How to Run a 4-2 in Volleyball (with Videos)

Coach Stuart
February 22, 2020
Other than a 6-6, a 4-2 tends to be the go-to volleyball offensive system for beginner teams. Although it is relatively simple, there are still some more advanced offenses that can be run with the 4-2 system.

What is a 4-2?

The “2” means that there are 2 Setters. The “4” means that there are 4 Hitters.

The setters play opposite of each other. A front row setter is used as the primary setter.

Running the Offense

Some coaches choose to have the setter set from the Middle Front position (Zone 3) while others will have the setter set from the Right Front (Zone 2). Having the Setter set from the Middle Front is usually an easier target for younger players.

In a 4-2, the Middle and Outside are the primary hitters.

For a more advanced system, you can have your hitters hit from the Left Front and Right Front (as an Outside and a Right Side). This works well when your Setter is taller and can block in the Middle or if your Setter is good at back setting.

You can also have the Middle run a Slide attack for a more advanced offensive strategy.

One of the benefits of running a 4-2 is that a front row Setter has the option to dump or tip the ball over the net. At lower levels, the defense usually hasn’t experienced enough volleyball to be able to read a Setter dump.

Video of a simple Serve Receive that can be run with a 4-2.

Video of Serving rotations that can be run with a 4-2.


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1 Comment

  1. John Hogan

    If you’re a beginner volleyball team using the 4-2 offensive system, it’s best to have your setter set the ball from the middle front area of the court (called Zone 3) so that it’s easier for your hitters to aim. It would help if you focused on using the middle and outside hitters as your main options. As you get better, you can try more advanced strategies like having your hitters attack from different positions, using a Slide attack, and having your front row setter tip or dump the ball. These strategies can make your team more versatile and help you take advantage of weaknesses in the other team’s defense, especially if you’re playing at a lower level.
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