…   that’s yours   …

You’re playing 4’s. Your position is middle rear (box 7). Your opponent (box 4) hits the ball hard diagonal to the opposite corner and wins the point. You’re still standing in the middle rear. Someone gives you the evil eye and say “…that’s yours…”.

When playing fours, we encourage using this defensive strategy. A common complaint is when a player just stands there and forgets, or doesn’t know how, to shift. It won’t guarantee your team will defend against all hits, but it usually raises the odds. It is especially helpful for less experienced players who don’t yet know instinctively where to move when defending.

The BLUE areas show each player’s defensive territory. The graphics are exaggerated to help convey the technique. Reading the body language of the hitter is very important, with experience you will predict where he’s planning to hit. Shifting is most effective when the whole team does it, so your team should talk about it beforehand.


  • Player 7 must SHIFT SIDEWAYS into the FAR CORNER and position himself OPPOSITE the HITTER.
  • Player 6 or 8 must SHIFT BACKWARD when the HITTER is directly in FRONT of him.
  • Player 6 or 8 must SHIFT UP when the HITTER is OPPOSITE him.
  • Player 5 must SHIFT SIDEWAYS to stay in FRONT of the HITTER.

Example, 4 is the hitter:

  • 5 (setter) shifts RIGHT to stay in front of 4. Player 5 may either block or watch for the dink.
  • 6 shifts BACK to cover his whole lane (the hardest one to remember to do).
  • 7 shifts to OPPOSITE CORNER to cover the far corner hit.
  • 8 shifts FORWARD to cover the short hit and cross-court hit.

When 2 is the hitter, it’s the same as above, but mirrored.