How Tall Are Opposite Hitters In Volleyball?

Micah Drews


It is usually the opposite hitter who is the tallest on the volleyball court, coming in second to the middle blocker.

It has been observed that the opposite hitter in some cases, such as the Russian Dmitriy Muserskiy and the Australian Thomas Edgar, will be the tallest member of the team.

Typically, an opposite hitter in Olympic men’s volleyball is 204.5cm or 6’8.5″. Olympic women’s volleyball’s average opposite hitter height is 187cm or 6’1.5″.

What is the importance of height to an opposite hitter?

As well as the average score for various levels, we’ll suggest some things to do if you’re vertically challenged.

What is The Average Height Of An Opposite Hitter?

How Tall Are Opposite Hitters In Volleyball

As you might expect, this number varies based on gender as well as whether it’s college or professional volleyball.

Perhaps even more intriguing than the numbers themselves is how they relate to other court positions.

Opposite Hitters’ Average Height Vs Other Positions

Most opposing hitters are among the tallest players on the court.

In comparison to middle blockers, they are usually slightly shorter, but quite a bit taller than outside hitters. A really interesting data set was published regarding height based on position during the 2012 Olympics.

There was a small difference in height between middle and outside blockers, as opposed to just 1cm (0.4′′) in size between opposite hitters and middle blockers.

At least at the highest level of play, it seems the pattern of ‘slightly shorter than the middle, but taller than the outside’ holds pretty true.

Exceptions do exist, however. Having someone really tall on the outside and the opposite being relatively short is possible, but it’s not very common. It is also not uncommon for teams to recruit the biggest, tallest, and most dominant athletes they can afford, especially in the Asian leagues.

It’s not uncommon for them to dwarf their team’s middle blocker.

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Olympic Opposite Hitter Height

Most opposing hitters in the game are around 205cm in height at the highest levels. It is estimated that the average height of an opposite hitter in men’s volleyball will be 204.5cm or 6’8.5″.

In addition to the 2012 Olympic data, some 2020 Olympic roster numbers have been analyzed.

College volleyball’s average opposite hitter height

According to the NCSA website, these are the average heights of men’s college volleyball opposite hitters.

Men’s College Opposite Hitter Height Ranges

Height6’4″ – 6’8″(193cm – 203cm)6’3″ – 6’6″(190.5cm – 198cm)6’2″ – 6’5″(188cm – 196cm)6’2″ – 6’7″(188cm – 201cm)

We have listed below the average heights of women playing college volleyball.

Women’s College Opposite Hitter Average Heights


How Important Is Height For An Opposite Hitter?

What is the minimum height requirement for an opposite hitter?

I believe the answer is… really tall!

Several factors contribute to this.

It is important for opponents to block the outside hitter

Spikers with good technical ability and strength are generally considered outside or left-side hitters.

In order to shut down the other team’s offensive weapon, we want to block the right side/opposite as much as possible. The strongest blocker should be matched up with the strongest hitter on the other team due to the correlation between height and block height.

The opposite team’s outside hitter, who is often in the back row, will face our outside hitter on the other side of the court. A shorter player (outside hitter) can be used in front of the opposite since he often hits the D ball from the back row.

The opposing team must be capable of killing the ball from the back row

A right-handed pitcher must also be capable of hitting the D ball from the right side.

There is a lot of difficulty in hitting a spike around a double (and sometimes triple) block.

As a taller player, you have a higher likelihood of having some extra spike height, so you should be able to contact the ball at a higher point and have a better chance of hitting these back-row attacks.

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How Tall Do I Need To Be To Play Opposite Hitter?

It is my opinion that if you’re aiming to be a successful opposite hitter in men’s baseball, you should be at least 6’6″ (198 cm).

It’s not easy being 7cm shorter than most players in your position at that height, so you better be good at your position!

Your jump height will also play an important role in this competition. It’s really more of a matter of block and spike height than the actual height that interests us.

Ultimately, as an opposite, you are responsible for blocking and spiking. The 6’4″ opposite who has a reach of 340cm will always outperform the 6’6″ opposite who has a reach of 335cm!

Yuji Nishida is a Japanese opposite hitter who stands 187 cm (barely 6’2″) tall but still has a 350 cm spike reach and a fantastic vertical jump.

