The Libero: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the basic definition of a libero, and how do I pronounce it?
2. What uniform restrictions apply to the libero?
The libero is a designated back-row player, intended to be used as a ball-control specialist. The libero is allowed to replace any player in the back row without counting as a substitution. There is no limit to the number of libero replacements a team is allowed. The pronunciation is "LEE-bah-ro".
3. Does the libero's uniform have to have a number on it?
The color of the libero's uniform must contrast from the color of her teammates' uniforms. The libero's shorts must be the same as her teammates'. The style and trim of the designated libero?s uniform may differ from her teammates'. The referees will ultimately decide if the amount of contrast is sufficient, but these examples can be used as guidelines:
Allowable Main uniform is blue with white trim, libero uniform is all white Main uniform is white on the top half and black on the bottom half, libero uniform is all white Main uniform is white with red trim, libero uniform is red/white checked Main uniform is white, libero uniform is light gray.
4. Can the coach designate a different libero for each game?
Yes, the libero must wear a legal number.
5. Can the libero designated for a game play as a non-libero in subsequent games?
Yes, one libero is designated on the lineup sheet prior to each game. If a libero is not designated on a lineup sheet for a game, the team may not use a libero.
6. What playing restrictions apply to the libero?
Yes. That player must retain the same number throughout the match. All non-libero players in any game must wear identical uniforms, so if a player ceases to be a libero in a subsequent game, she must wear a uniform identical to her teammates.
7. When can a teammate attack a ball coming from the libero?
The libero plays only in the back row.
The libero may not block or attempt to block.
The libero may not attack the ball if contact is made while the ball is completely above the height of the net.
A teammate may not attack a ball that is completely above the height of the net IF the libero set that ball to her from the attack zone using an overhand finger pass.
8. How does the libero replace a back-row player?
When the libero contacts the ball without overhand finger action (e.g., beach dig or forearm pass), OR
When the libero contacts the ball using ANY technique from behind the attack line.
9. When and how does the player who was replaced get back in the game?
The libero and the player on the court exchange places between the attack line and the end line. No referee action is required. This replacement can only take place at the end of a rally before the whistle for the next service.
10. How many team substitutions will be allowed for the 2004 season?
The libero is never substituted (except in cases of exceptional substitutions), they are replaced. The libero MUST be replaced by the same player that replaced her. That replacement can take place at any time while the libero is on the back row, and must take place when the libero rotates to the front row.
For example, if the libero (player No. 7) replaced No. 6 on the back row, then No. 6 is the only player that may come back in for the libero. If the coach does not want No. 6 to remain in the game, s/he must request a substitution.
11. Does the libero ever have to leave the game?
In addition to unlimited libero replacements, 12 team substations will be allowed.
12. Can the libero be the floor captain?
Yes. When the libero is replaced, she must remain on the bench for one rally before re-entering for a back-row player. However, an exception is made if the next action the libero will take is to serve - in that case, the libero does not have to be out of the game for one rally before replacing the server.
13. Can the libero be a starting player?
Yes. Before the match begins, the referees will ask the coach to indicate which player will become the captain when the libero is not on the floor.
14. If the teams line up for introductions on the end line, may the libero join them?
No, the libero cannot be designated as one of the six starting players on the lineup. Immediately after the second referee checks the lineups, the libero may replace any back-row player except for the first server of the team that is serving first.
Yes, and the libero may be introduced as the seventh starter.