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Serve Reception

Serve reception is foundation of complex one and as a first contact of team, quality of serve reception can affect the efficiency of attack so in order to build up efficient and stable complex one we need solid performance in serve reception.

First goal in reception is to avoid ace, after that, keep the ball in our court and avoid overpass, next priority is to pass the ball near to attack line with suitable trajectory, and most preferable goal is that if receiver feel control on situation he/she should pass the ball near to net, the trajectory of the ball depends on ability of the setter of the team, for instance, if he/she is high enough and has good ability in jump set receivers can pass the ball little higher. Table 2.2 describes performance of first three teams in Men World Championship 2022 in serve reception.

TABLE 2.2 performance of first three teams in Men World Championship 2022 in serve reception.

  Eff%   = / ! + #
Italy 35% 6% 4% 25% 21% 24% 20%
Poland 29% 6% 3% 24% 28% 23% 16%
Brazil 34% 7% 4% 23% 21% 26% 19%

Technical key points for serve reception:

  1. Starting position on court; for receiving float serve stay on almost 6 meter far from net (in case of reception with overhand, receiver can stay one or two steps closer to net; depend on his height.) for receiving jump powerful serve stay on almost 7 to 8 meter far from the net.
  2. Ready position and focus on server; legs shoulder stance and relaxed forward-arms hanging with slight bent at elbow- face to server
  • Focus on ball, visual tracking and stepping with correct foot in reaction to serve; using a shuffle step to arrive at the point of pass.
  1. Stop and fully stablish the platform, relax shoulders; choose one side to receive the ball, create good angle with platform
  2. Pass the ball with suitable trajectory; (absorb pace against fast serves, just keep your platform against medium speed serves, and a little push the ball in case of slow serves)
  • Continue the game flow


Reception formations

Most of high level teams in most rotations use three players as main receivers; two out-side hitters and libero, but the other three players are helper in reception, middle blocker is responsible for receiving short serves in his area, setter is responsible for let serve and if the opposite has good reception technique in some rotations and against very fast serves can be added to receivers. We will discuss more about reception formations in tactical part at the end of this chapter.

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