What is a Libero in Volleyball?

A Libero is the team's defensive specialist. A Libero must wear a jersey that is substantially different than that which the team wears in order to identify them. The team's coach designates one player to be the Libero and subs them in and out of the game appropriately according to the rules.

| Read: 5 min

What Does a Libero Do in Volleyball?

The Libero plays on the back line and serves the team as a defensive specialist. The Libero will usually be among the team's most skilled members at digging the ball. They cannot move up to the net to block or attack. They cannot strike the ball when it is above the height of the net.

According to Referee.com, "The world first saw this new position in the 1998 FIVB World Championships, and use of that player has now been incorporated into USAV, NCAA and NFHS rules. The three governing bodies have similar rules."

Why does Libero wear different color?

The Libero must wear a contrasting color and legal number. This denotes their position as the team's Libero and helps officials referee the match.

Why is the Libero short?

Libero's are not short, they are simply shorter than their blocking and hitting teammates. The average height for a woman in America is 5'4" according to Healthline. Nebraska's Liberos, for example, are all taller than 5'4", making them above average in height. And, they are the shortest players on the team.

As Volleyball players are generally tall, you're not seeing a short Libero, you're seeing Liberos that are simply shorter than the others on the court.

Who is the best Libero in the world?

One could make an argument that Jenia Grebennikov is the best Libero in the world. One could also make an argument for Brenda Castillo and Camila Brait.

How to be a good Libero

Good Libero play starts with excellent communication skills. From there, being able to pass the volleyball to any position on the court is highly valuable. Last but not least is having excellent reflexes and agility.

How does a Libero rotate

According to the NCAA, the Libero is, "used in the rotation of middle blockers on a team. When one middle rotates to the back row, the other middle will enter the match for the libero and be in the front row."

Libero FAQs

How to pronounce Libero

You pronounce Libero as Lee•Behr•oh. That's how Anna Smrek of the Wisconsin Badgers says to pronounce it due to the word's Italian roots.

Ok ok, almost everyone in the video below says Li-ber-o, going soft i, soft e, long o.

When was the Libero position created

The Libero role was officially recognized in 1998 interntionally. It was then used for the 2000 Olympics. And, then incorporated into the NCAA format in 2002.

Why can't the Libero be captain?

The Libero can't be a floor captain because they leave the floor so often. You can't continuously pull the Libero off the bench just to discuss matters of the game with the head official. That would disrupt the flow of the match.

Why can't the Libero serve?

The Libero role is that of defensive specialist. It wasn't created for the purpose of additional service, it was created to extend rallies and improve team passing.

Is there a Libero in Beach Volleyball?

No, there is no Libero in Beach Volleyball. Beach Volleyball is typically only played by two members who always remain on the sand court. If you think back to watching Misty May-Trainor or Kerrie Walsh playing in all of those matches, you never saw a Libero.

Same goes for those old clips of Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos. You think they had a defensive specialist to call in when the going got tough? Not a chance.

How tall is Nebraska's Libero

According to a review of the Huskers Roster, the average height of the team's three Liberos is 5'6" and 2/3rds inch. Their actual heights are below. Nebraska does not possess a blocker or hitter under 6 foot tall.

Does any other sport have a Libero?

Yes, Soccer has a Libero. The role is virtually the same, that of a defender who plays behind the attackers. It's also known as the Sweeper.

What is the difference between a Libero and a DS?

A Defensive Specialist can remain in the rotation and progress to the front, where as a Libero cannot. A Libero must sub out after rotating through the back line.

What are the positions of Volleyball?

Part of the challenge is subbing people in and out as a team only has 12 substitutions available. Here are the positions available on-court for Indoor Volleyball.

What happens if a Libero gets injured?

A Libero can be freely replaced due to injury. Yes, they'd need to don a separate jersey to assume the role.

References & Sources