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Libero

li*ber*o

What Is The Definition Of Libero In Volleyball?

1. The libero is a type of defensive specialist who only plays in the back row, and a player who cannot block or attack the ball when it is above the height of the net. A coach may only designate one libero per set, and the libero must wear a contrasting jersey to differentiate the position.

What Is The Role Of A Libero?

The libero plays as a back-row specialist. Because of this limitation, liberos will often be the best passers on the team to achieve the initial dig off of a serve or hit. Most often, the libero will replace the middle blockers on a team during their rotations to the back row.

Who Can A Libero Replace?

The libero replaces one player on the court for their back row rotations, and that same player must re-enter the game for the libero before the libero reaches the front court. 

When it comes to substituting, the libero can replace any back-row player when the ball is not in play without notifying the official. In addition, when a libero substitutes for a player, it does not count against the substitution limit each team is allowed per set.

Can The Libero Spike?

The libero cannot attack the ball when it is above the height of the net. However, the libero can jump and hit, even in front of the 10-foot line, provided that the ball is lower than the top of the net.

Additionally, a libero cannot overhand set the ball in front of the 10-foot line if teammates will make contact with it above the net.

Can The Libero Serve?

In some situations and leagues, a libero can serve. For instance, in the NCAA, a libero can serve for a middle blocker once per full team rotation, similar to other players. 

The only instances in which this can occur are when the libero completes a double substitution. For instance, if Player 1 plays middle blocker and the libero replaces Player 1 for the back row, Player 1 would return to their position in the front row upon three rotations, and the libero would return to the bench. 

However, if Player 2 plays middle blocker opposite Player 1 in the rotation, the libero may replace them without sitting out a set, meaning the libero would be next up to set. 

The next time Player 2 reaches the front row, the libero must sit while Player 1 serves. After the serve, the libero may replace Player 1 once more.

This exception is not allowed in international play.

Why Do Teams Use A Libero?

When it comes to substituting, the libero can replace any back-row player when the ball is not in play without notifying the official. In addition, when a libero substitutes for a player, it does not count against the substitution limit each team is allowed per set.

Where Does The Word Libero Come From?

The word libero means “free” in Italian. “Free” contributes to this position in two ways: First, the libero replacements are free substitutions. Second, the libero is not bound by traditional rotational rules. In essence, a libero maintains freedom to roam the back row.

Are All Liberos Short?

Liberos are not necessarily short. A libero might be short in comparison to other teammates, especially given that volleyball favors players with height. Because liberos function as defensive specialists, a lower center of gravity may help with moving quickly for fast digs.

Examples Of How Libero Is Used In Commentary

1. The libero makes an outstanding, diving dig on that strong spike from Timmons.

Sport The Term Is Used

1. Volleyball

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