Volleyball is a popular team sport in which two teams of 6 players are separated by the net. The teams tries to score by grounding the ball to the other side of the net (hence the other team’s court). The team who grounded the ball most will be the winner.
Parts of the Volleyball Court
The diagram above shows a sample layout of a volleyball court. The volleyball court layout is simple, unlike other popular team sports like the basketball, as the courts have no significant polygons aside from the line. Although it is simple, the lines in the volleyball are the most important aspect in the volleyball in scoring, attacking and defending.
Indoor volleyball have these characteristics:
- Boundary lines signifies the court’s perimeter and include the end lines to mark the length, and the sidelines to mark the width, of the court. When the ball are grounded in these areas, it is considered in and therefore attacking team will obtain a score.
- Net is separates the two teams. It was placed directly over the center line. The dimensions of the net vary per division, which will be discussed in the next section.
- Attack lines are lines drawn in the court and it is the line that separates the front court and the back court. Front court is the area near the net, while the back court is the area between the attack line and the end line. Liberos are usually defends the teams on the back court, while offensive players such as spikers are performing their duty on the front courts. Blockers are also found on the front court.
- Service area is the area beyond the end line where in players serves the ball.
Court Dimension and Measurements
Across all division (depending on the age), the court layout and dimensions are the same. The only distinguishable difference between the professional, collegiate and high school level is the height of the net they are using.
The following are some the the volleyball governing bodies that had issues rules to be used as a guide of gym owners and makers in creating their courts. These are the following:
The FIVB (from the French word, Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) is the governing body responsible for all forms of Volleyball on a global level. Working closely with national federations and private enterprises the FIVB aims to develop Volleyball as a major world media and entertainment sport through world-class planning and organisation of competitions, marketing and development activities. The FIVB is part of the Olympic Movement, contributing to the success of the Olympic Games.
FIVB released new court layout this 2014, as shown in the picture above. The layout above still follows the FIVB rulebook for 2013 to 2016, with the following details:
- The overall area of the court is 9 meter by 18 meter. Equally divided the entire by the net, each team will the occupy the 9 meter by 9 meter, and designate that as their court. This 18 meter by 9 meter court is standard across all leagues.
- The playing court is surrounded by a free zone which is 3 meter wide at all sides while free playing space shall measure a minimum of 7 m in height from the playing surface and is free of any obstructions. For World and Official Competitions, the free zone shall measure a minimum of 5 m from the side lines and 8 m from the end lines. The free playing space shall measure a minimum of 12.5 m in height from the playing surface.
- The surface must be flat, horizontal and uniform. It must not present any danger of injury to the players. It is forbidden to play on rough or slippery surfaces. For indoor courts, the surface of the playing court must be of a light color.
- All lines are 5 cm wide. They must be of a light color which is different from the color of the floor and from any other lines, as illustrated above.
- On each court, an attack line, whose rear edge is drawn 3 m back from the axis of the center line, marks the front zone. For World and Official Competitions, the attack line is extended by the addition of broken lines from the side lines, with five 15 cm short lines 5 cm wide, drawn 20 cm from each other to a total length of 1.75 m. The “coach’s restriction line” (a broken line which extends from the attack line to the end line of the court, parallel to the side line and 1.75 meters from it) is composed of 15 cm short lines drawn 20 cm apart to mark the limit of the coach’s area of operation.
- The service zone is a 9 m wide area behind each end line. It is laterally limited by two short lines, each 15 cm long, drawn 20 cm behind the end line as an extension of the sidelines. Both short lines are included in the width of the service zone.
- The nets are placed vertically over the center line whose top is set at the height of 2.43 m for men and 2.24 m for women. Its height is measured from the center of the playing court. The net height (over the two side lines) must be exactly the same and must not exceed the official height by more than 2 cm.
- The net is 1 m wide and 9.50 to 10 metres long (with 25 to 50 cm on each side of the side bands), made of 10 cm square black mesh.
- At its top a horizontal band, 7 cm wide, made of two-fold white canvas, is sewn along its full length. Each extreme end of the band has a hole, through which passes a cord, fastening the band to the posts for keeping its top taut.
- At the bottom of the net there is another horizontal band, 5cm wide, similar to the top band, through which is threaded a rope. This rope fastens the net to the posts and keeps its lower part taut.
- The posts supporting the net are placed at a distance of 0.50-1.00 m outside the side lines. They are 2.55 m high and preferably adjustable. For all FIVB, World and Official Competitions, the posts supporting the net are placed at a distance of 1 m outside the side lines.
- The ball shall be spherical, made of a flexible leather or synthetic leather case with a bladder inside, made of rubber or a similar material. Its color may be a uniform light color or a combination of colors. Synthetic leather material and color combinations of balls used in international official competitions should comply with FIVB standards. Its circumference is 65-67 cm and its weight is 260-280 g. Its inside pressure shall be 0.30 to 0.325 kg/square cm (4.26 to 4.61 psi) (294.3 to 318.82 mbar or hPa).
- Playing court is 18 meters by 9 meters long, same with the FIVB court size. This 18 meters by 9 meters is standard across all leagues.
- The court and a free zone area at least 2 meters (6 feet, 6 inches) adjacent to and surrounding the court must be flat, smooth and free of obstructions, other than net supports.
- The free zone may include playing area that is even with or no more than approximately 1.25 centimeters (½ inch) lower than the primary surface. For facilities to be constructed after 2016, as per rule change recently done by NCAA, a free zone of 3 meters (9 feet, 9 inches) is required.
