Opposite Hitter in Volleyball: Explained with Pictures

As a volleyball player, I’ve always been fascinated by the opposite hitter position. It’s one of the most important positions on the court and requires a unique set of skills to excel.

In this article, I will share a comprehensive guide to the opposite hitter position in volleyball. So, let’s dive in…

What is Opposite Hitter in Volleyball?

The opposite hitter in volleyball is a position that plays on the right side of the front row and is responsible for attacking, blocking, and serving. They are often the main offensive threat and are typically left-handed or have strong hitting abilities. The opposite hitter is also known as the right-side hitter or opposite spiker.

Opposite Hitter Position in Volleyball

The opposite hitter position in volleyball is a key role that plays on the right side of the front row. This position holds great significance in a team’s offence, as the opposite hitter is responsible for delivering powerful attacks, solid blocks, and strategic serves.

The opposite hitter’s impact extends beyond offensive contributions. Their presence on the court significantly affects the team’s overall strategy and defensive capabilities. By effectively blocking and disrupting the opponent’s attacks, the opposite hitter plays a crucial role in defending the right side of the court.

What is the Role of an Opposite Hitter?

Opposite hitter hitting the ball

An Opposite Hitter is very a crucial position in the team’s success. Its primary responsibility is to deliver powerful hits and attack the ball from the back row.

Here are some of them…

Attacking Responsibilities:

As opposite hitters, they need to be able to execute a wide range of shots, including spikes, tips, and shots aimed at the opponent’s blockers. Their offensive production must be consistent, and their attacking skills need to be strong enough to score points for the team.

They also need to read the opposing team’s defence and adjust their attacking strategy accordingly. This means recognizing gaps in the defence and taking advantage of them to score points.

Blocking Responsibilities:

When in the front court, the opposite hitter is matched up against the opposing team’s outside/left-side hitter near the middle blocker. One of their primary responsibilities is to block the outside and neutralize that offensive threat as much as possible. They must be able to read the opposing team’s attack and adjust their blocking strategy accordingly.

In addition to blocking, they also need to be able to defend against tips and short shots. This requires quick reflexes and the ability to react promptly to any changes in the opposing team’s attack.

Overall, as opposite hitters, they play a critical role in the team’s success. They must be able to execute a wide range of shots, read the opposing team’s defence, and adjust their attacking strategy accordingly. Additionally, they must block effectively and defend against tips and short shots.

What are the Skills Required for an Opposite Hitter?

volleyball player at OPP position

As opposite hitters, they need to be proficient in several key skills to excel on the volleyball court. These skills include hitting technique, footwork and timing, and blocking technique.

1. Hitting Technique:

To deliver powerful hits and attack the ball from the back row, the opposite hitter needs to have a strong arm. They need to generate power and hit the ball with speed and accuracy.

To achieve this, they should focus on their hitting technique, which includes:

  • Approach: They need to maintain a consistent approach to the ball, with a smooth and fluid motion that allows them to generate power and control their shot.
  • Contact: Making good contact with the ball is crucial, hitting it at the highest point possible and utilizing its entire body to generate power.
  • Follow-through: Ensuring a proper follow-through on their swing, extending their arm and wrist to direct the ball where they want it to go.

2. Footwork and Timing:

Excellent footwork and timing are essential for the opposite hitter to get into position for a successful hit. This involves:

  • Reading the block: They need to be able to read the opposing team’s block and adjust their approach and timing accordingly.
  • Footwork: Developing quick and precise footwork enables them to move swiftly and position themselves for their hit.
  • Timing: Mastering the art of timing their approach and jump correctly ensures they hit the ball at the right point in its trajectory.

3. Blocking Technique:

As opposite hitters, they also need to be proficient in blocking techniques. This includes:

  • Positioning: They must be in the right position on the court to make a block, with their arms and hands in the correct position.
  • Timing: Timing their jump correctly allows them to get in front of the ball and block it effectively.
  • Reading the hitter: Developing the ability to read the opposing team’s hitter and anticipate where they will hit the ball helps them position themselves for an effective block.

Overall, as an opposite hitter, you need to be a well-rounded player, with strong hitting, blocking, and defensive skills.

What are the Rules for Opposite hitters in volleyball?

Opposite hitters in volleyball are subject to the same rules as other players on the court. However, there are specific guidelines and considerations that apply to their position.

Here are some key rules and regulations that opposite hitters need to adhere to:

Rotation Rules:

Opposite hitters must follow the rotation rules, which dictate their starting position in each rotation and their movement throughout the game. They need to be aware of their position in relation to the setter and adjust their movements accordingly.

Attack Line Limitations:

Opposite hitters, like all front-row players, have restrictions on where they can attack from. They are not allowed to attack or hit the ball while positioned in front of the 3-meter attack line when attacking from behind the 3-meter line.

Back-Row Attack Rules:

Opposite hitters are permitted to perform back-row attacks, meaning they can jump and spike the ball from behind the 3-meter attack line. However, back-row attacks must comply with the rules regarding contact with the ball above the net height and not interfere with opposing players’ attempts to play the ball.

Blocking Regulations:

Opposite hitters have specific responsibilities and limitations when it comes to blocking. They are primarily responsible for blocking the opposing team’s outside hitter.

Opposite hitters need to avoid committing faults such as reaching over the net to interfere with the opponents’ attack or making contact with the ball before or during the opponents’ attack.

Serving Guidelines:

Opposite hitters are expected to serve the ball effectively. They must adhere to the serving rules, including serving within the designated area, releasing the ball cleanly, and not stepping on or over the end line during the serve.

Substitution Rules:

If necessary, opposite hitters can be substituted during the game according to the team’s strategy or coach’s decisions. Substitutions must follow the rules and regulations regarding player substitutions, such as notifying the officials and entering the game at the designated substitution zone.

It’s essential for opposite hitters to have a clear understanding of these rules and regulations to ensure fair play and contribute effectively to their team’s success.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between outside hitter and opposite hitter?

The difference between an outside hitter and an opposite hitter in volleyball is their primary hitting position. Outside hitters typically play on the left side and receive sets from the setter, while opposite hitters play on the right side and often have a more prominent role in blocking and back-row attacking.

Why is it called opposite hitter?

The opposite hitter is called so because they typically play on the opposite side of the setter. Their position on the right side of the front row is opposite to the setter’s position on the left side.

How many opposite hitters are there in volleyball?

There is typically one opposite hitter in volleyball. Each team has one player designated for the opposite hitter position.

What is a spiker called in volleyball?

A spiker in volleyball is commonly referred to as an outside hitter or simply a hitter. They are responsible for executing attacking shots and spiking the ball over the net to score points.

Should I play opposite or outside hitter?

The decision to play as an opposite or outside hitter depends on individual skills and team dynamics. Consider factors such as hitting preference, defensive abilities, and the team’s needs to determine which position suits you best.

How can I be a better opposite hitter?

To become a better opposite hitter, focus on developing strong hitting technique, footwork, and timing. Work on your blocking skills and the ability to read the opposing team’s defence. Practice consistency in offensive production and strive to be a well-rounded player in all aspects of the game.

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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