Volleyball is a sport that requires a combination of skills, including coordination, speed, agility, and teamwork. However, one factor that is often associated with success in the sport is height, particularly for outside hitters.
There are common misconceptions about the ideal height for outside hitters, and these beliefs can impact how players are recruited and developed for this position.
In this article, we will explore the truth about outside hitters’ height in volleyball. We will delve into the research on the topic and examine the factors that affect a player’s height and performance on the court.
By understanding the science behind height in volleyball, we can dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that exist in the sport and provide a more accurate picture of what it takes to excel as an outside hitter.
Ideal Outside Hitter Height
The ideal height for an outside hitter in volleyball has been a topic of discussion for a long time. These players usually benefit from being tall, but they are typically shorter than middle blockers and opposite hitters. Height plays a less significant role for outside hitters compared to other positions, but it still matters to some extent.
A taller player can reach higher and hit harder, making it easier to score points. However, jumping ability is also important for outside hitters, and shorter players can compensate for their lack of height with exceptional jumping skills. Passing skills are crucial for outside hitters, regardless of their height.
This position requires players to be able to receive serves and set up their teammates for successful attacks. A taller player might have an advantage when it comes to blocking, but passing accuracy is more important for overall team success. Therefore, the ideal height for an outside hitter depends on a combination of factors, including jumping ability and passing skills.
A player who can jump high, pass accurately, and hit with power can be successful in this position, regardless of their height.
Factors Affecting Outside Hitter Height
Surprisingly, factors beyond genetics can play a role in determining the ideal height for a successful outside hitter in the sport of volleyball. While genetics do play a significant role in determining one’s height, training can also help individuals reach their maximum potential height. Proper nutrition, stretching, and strength training can all contribute to an increase in height. Additionally, the role of vertical jump and arm length cannot be ignored.
A taller athlete with a shorter arm span may not have the same hitting power as a shorter athlete with a longer arm span. Thus, arm length and vertical jump are important factors in determining an outside hitter’s success.
Moreover, even with optimal genetics and training, height alone is not enough for an outside hitter to be successful. In fact, shorter outside hitters can still be successful with the proper technique and skill set. Vertical jump, for example, can make up for a lack of height in hitting and blocking. Additionally, passing skills, court awareness, and decision-making are crucial for an outside hitter’s success.
Ultimately, the ideal height for an outside hitter is not set in stone and can vary depending on a variety of factors beyond genetics.
Exceptions to Height Rules
Notwithstanding the conventional height requirements for outside hitters, some exceptional athletes have proven that height alone does not necessarily dictate success in the sport. The athletic ability of an outside hitter can often compensate for a lack of height.
For instance, Francisco Ruiz of Spain is only 178cm tall (5’10’), but he possesses a spike height of 344cm, which is remarkable for his height. Meriya Luis of Cuba was able to compete at the international level as an outside hitter because of her incredible athleticism, despite being only 5’9′.
Athleticism vs. Height is a long-standing debate in volleyball. Some coaches believe that height is the most important factor for an outside hitter, while others argue that athletic ability is more critical.
Athanasios Protopsaltis from Greece is known for being incredibly smart and tactical despite being shorter than a lot of liberos. These famous short outside hitters prove that height is not the only determining factor for success in volleyball. Exceptional athleticism, combined with excellent passing skills and a high vertical jump, can make an outstanding outside hitter.