Despite his height, he’s still highly dangerous when he hits that back-row ball around the block. The minimum height requirement for women is 5’10” or greater. As far as vertical jump is concerned, these numbers are very general.

The difference in size between a 5’10” woman and a 6’2″ woman would make her a much more valuable prospect.

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How To Become A Successful Short-Opposite Hitter

How Tall Are Opposite Hitters In Volleyball

If you don’t have the tallest frame, but you have a great left-handed arm swing, you will definitely want to play the opposite.

As a shorter opposite hitter, here are some things you can do to enhance your chances of success.

1. Change Position

Despite the fact that you’re probably not thrilled with this answer, chances are you’d be better suited as an outside hitter if you’re too short to be an opposite.

Throughout my life, I’ve learned that success isn’t as much about how hard you row as it is about what boat you’re in. As an outsider, a 6’5″ man would have a better chance of succeeding than the opposite. The game just works this way.

The best time to move from one position to another is never too late to learn new skills, such as passing. If you play as an outside hitter, your height impediment will be much less detrimental than if you play as an opposite.

2. Get a better vertical jump

As a not-so-tall opposite hitter, this is by far the best thing you can do. Height isn’t actually that important from a technical perspective, as I mentioned previously.

It’s important to pay attention to spike heights and block heights. In order to hit from the back row, you need to be able to contact the ball high, and when blocking, you must be able to penetrate over the net very well.

I have written an article about improving your vertical jump for volleyball if you’d like some tips on how to get started.

3. Develop exceptional skills

If you want to succeed in volleyball as a short opposite, you’re going to need to improve your vertical jump as well.

It’s simply a matter of killing the ball as efficiently as you can. Scouts and coaches are more likely to take you seriously if you have a higher hitting percentage than your competitors.

The practice schedule will be dominated by hitting repetitions. Try hitting the ball 300 times or more a week if your competitors are spiking it 200 times a week.

Practice hitting every type of shot you might face in a match with your favorite setter a few extra times each week. It takes a lot of practice to become an amazing hitter.

A better volleyball hitter is usually the one who hits the most volleyballs!

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What is the average height of an Olympic volleyball opposite hitter?

Olympic volleyball opposite hitters are generally about 6’4″ (193cm) tall. A team’s strategy and the level of competition can affect the height of opposite hitters, so there is no set height requirement.

Can an opposite hitter be short?

Therefore, men should be 6’4″-6’5″ (193-196 cm) tall and women should be 5′ 7″ (170 cm) tall if they wish to play outside hitter. Despite being a little shorter than average, a man with a good jumper may still succeed as an outside hitter.

What is an opposite hitter in volleyball?

Known as right-side hitters, opposite hitters excel both offensively and defensively. Aside from hitting the ball from the front row and the back row, they will dig for quick attacks and set the ball when the setter cannot.

What is the position of the outside hitter in volleyball?

A volleyball outside hitter is responsible for hitting and blocking and typically plays on the left side of the court. Players are expected to be able to hit and defend well since they are often the primary attackers.

Why are opposite hitters so tall?

Due to their height, opposite hitters generate more power when hitting the ball from a higher point. Also, taller players are more likely to reach the net higher, which makes them more effective defenders. In addition to a player’s height, skills and technique also play a significant role in the success of that player on the court.

Can a shorter opposite hitter be effective in blocking? 

Using agility and positioning to outmaneuver opponents can be effective in blocking for a shorter opposite hitter


There is no doubt that height plays a significant role in the opposite hitter position in volleyball. There have been many extremely talented opposite hitters among the tallest players in the history of the game. You can also check Shortest Female Volleyball Players

The most dominant blocker of a volleyball team must match up against the outside hitter of the opposing team. A high contact point is again necessary for this position to successfully attack back row balls, which are the hardest balls to hit.

While all of that is true, it doesn’t matter if you are shorter than others.

Some of the most skilled opposites we’ve seen aren’t the tallest, but their jumping abilities almost always compensate for it.

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About Micah Drews

After playing volleyball at an international level for several years, I now work out and write for Volleyball Blaze. Creating unique and insightful perspectives through my experience and knowledge is one of my top priorities.

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