Best Volleyball Positions For Short Players: Positions Ranked

Volleyball is a game that requires the players to have an excellent understanding of their position and how it contributes to the team’s success. As a volleyball coach, I often get asked which are the best positions for short players.

In this article, I will explain why certain roles suit shorter athletes better than others, as well as providing tips on how they can maximize their impact in each role.

Height can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on what position you play in volleyball. Typically, taller players make great blockers while small ones excel at setting and defense. However, all players can still contribute significantly regardless of size if they understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Therefore, it’s important to determine which positions suit your skill set best before getting onto the court!


The position of a volleyball player can make or break their ability to excel in the game. For short players, understanding how to maximize their potential is critical for success on the court. As a coach, I have seen that height does not always determine victory; it’s about playing smart and using your body wisely.

When analyzing the best positions for shorter players, setting comes at the top of my list. Setting requires quickness and precision which are often associated with smaller athletes. The ideal setter needs agility and accuracy combined with steady hands – both characteristics that are easier to achieve as a short player due to their size and lower center of gravity. Plus, they’re able to react faster when seeing plays from opponents making them an invaluable asset on any team.

Having an effective setter is key for every offense since they control ball movement while also facilitating smooth transitions between defense and attack. Despite being one of the toughest jobs on the court, if done correctly setting can be extremely rewarding mentally and physically – especially for those who may lack superior physical attributes like height but possess strong technical skills.

From my experience working with these talented individuals, I come away consistently impressed by their tenacity and determination in developing strategies for success regardless of size or age barrier.

With thoughtful coaching, strategizing, practice drills, skill development techniques – all tailored specifically to this type of athlete – we can together create sets that propel teams into higher levels of play than ever before imagined.


The libero is a special position in volleyball, typically filled by the shortest player on the team. The job of the libero is to help maintain control of the backcourt and substitute for any player who needs a rest or injury replacement. This role requires an understanding of defensive strategies as well as quick reflexes and agility.

Liberos must be able to read plays quickly and accurately anticipate where shots are going before they happen. They should have excellent passing skills and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Liberos also need good communication skills so they can communicate with teammates about positioning during play.

In addition, liberos must focus on keeping rallies alive by digging up balls that would otherwise go out-of-bounds. Because this position requires lots of movement around the court, it’s important for short players to stay agile and move quickly from one location to another in order to make successful digs.

By mastering these key components, short players can excel as effective liberos on a volleyball team. With skillful execution, they can be valuable contributors helping their teams win games.

Moving forward, let’s examine outside hitter roles within the game of volleyball.

Outside Hitter

Outside Hitter is an excellent position for short players.

The primary role of the outside hitter is to attack from the left side and serve as a second line of defense when blocking. This position requires quick feet, agility, speed and reflexes – all important attributes for shorter players.

The main advantage of playing this position is that it allows you to stay close to the net while still having the ability to move quickly around the court. With good vision and communication skills, a talented short player can be highly effective in this position.

Additionally, since they are closer to the net than other positions on court, they have great opportunities to spike or hit powerful shots over blockers.

Overall, Outside Hitter is a great option for tall and short players alike looking to make an impact on their team’s success with some aggressive offense and smart defensive plays.

It offers plenty of chances for quicker athletes to showcase their talents and help lead their team to victory!

Middle Blocker

Middle Blocker is one of the best positions for shorter players, as they don’t need to reach as far as taller players for blocks and spikes.

It also allows them to use their agility to their advantage, utilizing quick footwork to move around the court.

As far as techniques go, shorter players need to focus on having a quick jump and strong arm swing.

Developing a good strategy is also key; they need to think about when to attack and when to back off.

Overall, it’s a great position for shorter players who can use their quickness and agility to their advantage.


As a volleyball coach, one of the greatest advantages to having short players on your team is the ability to use them as middle blockers. Middle blockers are essentially an integral part of any successful volleyball team; they have to be extremely agile and quick in order to execute their responsibilities effectively.

A shorter player can easily move around the court more quickly than a taller person could, making them ideal for this position. Plus, since they’re closer to the net, it makes blocking shots easier due to their proximity.

Furthermore, being slightly lower gives them better control over where they want to send the ball when spiking or setting up plays – which helps out tremendously! Finally, since they’re not quite as tall as some other positions require, these players tend to develop great skills from playing at a higher level for longer periods of time; that means you’ll get maximum effort and dedication every single game.


Now that we’ve discussed the advantages of having short players as middle blockers, let’s look at some techniques they can use to be successful in this position.

The first and most obvious one is their agility; being able to quickly move around the court helps them keep up with opposing teams’ shots and return balls just as fast.

They also benefit from having a good understanding of the game – knowing when to go for an offensive shot or stay back defensively.

Finally, timing is key here; learning how to wait until the perfect moment before going in for a block will give your team an extra edge over opponents.


Having the proper strategy is essential for success as a middle blocker.

It’s important to remember that it’s not just about blocking – there are certain scenarios where you need to be able to attack or defend depending on your team’s needs.

