Middle blocker is a key position in volleyball, responsible for blocking the opposing team’s attacks and initiating their own fast attacks. As a former volleyball player, I’ve played in multiple volleyball positions from hitter to libero.
But, today I will discuss everything about the middle blocker position in volleyball…
What is Middle Blocker in Volleyball?
A middle blocker in volleyball is a player who plays at the centre of the front row, near the net and specializes in blocking the opposing team’s attacks. This player is typically positioned between the two outside hitters. The main role of a middle blocker is to read the opponent’s offensive plays, jump at the right time, and attempt to block or disrupt the attacking hit.
What are the Responsibilities of a Middle Blocker?
The main responsibility of the middle blocker is to block the opponent’s hitters wherever they may be on the court. They must be quick on their feet and have excellent footwork to be able to move to the right spot to block the ball. The middle blocker must also be able to read the opponent’s pass and anticipate where the ball will be hit.
Another responsibility of the middle blocker is to be involved in a quick attack. This involves a quick set by the setter to the middle blocker, who then jumps and hits the ball over the net before the opponent’s blockers can react. The middle blocker must also be able to hit powerful quick attacks and execute a double block with the outside blocker.
What are the Traits of Middle Blockers?
The middle blocker position requires a player who is strong, quick, and has a good approach. They must have strong arms and be able to jump high to reach the ball at the net.
In addition, they must possess certain mental traits as well. They must be able to stay focused and be aware of their surroundings at all times. They must also be able to communicate effectively with their teammates and make split-second decisions on the court.
What are the Attributes of a Middle Blocker?
Height is an important physical attribute for the middle blocker position. Typically, middle blockers are some of the tallest players on the team, with an average height of 6’5″ to 6’9″. This allows them to reach higher and block more effectively at the net.
The middle blocker position also requires good vertical jump ability. This helps them to jump higher and reach the ball at the net. Quickness and balance are also important physical attributes for the middle blocker position. They must be able to move quickly and be balanced when blocking or hitting the ball.
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1. Blocking Skills of a Middle Blocker:
Blocking is one of the most important skills for a middle-blocker in volleyball. It is a technique that requires a combination of athleticism, timing, and strategy.
Here are some of the important skills;
Jumping is a crucial aspect of blocking. A middle blocker needs to be able to jump high and quickly to block the ball effectively. To do this, the player must have a good approach, which involves taking a few quick steps and then jumping explosively. The player should also have good balance and coordination to maintain control while in the air.
Blocking is the act of stopping the ball from crossing the net by jumping and reaching above the net with both hands. A successful block can result in a point for the team and can also demoralize the opposing team.
To block effectively, a middle blocker needs to have good timing and positioning. The player should also be able to read the opposing team’s hitters and anticipate where the ball is going.
1.3) Double Block:
A double block is when two players work together to block the ball. This is often used against an outside hitter, who is typically the most powerful hitter on the opposing team.
To execute a successful double block, the middle blocker and the outside hitter must communicate effectively and coordinate their movements. The middle blocker should position themselves in the middle of the net, while the outside blocker should position themselves closer to the sideline. When the hitter approaches, both players should jump and reach above the net with both hands.
2. Offensive Side of Middle Blocker:
As a key player in the team, the middle blocker in volleyball has a crucial role in offensive play. They are responsible for attacking and scoring points for their team.
Here are some offensive strategies that middle blockers can use to help their team win.
2.1) Quick Attack:
One of the most effective offensive strategies for a middle blocker is the quick attack. This is a high tempo play that is designed to catch the opposing team off guard. The middle blocker jumps quickly and hits the ball before the opposing team’s blockers have a chance to set up. This forces the opposing middle blocker to commit, which frees up the wing spikers to hit the ball without being faced with a double block.
2.2) Fast Attacks:
Middle blockers can also use fast attacks to score points. Fast attacks are similar to quick attacks, but they are not as fast. The middle blocker jumps quickly and hits the ball with power, aiming to score a point before the opposing team’s blockers have a chance to set up. This is a great strategy when the opposing team’s blockers are slow to react.
2.3) Powerful Attacks:
Middle blockers can also use their height and power to score points. They can jump high and hit the ball with force, aiming to score a point by hitting the ball past the opposing team’s blockers. This is a great strategy when the opposing team’s blockers are tall and strong.
