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Offensive Systems


A 5-1 System uses 5 hitters and one setter. A 5-1 system will create a more consistent set for a team’s offense since only one player will be doing the setting whether she is in the front or back row. This system also creates more consistency in leadership on the court. With one primary setter, one player is controlling the offense.



A 6-2 has 6 offensive options and two different setters. The setter in the back row always sets so you have three attackers in the front row. Teams will usually opt for this system when they have multiple players who can hit and set with great success.



This is the most basic offensive system outside of non-positional. In this system, two setters play opposite of each other and the setter in the front row always sets. This system is used when setters are young or inexperienced and movemen to the ball is a challenge. 



A 6-0 is non-positional or non-specialized so players play every position as they rotate. Setter is still based out of 2 and each player, for example, will be a setter when they rotate to position 2. This system is used for beginners or young athletes.




Defensive Systems


6-up is when the middle back position (6) plays up by the attack line. This player will follow the block for tip coverage. The wing defenders will stay deep.



6-back is when the middle back, player in 6, stays deep. In this system, the defenders can play a slide defense (tip dig) where the 6 back player slides to the sideline closest to the attacker and the line defender goes up to attack line for tip coverage. Defenders can also play a swing defense (Dig defense) where the 6 back player swings away from the attacker and all three back row players stay deep to defend hits.


Systems by Age Category

18U and 16U- Generally 18U and 16U uses a 5-1 offensive system with a 6-back defense (slide or swing based on the team being played). A 6-2 is also an option for teams who have two strong setters who can also attack.

15U- Tier 1- Strong Tier 1 teams may use a 5-1 offensive system with 6-back. Volleyball Canada recommends a 6-2 with 6 back.  Tier 2 should use a 6-2 and 6-up system.

14U- Volleyball Canada recommends non-specialized and 6 up. For strong 14U teams, it's possible to run a 6-2 or a 4-2 and 6-up. Depending on skill level, Coaches should consider using 1 blocker instead of 2 which brings back another defender.


13U- Tripleball. Please see VNB Tripleball for rules. This group is non-specialized with a 6-up defense. 

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