A Beginner’s Guide to Sitting Volleyball

Sitting volleyball is a form of volleyball that is adapted for people with disabilities. This adapted sport is played similarly to traditional volleyball, with a few modifications to the rules, making this sport playable for people of all abilities.

In this adapted version of volleyball, the net is about 3 feet high, and the court is 10 x 6 meters with a 2-meter attack line. The teams play on each side of the court, which is divided into 5 meters deep by 6 meters wide. The net height is set at 1.15 meters for men, and 1.05 meters for women.

History of Sitting Volleyball

Sitting volleyball was invented in 1956 as a combination of volleyball and a German sport called sitzball.  This served as a rehabilitation sport for injured soldiers. Two years later, the first international sitting volleyball contact was held between Germany and Dutch club teams. Sitting volleyball was officially included in the Paralympic games at Arnhem in 1980. Women’s sitting volleyball was added for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.

Sitting Volleyball vs Traditional Volleyball

In both sitting volleyball and traditional volleyball, each team is allowed up to three contacts with the ball before returning it to the opposing team’s side of the court. Like traditional volleyball, each match is the best of five sets, played to 25 points, but you have to win by two.

Even though the rules in sitting volleyball are similar to those in traditional volleyball, there are some differences. For instance, one “cheek” must always be in contact with the floor, including whenever players make contact with the ball. Standing and taking steps are not permitted. However, a short loss of contact with the court is permitted when making a defensive play in the back zone to save a ball and when making a defensive play in the front zone.

Get Started: Finding a Sitting Volleyball Team

Whether you are looking for a local team to play for fun or you’re looking to compete, check out teamusa.org and the Paralympic Club Directory for more information. You can also see if there is a Move United chapter in your area by going to moveunitedsport.org.

Alternatively, you can contact your local parks and recreation department to see what information they can offer you.

Would you rather try a different sport? Learn more about adaptive sports.


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