Being able to read and react quickly can help you anticipate where an opponent’s shot will go, allowing you time to move into position.

The ability to think ahead and strategize accordingly gives short players an advantage over taller ones since they have less ground to cover.

Additionally, learning how and when to adjust your body in order to get the most out of each block helps give them the edge they need against their opponents.

With knowledge and practice, any player – regardless of height – can become a successful middle blocker.

Right Side Hitter

The middle blocker may be the most iconic position on a volleyball court, but for short players, it is not necessarily ideal. In contrast, the right side hitter offers an opportunity to stand out and truly shine. It’s like moving from center stage to the spotlight; with some skill and practice, a small player can utilize their size more advantageously here than in any other spot.

At this position, accuracy and agility reign supreme. A smaller frame gives the player freedom of movement around the court that taller players don’t always have access to. The key is being able to move quickly while still maintaining pinpoint precision with shots and passes – something that comes naturally to many shorter athletes who’ve honed their skills over time.

Right side hitters are also often overlooked by opponents because they’re facing away from them instead of into them as middle blockers do. This means that a savvy player will make use of surprise tactics to catch adversaries off guard at crucial moments in a match. Shortness might actually become an asset if used correctly!

With all these advantages, it is no wonder why so many coaches recommend this role for shorter players looking to maximize their potential on the court.

Looking ahead now: outside blockers must stay vigilant against powerful hits coming from opposing teams’ strongest spikers.

Outside Blocker

One of the best volleyball positions for short players is outside blocker. The key to success in this position is agility and good footwork as it requires players to move quickly around the court, jumping up at just the right time to block an attack from the opposing team.

As an outside blocker, you’ll need to:

  • Anticipate your opponent’s next move by reading their body language & watching their eyes
  • Stay agile on your feet by using quick lateral movements
  • React swiftly when blocking shots

It takes a lot of practice, but with determination and commitment you can become a great asset to any team as an outside blocker. Your role is critical – making sure that no ball gets past without being blocked! By mastering these skills, you will be able to help your team win many matches.

Opposite Hitter

For short players, the opposite hitter position is a great fit. This role requires quick reflexes and excellent agility – qualities that often come naturally to shorter players!

As the name implies, this player stands on the opposite side of the court from their team’s setter and serves as an offensive presence in each rally. Their job is to spike balls when they are passed over by other members of their team, providing extra power for kills or blocks. They also need to be able to read plays quickly and accurately so they can adjust their movements accordingly; with enough practice, these skills become second nature.

Opposite hitters must have good endurance too – but here again, shorter players may find themselves at an advantage: due to having smaller bodies it’s easier for them to move around faster than taller opponents without tiring out quickly. With proper training, therefore, even small athletes can make a big impact in key moments during matches– thundering down powerful spikes like giants among dwarves!

The advantages of being an agile and nimble small-statured athlete should never be underestimated; as far as volleyball positions go, the opposite hitter is definitely one where a compact frame comes into its own. Having said that though, height isn’t necessarily a deterrent either…even tall players can excel in this position given the right coaching and technique!


Serving is a crucial volleyball skill, and it’s important to determine the best positions for short players.

A standing float serve is a good option because it allows the player to keep their feet on the ground and generate enough power to get the ball over the net.

On the other hand, a jump float serve is ideal for players who have the ability to jump higher; this gives them more control over the trajectory of the ball.

Ultimately, the best serve for a short player will depend on their individual skill set.

Standing Float Serve

Standing Float Serve is a great option for short players, as it allows them to hit the ball with power and accuracy.

It’s important that they keep their body low by bending at the waist in order to generate momentum for the serve.

Additionally, they should ensure their arm is extended above shoulder level so that they can get enough torque on the ball.

Short players won’t be able to use an overhand serve due to their height limitations, but standing float serves are just as effective if done correctly!

Once mastered, this will become your go-to serve when you need consistency and control from the service line.

With practice, any player – regardless of size or stature – can master this type of technique and benefit from its effectiveness.

Let’s get out there and show ’em what we’ve got!

Jump Float Serve

Now let’s talk about the Jump Float Serve. This is a great option for players of any size, and it can really give you an edge on your opponents when executed correctly.

The jump float serve requires a player to generate momentum by jumping off the ground and then extending their arm above shoulder level so they can hit the ball with power and accuracy. It takes practice, but once mastered, this type of serve will be sure to surprise your opponents.

When executing a jump float serve, make sure you bend at the waist as you take off from the ground in order to gain height and torque on the ball. Also ensure that your arms are extended properly before hitting the ball, which will allow for more control over placement and spin.

As with any skill in volleyball, technique is key – so make sure you have good form!

With some practice, everyone can master this powerful move and benefit greatly from its effectiveness. So get out there and give it a try!


Once your team has mastered the art of serving, it’s time to look into digging. Digging is a key skill in volleyball for short players as it can help them make up for their lack of height and reach. It takes quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination to be an effective digger.

