Is volleyball a winter sport? (answered)

No, volleyball is not a winter sport. Indoor volleyball is mainly played during the fall, winter, and spring. It is not that often played during summer as a lot of sports arenas don’t have aircon and people are often traveling during that season. The indoor Olympic games are even organized during summer so this indicates that volleyball can be played year-round. There are also variations on indoor volleyball that allow players to be active in the different seasons. Let’s explore this in more detail below:

What season is volleyball played in?

Indoor volleyball is mainly played during the fall and winter. The last games are being played during spring. Not all sports arenas have a cooling system and it can get quite hot during summer. Furthermore, a lot of clubs are linked to schools and they follow the school holidays. This allows players to go back home during these periods. Let’s take a look when club volleyball is being organized in the USA;

Level of the team in the USASeason duration
National teams (college level by NCAA)September-June
State teams (college by NCAA and high school level by NFHS)September-May
Local teams (high school level and below)September-May
Professional players abroadAugust-June
Indoor club volleyball season in the USA

Teams often start training again during August and this month is used to get back in shape and form a bond between the players. Teams often train outside during this month so that they can enjoy the sun. A lot of teams have a running track or grass that allows them to play outside. Sometimes some friendly matches are being played during this month to give the coach an idea of what players should start. 

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

Volleyball players often wear long sleeves and socks when they play as sports arenas might not have heating. They can always take these off later in the match when they feel that they get too hot. Finding the right amount of layers to wear is a challenge for volleyball players as games can be very intense. Teams want to avoid having to cancel matches (as they would lose the game) so even if the heating is not working, teams often have to play the match. Players have to be prepared for this and bring the required gear to keep them warm. Other sports arenas are heated too much and can be too hot to play in. Being able to deal with this is part of the game. 

Volleyball is being played worldwide and in Europe, we see a similar pattern. In some Asian countries, these schedules can shift given that some of these countries have rain season. This can affect the ability of players to travel and the volleyball season can be adapted to this. Big weather storms in the USA can also delay some matches as teams can’t travel.  

This pattern can be seen in a lot of sports as people enjoy being indoors during the colder months and want to be outdoors when it is warmer. 

Photo by Josh Duke on Unsplash

 A lot of variations on indoor volleyball have popped up recently:

  • Beach volleyball:  Beach volleyball players are often active during summer. In some climates, beach volleyball can be played year-round. This gives the players that live there an advantage as they have more time to practice. It is played during rain and shine so players have to adjust to this by wearing the right equipment for the job. There are several official matches and competitions and this sport is part of the Olympics. Professional players participate in the sport and it is becoming more popular. A lot of indoor players that want to remain active during summer make the switch to beach volleyball. This allows them to remain in shape between seasons. In the USA beach volleyball is mainly played between May and September.
  • Pool (or water) volleyball: This is mainly played for fun as there are not a lot of competitions so far. Given that you need warm water to play it in, it is mainly played during summer. Some people have heated or indoor pools and this allows them to play the whole year. At the moment there are no professional water volleyball players given that there are so few competitions. 
  • Bossaball: this fun addition to volleyball is played on a bouncy terrain and includes a trampoline. At the moment it is mainly played during the summer. It could be played during the winter if the system gets installed indoors. This sport is still quite new and there are not a lot of competitions. It is mainly being played for fun. 
  • Snow volleyball: this is a recent addition to volleyball and is played during winter. The court has to be covered with a thick pack of snow so it is not possible to play it during other seasons. In the mountains it is possible to play it during the whole year. We could see it become part of the winter Olympics in the future as it is a lot of fun to play. It can be quite hard to practice as there are not that many courts so far. We could see courts with artificial snow (similar to indoor skiing) in the future that allow players to practice the whole year.
  • 4-way volleyball: this is quite similar to beach volleyball but it is played individually instead of with a team. It is mainly played during summer as well given that it is mainly played in the sand or in a pool. This is a recent trend and we will have to see if it remains popular in the coming years. 
Type of volleyballMainly played during
Beach volleyballMay-September
Pool volleyballJune-September
Snow volleyballNovember-February

Given the popularity of volleyball, we can expect that more variations will pop up. 

To conclude, we can state that volleyball can be played the whole year. Indoor volleyball is mainly played during fall, winter, and spring and follows the school seasons (with holidays during summer). There are several volleyball variations that are played outdoors and these mainly take place during summer. Indoor volleyball players often pick these up to remain active during the offseason.

We have discussed the scoring system for volleyball here.