How is Men’s Volleyball Different From Women’s Volleyball? (ANSWERED!)

Volleyball can be played by both men and women but there are some notable differences between how the sport is played by both. These differences are the same across the globe as they are often outlined in the rules of the International Volleyball Federation. This means that they are seen as a standard practice. Let’s discuss these differences in more detail.

How men’s and women’s volleyball be distinguished? 

When we talk about most co-ed sports, there is a big overlap between them. For example, there are only small differences between men’s and women’s basketball. 

Volleyball for men and women is quite different, and the differences are noted as follows:

The differences between men’s and women’s volleyball begin with the net’s height. For women the height of the net is 7′ 4 1/8″ while for men this is higher. This keeps it challenging as men are generally taller and jump higher than women.

Men’s volleyball is more power-based than women’s volleyball due to physical differences. This means that the spikes and serves fly faster. Women’s volleyball is more based on technique as they have less power.

Volleyball for women is a more finesse-oriented sport. They rely more on their technique and unique strategies instead of raw power.

Longer rallies are seen in men’s games than in women’s games. This means that the ball goes back and forth for a longer period of time before a team can score. Given that the scoring system is also different, matches for men last a lot longer.

The scoring system also differs. Men generally have to win 3 sets to win a match whereas women only have to win 2 sets. This means that men can play up to 5 sets per match whereas women only can play up to 3 sets per match. Matches for men, therefore, last longer and they have to exhaust more energy It has to be noted that these rules can be different for beginners.

Things that are similar amongs men and women

The basic rules still apply for both.

If you understand how the game is being played, volleyball may be as simple to play as it is to watch. First, by a coin toss, we decide which team will serve, and the losing team will then select which side of the court to play on.

Each team has a starting lineup of six players, with additional members to be substituted into the game. The team’s starting lineup determines the players’ rotational order and must be kept throughout the set. The offending team must revert to the line-up layer’s positions if a mismatch between the players’ places and the official lineup sheet is uncovered. Their opposition will be given a point as well as the following service. All points scored by the at-fault side from the moment of the fault till the discrepancy is discovered are voided.

The game will start with a serve from a player of the serving team. The opposing team must return the ball with no more than three contacts. The first contact is usually a pass to propel the ball towards the setter. The setter will use a set move to pass the ball to the hitter/attacker. The hitter would either spike or hit the ball over the net to end an attack. The defending team will aim to keep this from landing on their court by blocking the ball. If the ball gets past the block motion, the defending team’s other players will try to control it with a dig. The defending team will switch to offense after a good dig.

A point is awarded when the opposite team fails to give the ball back to the opponent’s side within three hits. The same happens if they let the ball touch the ground. This is one method of scoring a volley. A point is awarded to a team that “kills” or smashes the ball to the court of the opponent. Another approach to gain a volley is to do so in this manner.

It has to be noted that volleyball is more popular amongst girls than boys in the USA. This also can explain why the female Team USA is performing better than the male Team USA. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

The point counts only if the ball hits the ground within the drawn boundaries. In case the ball crosses the boundary lines, your team receives a point. Your opponents will score points if the ball reaches the outer side of the lines.

Summing up

Volleyball is a fun yet engaging game. There are some differences between how the game is played by men and women. The main ones are the scoring system and the height of the net. The general rules still apply and therefore there is a lot of overlap between the two.