Why Does One Girl Wear Different Jersey In Volleyball?

The main reason is she plays the libero position. The libero wears a contrasting colored jersey to distinguish themselves from the rest of the team. Their job is to play defense and receive serves. Liberos are allowed to switch in and out of the game freely, unlike other players who have limited substitutions. The different colored jersey helps the referees identify the libero so they can enforce the special substitution rules for that position.

The libero position was introduced in 1996 by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) in an effort to improve the balance of play between teams. The libero is typically a smaller, more agile player who is better at digging and passing than blocking and attacking.

By allowing teams to substitute in a libero, the FIVB hopes to create more opportunities for smaller players to compete at the highest levels of the game.

Players in all other volleyball positions like setter, hitter, and blocker wear the same colored jersey as the rest of their teammates. They do not wear different colors based on their position. Only the libero wears a different jersey because of their specific role and responsibilities.

Other players may occasionally wear an alternate or backup jersey in a different color. That is usually for reasons other than distinguishing their position like promoting a sponsor or having a clean jersey if their primary one gets dirty.

Why is the libero position important in volleyball?

The libero position is important in volleyball for several reasons. First and foremost, the libero enhances the team’s defensive capabilities. As a defensive specialist, the libero is in the game mainly to pass the ball well so the team can run offensive plays.

This makes passing and serve-receive skills the libero’s top responsibilities. Successfully passing the serve can often turn the game in a team’s favor.

The libero also has unique substitution privileges that allow them to substitute in and out freely, unlike other players. This lets the libero enter the game when their defensive skills are needed most.

However, liberos have restrictions on how they can attack; they cannot hit the ball from above the net and can only set the ball from behind the 3-meter line.

Female volleyball player

Because their main focus is on defensive skills rather than attacking, liberos must be quick, agile players who can reliably pass spikes and difficult serves. Yet there are a limited number of libero positions on college teams.

This makes the libero position very competitive for recruiting at the high school level since there are more aspiring defensive specialists than available college libero spots.

In all, the libero adds an essential defensive element to volleyball teams by specializing in passing and serve receive. Their substitution flexibility and defending role make them a valuable but limited resource that many younger players hope to fill.

The libero’s key responsibilities firmly establish the importance of the position for any volleyball team.

What are the special rules for libero volleyball?

  • The libero can substitute in and out of the game freely, regardless of the standard substitution rules. This allows the libero to enter specifically for their defensive skills.
  • The libero is not permitted to attack the ball from above the top of the net. They can only attack balls that are entirely below the net height.
  • The libero can only perform overhand sets from behind the 3-meter line. They cannot do underhand or toss sets.
  • The libero’s position is not considered a rotational position since they substitute freely. Other players must rotate in a standard pattern.
  • The libero must wear a contrasting jersey from their team to make it easy for referees to identify and enforce the libero rules.
  • Teams are allowed two designated liberos who both follow the libero rules and wear the same jersey.
  • The libero generally cannot serve but may be permitted to in some leagues and circumstances.
  • The libero must observe all standard safety rules around equipment, avoiding jewelry, and sharp accessories, and promoting commercial brands.

The libero rules focus on their unlimited substitution rights, attacking and setting restrictions, contrasting jersey requirements, and general safety equipment standards. The intent is to define the libero’s defensive role while maintaining balanced competition.

What happens if the libero violates any of the rules?

If the libero violates any of the rules governing their position, several things can be happen

  • The opposing team receives a point
    • Anytime the libero makes an illegal attack attempt from above the net, performs an illegal set, substitutes incorrectly, or otherwise violates the libero rules, a point is automatically awarded to the opposing team.
  • The libero receives a yellow card warning
    • The first instance of a libero rules violation typically results in a yellow card warning issued by the referee. This warns the libero and their coach of the infraction.
  • Subsequent violations result in a red card
    • If the libero commits a second rules violation after receiving a yellow card warning, they will typically be issued a red card. This means the libero is disqualified and cannot continue playing for the remainder of that set.
  • The libero may be disqualified for the entire match
    • Multiple red card violations by the libero in separate sets could result in the referee disqualifying the libero for the rest of the match, leaving the team unable to utilize a libero at all.
  • The libero is replaced by the player they substituted for
    • After any violation that causes a point to be awarded to the opposing team, the libero must be immediately replaced by the back-row player they substituted for. Play then resumes as normal.

The primary consequences for libero violations are awarding a point to the opposing team and enforcing disciplinary actions against the libero themselves that range from a warning to disqualification from the current set, and ultimately potential disqualification for the entire match. This is meant to enforce the special rules that define the libero position.

Volleyball girls

Summary

The libero position in volleyball is crucial for defense and receiving serves. Introduced in 1996, the libero wears a contrasting jersey to distinguish themselves and has unique substitution privileges. The libero primarily focuses on passing and serve-receive skills, enhancing the team’s defensive capabilities. They cannot attack above the net and are restricted to setting from behind the 3-meter line.

The libero position is highly competitive, with limited spots at the college level. Violating the libero rules can result in the opposing team receiving a point, yellow or red card warnings, disqualification from the current set, or even the entire match. These consequences ensure compliance with the special rules governing the libero position.

FAQ

Why do women’s volleyball teams have one different jersey?

In women’s volleyball, one player wears a different colored jersey than the rest of the team, and that player is called the libero. The libero is a defensive specialist who can replace any player in the back row without counting toward a team’s substitutions.

What are the responsibilities of the libero in volleyball?

The libero’s primary responsibilities are to pass the ball well so the team can properly run the offense and to dig well, getting a hand on every ball she can to keep the play alive.

Can the libero serve in volleyball?

Yes, the libero can serve in volleyball, but only in specific situations. For example, in the 2014 volleyball season, NFHS Rules 6-4-2E and 10-4-5 allowed that the libero, in one rotation, may replace a player in the service position to serve.

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