In what state is volleyball most popular? Surprising answer

When it comes to volleyball in the USA, there is one state that has the most teams. California has a lot of teams and is the main volleyball state of the USA. There are other states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Illinois that have a lot of teams. In Hawaii, there are quite a lot of beach volleyball teams. 

NFHS reports data on the most popular high school sports per state. For girls this is the case in the following states: WA, OR, CA, ID, NV, AZ, MT, WY, CO, NM, TX, NE, KS, SD, ND, MN, IA, WO, IL, AL, MO, FL, WV, KI, IN, MI For boys this is the case in no state at all. This can be partly explained that there are fewer clubs for boys, the first ones just started a few years ago. Volleyball doesn’t even make the top 10 for boys whereas it is in the top 2 of most popular sports for girls. Despite the fact that volleyball originated in Massachusetts, it doesn’t seem too popular there at this point in time. Beach volleyball has been invented in California and this can explain the fact why volleyball is so popular over there.

Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

If we look at the NCAA roster for 2022 Divisions I & II programs for men, we can notice that the teams come from the following states. California has the most teams. Then North Carolina has 5 teams, closely followed by South Carolina, New York, and Illinois. 

StateNumber of teams in this competition

Let’s take a look at the NCAA Men’s Division competition. Of the 45 total Division 1 championship titles for men, only 8 were won by non-California-based universities. The remaining 37 titles were won by schools in California. Given that they have more teams, the chance that they win is also bigger. 

If we do the same for women for the  NCAA Division I women’s volleyball program, we can notice that California and North and South Carolina also have the most teams in this competition, once again showing that volleyball is very popular in these states. 

If we look at the female team USA volleyball team that won the Olympics and from what state the players are from, we can notice that most players come from California, Texas, Pennsylvania, or Minnesota. 

PlayerState of University team
Micha HancockPennsylvania
Jordyn Poulter Illinois
Rachael AdamsTexas
Kathryn Plummer California
Justine Wong-Orantes California
Sarah Wilhite-ParsonsMinnesota
TeTori DixonMinnesota
Lauren CarliniWisconson
Jordan LarsonNebraska
Andrea DrewsIndiana
Jordan ThompsonOhio
Michelle Bartsch-HackleyIllinois
Foluke GundersonCalifornia
Kelsey RobinsonNebraska
Madison KingdonArizona
Megan CourtneyPennsylvania
Haleigh WashingtonPennsylvania
Chiaka OgboguTexas
Sarah Wilhite-ParsonsMinnesota
Danielle CuttinoIndiana
Hannah TappMinnesota

Volleyball is also popular in Hawaii. Their great climate makes it easy to play volleyball on the beach or outside. 

As people are moving from California to Texas and Florida, we can expect that more volleyball clubs will pop up in these states as well. Florida already has a big beach volleyball community as they can keep playing outside for several months. In other states, it is too cold to play volleyball outdoor for several months. They also don’t always have beaches in the neighborhood.

It has to be noted that volleyball is more popular outside the USA as there are professional competitions in countries such as Japan, Italy, and Brazil. In each of these countries, a lot of players from the USA are playing professionally. At the moment there is no big professional volleyball competition in the USA so these players have to go abroad. Some companies are working on developing new competitions in the USA so hopefully, this will change in the years to come. 

Best volleyball club in or near (northern) California 

As discussed before, volleyball is very popular in California

You have to take several things into account when selecting a volleyball club. The distance from your home, school, or work affects how long you have to travel to get there. Given that a lot of clubs train two or three times a week, you can spend a lot of time traveling back and forth. 

You also have to think about the type of volleyball that you want to play. Beach volleyball has other rules than indoor volleyball and is also played on different terrain.

You also have to think if you want to join open volleyball, which is more casual or club volleyball, which is more competitive. Open volleyball is just for fun and it can be a great way to get to know new people. If you decide to join a club, you will have to spend a lot of time training and you will be pushed to work hard and repeat the same drills over and over again.

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

You also have to think about the skill level of the team that you are going to join. A lot of teams have been playing together for several years and it can be hard to join if you are a beginner. You might have to spend a lot of time on the bench instead of playing. Once again, you have to think about these things before picking a volleyball club. 

Based on Google reviews, we can get the following list:

  • Oasis Volleyball Club

+1 909-264-1435

  • San Gabriel Elite Volleyball Club

Los Angeles, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 626-524-3721

  • Tstreet Volleyball Club

Irvine, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 949-305-8083

  • WestCoast Volleyball Club

Santa Monica, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 310-880-2209

  • Legacy Volleyball Club

Santa Clarita, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 661-607-8125

  • Shorebreak Volleyball Club

Clovis, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 858-243-5907

  • Ignite Volleyball Club & Foundation

Chino, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 909-315-2046

  • Seal Beach Volleyball Club

Seal Beach, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 562-430-1092

  • Beach Elite Volleyball Club

+1 714-290-3730

  • NorCal Volleyball Club

Livermore, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 925-708-4654

  • Long Beach Volleyball Club

Long Beach, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 562-282-8646

  • Genuine Volleyball Club

Vista, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 760-505-7766

  • Goldenwest Volleyball Club

Anaheim, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 714-917-3590

  • Los Angeles Volleyball Club

Los Angeles, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 310-593-4981

  • Sand Soul Volleyball Club

Huntington Beach, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 714-624-7975

  • Dime Volleyball Club

Santa Ana, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 949-427-9481

  • Ignite Volleyball Club

Warren T Eich Middle School

Roseville, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 916-304-4827

  • Elite Beach Volleyball Club – Clovis

Clovis, CA, Verenigde Staten · +1 559-931-1100

To conclude we can state that California is the state where volleyball is the most popular. A lot of clubs and players come from there and they have also won a lot of competitions. As we see people move from California to Texas and Florida, we might see that volleyball might become more popular in these states as well. If the USA volleyball teams keep performing well during the Olympics, we could see more clubs popping up across the USA.