The sport of volleyball has two disciplines ─ beach volleyball and indoor volleyball. Traditional six-a-side indoor volleyball is referred to as Olympic volleyball. Beach volleyball is played by two teams of two players on a sand court divided by a net, while Olympic volleyball is played on a hard court.
One team aims to deliver the ball over the net and to ‘ground’ it on their opponents’ court while preventing it from touching the floor on their own court. Both disciplines follow the same basic skills and the flow of play follows similar lines ─ one team serves and the other tries to win the rally with a pattern of dig, set, spike within the requisite three touches.
The playing court is rectangular, 18m long and 9m wide. The space around the court or ‘free zone’ is a minimum of 3m on all sides.
The ‘free playing space’ is above the playing area and must be free of any obstructions. This is a minimum height of 7m from the playing surface.
For official or Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) competitions, the free zone is 5m from the sidelines and 8m from the end lines. The free playing space is 12.5m in height from the playing surface.
All lines are 5cm wide and must be light in colour, different from the colour of the floor or any other lines.
Boundary lines are the two side lines and two endlines
Centre line divides the playing court into two equal courts of 9m x 9m each. This line extends beneath the net from sideline to sideline
On each court, the rear edge of the attack line is drawn 3m back from the middle of the centre line and marks the front zone
Net and posts
The net is 1m wide and 9.5m−10m long and is made of 10cm square, black mesh. The top of the net is 2.43m high for men and 2.24m for women. The height is measured from the centre of the playing court.
A flexible rod 1.8m long and 10mm in diameter called an antenna is fastened at the outside edge of each side band on the net. Antenna are placed on opposite sides of the net and are considered part of the net. Antenna laterally delimit the crossing space.
The posts supporting the net are 0.50m−1m outside the sidelines. They are 2.55m high. The posts are round and smooth, fixed to the ground without wires.
With volleyball lighting a high degree of glare control is necessary because of the upward viewing. The luminaires are positioned away from the normal lines of sight. The minimum lux for recreation and training is 300 and for competition 500. For FIVB world and official competitions, the lighting on the playing area is 1000 lux−1500 lux measured at 1m above the surface of the playing area.
The playing court is rectangular, 16m long by 8m wide. It is surrounded by a free zone a minimum of 3m wide and space free from obstruction up to a height of a minimum of 7m from the playing surface.
The terrain is levelled sand, flat and uniform as possible, free of rocks, shells and anything else to avoid risks of cuts or injuries to the players.
Two sidelines and two endlines mark the playing court. All lines are 5cm−8cm wide and are a colour that contrasts with the colour of the sand. There is no service area designated as players may serve from anywhere across the back line. There is no centre line.
The net serves as a visible centre line of the court, dividing it into two halves. The net is 8.5m long and 1m wide when hung taut. It is 10cm square mesh. The height of the net is 2.43m for men and 2.24m for women. The posts supporting the net must be rounded and smooth, with a height of 2.55m, preferably adjustable. The posts must be padded.
For official international competitions played during the night, the lighting is 1000 lux−1500 lux measured at 1m above the playing surface.
The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.