Position (team sports)

Last updated on 14 October 2017

Position in team sports refers to the joint arrangement of a team on its field of play during a game and to the standardized place of any individual player in that arrangement. Much instruction, strategy, and reporting is organized by a set of individual player positions that is standard for the sport.

Some player positions may be official, others unofficial. For example, baseball rules govern the pitcher by that name, but not the shortstop, where pitcher and shortstop are two of baseball's nine fielding positions.

For information about team or player positions in some particular sports, see:

Basketball

Batting sports

Football

Gaelic Sports

Hockey

3-4-3.jpg
Bandy positions in 3-4-3 formation

"Service" sports

  • Lawn tennis players in doubles competition alternate between two positions. That is, the service side alternates as server and partner while the receiving side alternates as receiver and partner. There is no substitution of players and the two partners necessarily divide the two pairs of positions almost equally.
  • Volleyball players rotate through six positions, taken on the court at the serve. But the positions are not fixed during a volley, only moderately regulated. Volleyball player specialization is highly refined and strategy focuses on how to use specialized players in unequal ways.

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