The Libero

1. What is the basic definition of a libero, and how do I pronounce it?

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".

2. What uniform restrictions apply to the libero?

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.

3. Does the libero's uniform have to have a number on it?

Yes, the libero must wear a legal number.

4. Can the coach designate a different libero for each game?

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.

5. Can the libero designated for a game play as a non-libero in subsequent games?

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.

6. What playing restrictions apply to the libero?

The libero plays only in the back row.

The libero may not serve.

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.

7. When can a teammate attack a ball coming from the libero?

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.

8. How does the libero replace a back-row player?

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.

9. When and how does the player who was replaced get back in the game?

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 #7) replaced #6 on the back row, then #6 is the only player that may come back in for the libero. If the coach does not want #6 to remain in the game, s/he must request a substitution.

10. How many team substitutions will be allowed for the 2002 season?

In addition to unlimited libero replacements, 12 team substations will be allowed.

11. Does the libero ever have to leave the game?

Yes. When the libero is replaced, she must remain on the bench for one rally before re-entering for a back-row player.

12. Can the libero be the floor captain?

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.

13. Can the libero be a starting player?

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.

14. If the teams line up for introductions on the end line, may the libero join them?

Yes, and the libero may be introduced as the seventh starter.

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