Volleyball Outside Hitter

Volleyball Outside Hitter

Outside hitter is a position in volleyball that is crucial to scoring and blocking. A position requiring versatility and jumping ability, the outside hitter is a main component of offense and defense. Keep reading to learn more about outside hitters in volleyball.

Outside Hitter

In volleyball, outside hitters (OH) play on the left side of the court and lead the offense. There are usually two outside hitters on the court, and they are usually the first to touch the ball. The OH is the “Jack of all trades” on the court, good on both offense and defense. They can be found in the back and front row.

Roles and Responsibilities

Outside hitters transition from offense to defense as the ball goes from side to side, so the goals of the OH shift as well. When on offense, the outside hitter is primarily a passer and a hitter. The outside hitter makes most of the attack hits, but they also serve an important role in setting up their teammates to score. They will typically be the first to encounter the ball, upon which they will pass it to another teammate. If they do not encounter the ball first, they will likely be the third player to hit the ball, usually in the form of a spike over the net.

On defense, the outside hitter will normally be a blocker, particularly if they are stationed in the front row. A defensive OH in the front row is in prime position to block an offensive strike over the net, so they will often be the ones leaping to make a block.

Offensive Goals

When on offense, the outside hitter’s jobs are:

  • To pass the ball to the setter
  • To attack the ball and score points
  • To correct if a bad pass is made
  • To call out plays

Defensive Goals

When on defense, the outside hitter’s jobs are:

  • To block attacks
  • To receive the ball

Best Outside Hitters

Here are some of the best outside hitters in volleyball:

  • Aaron Russell
  • Earvin N'Gapeth
  • Flo Hyman
  • Giba
  • Jordan Larson
  • Kelsey Robinson
  • Kim Hill
  • Matey Kaziyski
  • Michelle Bartsch-Hackley
  • Osmany Juantorena
  • Kathryn Plummer
  • Taylor Sander
  • Thomas Jaeschke
  • Wilfredo Leon
  • Yoandy Leal
  • Zhu Ting


What is an outside hitter?

In volleyball, an outside hitter is a player position that covers the left side of the court. There are two outside hitters on the court, one in the front row and one in the back row. Outside hitters are excellent offensive and defensive players who must be skilled at tracking and attacking the ball.

What does an outside hitter do in volleyball?

In volleyball, an outside hitter makes most of the attack hits. Playing on the left side of the court, they also block on defense and receive the serve. A versatile position, the outside hitter often remains in the game through all rotations. Outside passers also serve as passers and scoring facilitators.

What makes a good outside hitter?

A good outside hitter in volleyball is a player who can attack and follow the ball aggressively. Whenever there is a scoring opportunity, a good OH will be ready to respond. One tactic good outside hitters use is adopting a wide approach angle on the court. By coming in wide at the ball, an outside hitter can easily adjust their stance to any change in the ball’s path. Attacking the line is also a crucial strategy for outside hitters.