Best Volleyball Positions for Short Players: (Expert View)

Are you a short player who loves volleyball but feels like your height is holding you back? Don’t worry!

Here, I’m going to share the best volleyball positions for short players…

What position can short people play in volleyball?

Volleyball is known for being a sport where height can be an advantage, but that doesn’t mean short players are out of luck. Shorter athletes can still thrive on the court by playing certain positions.

These are the volleyball positions where short-height players can fit perfectly;

  1. Libero
  2. Defensive Specialist
  3. Setter
  4. Outside hitter

So, here is why I’ve chosen these positions…

1. Libero:

Libero Position in Volleyball

When it comes to volleyball positions for short players, one of the most popular options is the libero position. The libero is a defensive specialist who plays in the back row and is allowed to substitute freely with any player in the back row without counting as a substitution.

This means that even though they are not tall, liberos can still be valuable assets to their team. One of the main responsibilities of a libero is to pass and dig balls that come their way. They need to have quick reflexes and good ball control skills in order to do this effectively.

While being short may not seem like an advantage in volleyball. But, playing libero can allow shorter players with strong defensive skills to make significant contributions to their team’s success.

Related Post: Volleyball for Beginners: How to Play Like a Pro?

2. Defensive Specialist:

Defensive Specialist Position in Volleyball

Defensive Specialist is a volleyball position that requires quick reflexes, strong ball control skills and an ability to read the opponent’s hits. So, short players can easily excel at this position as they often have better agility and speed than taller players.

As a Defensive Specialist, your main goal is to prevent the ball from hitting the ground on your team’s side of the court. You will need to know how to dig or pass low balls hit close to the ground, effectively and consistently.

Shorter players are often quicker on their feet than taller teammates which makes them ideal for defending short serves or digging close-to-the-net attacks. They can use their small frame to get quickly behind passes others might not be able to reach.

Related Post: Volleyball Positions Ranked: From Hardest to Easiest

3. Setter:

Setter Position in Volleyball

The setter position in volleyball is responsible for setting up plays and delivering the ball to attacking players. Although height can be an advantage in this position, being short doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t excel as a setter.

Short players can use their agility and quickness to outmanoeuvre taller opponents on the court. They also have lower centres of gravity which makes it easier for them to change direction quickly and stay balanced while making sets.

But, you’ll need to work on your footwork and speed to keep up with the game’s fast-paced nature. You’ll also need strong communication skills since setters are often considered the team’s leaders on the court.

One strategy that shorter setters can use is deceptive setting by hiding the ball behind their body or faking a set before delivering it elsewhere. This tactic will help keep taller blockers off-balance and give your hitters more opportunities to score points.

Related Post: Best Volleyball Shoes for Setters: My Top Picks

4. Outside Hitter:

Outside Hitter Position in Volleyball

The Outside Hitter position in volleyball is also known as the Left Side or Wing Spiker. This position is responsible for attacking from the left side of the court, receiving serves and playing defence.

Height can be a big advantage in this position. But, short players with excellent jumping ability and quick reflexes can excel as well.

Short outside hitters are typically quicker on their feet, allowing them to move around the court with ease and react quickly to opponents’ attacks. They also have a better range of motion when it comes to hitting angles.

Again, short players have to focus on developing their technical skills such as footwork, arm swing and timing of approach. It’s important that they work closely with their setter to ensure the proper placement of sets that suit their strengths.

Related Post: What Volleyball Position Should I Play? (Yes/No Quiz)

Can short people be good at volleyball?

Height is often seen as an advantage in volleyball, but it’s not the only factor that determines success. Short players can still be great volleyball athletes with proper training and practice.

For example, short players are often more agile and quick on their feet than taller players. They may also have better ball control due to their smaller stature which makes them ideal for positions like libero or defensive specialist.

Shorter players can also develop strong jump serves and hits by utilizing proper technique and speed. In fact, some of the best hitters in volleyball history were not tall at all!

Therefore, being short doesn’t automatically mean one cannot excel at volleyball. Hard work and dedication to improving individual skill sets will lead to excellent performance on the court regardless of your height!

Is it better to be tall or short in volleyball?

One of the most debated topics in volleyball is whether it is better to be tall or short. The answer, however, isn’t that simple.

Tall players have an advantage when it comes to blocking and hitting since they can reach higher than shorter players. However, being tall doesn’t necessarily make you a great player. Shorter players have their own advantages too.

Shorter players are typically quicker on their feet and more agile which allows them to cover more ground on the court during play. They also tend to have better ball control due to their lower center of gravity making it easier for them to pass and dig balls.

Being good at volleyball depends on skill level rather than height alone. A skilled short player will still outplay a taller but less experienced player any day.

Why is there always a short player in volleyball?

Volleyball is a sport that values both height and athleticism. While tall players often have an advantage in certain positions, there is always room for shorter players on the court.

One reason why there is always a short player in volleyball is because of their agility and quickness. Shorter players tend to be faster and more nimble than taller ones, making them ideal candidates for defensive positions like libero or defensive specialist.

Another reason why short players are essential to a volleyball team is their ability to read the game. They may not have the same reach as taller teammates, but they make up for it with their anticipation skills.

Shorter players also bring energy and enthusiasm to the court. Their dynamic playing style often motivates teammates and spectators alike, adding excitement to any match.


Being short doesn’t have to be a disadvantage when playing volleyball. There are positions that short players can excel at and make a significant impact on the team’s success.

Libero and defensive specialists are the main positions where height is not necessarily an essential factor.

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Kyle Parker

About Author:

I'm Kyle Parker, a former professional volleyball player turned coach. Here, I shares in-depth guides and practical tips to elevate your volleyball game. Learn more...

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