Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Sitting volleyball

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Sitting volleyball

Sitting volleyball (sometimes known as paralympic volleyball) is a form of volleyball for athletes with a disability that entered the Paralympic Games as a demonstration sport for athletes with amputations in 1976 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and played as a medal sport thereafter.



In sitting volleyball, a 0.8 meter-wide net is set at 1.15 meters high for men and 1.05 meters high for women. The court is 10 x 6 meters with a 2-meter attack line. Players must have at least one buttock in contact with the floor whenever they make contact with the ball. It is also possible to block the serve and jousts are generally replayed. Athletes with the following disabilities are eligible to compete in sitting volleyball: athletes with amputations, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, brain injuries and stroke. There are no athlete classifications by disability.

Skills are largely identical to the sport of volleyball and the following game terminology apply:

  • Ace - A serve that lands in the opponent's court without being touched.
  • Attack - An attempt by a player to win a point by hitting the ball over the net.
  • Attack line - In indoor volleyball, a line three metres from the net which marks the limit for where a back-row player may advance to hit a ball from above the net.
  • Back-row player - In indoor volleyball, any of three players positioned at the back of the court.
  • Block - To block an opposing player from spiking the ball by jumping at the net with arms in the air.
  • Boom - In beach volleyball, a spike straight down into the sand (slang).
  • Centre line - In indoor volleyball, the imaginary line running directly under the net and dividing the court in half.
  • Chuck - To push or throw the ball rather than hit it (slang).
  • Court - The playing area.
  • Crossing space - The zone above the net and between two antennae through which the ball must pass during a rally.
  • Dig - A defensive move in which both arms are placed together in an attempt to bounce a hard-hit ball up into the air.
  • End line - A back boundary line of the court.
  • Facial - A boom or spike that hits an opponent in the face (slang).
  • Fault - A foul or error which results in the loss of the rally.
  • Front-row player - In indoor volleyball, any of three players positioned closest to the net.
  • Front zone - In indoor volleyball, the area between the net and the attack line.
  • Ground - To hit the ball to the ground, preferably on the other team's court.
  • Heater - A hard-hit or spiked ball (slang).
  • Hit - To touch the ball as an offensive player, one of three "hits" allowed a team in getting the ball back over the net.
  • Hold - To let the ball settle into the hands briefly on a shot instead of releasing it immediately.
  • Joust - A joust occurs above the net between two or more opposing players that forces the ball to become stationary. Point is replayed.
  • Kill - To smash the ball overarm into the opponent's court; also called a "spike".
  • Kong - A one-handed block, named after King Kong's style of swatting biplanes in the original King Kong movie (slang).
  • Libero - In indoor volleyball, a substitute defensive player especially adept at digging.
  • Lip - A good dig (slang).
  • Match - A series of sets to determine a winner.
  • Mintonette - The original name for volleyball.
  • Missile - A spike or serve hit out of bounds (slang).
  • Rally - The exchange of plays that decides each point.
  • Rotate - In indoor volleyball, to move to the next position on the floor in a clockwise manner.
  • Screen - To impede the opponent's view of the ball during the serve.
  • Serve - The stroke used to put the ball in play at the start of each rally.
  • Set - 1. The part of a match completed when one side has scored enough points to win a single contest. 2. To position the ball so a teammate can attack.
  • Setter - A player who excels in setting up teammates to attack.
  • Sideline - A side boundary line on a court.
  • Spade - An ace (slang).
  • Spike - To smash the ball overarm into the opponent's court; also called a "kill". Windmill Spike (hand movement during Spike follows motion of windmill).
  • Members

    List also includes former members (national teams that took part in previous major tournaments).


    Sitting volleyball was first demonstrated at the Summer Paralympic Games in 1976 and was introduced as a full Paralympic event in 1980. The 2000 was the last time standing volleyball appeared on the Paralympic programme. The women's sitting volleyball event introduction followed in the 2004.

    At the 2016 Summer Paralympics the men's competition was won by Iran and the gold medal in the women's contest went to the United States.


    Sitting volleyball Wikipedia