Sitting volleyball

Sitting volleyball is a form of volleyball for athletes with a disability. As opposed to standing volleyball, sitting volleyball players must sit on the floor to play.

Netherlands versus Japan women's match at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London


Sitting volleyball was invented in the Netherlands by the Dutch Sport Committee in 1956 as a rehabilitation sport for injured soldiers. [1][2] In 1958, the first international sitting volleyball contact was held between Germany and Dutch clubteams.[3] It was created as a combination of volleyball and sitzball, a German sport with no net and seated players. Sitting volleyball first appeared in the Toronto 1976 Paralympic games as a demonstration sport for athletes with impaired mobility, and both standing and sitting volleyball became officially included as medal sports in the Paralympic games at Arnhem in 1980. Women’s sitting volleyball was added for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. [4] After the London 2012 games, VolleySLIDE was founded by Matt Rogers to promote and develop the sport globally. [5] Eight men's and eight women's teams competed in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.[1]


Men's sitting volleyball match between a combined US Navy-Coast Guard team and the US Army

In sitting volleyball, a 7-metre-long (23 ft), 0.8-metre-wide (2 ft 7 in) net is set at 1.15 metres (3.8 feet) high for men and 1.05 metres (3.4 feet) high for women. The court is 10 by 6 metres (33 by 20 feet) meters with a 2-metre (6.6-foot) attack line. The rules are the same as the original form of volleyball with the exceptions that players must have at least one buttock in contact with the floor whenever they make contact with the ball and it is also possible to block the serve.[6][self-published source][3] Athletes with the following disabilities are eligible to compete in sitting volleyball: athletes with amputations, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, brain injuries and stroke. Classifications of these athletes by disability are placed into two categories: MD and D. MD stands for "Minimally Disabled," and D stands for “Disabled.” While Minimally Disabled athletes have lost only a fraction of their muscular strength and flexibility in a joint preventing them from successfully playing standing volleyball, Disabled athletes have lost all of their muscular strength and flexibility in that joint. Only two MD players are allowed on the roster for the Paralympic Games and only one is allowed on the court at a time; this is to keep the competition fair between rival teams. The rest of the team must be classified as D players.[3][7] 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).
  • Pass - the attempt by a team to properly handle the opponent's serve, or any form of attack.
  • 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).,


World ParaVolley

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

List of sitting volleyball national teams[8]



Sitting volleyball was first demonstrated at the Summer Paralympic Games in 1976 and was introduced as a full Paralympic event in 1980. The 2000 games was the last time standing volleyball appeared on the Paralympic programme. The women's sitting volleyball event introduction followed in the 2004 Paralympic Games.[6]

World ParaVolley (formerly WOVD) World ChampionshipsEdit


Men's Sitting - Past winnersEdit

Year Location Gold Silver Bronze
  1983 Delden   Netherlands   Germany   Finland
  1985 Kristiansand   Iran   Yugoslavia   Netherlands
  1986 Pécs   Iran   Hungary   Netherlands
  1989 Las Vegas   Netherlands   Hungary   Germany
  1990 Assen   Iran   Netherlands   Yugoslavia
  1994 Bottrop   Iran   Norway   Netherlands
  1998 Tehran   Iran   Finland   Bosnia and Herzegovina
  2002 Cairo   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Germany   Iran
  2006 Roermond   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Iran   Egypt
  2010 Edmond   Iran   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Egypt
  2014 Elblag   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Brazil   Iran
  2018 The Hague   Iran   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Ukraine
  2022 Sarajevo   Iran   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Brazil
  • Ranking
1  Iran81211
2  Bosnia and Herzegovina3317
3  Netherlands2136
4  Germany0213
5  Hungary0202
6  Brazil0112
9  Norway0101
10  Egypt0022
11  Ukraine0011
Totals (11 entries)13131339

Women's Sitting - Past winnersEdit

Year Location Gold Silver Bronze
  1994 Bottrop   Netherlands   Latvia   Lithuania
  2000 Maastricht   Netherlands   Finland   Slovenia
  2002 Kamnik   Netherlands   Slovenia   Finland
  2006 Roermond   Netherlands   China   Slovenia
  2010 Edmond   China   United States   Ukraine
  2014 Elblag   China   United States   Russia
  2018 Rotterdam   Russia   United States   China
  2022 Sarajevo   Brazil   Canada   United States

  • Ranking
1  Netherlands4004
2  China2114
3  Russia1012
4  Brazil1001
5  United States0314
6  Slovenia0123
7  Finland0112
8  Canada0101
10  Lithuania0011
Totals (11 entries)88824



ParaVolley Europe (formerly ECVD) European ChampionshipsEdit

Men's Sitting - Past winnersEdit


Year Location Gold Silver Bronze
  1981 Bonn   Netherlands   Germany   Sweden
  1987 Sarajevo   Netherlands   Yugoslavia
  1991 Nottingham   Netherlands
  1993 Järvenpää   Norway   Finland
  1995 Ljubljana   Hungary
  1997 Tallinn   Finland   Bosnia and Herzegovina
  1999 Sarajevo   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Germany   Finland
  2001 Sárospatak   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Germany
  2003 Lappeenranta   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Germany   Finland
  2005 Leverkusen   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Germany   Russia
  2007 Nyíregyháza   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Russia   Germany
  2009 Elblag   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Russia   Germany
  2011 Rotterdam   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Russia   Germany
  2013 Elblag   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Russia   Germany
  2015 Warendorf   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Germany   Russia
  2017 Poreč   Russia   Ukraine   Bosnia and Herzegovina
  2019 Budapest   Russia   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Germany
  2021 Antalya   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Russia   Germany

Women's Sitting - Past winnersEdit

Year Location Gold Silver Bronze
1993   Jarvenpaa   Netherlands   Finland   Estonia
1995   Ljubljana   Netherlands   Latvia   Slovenia
1997   Tallinn   Latvia   Lithuania   Netherlands
1999   Sarajevo   Slovenia   Finland   Netherlands
2001   Sarospatak   Netherlands   Slovenia   Finland
2003   Lappeenranta   Netherlands   Slovenia   Finland
2005   Leverkusen   Netherlands   Lithuania   Slovenia
2007   Nyiregyhaza   Netherlands   Ukraine   Slovenia
2009   Elblag   Netherlands   Ukraine   Slovenia
2011   Rotterdam   Ukraine   Netherlands   Russia
2013   Elblag   Russia   Ukraine   Slovenia
2015   Podcetrtek   Ukraine   Russia   Slovenia
2017   Poreč   Russia   Ukraine   Netherlands
2019   Budapest   Russia   Italy   Ukraine
2021   Antalya   Russia   Italy   Germany

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Sitting Volleyball." Tokyo 1500.
  2. ^ "ParaVolley & Deaf Volleyball". Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  3. ^ a b c “Sitting Volleyball: Paralympic Classification Interactive.” Team USA, United States Olympic Committee, 2019, volleyball/.
  4. ^ "Sport Week: History of Sitting Volleyball." Official Website of the Paralympic Movement, 2016.
  5. ^ "VolleySlide Founder and Leader. World ParaVolley VolleySLIDE.
  6. ^ a b Ng, Kwok (2012). When Sitting is Not Resting: Sitting Volleyball. Bloomington, IL: Authorhouse. p. 152. ISBN 978-1-4772-1789-4.
  7. ^ “Sitting Volleyball.” UCO,
  8. ^ "Sitting Volleyball Rankings > World ParaVolley".
  9. ^ Kwok Ng (26 September 2016). "Major Competitions". Retrieved 26 September 2016.

External linksEdit