- The recommended free zone area is 3.05 meters (10 feet) outside the sidelines and 4.58 meters (15 feet) beyond the end lines.
- The recommended clearance over the playing area is 12.4 meters (41 feet), measured from the playing surface. For facilities constructed after 2006, the space above the playing area must be free of obstruction to a minimum height of 7.62 meters (25 feet) measured from the playing surface.
- All lines are 5 centimeters (2 inches) wide and must be a contrasting color from the floor and any other lines
- The edge of the attack line farthest from the center line measures 3 meters (9 feet, 10 inches) from the axis of the center line. The extension of the attack lines is marked with a solid interrupted line outside the court: 20-centimeter break, 15-centimeter line (8-inch break, 6-inch line) repeated five times to a total length of 1.75 meters (70 inches).
- The service zone is a 9-meter (29 feet, 6 inches) wide area behind and excluding the end line. At a point 20 centimeters (8 inches) behind and perpendicular to each end line, two lines, each 15 centimeters (6 inches) in length and 5 centimeters (2 inches) in width, are drawn to mark the service zone for each team. Those lines are extensions of the sidelines and are included in the width of the zone. The service zone has a minimum depth of 2 meters (6 feet, 6 inches), but extends to the limit of the free zone.
- The height of the net measured from the center of the court is 2.24 meters (7 feet, 41/8 inches). The two ends of the net must be at the same height from the playing surface and cannot exceed the regulation height by more than 2 centimeters (¾ inch).
- The net is 1 meter (39 inches) in width throughout the full length when stretched and at least 9.5 meters (31 feet, 2 inches) in length, and is placed vertically over the axis of the center line.
- A double thickness of white canvas or vinyl 5 to 8 centimeters (2 to 31/8 inches) wide must be sewn along the full length of the top of the net.
- The net must be constructed of 10-centimeter (4-inch) square dark mesh only.
- The net antennas are flexible rods, 1.8 meters (6 feet) in length and 1 centimeter (3/8 inch) in diameter, made of fiberglass or similar material. The upper half of each antenna is marked with alternating white and red or orange bands not less than 10 centimeters (4 inches) and not more than 15 centimeters (6 inches) in width. Antennas are considered part of the net and laterally define the crossing space
- Perpendicular to the outer edge of each sideline, an antenna is fastened to the net at a distance of 9 meters (29 feet, 6 inches) from the other antenna
- The posts, uprights or stands (including their bases and padding) that support the net are recommended to be at least 1 meter (3 feet, 3 inches) from the nearest point of the sidelines and should not interfere with the officials in the performance of their duties.
- The ball must be spherical with a flexible, smooth leather or leather-like cover of 12 or more panels with a separate bladder. It will be uniform and light in color, or a combination of colors; at least one-third of the surface must be white or light.
- The ball is not less than 65 centimeters (25.6 inches) or more than 67 centimeters (26.4 inches) in circumference, and shall weigh not less than 260 grams or more than 280 grams (9 to 10 ounces).
- The pressure of the ball must be between 0.3 and 0.325 kilogram/square centimeter (4.3 to 4.6 pounds/square inch.).
In the US, National Federation of State High Schools Associations (NFHS) is one of those entities that publishes playing rules in 16 sports (including volleyball) for boys and girls competition and administers fine arts programs in speech, theater, debate and music. It provides a variety of program initiatives that reach the 18,500 high schools and over 11 million students involved in athletic and activity programs.
The Playing Court as published by NFHS
- The court shall be 60 feet long and 30 feet wide, measured by the outer edges of the boundary lines. It is recommended all boundary lines be of of one clearly visible color contrasting to the color of the floor and other lines on the floor.
- Boundary lines shall be 2 inches wide. There shall be at least 6 feet from walls or obstacles and preferably 10 feet of unobstructed space outside the boundary lines.
- The center line is 2 inches wide, parallel to and equidistant from the end lines, shall separate the court into two playing areas.
- The attack lines shall be drawn across each playing area from sideline to sideline, the midpoint of which is shall be 10 feet from the midpoint of the center line and parallel to it.
- The serving area which is 30 feet wide shall be provided behind and excluding the end line. It shall be laterally limited by two short lines, each 6 inches long by 2 inches wide, drawn 8 inches behind and perpendicular to the end line, as extensions of the side lines. Each serving area shall be a minimum of 6 feet in depth.
- The net shall be 3 feet wide wide and at least 32 feet in length when stretched. It shall consist of 4-inch square mesh of at least No. 21 size dark natural or synthetic cord.
- The net shall be attached to upright standards which are 3 feet outside the court or from its four corners to walls which are at least 6 feet from the sideline.
- Net placement shall be placed in such a way that it crosses the court midway between and parallel to the end lines. One important to note that net should be exactly over the center line.
- The net of the height is 7 feet, 4-1/8 inches for girls and 7 feet, 11-5/8 inches for boys measured at the center of the net. The net measured at the ends shall not exceed this heights by more that 3/4 inch.
- Net antennas shall be attached to the net in line with the outside edge of the sideline and extend upward at least 2-1/2 feet but no more thant 3-1/2 feet above the net. These antennas shall be fastened securely to the top and bottom of the net.
- The ball shall be spherical with a laceless molded cover of 12 or more white pieces of genuine or simulated leather.
- It shall measure at least 25 inches to 27 inches in circumference, with a weight of 9 to 10 ounces when inflated with 4.3 to 4.6 pounds per square inch of air pressure.
- During games, home team shall provide the game balls.
- Beginning with the 1999-2000 season, the ball shall include the NFHS mark.