Here are four ways that shorter players can work on honing their defensive skills:

  1. Work on Wrist Position – Keeping wrists loose and flexible will allow you to move quickly when diving or extending for the ball.
  2. Keep Your Balance – Working on balance drills helps keep body control steady while still being able to react quickly to save the ball from going out of bounds or over the net.
  3. Increase Flexibility – Stretching regularly increases range of motion which gives the player more reach when saving balls at full extension with less strain on muscles and joints.
  4. Practice Reading Hitter’s Cues – Learning how to anticipate hitter tendencies by reading patterns in serve receive situations will give you an edge in knowing where to position yourself defensively so you can react faster than other opponents.

Digging is an essential part of defense whether playing back row or front row positions, so taking the time now to focus on improving this skill set will pay off later during game play. With practice and dedication, even short players can excel defensively just like any other taller counterparts they may face off against!

As we transition into discussing passing, let us remember that without proper defense it would be almost impossible for teams to score points successfully regardless of how accurate their passes may be.


When it comes to playing volleyball, short players have the unique advantage of being able to move quickly and easily around the court. Take for example 5’3′ libero Kendra Dahlke from Stanford; she is a highly skilled defensive specialist who uses her agility to cover more ground than taller opponents. Her quickness on the court allows her to pass with accuracy and precision, making her an invaluable asset in any game situation.

Passing can be one of the most important skills that a short player can master as they are often able to get their arms up quicker compared to larger players due to their smaller stature.

Passing is all about timing, so having strong hand-eye coordination and anticipation will help you react faster when receiving serves or returning your own passes during drills. As well, honing your technique by using both forearms instead of just one arm and learning how to read opponents’ body language will make you a much better passer.

Having great passing ability gives shorter players an edge over their peers because it enables them to set up plays for hitters without letting their height disadvantage become too obvious.

To maximize this skill, focus on developing good footwork that can allow you to get into position quickly while also keeping yourself balanced throughout each pass attempt. With consistent practice and hard work, anyone regardless of size can become an elite passer!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Typical Height Of A Successful Volleyball Player?

When it comes to successful volleyball players, height can be an advantage. The typical height of a successful player is around 6 feet for men and 5’10’ for women.

However, being short doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t make the team – there are plenty of success stories that prove otherwise!

It’s important to remember that even though height may give certain players an edge, skill, agility and quickness are just as crucial in becoming a great player.

How Can A Short Player Develop An Effective Serve?

A successful serve for a shorter player is achievable if the athlete takes the time to develop it. With practice and proper technique, even players who seem limited by their height can be powerful servers!

Using an analogy, I like to tell my athletes that developing an effective serve is just like creating a work of art—it requires passion, dedication, and patience. Every detail needs to be carefully crafted in order for success; from wrist flexion, body position, arm swing mechanics, and footwork coordination.

Once these components are mastered with repetition and focus, short players will have no trouble finding the back corner of the court on their serves!

How Can A Short Player Improve Their Vertical Jump?

A short player’s vertical jump can be improved with the right techniques and drills!

Plyometric exercises such as single-leg jumps, box jumps, or squat jumps are great ways to increase your power output.

It’s important to remember not to perform too many repetitions in a row; instead, focus on quality reps with proper form.

Additionally, make sure you have adequate rest between sets to avoid injury.

With proper technique and consistent effort, any volleyball player can improve their vertical jump – regardless of height!

What Should A Short Player Focus On To Be An Effective Defender?

A short player can be an effective defender as long as they focus on the fundamentals.

The key is to learn how to efficiently move around the court, anticipating where the ball is going and reacting quickly.

It’s important for them to stay low so they can get into position faster and maintain good balance, allowing them to make quick changes of direction.

Developing strong communication with their teammates and reading opponents’ body language will also help a short player become an effective defensive specialist.

What Drills Can A Short Player Do To Improve Their Positioning In The Court?

Positioning is an important skill for any volleyball player, but it can be especially challenging for shorter players.

To help improve their positioning in the court, short players should practice a few drills which focus on improving agility and quickness. For instance, they could work on shuffling from side to side with high knees; this will help them move more quickly and efficiently so that they are better able to respond when needed.

Additionally, having short players practice defensive slides while keeping their feet apart can also be beneficial since it helps build strength and control as well as improves reaction time.

By incorporating these drills into practice regularly, short players can become much more effective defenders of the court.


As a volleyball coach, I can tell you that shorter players have their own unique set of challenges. However, with the right dedication and skill-building exercises, they can thrive in any position on the court.

With proper technique and strategy, short players can learn to serve effectively, jump higher, and defend better than ever before. If they focus on mastering positioning drills, then they’ll be able to take advantage of every opportunity for success.

So get ready to hit the court–with hard work and determination, your height won’t hold you back from achieving your goals!

About Austin Jones

I'm a volleyball enthusiast! My goal is to spread the joy sports bring to me through engaging and valuable content that evoke others to enjoy sports as well.