Next to soccer, volleyball is the second most popular sport worldwide.
Like soccer, volleyball requires few pieces of equipment. Players enjoy the versatility of playing the sport in a variety of settings such as outdoors, on the beach or on indoor courts. Volleyball is played on a court with nets separating the two opposing teams. Therefore the sport is adaptable at every level from young athletes to special needs and adults. Different specifications exist for setting up the court at each level.
A volleyball court is rectangular with different dimensions depending on age and skill level.
Dark lines mark specific areas on the court. Lines that mark the perimeter of a court are boundary lines. End lines set the length of a court and sidelines indicate the width of a court. And the service line indicates where a player serves a ball. The attack line is in front of the service line and indicates where players can attack a ball.
How the lines on the court are set, width of lines, and distance are determined by various governing bodies dependent upon age and skill.
The governing bodies are USA Volleyball, NCAA, Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) and the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS). Children between the ages of 3 and 11 years old follow modified rules as indicated by the FIVB. Developing skills and shorter statures require youth courts to be smaller than those of adults. There are several ways to arrange youth courts using existing adult sized courts. First, 2 youth courts can be placed on one adult court. Between the two playing spaces a buffer 4 meters wide should be placed.
You can use racquetball and tennis courts for youth volleyball players. A racquetball court is an enclosed space that can maintain fly away balls. It can also be a safe space for Special Olympics sitting volleyball games. You can play volleyball on tennis court by utilizing the existing net as a divider and then chalking the corresponding lines. Guidelines state that the lines must be 5 inches wide and overhead clearance must be at least 23 feet high.
Collegiate level, professional and Olympic court setup guidelines are similar.
There are different indications for indoor versus outdoor courts. NCAA guidelines make collegiate rules. The court dimensions for an indoor volleyball court are 18m by 9m. The free zone, or the area that surrounds the court, should measure 3.05m on the outside lines and 4.58m beyond the end lines.
USA volleyball rules are used by professional organizations. These courts have the same perimeter as NCAA courts. But the free zone is 3m on all sides and the ceiling is 7m at a minimum. FIVB governs international played leagues and the Olympics. The free zone is 5m for outside lines and 6.5m beyond end lines. The ceiling is 12.5m at a minimum. All other dimensions for the perimeter are similarly as NCAA and USA Volleyball.
Beach volleyball has setup distinctions dependent upon whether play is recreational or competitive. NCAA and USA Volleyball competitive ball share the same specifications for beach court setup. Men and women have different height requirements for the net. Thus the men’s net is 2.43m and women’s is 2.24m. And court dimensions are 16m by 8m with 6m of free space. But FIVB competition courts have a minimum ceiling of 12.5m and free zone of between 5m and 6m. Recreational courts are the same at all levels. Women nets are 7’4.125” and men’s nets are 7’5.625”.