with Fred Chao,
George Mason University Head Men's Volleyball Coach;
3x EIVA Coach of the Year, USA Junior National Team Assistant Coach
The back row attack has become an instrumental part of volleyball. As blockers have gotten bigger and faster and the overall speed of the game has quickened, the need to maximize attacking options has increased exponentially.
Coach Fred Chao explores the back row attack's past, present and future. After talking about its history of being mostly an outlet set for out of system attacks, Chao discusses and demonstrates new ways that the back row attack is being used to diversify offenses and defeat opponents' blocking systems.
Using back row attackers as a part of a coordinated offense will result in more favorable blocking match-ups, more in-system hitting options, and more offensive firepower.
Slide and 10 Combination
After demonstrating how the back row attack has been used primarily as an outlet in the past, Coach Chao presents how to use attacks from behind the 3-meter line as a part of your in-system offense. With the setter in the front row, Chao has the demonstrators run a slide / 10 combination that causes the opponent's blocking system to leave at least one hitter with a one-on-one attack.
Mobile MH and Back Row Stacks
Current higher level offensive strategy includes running a double quick with the back row attacker following the middle hitters audible and attacking with a quick tempo attack directly behind the middle hitter. This wave of attackers draws the opponent's middle blocker. In addition to being difficult to defend both quick attacks of the stack, it can free up both pin hitters for 1-on-1 attacks.
‘On Balls' Back Row Attacks
The final segment of the video is about the future of the back row attack. At the international level, the use of ‘on balls' have started to become lethal weapons. It allows the setter to have a back row option right in front of them if the pass is on or near the 3-meter line. These sets, which are floating first tempo back row attacks hit off wherever the setter receives the ball, force the opposing middle to be in the air to block the attack while all three front row attackers are still viable options.
The back row attack can be very effective if it fits within an offensive system based on athlete capabilities, timing, and positioning. Understanding how to integrate these components can lead to a dynamic, multi-point offense in both serve-receive and transition situations.
Coach Chao's thought provoking video will make you rethink how you are using your back row players in your offensive attack.
Produced at the 2014 AVCA Annual Convention in Oklahoma City, OK.
46 minutes. 2015.