Volleyball: can it be played indoors or outdoors? Unexpected answers.

Volleyball can be played indoors and outdoors. Most often it is played indoors in a sports arena as there are no objects that you can run into, the ground is relatively safe to fall on and there is a structure that holds the net.

It is also possible to draw the lines on the floor so it is very clear how big the field is and if the ball went inside or outside the field. This also allows games during wintertime in cold climates. 

Volleyball can also be played outdoors. This is a lot of fun but it depends on the weather if this is possible. Beach volleyball is a great example of this, where people play volleyball in the sand. It is also possible to play on other undergrounds such as grass or concrete. More recently we have seen pool volleyball become more popular as well.

Indoor volleyball

This is volleyball that is played inside, typically in a sports arena. The main advantage of this is that you can play at any time, rain or shine. This also allows you to play after dark as there are lights to make sure that the field is visible. You can play with an official volleyball and with official field sizes so this is great training for competitions. It also offers room for supporters to sit and cheer for your team. 

The environment is a lot more predictable. In outdoor volleyball, there can be wind or unexpected objects that fly over. This is not the case for indoor volleyball and this makes sure that both teams get equal chances to score as there are fewer things that can interrupt the game. Therefore volleyball is often played inside. 

A standard indoor ball is used for this. These balls are often stitched and made out of (synthetic) leather. This gives the standard look and feels to the ball. Outdoor balls sometimes get damaged during a game so it can react differently. This is not often the case with indoor balls and these should behave the same during the whole game. 

Outdoor volleyball:

This is volleyball that is played outside. As discussed, the weather can affect when you can play. If it suddenly starts to rain in the middle of a volleyball game, you might have to stop it for a while and this can interrupt the competition. You also need a ball that is able to deal with moisture and dust. Therefore it is best to buy a volleyball that is designed specifically for the outdoors.

These are not stitched but vacuum formed to make sure that no water can get in the rubber of the ball as this can deform and damage the ball quite fast. These outdoor volleyballs don’t cost that much more as they are made out of foam.

They might feel different than indoor volleyballs so it might take some getting used to but overall the quality of these balls is quite good as well and they should last several years if you take care of them. Make sure to clean and dry off the ball after the game. You have to store it in a dry place and at moderate temperatures. 

Since there are often no lights, it is difficult to play after dark. Luckily you now have balls that light up so that you can even play in the dark. This can be a lot of fun as it adds another element of mystic to the game.

You only have limited visibility so you have to guess where everyone is and how things are moving. It is better to have a light in the dark net as well and lights that are attached to each player and the lines of the field so that you at least know where the field ends. It might take some time to get used to this but it is a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. 

Pool volleyball

A lot of people have installed a pool. After a while, swimming gets quite boring and they look for new ways to entertain themselves.  This is why a lot of people have started playing pool volleyball lately. This is a variant of volleyball where you have the net in the middle of the pool. Not every pool is big enough to accommodate a full field so you often have to adjust for this as it is not possible to run out of the field to catch a ball.

You also need a ball that is waterproof. Sometimes this is played with balls that are slightly bigger than usual volleyballs to make it easier to play. You can’t swim as fast as you can run so this is the reason to play with a bigger ball. The net is also not that high as you can’t jump as high in a pool as you can on a normal volleyball field. 

This is mainly played during summer as the water can be too cold to play during other seasons. Be sure to invest in a decent net as some can topple over quite easily and it is annoying if you have to set it back up during a game. 

Beach volleyball

Beach volleyball has become quite popular as it has become part of the Olympics. Some people argue that the outfits that are being used are quite skimpy but that is a story for another time. The size of the field and the weight of the ball are different for this type of volleyball. This makes the game more dynamic as the ball goes back and forth faster. As you play in the sand, you can’t always run as fast as you would in a sports arena. All these factors make it a very interesting sport that is a lot of fun to play.

The main disadvantage is that it is hard to play during winter in colder climates. Therefore a lot of players perform the sport indoors during winter and then start playing on the beach during summer. Sometimes they also install fields in cities to attract more spectators for the game. Special sand is then used to create a field to make sure that there are no impurities that can hurt the players. 

It can be a challenge to switch from indoor volleyball to beach volleyball given that the weight of the ball is bigger for beach volleyball. Therefore it can take quite a lot of time and training to get used to it. 

This variation of the sport is still gaining traction so a lot of players have never tried it. In the coming years, it should become more popular and more fields should be built. This will make the sport more accessible and allow more people to give it a try. It is also often played by amateurs that just want to have a day of fun.

Their volleyball skills might be quite bad and this can be frustrating for volleyball players that have a lot of experience as they are giving bad passes or missing easy points. You have to discuss this with your team in advance to make sure that everyone has the right expectations before the game starts. 

Can you play volleyball on grass?

Yes, it is possible to play volleyball on the grass. In fact, it can be a lot of fun to play in grass on bare feet, especially during summer. The grass is quite soft so it can help to break your fall if you dive (or dig) to get a ball. I really like the feeling of playing on the grass. It also allows you to slip and slide if you really want to catch a ball. This adds another effect to the game as it allows you to catch very difficult balls low to the ground. You also get the great smell of grass. 

You just have to make sure that the grass isn’t too slippery. If the grass is wet, it can be dangerous to play in as you can slip quite easily. Furthermore, the grass shouldn’t be too long as you can falter over long grass. Therefore it is best to cut the grass a few days before you play on it. 

Another challenge with playing on grass is that the ground might not be even. This can make it harder to play as you have to run up a small slope or down a small incline. 

It can also be too cold to play volleyball outside so during winter in colder climates this might be less pleasant to do.

More recently we have also seen that synthetic grass is being used to play sports. The price of these synthetics has dropped a lot and new technology has made sure that these fields last longer. This is made out of small pieces of plastic and foam. These fields can be a lot of fun to play on as they are quite soft as well.

They are easy to maintain as you don’t have to cut the grass. The look and feel have improved a lot as well in the past few years so we can expect that more and more volleyball fields will start using synthetic grass as well as it is quite cheap and easy to maintain. Some people argue that it is not as much fun to play on bare feet as natural grass but this is a personal preference. They even use artificial grass inside now so that you can play volleyball on this every day, no matter if it rains or not. 

You can use chalk or some fabric to form the lines around the field. This will make it easier to see how big the field is and if you score a point or if the ball fell outside the field. I prefer chalk as you can fall over the lines if they do not adhere properly. You have to run and slide a lot in volleyball and loosely held lines can break if you go over them.

This can interrupt the game and is quite annoying as you have to remeasure the field. Chalk should last for several weeks but might be harder to apply as you need equipment to do this. You can use makeshift demarcations but I prefer clear lines to make sure that there are no discussions about how big the field is. You can lose a lot of time talking about if a ball was inside or outside the court. Clear lines make things a lot easier.

Grass also makes it quite easy to install a net. You might have to reinforce it as strong winds can take it down. Check the manual of the net that you have bought to see how you can do this. This is really important as it can fall over if you touch it otherwise. 

To conclude, we can state that you can play volleyball indoors and outdoors. You might need other equipment to play outside and it is possible that the weather or sunset affects your ability to play the game. It can be a lot of fun to play volleyball outdoors but indoors offers more certainty that you can finish the game. This is why most competitions take place inside.