Volleyball Equipment


Volleyball has come a long way from the dusty-old YMCA gymnasium of Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA, where the visionary William G. Morgan invented the sport back in 1895. It has seen the start of two centuries and the dawn of a new millennium. Volleyball is now one of the big five international sports, and the FIVB, with its 220 affiliated national federations, is the largest international sporting federation in the world.

Volleyball has witnessed unprecedented growth over the last two decades. With the great success of world competitions such as the FIVB World Championships, the FIVB World League, the FIVB World Grand Prix, the FIVB World Cup and the FIVB Grand Champions Cup as well as the Olympic Games, the level of participation at all levels internationally continues to grow exponentially.

The beach volleyball phenomenon also continues to amaze. The overwhelming spectator and television success of beach volleyball since its introduction to the Olympic Games at Atlanta 1996 and the stunning success of the FIVB World Tour, the World Championships and the Continental Cup has opened up volleyball to a completely new market.


  • 6 players on a team, 3 on the front row and 3 on the back row
  • Maximum of three hits per side
  • Player may not hit the ball twice in succession (A block is not considered a hit)
  • Ball may be played off the net during a volley and on a serve
  • A ball hitting a boundary line is "in"
  • A ball is "out" if it hits an antennae, the floor completely outside the court, any of the net or cables outside the antennae, the referee stand or pole, the ceiling above a non-playable area
  • It is legal to contact the ball with any part of a players body
  • It is illegal to catch, hold, or throw the ball
  • If two or more players contact the ball at the same time, it is considered one play and either player involved may make the next contact (provided the next contact isn't the teams 4th hit)
  • A player can not block or attack a serve from on or inside the 10 foot line
  • At higher competition, the officiating crew may be made up of two refs, line judges, scorer, and an assistant scorer


Committing any of these volleyball rule violations results in a point for the opponent.

  • Stepping on or across the service line when serving while making contact with the ball.
  • Failure to serve the ball over the net successfully.
  • Ball-handling errors and contacting the ball illegally (double touching, lifting, carrying, throwing, etc.)
  • Touching the net with any part of the body while the ball is in play.
  • Blocking a ball coming from the opponent’s court and contacting the ball when reaching over the net if your opponent has not used 3 contacts AND has a player there to make a play on the ball.
  • Attacking a ball coming from the opponent’s court and contacting the ball when reaching over the net when the ball has not yet broken the vertical plane of the net.
  • Crossing the court centerline with any part of your body, with the exception of a hand or foot. It is only considered a violation if the entire hand or entire foot crosses the court centerline.
  • Serving out of rotation or out of order.
  • Back row player blocking (deflecting a ball coming from the opponent) when, at the moment of contact, the back row player is near the net and has part of their body above the top of the net. This is an illegal block.
  • Back row player attacking a ball inside the front zone (the area inside the 3M/10-foot line) when, at the moment of contact, the ball is completely above the net. This is an illegal attack.


Outside Hitter

An outside hitter hits and blocks from the left side of the court. Normally, they also carry the responsibilities of passing and playing defence when they get to the back row. The outside typically gets the most sets, especially when the setter is out of system, due to the fact that the outside set is one of the easier options to set. An outside’s responsibilities include hitting from the front and back row, passing in serve receive, playing left or middle-back defence, and blocking.

Opposite Hitter

Opposite hitters earned that title because they are opposite to the strong (left) side hitter, meaning they hit behind the setter. In a 6-1, just like an outside hitter, an opposite has the option to play all the way around, passing, playing defence, and hitting out of the back row. An opposite’s responsibilities include swinging from the front and back row, playing right-back defence, and blocking the other team’s outside hitter.

Middle Blocker

Middle blockers are the team’s best blockers, and they hit mostly fast-tempo sets from the middle of the court and behind the setter. Typically the libero goes in for the middle when he or she rotates to the back row. Middle sets are some of the most difficult to set and require good passes, therefore middles often get the fewest sets but have the best hitting percentages.


A setter’s primary responsibility is to take the second ball and set it up for one of the hitters to attack. Often referred to as the quarterback, the setter is the decision maker of the team and is in charge of leading the offense. In a 6-1, the setter plays all the way around, meaning that he or she has defensive responsibilities, as well as blocking duties when in the front row. A setter’s responsibilities include setting the ball on the second contact to the hitters on the court, directing the offense, playing right-back defence, and blocking the other team’s outside hitter.


Liberos wear a jersey of a different colour and play in the back row five out the six rotations, usually subbing in for both middle blockers. When the libero comes in for another player, it does not count as a substitution. Liberos are defensive and serve-receive specialists who are typically fast and are able to change direction quickly. Liberos are not permitted to attack the ball from above the height of the net, and they can only overhand set a front-row attacker from behind the 10-foot line.

Defensive Specialists

Much like a libero, a defensive specialist plays in the back row and is responsible for playing defence and receiving serve. Unlike the libero, they do not wear different coloured jerseys and are required to abide by the normal substitution rules, meaning they are only in for three out of the six rotations.

Serving Specialist

A serving specialist is a player who subs in just to serve. These players typically have a very tough or very consistent serve, and they come in for a player who is less strong behind the service line, but otherwise very valuable to have on the court as an offensive or defensive threat.


As for volleyball, there are a few products available in different categories. You can search on the  following categories: balls, coach and protective gear. Within these categories, there are different products available such as volleyballs, knee guard, coach board, super soft spike volleyball and light-strike volleyball.


Adams Adidas
All-Star Benson
Crep Cutters
Douglas Gilman
Gorilla Gold GSI by Riddell
Jugs Lizards Skins
Majestic Makura
Markwort Masterpieces
McDavid Mitchell & Ness
Neumann New Balance
New Era Nike
P2I Rawlings
Reebok Richardson
Riddell Schutt
Shock Doctor SKLZ
Smitty SportStar
The Northwest Company Trace
Twin City Under Armour
Wilson Xenith
XO Athletic