Basic Equipment Used in Volleyball

Japan v Iran - FIVB Men's Volleyball World Cup Japan 2015

More than 24 million Americans and 800 million people worldwide have discovered their passion for the game of volleyball, a sport that originated in America and is now over 117 years old and a popular high school, college and Olympic event.

Volleyball provides a great workout, as well as a chance to participate in a team sport. Whether you’re thinking of joining a league or creating your own pick-up game, there are several key pieces of volleyball equipment that you’ll need to help you slam and spike your way up to speed and play a proper game of volleyball.


The Ball

The standard indoor volleyball is made of leather or synthetic leather, weighs between 9 and 10 ounces and has a circumference of 25.6 to 26.4 inches. The ball has a rubber bladder and can be one color or a combination of colors.

Synthetic leather is lighter and is fine for beginner volleyball players. Junior volleyballs for children 12 years old and younger weigh between 7 and 8 ounces.

Ball carts are an optional piece of equipment, as they are not necessarily required for the game to be played. However, this basic equipment piece allows you to hold all volleyball balls in one place and easily transport them from one place to another, or simply store them.

2009 Sydney World Masters Games - Day 5

The Net and Court

The outdoor volleyball court measures 18 x 9 m, surrounded by a free zone that is 2 meters wide on all sides. The minimum playing space for U.S. volleyball competitions is 7 meters.

The volleyball net is 32 feet long by 3 feet wide. For women’s volleyball, the net height should be 7 feet, 4 1/8 inches high. For men’s volleyball, the net height should be 7 feet, 11 5/8 inches high. U.S. regulation volleyball playing surfaces must be flat and not present any hazards to the players in the middle or on the sides of the court.


When you play volleyball, you will notice that the court is marked by two sidelines and two end lines on each side of the net. All lines must be 2 inches wide and must be created with a light color that is easy to discern from the playing court.

An attack line should be placed three meters from the center line. The center line divides the court into two 9 x 9 meter courts.

Women's Beach Volleyball Prelims - GER v CHN

Posts and Cables

The volleyball net structure is held together with metal cables and posts. Posts are placed 0.5 to 1.0 meter outside the sidelines and 2.55 meters high. Posts should be round, smooth and padded, to prevent injury to the players should they dive or crash into them. Metal wires and cables may need to be covered if it is determined that they present a danger to the players.

Antenna and Side Bands

Antennas are flexible rods that are 1.8 meters long made of fiberglass, fastened at the outer edge of each side band. Side bands are two white bands attached vertically to the net and placed above each sideline.


Knee pads

Knee pads should be sturdy enough to protect your knees from falls, slides and dives, but flexible enough to allow you to bend comfortably. Your volleyball knee pads must be made of fabric that breathes and manages moisture.

Good quality pads have a gel or foam shock-absorbing material that will cover and protect your patella. It is best to purchase your pads from a reliable sporting goods store that will allow you to try them on. If you have difficulty finding the right fit, have the store professional measure you and order custom-fit pads. Popular volleyball knee pad brands include Asics, Mizuno, adidas, Nike and Mikasa.


Arch and ankle support is key when choosing a volleyball shoe. Mizuno, Asics and Nike are just a few of the popular brands of volleyball shoes, which are lightweight, allowing you to be faster on your feet, as well as bearing good shock absorption on your toes. Volleyball shoes also provide for better lateral movement than typical running or cross-training shoes.

When picking out volleyball shoes, it is also important to keep in mind if you plan on wearing some kind of ankle brace or ankle support, and taking that into account when sizing your shoe.

Japan v Iran - FIVB Men's Volleyball World Cup Japan 2015

Clothing and Jewelry

All t-shirts should be lightweight to allow maximum flexibility and breath-ability, as well as made of a material that absorbs sweat and keeps skin dry. Spandex shorts are a good option, as they are flexible, light and absorb odor.

Socks, while not required, absorb sweat and prevent blisters. Jewelry is not permitted in volleyball games and tournaments, with the exception of smooth wedding bands. Glasses must be worn with a strap to keep them secure.