Below is a volleyball set diagram. It outlines the different sets we used when I coached collegiately at Brown, and how we defined them. This is based on a system popularized by the USA men back in the 1980s. They divided the net into 9 zones of 1 meter each. On top of that they added set heights ranging from 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest (fastest). The zones and heights were then combined to provide a two-digit specifier for each set. Thus, a standard high set to the outside (left) hitter is a 14 – zone 1, height 4. A middle quick is a 51 – zone 5, height 1.

Now, for practical purposes most teams do not use the two digit calls in play. They tend to shorten them up to call sets quickly in a fast-paced play. In our case, we used letters to call the 4 different types of quick sets we used. You can see below how we did this, as well as the back row zones system we used based on colors – white, brown, and red from left to right as you’re facing the net.

Sample volleyball set diagram

volleyball set diagram

This, of course, is just one system and one volleyball set diagram. There are loads of variations. In my coaching at Svedala in Sweden, for example, the “rip” was equivalent to the 31 from the chart above. A 3 was the 32 set, which is pretty common usage. Our A was a 71 (back quick). We called the “hut” a “go” (which is what a lot of teams call the fast outside set these days). In contrast, at Midwestern State the “rip” was a back row attack in Zone 1. Then there’s the zero tempo concept some people now use.

I have always found, though, that the underlying 2-digit base structure makes it very easy to work out different types of naming approaches or hand signals.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Volleyball Technical Director for Charleston Academy. His previous experience includes the college and university level in the US and UK, professional coaching in Sweden, and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. Learn more on his bio page.

    3 replies to "Volleyball Set Diagram"

    • Avatar Sundaresan Dakshinamoorthy

      Useful diagram showing to young players to know about different sets​

    • Avatar Dakshinamoorthy

      Very useful material for the players who start playing career.

    • Avatar Dakshinamoorthy

      I am Dakshinamoorthy volleyball coach from India. I am coaching university players and last 15years, we were able to get 10 gold and 5 silver medal. I wish to get the books. Mode of order and payment. Kindly let me know Thank you

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