Volleyball: why do liberos play with a different jersey?

Volleyball: why do liberos play with a different jersey?

The number one question in volleyball is: why is there a player with a different uniform? Immediately followed by: why do liberos keep going in and out? The list of curiosities linked to liberos is long, let’s find out more about the most intriguing figure in volleyball

Whenever National teams are involved in international competitions like the Olympic Games or the World Championships, a larger share of sports lovers focus on volleyball. Among these non-regular viewers, the most common question arising is: why there is one player with a different shirt? Let’s dive into it!

Volleyball: why do liberos play with a different jersey?

What is a libero?

First of all, let’s make some order. The libero is the newest role in volleyball history, it was officially “created” only in 1998, which means more than a hundred years after the invention of volleyball!! Surprise aside, the libero is a player who specializes in defensive actions he is the real guardian of the floor.

Along with this enormous responsibility comes a whole different ruleset that applies only to them. Let’s see the most important ones.

1. Liberos are only allowed in the back row of the volleyball court. This doesn’t mean they cannot step over the attack line but that once they completed the three back-row rotations, they must exit, without covering positions 4,3 and 2.

2. Liberos cannot attack or block. This is a direct consequence of the rule stating that liberos can play the ball directly into the opposite court only when the ball is below net height.

3. Liberos can sub any back-row player. At the beginning of a new action, liberos can sub any player in a defensive position, without permission from the referee and without interfering with the substitution limit.

Why do liberos wear a different shirt?

The reason why liberos wear a different shirt is a direct consequence of those peculiarities proper only to them.

A contrasting shirt helps the referees and their staff to differentiate this player from all others, allowing the game to run smoothly.

We can say thare are two more perks thanks to this uniqueness. The different jersey also helps the opponent team during rallies, why? Because the libero is the only player they should try to avoid if they want to score a point.

Second of all, it allows designers to create not only one amazing jersey each year but two, expressing their creativity with contrasting colors and different textures.

Volleyball: why do liberos play with a different jersey?

What does it take to be a good libero?

The libero is as key as any other team member and becoming the most skilled defensive player takes time but some inborn characteristics may help.

A good reactivity is the number one requirement for a libero, they need to cover the majority of the court, helping their teamates if in need.

The sense of space helps liberos to keep the team in order during long rallys but it is a quality especially required when liberos need to set in place of the designated setter.

A good pair of knee pads is the final and maybe most important must-have for a libero—the number one ally for a player who spends most of their time digging and passing.