Volleyball court size: What to Know

There are many different opinions on the size of volleyball courts. The size of a volleyball court is based on the number of players, the age level, and the type of game being played. There are often rules for how big a court has to be so that it is similar for every match in the competition.

The Dimensions of Indoor Volleyball Court

  • The volleyball court’s playing location must be rectangular and symmetrical.
  • The playing site comprises the playing court and the free zone where no objects should be standing so that players don’t fall over them.
  • The volleyball court measures 59′ by 29’5”
  • The centerline has a length of 29’5”.
  • The attack line is 10′ from the centerline. The End line is 29’5” from the center.

According to Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), the volleyball court measures 59′ by 29’5” or 18 m by 9 m in meters. The FIVB organizes a lot of international tournaments so they have a big influence on the size of the court.  For this reason, their measurements are often seen as the gold standard. The NFHS is the only one that deviates from this and determines the size of the court as 60 feet on 30 feet.

  • The size of the volleyball court is determined by four boundary lines, the two longest of which are referred to as “sidelines.” These are perpendicular to the net and run longitudinally or along the longer side of the court. End lines are the other two lines on two extremes.
  • On the rectangle’s shorter sides, the end lines link to the sidelines. The 10-foot lines and the net are aligned to the end lines. The front and backcourts are separated by 10-foot lines on each half of the court.
  • The free zone is the region surrounding the court’s perimeter. It is at least six feet six inches wide. This is the region between the court and the team bench that surrounds the entire court area and allows players to securely enter to play a ball back into the court. Some older sports arenas are not able to offer this much room around the court. This can limit the game as players have less chance to retrieve the ball (for example with their feet). The NCAA allows this in some situations as they know that some schools don’t have a new infrastructure. This will probably change in the coming years as it is safer to play when there is more room. The rules of the NFHS are stricter as they require at least 6 feet (preferably 10 feet) of unobstructed space outside the boundary lines.

Indoor volleyball floors come in several forms. Sprung flooring and Vinyl Sports Floor are the two types of flooring available. A floating floor is also termed a sprung floor. Conventional hardwood volleyball courts, synthetic volleyball courts, and court tile surfaces are all options for volleyball courts. Each of these has a unique feel. Referees can check if the floor is in a good state to play on. They might also measure the height of the net and the size of the court to make sure that it complies with the regulations. This keeps it fair for everyone and ensures that all the teams have the same conditions to play in.

The Dimensions of Beach Volleyball

Volleyball can be played on the beach as well. This is known as beach volleyball, and the structure of a beach volleyball court differs significantly from that of an indoor volleyball court. Beach volleyball is a lighter form of the game that was developed thirty years after volleyball was initially conceived. The beach volleyball court’s specifications are as follows:

  • Beach volleyball is a sport that takes place on a sand court. The court has to be rectangular.
  • The beach volleyball court is 52.6 feet by 26.25 feet in feet (16 m by 8 m in meters).
  • This court should be bordered by at least a 3-meter wide free zone to make sure that players don’t run into objects.

It is clear that beach volleyball courts are a lot smaller than indoor volleyball courts. This is quite logical given that there are often fewer players on a beach volleyball court than on an indoor volleyball court. There are other types of volleyball as well such as snow volleyball, sitting volleyball, and bossaball. Each of these has other court dimensions.

Dimensions for outdoor volleyball games

For outdoor games, the court is often shrunk down and the net is used to determine the width of the court. To determine the length of the court, we can use the width of the net and double this. This makes it easy to determine the length of the court based on the width of the net. In a garden, you also have to make sure that you have enough space around the court so that no one trips over items.

For more advanced games and competitions, it is possible to use the same dimensions as indoor games. Outdoor volleyball is typically played on the grass. In some instances, it is played on concrete or mulch but this is not ideal as these underground can be harder to play on and make it difficult to slide. This can limit what liberos can do in a match.

To conclude, we can state that it is quite difficult to provide one dimension for a volleyball court. It depends on the type of volleyball, the level it is played at, and how many players there are on the court. Luckily there are clear rules for each competition. This makes it easier to know in advance what to expect. For high school volleyball, the NFHS outlines the dimensions, for college volleyball, the NCAA determines this. The FIVB has defined the size of the court for a lot of international competitions.

This makes it more predictable for players and they can practice with the dimensions that they will have in the competition as well. Volleyball courts are quite big and provide a lot of space to play. It is allowed to retrieve the ball outside the court as well. For this reason, a lot of courts provide space around it so that players can keep the ball in the air and pass it back to their team members. This can lead to spectacular games.

As long as you have one of these courts, you can start to play.