Why Setter’s Rules Works

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I had a couple of comments about the ‘Setter’s Rules‘ post, here and on facebook, that I thought I would reply to in a post.

There were a couple of comments about when and how it is appropriate to use the rules.  As I wrote originally, I have had very good experience with it.  I think it works at several levels.

– It sets high standards, and those standards are very clear.

– The feedback is unequivocal and automatic, for both the setter and the receivers.  If the setter cannot jump set, the receivers also receive feedback.  The coach doesn’t have to say anything.  The drill gives the feedback.

– It teaches the principles of role differentiation.  It teaches not only when a player must play the ball, but also when a player must not play the ball.  Getting out of the way of the ball is equally as important as going to the ball and important form of communication.

– It achieves its goals very fast, with the fewest possible interventions from the coach.

Martin commented that rigid rules could restrict the development of decision making.  I think that is a very valid point.  There is definitely a point where rigid rules are no longer useful and actually hinder the development of a team.  But I would still be more than happy to recommend the Setter’s Rules as an excellent teaching tool at the appropriate level.


  1. A different rule we have instilled with our Setter in training during 6v6 play is no dumping. It has had 2 effects – improved our setters ability to deliver the ball off a tight pass, and has improved our setters decision making on tight passes.


    1. I worked with an older setter who was an excellent attacker. But because of that he had never learnt to solve problems by setting. He always spiked himself out of trouble. I banned him from attacking. It made a huge difference in his development.


  2. Curious about the comment about Setters Rules being ‘ an excellent teaching tool at the appropriate level.” What level is most appropriate? I coach U10, U12 and U14’s. Passing quality is most in need of help, which Setters Rules provide. At same time, kids need to develop their Volleyball IQ and discover the game – and too many rules and restrictions inhibit this process. (I hate to see a beginning player run away or watch a ball hit at their feet because they are not the setter.) I can see this both as a Great tool and as the worst thing I could do! What do you see?


    1. I would say it is appropriate at any junior level. You are absolutely correct in identifying that players need to develop volleyball IQ. The key point is the they need to develop that IQ within a team framework and with solid technique. I believe the Setter’s Rules provides excellent feedback and therefore development for both teamplay and technique.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is a great discussion regarding a setter. I think most intelligent player team will be the best setter of the team. Secondly blocking, swiftness, and good concept of volleyball is great quality of a setter.

    Rashid volleyball coach of Bangladesh.


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