What is the difference between club and open volleyball? IMPORTANT To Know!

Club volleyball is more structured than open volleyball because you participate in a competition that will last several months. You have to be prepared to do this. Therefore club volleyball teams train two times a week and they are pushing hard to get better. Open volleyball is more focused on having fun and you don’t have to attend every training as you are not really building towards a goal such as winning the competition.

Open volleyball is therefore often played by older players that have other obligations such as school or work. Taking part in a competition takes a lot of time and dedication and if you have done it a few times, you might want to explore other things in life while still playing volleyball from time to time. Let’s discuss the similarities and differences between club and open volleyball in further detail in this post. 

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Similarities between club and open volleyball

You are going to train in a sports arena and the rules of the game are still the same. The same net, indoor ball, and field size are used. Both are also played indoors in a sports arena. You will also need the same gear: shoes, socks, knee pads, shirt, shorts. Often the same drills are used and some coaches train both open and club volleyball teams so the training might be quite similar overall.

The same club that organizes club volleyball often also organizes open volleyball as players in most instances start with club volleyball and move over to open volleyball once they have less time to devote to this hobby.

In both instances, you will have a coach that will discuss some drills. These exercises focus both on offensive and defensive actions. 

During summer there is no volleyball and both types of clubs are closed during that period of time. Some players might decide to participate in tournaments such as beach volleyball but this is done on their own initiative.

A close bond between players is created in both instances because volleyball is a team sport and you have to work together well if you want to get good at it. 

Preparing for a match ©South_agency via Canva.com

Open vs club volleyball: differences between the two

In open volleyball, you often have a mix of different skill levels. In club volleyball, on the other hand, they try to bring together players that are on a similar level. This makes sure that you have a fighting chance in the competition. 

Club volleyball is more serious and you often have to attend all the training sessions or you will not be allowed to play. Open volleyball teams don’t participate in a competition, they often just play matches amongst each other at the end of the training. The players are joking around more and paying less attention to what they are learning as the end goal is different. 

In open volleyball, you don’t have team jerseys and every player is often allowed to wear whatever type of gear that they want. These teams are often only meeting once a week whereas club volleyball teams meet three times a week, two times for training and once for a match.

©JeppeSmedNielsen via Canva.com

Open volleyball is always played in the same arena. Since you have to visit the opposing team, club volleyball players have to play in other sports arenas as well. This requires more traveling time and dedication to this hobby. 

In theory, if there was a match between club volleyball teams and open volleyball teams of the same age group, the club volleyball team should win as they are training more. Open volleyball teams often also have talented players as these are often retired club volleyball players but since you also have players that are quite new and they don’t train that often, their level might be lower.

Club volleyball teams will play faster than open teams as they are used to playing against several opponents. A lot of volleyball skills are only learned during a match and if you don’t spend a lot of time playing matches, you are not going to learn them. 

Open volleyball teams are often a mix of men and women. Club volleyball teams are often only for men or women. This has grown like this historically and could change in the coming years. There is also a mix of ages and experience in open volleyball whereas club volleyball teams often keep people of the same age in one team. 

Volleyball classes for adults

If you are in your late twenties (and going to a college or university), it will be a lot easier to join an open volleyball team than a club. People often have decades of experience at this point in clubs and you will have a hard time learning all of these things if you don’t spend extraordinary amounts of time on mastering the required skills. 

The organizers of the open volleyball are often different as this is often done by employers, volunteers, or schools. As volleyball is gaining traction, more and more people want to play it and open volleyball clubs are a perfect way to get started if you want to learn more about the sport and see if you want to take it more seriously.

Participating in a beach volleyball game is also a great way to get started. People are playing on courts near beaches and you often can join. You can just ask the people who are playing what team you can join and get started right away. Some people might be annoyed if you don’t know what is going on but in general, people are willing to teach you the ropes. You can look up the rules beforehand to make sure that you know what is going on.

 Club volleyball is organized by local volleyball clubs that have probably existed for a long time. Sometimes you have to participate in tryouts before you can join as they want to make sure that players with the same skill levels can play together.

To conclude, we can state that open and club volleyball is quite similar. In club volleyball, you take part in a competition and this means that you will train with more focus. Open volleyball is mainly centered around having fun and relaxing. The latter is mainly played by older people that have less time to focus on competition. The teams in open volleyball are often less close as the players don’t play together for years and people come and go as they please.

Club volleyball has a very clear purpose: compete. This means that you are going to focus on getting better and finding ways to improve the team. This requires a lot of intensity and action. Open volleyball is more centered around having fun and casually playing volleyball.