Volleyball court sizes and things to know

by Johnny Jacks

Understanding the dimensions of a volleyball court is of utmost importance, and goodheathplan.com is here to provide essential information for newcomers to the sport.

Volleyball is a widely popular activity, enjoyed both professionally and recreationally as a means of staying fit. Numerous volleyball tournaments, catering to various levels of expertise, are held regularly. However, the size of the volleyball court, along with specific game rules and other factors, can vary depending on the type of competition.

Dimensions of the Volleyball Court and On-Court Considerations

Having a grasp of the volleyball court’s size significantly influences your performance in the sport.

Volleyball Court Size

A standard volleyball court boasts a playing area measuring 18 feet by 9 feet (18ft x 9ft). This playing area is enclosed by a zone known as the free zone, which extends 9.84 feet (9.84ft) or 3 meters on all sides. The volleyball court itself takes on a symmetrical, rectangular shape. The free zone is situated directly beyond the playing perimeter, ensuring an obstruction-free space for the game.

Nevertheless, adhering to official regulations, the free zone should maintain a minimum distance of 16.4 feet (16.4ft) or 5 meters from the goal line and the end line. For prestigious competitions like those sanctioned by the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball), world championships, and other official events, this distance is extended to 19.68 feet (19.68ft) or 6 meters.

Playing Surface

The volleyball court’s surface must be flat, level, and completely horizontal. It should be free from any obstructions that might hinder the ball’s movement or player mobility.

For indoor volleyball matches, the court’s surface is typically coated with a light varnish. In line with FIVB regulations and standards for world-class competitions, the court’s lines are painted white. Notably, a distinctive color is used for the volleyball antennas and free zone boundaries.

Outdoor volleyball courts require a slight slope of 0.2 inches per foot (5mm per meter) to facilitate water drainage. The court lines are not constructed using rigid materials, as is the case with indoor courts.

Understanding these aspects of the volleyball court is essential for both players and enthusiasts alike, ensuring that the game is played with precision and adherence to official standards.

Court Markings

All lines within the volleyball court must be 16.4 feet (5 meters) wide, with a requirement for these lines to be white. Distinct paint colors are used to differentiate between various areas.

  • Boundaries: The volleyball court’s boundaries are delineated by two lines: the side lines and the end line. Both sets of lines adhere to the dimensions of the playing area.
  • Midline: The midline runs centrally through the volleyball court, dividing it into two equal halves, each measuring 29.5 feet by 29.5 feet (9 meters by 9 meters).
  • Attack Line: The back boundary of the attack line is established 9.84 feet (3 meters) behind the axis of the midline, signifying the forward region. In the case of FIVB and world-level competitions, this line is officially extended. It consists of five short lines, each spanning 1.97 inches (5 centimeters) in width. Collectively, these lines encompass a length of 5.74 feet (1.75 meters).
The lines on the court must be white in color.

The lines on the court must be white in color.

Volleyball Nets

The volleyball net is slightly over 3.28 feet (1 meter) wide and is positioned at the center of the court.

  • For men’s volleyball competitions, the net is suspended at a height of 7.97 feet (2.43 meters) above the ground level at the center of the court.
  • In women’s volleyball competitions, the net is situated at a height of 7.35 feet (2.24 meters) above the ground.

Volleyball Court Layout

Volleyball courts are typically divided into various zones, and the diagram below illustrates the dimensions of the volleyball court along with its designated zones.

A prominent feature of the volleyball court is the 9.84 feet (3 meters) line, which runs parallel to the net on each side of the court. This line, also referred to as the attack line, serves to demarcate the court into the back row and front row areas. Its primary function is to designate the position from which back row players can launch their attacks.

In volleyball, a team comprises 6 players on the court, with 3 players positioned in the front row and 3 players in the back row. To facilitate player understanding of field positions and volleyball rotations, the court can be further subdivided into 6 zones.

The back row encompasses three positions: the right-back position (Zone 1), the center-back position (Zone 6), and the back left position (Zone 5).

Conversely, the front row includes three positions: the front-right position (Zone 2), the position located between the front (Zone 3), and the left-front position (Zone 4).

Rotate position in volleyball

Rules for Position Rotation in Volleyball

Rules for Position Rotation in Volleyball.

Rotation in Volleyball

In volleyball, when a team secures the first serve, players undergo positional rotation on the court in a clockwise direction. The player situated in the front-right position serves as the reference point for this rotation.

The volleyball court is enclosed by a designated free zone, an area beyond the court boundaries where players can enter to execute plays and movements. The free zone should measure at least 9.84 feet (3 meters) in width from the court’s edge. It’s essential to note that the court boundary lines are considered part of the court itself. Therefore, if the ball lands on the boundary line, it is considered in play.

Antennas, pivotal in volleyball, are flexible cylindrical rods constructed from materials such as fiberglass, boasting a diameter of 10mm and a length of 5.91 feet (1.8 meters). These antennas are affixed near the outer edge of the net’s sideline on both sides. If the ball fails to pass between these antennas when crossing the net, it is deemed out of play. Similarly, if the ball traverses over the net directly above or outside the antennas, it does not count as a valid play. It’s important to clarify that instances involving the ball hitting the antenna, net, cables, volleyball poles, or the referee do not contribute to scoring.

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