Volleyball is an exciting sport played indoors or outdoors on sand courts. There are very few supplies you need to play volleyball, but the most important thing is the net. So, how big is a standard volleyball net?
A regulation volleyball net measures 32 feet wide and 39 inches tall. The center of the top of the net should be 7 feet 11-5/8 inches above the ground for male players and 7 feet 4-1/8 inches high for female players.
In this guide, I’ll explain the exact dimensions of a volleyball net, as well as the measurements and markings of regulation indoor and outdoor volleyball courts.
A Brief History of Volleyball
Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in 1895 in Massachusetts. The sport was originally named “Mintonette” and was inspired by established sports, including basketball, tennis, and badminton.
Unlike other net sports, it didn’t take very long for volleyball to be demonstrated in the Olympics. The first Olympic volleyball match was played in the 1924 Games in Paris. However, it wasn’t until the 1964 Olympics in Japan that it became an official part of the event.
Today, the sport is enjoyed by millions of people across the world. Some of the world’s most serious volleyball leagues are located in Italy, Russia, Brazil, Poland, and Turkey.
Volleyball Net Dimensions
Volleyball is a net sport, which means that it relies on a net that acts as a boundary between 2 halves of a court. In volleyball, the net is placed on tall poles that keep it several feet above the ground. Just like other net sports, the ball must pass over the net to be considered a legal play.
This sport has two variations: indoor and outdoor. Indoor volleyball is played inside buildings on a solid court, whereas outdoor volleyball (a.k.a. beach volleyball) is played on a sand court. However, both types of volleyball use the exact same net.
A volleyball net should measure at least 30 feet wide and 39 inches tall. However, for practicality, the width of the net is usually 2 feet wider—1 foot on either side. This allows organizers to mount the net on tall poles without reducing its overall width. So, in many cases, volleyball nets measure 32 feet wide and 39 inches tall.
Volleyball Court Dimensions and Markings
Both indoor and outdoor volleyball courts follow the same measurement rules, which are 30 feet wide and 60 feet long. The net is placed in the center of the court widthwise, dividing the court into 2 30 × 30-foot halves. This is larger than a regulated beach volleyball court size, which is 52.5′ x 26.2′.
Indoor Volleyball Court Markings
- Net—The net that divides the court into 2 equal halves.
- Poles—The vertical upright objects made of metal or wood that keep the net taut and above the ground.
- Sidelines—The 60-foot-long lines perpendicular to the net.
- Service Lines—The 30-foot-long lines parallel to the net. The Service Lines connect the Sidelines on opposite ends.
- Attack Lines—The lines 10 feet away from the net on both halves of the court. These lines separate front-row and back-row players.
|Net||At least 30 feet wide
39 inches tall
7 feet 11-5/8 inches high (men)
7 feet 4-1/8 inches high (women)
|Separates the halves of the volleyball court. The ball must fly above and past the net to be considered legal.|
|Poles||8 feet tall
32 to 36 feet apart
|The poles must keep the top of the net as taut as possible.|
|Sidelines||60 feet long||Denotes the side boundaries of the court. Perpendicular to the net.|
|Service Lines||30 feet long||Denotes the baseline boundaries of the court. The server must have both feet behind the line before standing or jumping to serve.|
|Attack lines||30 feet long
Spaced 10 feet away from the net on both sides of the court
|Denotes where the front-row and back-row players must be. Back-row players cannot attack the ball in front of the attack line.|
Outdoor Volleyball Court Markings
Outdoor volleyball courts are usually the same size as indoor courts. However, some sand courts will be slightly smaller at around 53 × 26 feet. They will use the same nets, but the sidelines will determine whether a hit is legal or not. In addition, outdoor volleyball courts do not have attack lines.
Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Volleyball
If indoor and outdoor volleyball are played on the same court size and use the same net, then where do they differ? I’ll tell you!
Number of players
Indoor volleyball is played with 2 teams of 6 players. The 6 players on each team are split into front and back-row players (3 each).
Outdoor volleyball is played with 2 teams of 2 players. The 2 players are not assigned to a specific row, thus the absence of an attack line.
An indoor volleyball match consists of 6 sets. A team must score 25 points to win a set, and they must be the first to win 3 sets. If the teams are tied at 3-3, a tiebreaker set is played to 15 points.
Outdoor volleyball matches are played in the best-of-3 format. To win a set, a team must score 21 points. The third set, if necessary, is played to 15.
Indoor volleyball typically lasts 20 to 30 minutes per set. So, the shortest a volleyball match can last is 60 minutes, not including rest times and timeouts.
Outdoor volleyball is usually limited to just 30 minutes of gameplay, though some matches can last up to 64 minutes. Some organizers will limit gameplay to just 60 minutes. After an hour, the game is called. If the score is tied 1-1, the team with more points during the third unfinished set wins.
Indoor volleyball is played with heavy leather balls that measure between 8.15 and 8.39 inches in diameter.
Outdoor volleyball balls have the same diameter but are considerably lighter and softer.
Indoor volleyball players usually wear tight-fitting clothes made of breathable materials. Players will also wear volleyball shoes and socks.
Outdoor volleyball players will wear whatever’s comfortable, which includes bikinis for women (not mandatory) and board shorts and tank tops for men.