To D or not to D, is not the question. The question is which defensive structure do you use?
There are many to select from but how do you chose which one is right for your team?
First, let’s look at the different types:
Line or 22 defence: position 1 & 6 cover the line, 4 & 5 cover the cross court
Cross or 31 defence: position 1 covers the line, 4, 5 & 6 covers the cross court
Perimeter: All defenders cover the perimeter of the court
Tip cover: normally the off blocker comes in on the 45 degrees angle to cover any tips
So which one is right for your team? My suggestion, all of them! Volleyball is a dynamic, flexible & adaptable sport where no 2 rallies are the same, thus playing defence must also become the same. The key to playing solid defence, is knowing your opponents tendencies, strengths & weaknesses. If your opposition have several big cross court hitters, that don’t tend to tip then 22 perimeter defence may be your base structure. If your opposition like to hit balls outside on the stick more & swing line, then 31 tip cover may be your base structure. The important thing to remember when playing defence is reading what your opposition is showing you & taking away their strengths. You must be flexible & adaptable, chase every ball & have a never say die attitude! Even that ball you think you can never get, go and get it!
Thanks Jason Potts! (AVL, League, State and AVSC Coach)