Yes, boys can play volleyball. In fact, there are a lot of male professional volleyball players. The sport requires a lot of energy as you are running and jumping around a lot. In the USA this sport is not that popular amongst guys as there are other sports that draw their attention. This can partly be explained by the fact that there is no big professional volleyball league in the USA. Therefore it is not possible to see this as a career path whereas other sports can be played professionally.
The NBA wasn’t as popular in the past and it is possible that a professional volleyball competition will become mainstream in the USA as well, attracting a lot of male and female players. The problem is that there is often a spiral in sports. Popular sports attract more players, which increases the level that the game is played. This makes the sport more spectacular and popular. This leads to more inflow and further increases the attractiveness of this sport. Volleyball currently is not in this positive spiral in the USA and this makes it hard to make the sport grow. In a lot of other countries such as Brazil, Italy, Japan, and Turkey there are a lot of boys that play volleyball in a club given that they see volleyball on television and it is a really popular sport there.
Teams are not often mixed in volleyball as the net is hanging higher for boys than for girls. This allows them to take advantage of their height and keep the sport challenging for everyone. At the college and professional level men generally play 5 sets whereas women only play 4 sets. Other than this the game is the same for boys and girls.
Team USA also had a male team at the Olympics. They did a great job and can help to popularize this sport in the coming years. Let’s take at some highlights below:
Beach volleyball is broadening the appeal of this sport and attracts a lot of new players as well. Once people come aware of this, they want to learn more about it and might join a club.
Another new variation on this sport is 4 way and pool volleyball. These games are often played during summer at parties and can be a great way to introduce the sport to new players as well. People get to know the rules and how it is played and it can make them join a club over time. A lot of people just don’t know volleyball and how much fun it is to play. This is quite weird given that volleyball was actually invented in the USA but it gained more popularity abroad than it did in the USA. These are recent addition so it will be interesting if these initiatives can attract more male volleyball players in the coming years and decades.
Can guys play volleyball in high school?
Yes, guys can play volleyball in high school and college.
The problem is that there are a lot of high schools that don’t have a club for boys. Given that the budgets are limited, schools often prefer to pick other sports over volleyball. A lot of female clubs are active in high schools across the USA.
We have to note that volleyball is more popular in some states than in others for boys. According to data from the NFHS sports participation survey, there are about 24 states (of the 50 in total) that have a male high school volleyball team. This results in 2,472 schools that had a male volleyball team. This already indicates that there are a lot of high schools without a volleyball team for men. If there is no team, people will not pick up this hobby. Organizations such as the NFHS and FIVB are introducing the sport to new schools and trying to start more clubs so that newer players can join as well. If players don’t start playing a sport in high school, they often won’t play it in college. This explains why there are only 239 male college volleyball clubs in the USA. This compares to more than 1800 varsity volleyball clubs for women. We can clearly see that this sport is more popular amongst women in high school and college. Some male teams have to travel quite a distance if they want to compete in a tournament. The good news is that we are seeing a positive trend and more guys in high school started to select this sport.
Schools often present the options to students and then they have to pick from this. It is very hard to start a team on your own as you need a budget to pay for the coach and sports accommodation. Therefore, people are not going to start playing volleyball if there is no club already. Given that there are not a lot of players, it is harder to find coaches and start a club. Volleyball will need to get kickstarted in the USA if it wants to become more popular in high schools.
Volleyball is a very spectacular sport that doesn’t require a lot of equipment. It is not a contact sport so this is why some people might see it as more targeted towards women but this is not the case. In fact, it is very popular in some countries.
To conclude, we can state that both boys and girls can play volleyball. It is in the top 5 sports across the world and there are 800 million players, of which 46 million are located in the USA. In the USA, the sport is mainly popular amongst girls and this can lead to the misconception that it is a sport that is only played by girls. Given that new variations of volleyball are popping up, such as water volleyball or beach volleyball, we can expect that more people will start participating in this sport in the future.