Volleyball Court – Diagram With Sizes and Dimensions

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A Closer Look at a Volleyball Court

It is estimated that volleyball is one of the most widely played professional sports around the world. People of all ages play this sport at an intense level, making it one of the most beloved activities around. The physicality of the game, as well as its fast pace, are just a few of the reasons that volleyball is continuing to gain popularity. At first glance, it may appear that a volleyball court is quite plain with only minimal markings. However, there may be a lot more going on than you may think. Here are some fascinating details you should know:

The Dimensions of a Volleyball Court

There are numerous national authorities for volleyball across the globe. However, the International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB) is the most widely regarded one. Due to this, there are set regulations for what the dimensions of a professional volleyball court must be. They are as follows:

The lines outlining a volleyball court are collectively known as boundary lines. Those that identify the outermost widths of the court are known as end lines while those that are running the length of the court are called sidelines. Each of these lines is 5cm thick.

The length of the court is 18 meters with the width measuring 9m across. Around the boundary lines, there exists a region known as the free zone. In most instances, this free zone is three meters wide. For World or Official competitions, the free zone is 8m around the end lines and 5m around the side lines.

Behind each of the end lines, there is a service zone from which the ball is served. This area is 9m wide and is marked by 15 cm lines, in line with the side lines. These lines are drawn 20cm behind the end line.

In the middle of the volleyball court is where the net is placed. This divides each side of the court into two equal squares. The height at which the net is placed depends on whether it is a male or female volleyball competition. For male competitions, the net is hung at a height of 2.43m while for the female games, it is placed at 2.24m. The net itself, however, is just 1m wide.

There are two lines drawn on either side of the net. These are known as attack lines and are precisely 3m each from the center of the court. The area in front of the lines is known as the front court while the rest of the playing area is referred to as the backcourt.

There must be at least 7m above the playing surface which is unobstructed so that the ball can move without interference.

What is a Volleyball Court Made Of?

The FIVB actually insists that all of the related competitions are held on very specific floors. This is flooring that has been constructed by Gerflor Taraflex. The type of Taraflex that is actually used depends on the type of subfloor that has been set.

Here, the FIVB allows for a little bit of variety. The subfloors can either be made from wood or a synthetic material that has similar properties. It is also acceptable for a volleyball subfloor to be made from concrete. If the subfloor is made from wood or a wood-like synthetic, then the top layer must be made from Taraflex Sport M Evolution. For concrete floors, the Taraflex Sport M Performance should be used. The Performance at 9mm is thicker by 2mm than the Evolution.

While there are differences between these two flooring types, the reasoning behind the construction is the same. One of the main reasons that these materials are used is to minimize impact on the player’s bodies. While the flooring needs to be durable, it is just as important that the floor has adequate shock absorption. This helps to minimize the injuries that the players experience. The floor cannot be slippery and must have some grip to it to prevent the players from falling. Similarly, the surface has to be relatively smooth and cannot be rough.

At the same time, the playing surface needs to be able to resist wear and tear over a number of games. The more modern floors also incorporate certain antimicrobial materials as well to make the playing surfaces more sanitary.

The indoor playing courts must be in a light color while the boundary and attack lines are typically marked in white.

The Evolution of the Volleyball Court

Much like basketball, volleyball too found its origins in an indoor YMCA arena. They even had their humble beginnings in the same state – Massachusetts. Although volleyball began in Holyoke. In fact, volleyball was meant to be a less violent alternative to basketball. In 1895, William Morgan came up with the idea for the sport though at the time he named it Mintonette.

Since the first few games of volleyball were played in a YMCA court, the flooring was probably made of maple. This wood had the advantage of being quite durable. It even absorbed impact to a certain extent which made it a little safer for the players to play on. However, this material was still quite tough which could cause a certain amount of discomfort. For the longest time, volleyball continued to be played in indoor courts meant for other sports. This was because it was still mostly played in schools and for recreational purposes.

It was only after the 1930s that it began to take on a more official standing and courts specifically made to volleyball standards emerged. It is not clear when it became accepted to use synthetic materials on the court. As technology processed, nonetheless, it became more widespread to use supplies that were better for the players.

Courts Similar to a Volleyball Court

In terms of similarity, it is easy to see that indoor volleyball and beach volleyball are the most closely related. However, they are played in slightly different manners and certainly very different playing surfaces.

A court that may be most alike to that of a volleyball court is a game called sepak takraw. This sport combines aspects of volleyball and association football. Therefore, it does share some traits of a volleyball court. The sepak takraw court is smaller is several meters narrower and shorter than a volleyball one. However, there is a net in the center of the court, much like with volleyball. In sepak takraw, the players use their feet to launch the ball over the net. Due to this, the net is much shorter than in volleyball.

It can be said that tennis and badminton courts have a few of the same features. A badminton court is too small, while a tennis court is much larger. Also, with both of these courts, the nets are much too low to the ground. Clearly, there is no equal to that of a volleyball court.

Volleyball has been around for more than a century now and much has changed since it was first introduced. The sport, as well as the court, have undergone numerous changes. What has not altered, however, is the spirit of volleyball. Still, it is fascinating to see how this court has gone through its stages before emerging as one of the most popular playing surfaces in the world.


Last updated on November 24, 2017

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