Q: Why does one player have a different color jersey than all of the other players?
A: The player with a different colored jersey is the Libero.What is the libero?
The volleyball libero is a defensive specialist position in indoor volleyball. The position was added to the game in 1999 along with special rules for play in order to foster more digs and rallies and to make the game more exciting. The libero remains in the game at all times and is the only player not limited by rules of rotation. He usually replaces the middle blocker position when they rotate to the back row and never rotates to the front row himself. (Liberos exist in both men's and women's volleyball; we use the masculine term here for convenience.)
The libero is chosen by the team before the match or tournament and that designated player must remain the libero for the entire match or tournament. If the libero is injured, he can be replaced by any player who is not on the court, but that player must remain the libero for the remainder of the match.
What does the libero do during a play?
The libero is responsible for a great deal of the passing in serve receive. Often the libero will be responsible for a much greater part of the court than his teammates. The libero is in the game to add ball control, so his main responsibility is to pass the ball well so the team can run the offense. On defense the libero needs to dig well, getting a hand on every ball he can to keep the play alive. Since the libero has no attack responsibilities, he must chase down every ball he can. He also may be responsible for setting if the ball is dug by the setter or out of the setter's range.