Finally, middle blockers can also be used as decoys. This is when the middle blocker fakes an attack, drawing the opposing team’s blockers away from the real attacker. This frees up the spikers to hit the ball without being faced with a double block. This is a great strategy when the opposing team’s blockers are focusing too much on the middle blocker.
3. Defence Side of Middle Blocker:
Middle blockers play a crucial role in a volleyball team’s defence. They are responsible for blocking the opponent’s attacks and making digs in the backcourt. In this section, we will cover the different aspects of defence that a middle blocker should master.
Digging is the act of keeping the ball from touching the ground after an opponent’s attack. Middle blockers need to be proficient in digging because they are positioned in the centre of the court and have a wide range of coverage. They should be able to make quick reactions and move to the ball’s trajectory to make a successful dig.
3.2) Blocking Skill:
Blocking is another crucial aspect of defence that middle blockers need to master. They need to have excellent blocking skills to prevent the opponent’s attacks from getting through. A successful middle blocker should be able to read the opponent’s movements and react quickly to block their attacks. They should also have good timing and positioning to make a successful block.
3.3) Service Reception:
Service reception is the act of receiving the opponent’s serve. Middle blockers need to be able to receive serves effectively to start the team’s offence. They should have good footwork and positioning to be in the right place to receive the serve. They should also have good ball control skills to pass the ball to the setter accurately.
Other Volleyball Positions:
Volleyball is played with six players on each team, each with a specific position and role. The six positions are middle blocker, outside blocker, wing spiker, opposite hitter, setter, and libero.
Outside Hitter: The outside blocker is positioned on the left side of the court, in the front row. They are responsible for blocking the opponent’s attacks and hitting the ball on offence.
Middle Blocker Position: The middle blocker position is located in the centre of the court, in the front row. They are responsible for blocking the opponent’s attacks and hitting the ball on offence.
Opposite Hitter: The opposite hitter is positioned on the right side of the court, in the front row. They are responsible for hitting the ball on offence and playing defence in the backcourt.
Setter: The setter is positioned in the centre of the court, in the back row. They are responsible for setting the ball to the hitters on offence and playing defence in the backcourt.
Libero: The libero is a defensive specialist who can replace any player in the back row. They are responsible for playing defence and passing the ball to the setter on offence.
Defence Specialist: The wing spikers are positioned on the left and right sides of the court, in the front row. They are responsible for hitting the ball on offence and playing defence in the backcourt.
In volleyball, the backcourt consists of positions 1, 6, and 5, while the front row consists of positions 4, 3, and 2. The middle blocker position is located in the centre of the court, in the front row, and is responsible for blocking the opponent’s attacks and hitting the ball on offence.
In conclusion, the middle blocker position in volleyball is a crucial role that requires a combination of athleticism and intelligence. Middle blockers are responsible for controlling the net, primarily through blocking opposition spikers. They tend to be the tallest and heaviest players on the court, with an ectomorph somatotype, and present the largest reach when jumping.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the main role of a middle blocker?
The main role of a middle blocker in volleyball is to control the net. They are responsible for blocking the opponent’s spikers and preventing them from scoring points. In addition to blocking, middle blockers are also expected to attack the ball when set and contribute to the team’s offence.
How do you play the middle blocker position in volleyball?
To play the middle blocker position in volleyball, a player needs to have good footwork, quick reflexes, and strong blocking skills. They must be able to move quickly and jump high to block the opponent’s attacks.
Can a middle blocker serve in volleyball?
Yes, a middle blocker can serve in volleyball. In fact, many middle blockers are known for having strong serves that can put pressure on the opponent’s defence. However, serving is not typically the primary role of a middle blocker, and they are often focused more on blocking and hitting.
Do middle blockers play in the back row in volleyball?
Middle blockers do play in the back row in volleyball, but their role is typically more limited than in the front row. In the back row, middle blockers are responsible for playing defence and passing the ball to their setters. They are not allowed to block or attack the ball from behind the ten-foot line.
How many middle blockers are on a volleyball team?
The number of middle blockers on a volleyball team can vary depending on the coach’s strategy and the team’s needs. Generally, teams will have at least one or two middle blockers on the roster, but some teams may have more if they have a strong group of players in that position.
What are some volleyball middle blocker workouts?
There are many different workouts that can help middle blockers improve their skills. Some common exercises include plyometric drills to improve jumping ability, strength training to build muscle and improve blocking power, and agility drills to improve footwork and reaction time.