When Role Definition Goes Wrong – Libero Edition

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For more explanations of what is really happening in the game click What Just Happened Part 1-10 and for explanations of great play click Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

I wrote here about what happens when a team sticks too strongly to their rules about who should take which ball. As a quick reminder, in that example the setter ran 8m, put up a bad set and the team lost the point instead of a non setter taking 2 steps and making an easy set to an attacker in a good position. With that in mind, check out the free ball reception in this play.

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What we see is another fairly simple, on the surface, play. The yellow team obviously has to give up a free ball, the libero of the red team is, in most teams, in most situations the player to take the free ball. Unfortunately the libero makes a poor pass and his team loses control of the rally, eventually losing it.

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I bet you know exactly what I’m thinking. The libero, by insisting on taking this ball when he is out of position and has to move a long way, makes the play break down. There were 3 players closer to the play each of who had an easier movement to make. “But the libero is the best at passing free balls!” I hear you cry. That may be the case, but as in our setter example, he is not the best at taking ‘this ball’. Once again the team fulfilled their defined roles but at the cost of a good outcome.

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