What is Sitting Volleyball?
Sitting volleyball is a discipline of disabled volleyball that is played while sitting on the floor. The sport is governed by the same set of rules as the able-bodied game, with a few minor rule modifications.
The sitting volleyball court measures 10m x 6m, divided into two sides of 5m deep by 6m wide. The net height is lower than that of able-bodied or standing volleyball, and is set at a height of 1.15m for men, and 1.05m for women.
Who can play?
At the non-international level, sitting volleyball can be played by anyone. One of the great features of sitting volleyball is the fact that it provides the opportunity to easily integrate able-bodied athletes and athletes with a disability on a more level playing field.
For international competition, sitting volleyball is open to athletes with a physical disability who meet the minimum disability requirements for volleyball. An athlete’s disability must be permanent (either progressive or non-progressive). Athletes with progressive physical disabilities (i.e., muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, etc.) are given a temporary classification and must be classified at each competition.
While many sitting volleyball athletes at the international level are amputees, the sport can be played by athletes with other types of physical disabilities.
Sitting volleyball is governed by the World Organization Volleyball for Disabled (WOVD). The WOVD has adapted the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) rules for use in sitting volleyball. The rule modifications for sitting volleyball include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The height of the net (1.15m for men and 1.05m for women) and the size of the court (10m x 6m) are reduced for sitting volleyball;
- Front-row players are allowed to block the service of the opponent;
- The positions of the players are determined and controlled by the positions of their buttocks. This means that the hand(s) and/or leg(s) of the players may lie in the attack zone (back-row player during an attack hit), in the court (server during the service hit), or in the free zone outside the court (any player during the service hit); and
- The players are not allowed to lift their buttocks from the court when they carry out any type of attack-hit.
Players must remain in contact with the court at all times when playing the ball. To stand up, rise or take steps is forbidden. When making a defensive play (to save a ball) in the back zone, a short loss of contact with the court is permitted. When making a defensive play (to save a ball) in the front zone, not being a block, a short loss of contact with the court is permitted.