NCVA Sitting Volleyball Clinic


Come experience sitting volleyball with
Paralympic medalist

Katie Holloway
Saturday, November 1, 2014
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
at the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement 3455 Edison Way, Menlo Park, CA  94025

Sitting volleyball is played from a sitting position on the floor. The sport is governed by the same set of rules as the able-bodied game, with a few minor rule modifications. Players are allowed to block serves, but one “cheek” must be in contact with the floor whenever they make contact with the ball.

The objective is for teams to send the ball over the net through the crossing area and to ground it on the court of the opposing team. Each team is allowed to have up to three contacts with the ball before returning it to the opposing team’s side of the court.

Each game consists of a maximum of five sets. Each of the first four sets is completed once one team has earned 25 points and has a minimum lead of at least two points. In the case of a tie at 24-24, the set continues until one of the teams secures a lead of two points and declared the winner of the set. In the case of a 2-2 set draw, a fifth set is played. In the fifth set, a team only needs to win 15 points, again with a difference of at least two points over the opposing team. The winning team must win a total of three sets.

Each team has a maximum of 12 players. The initial positions of the players in the playing area are specific. These are determined and controlled during the game by the position of the buttock in relation to the ground.

In sitting volleyball, the net is about 3 feet high, and the court is 10 x 6 meters with a 2-meter attack line. The court is divided into two sides of 5m deep by 6m wide. The net height, lower than that of able-bodied or standing volleyball, is set at a height of 1.15m for men, and 1.05m for women.

Players must remain in contact with the court at all times when handling the ball. Standing, rising, or taking steps is not permitted. A short loss of contact with the court is permitted in two scenarios: when making a defensive play in the back zone to save a ball and when making a defensive play in the front zone.

The World ParaVolley (formerly the World Organisation Volleyball for Disabled) is the International Sport Federation.


Sitting volleyball began in the Netherlands as a method of rehabilitation for disabled veterans from World War II. It is played on a 10 by 6 meter court with the nets lowered to 1.15 meters for men and 1.05 meters for women. The game’s rules are similar to standing volleyball; however, the athlete’s bottom must remain on the floor when striking the volleyball.


Anyone, male or female, young or old, can play sitting volleyball. To compete on a national team, an athlete must have a physical disability. Otherwise, recreationally, we strongly encourage able-bodied athletes of all ages to compete alongside disabled athletes as teammates. This allows everyone to join in the fun and improve their volleyball skills.


Volleyball has been a Paralympic discipline for more than 20 years. The USA Sitting Women‘s team took home a BRONZE medal and the men finished their highest level ever at 6thplace in the Athens 2004 Games. USA Volleyball continues to need to identify and train the top American  athletes for men’s and women’s sitting, and men’s standing volleyball, and in 2006 is training for the World Championships, first chance to qualify for the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing.

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