off the block. To that end, though, you may have to introduce some kind of wash rule about touches off the block into the uncovered part of the court (like area 1) not counting as a point because of the lack of defenders there.
  • If you look to do a winners variation, make sure to consider the accuracy of your servers. Lots of missed serves will slow the game way down, so you may need to account for that with where players are allowed to server from or by introducing the ball to the winners in some other fashion (free ball, down ball, etc.)
John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John currently coaches for an NCAA Division II women's team. This follows a stint as head coach for a women's professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

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