Volleyball Drill Classics: Queen of The Court

If there’s one volleyball drill that just about EVERY volleyball player will play throughout their career, it’s Queen of the Court (or King of the Court/Monarch of the Court depending on who you’re coaching).

Queen of the court is a top volleyball drill because it…

  • is fast-paced

  • is FUN

  • is competitive

  • is good as a warm-up drill or to end practice with

  • can be played with as few as 8 players, and up to 16 (or more) per court

If this sounds like a must-have for your coaching binder, I’d have to agree with you. Not only is this a good volleyball drill for practice, you can use it at open gyms and volleyball camps!



There are MANY variations of Queen of the Court which teams run. The BASIC drill has three players on each side, with lines off the court behind each position on the “entrance” side.

Although it works nicely when you have teams of three, this drill (in my opinion) is better when your numbers are a little “off,” giving you new teams every time.

The coach will stand to the side of the court opposite of the “Queens” side. Depending on the level of your team, you may want to downball or toss the ball over the net.

I always choose downball (just so it’s a little higher level) but take some pace off if your team is young or inexperienced.

Players who are not on the court will form lines behind the different positions (with three on, just have them stand in left back, middle back, and right back) but OFF the court. Younger players tend to get sucked into the game, keep an eye on them so they don’t get ran over during play.


Once a coach enters a downball (standing hit) to the Queens side, the two groups will rally. The basic drill does not have any restrictions on contacts (other than three legal hits) but you can add requirements as your teams get more advanced.

After the play is dead, the losing team will shag their ball and get into a line (it doesn’t matter which line, as long as there is someone in each line!).

If the winning team was already on the Queens side, they will stay. If the team on the entrance side won, they will run under the net and prepare for the downball from the coach.

I give teams a loud 3-second countdown so they hustle over. I highly recommend this for camps and open gyms where players might be slower to move. “3, 2, 1, Ball!” followed by my downball.

If players are not ready… I don’t care! Haha. They know the rules, if they don’t hustle over then it’s not my problem. A ball might drop once or twice in the beginning, but players will adjust and play by the rules, keeping the drill high-energy, moving forward.

Sine this is usually a warm-up or end-of-practice drill, teams will usually run it for time. Example: 10 minutes as a warm-up drill, or play for the last 15-20 minutes of practice.

Players could literally play this for an HOUR, I kid you not. While you should probably spend time on other drills, this is a good go-to when you have a weird chunk of time to fill.



Of COURSE there are variations. I always like to give you options here on Get The Pancake, and Queen of the Court is one of the drills that has ENDLESS variations! Try out a few of these, and feel free to come up with your own!

  • 4 vs 4 (instead of 3 vs 3)

  • 4 vs 4 with setters staying in right front/at the net

  • Get into teams and keep track of wins

  • Get a point for each win on the Queens side and play “first team to 10”

  • Enter the ball from a serve in the left back line (if missed, players on court stay, next server is up and player who missed goes to end of the line).

  • Make the Queens side rotate after every win.

  • Require three hits for each team.

Alright, Coach! You should be set for a while trying to work through all of the variations.

One warning… once you play Queen of the Court, your team will ALWAYS ask to play it!

It’s just one of those drills that everyone likes!

Good luck, and don’t forget to check out another of the classics… Dead Fish!