Paralympic Volleyball

London Paralympic Volleyball, 2012, by Darren Glanville from Acle, Norfolk, UK
Creative Commons licence text.

London Paralympic Volleyball, 2012, by Darren Glanville from Acle, Norfolk, UK

This was a demonstration sport at the 1976 Summer Paralympic Games. That first year, the traditional standing form of volleyball was contested. Sitting volleyball (sometimes known as Paralympic volleyball) was later introduced as a full Paralympic event in 1980. The 2000 games was the last time standing volleyball appeared on the Paralympics. Sitting volleyball for women was also introduced in the 2004 games.

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Athletes with the following disabilities are eligible amputees, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, brain injuries and stroke. There are no athlete classifications by disability.

At the 2012 London Games, there were 198 athletes competing in the sport.

Outside of the Paralympic Games version (sitting volleyball), there are three other versions of para volleyball - hard court standing, beach standing, and beach sitting.

The hard court version is played by two teams of six on a hard surface court divided by a net. The beach version is played by two teams of three players on a sand court divided by a net.

The game is governed by the World Organisation Volleyball for Disabled (WOVD). The rules listed below are not comprehensive, and in particular many exceptions have not been listed. To see the full regulations for the four varieties of the sport, please go to WOVD Info for Hard Court sitting and standing, and Beach standing.  Currently, Sitting Beach rules are downloadable here: http://www.istumalentopallo.info/docs/materiaalit/WOVD Sitting BVB Rules of the Game 2011-2012 FINAL.pdf

Game overview

The object of the game is to send the ball over the net in order to ground it on the opposition court, and to prevent the opposition doing the same. A team has a maximum of three hits to return the ball - in addition to the block contact for the hard court game, but in the beach game the block contact counts as one of the teams' three hits.

The ball is put in play with a service: hit by the server over the net to the opposition. The rally continues until the ball is grounded on the playing court, goes “out” or a team fails to return it properly.

Whichever team wins a rally scores a point. When the serving team loses a rally, the receiving team gains a point and the serve, and its players rotate one position clockwise.

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Hard court - standing

Hard court - sitting

Beach court, standing

Beach court, sitting

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Court Dimensions

The playing court is a rectangle surrounded by a free zone on all sides. The space above the playing area which is free from any obstructions is the free playing space. All measurements are in meters.

Type

Standing

Sitting

BV Standing

BV Sitting

Length

18

10

16

8

Width

9

6

8

4

Free Zone

3

3

3

3

Space Above

7

7

7

7

For WOVD World and Official Competitions, as well as Zonal Championships:

Type

Free Zone side

Free Zone end

Space above

Standing

Sitting

BV Standing

BV Sitting

5

4

5

4

8

6

6

5

12.5

10

12.5

10

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Net

The net extends 25 to 50 cm on each side of the side bands and is made of 10 cm square black mesh.

Side Bands

Two white bands are fastened vertically to the net and placed directly above each side line. They are 5 cm wide for the full depth of the net, and are considered as part of the net.

Antennae

An antenna is a flexible pole, 1.80 m tall and 10 mm in diameter, usually fibreglass or similar. One antenna is fastened at the outer edge of each side band, on opposite sides of the net. The top 80 or 100 cm of each antenna extends above the net and is marked with 10 cm stripes of alternating colour, usually red and white. The antennae are considered as part of the net and laterally delimit the crossing space.

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Net, hard court, standing

Net, hard court, sitting

Net, beach, standing

Net, beach, sitting

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Net Dimensions (in meters)

Type

Standing

Sitting

BV Standing

BV Sitting

top height  women

2.24

1.05

2.24

1.05

top height  men

2.43

1.15

2.43

1.15

depth

1

0.8

1

0.8

width

9.5 - 10

6.5 - 7

8.5

4.5

For Beach Volleyball the height of the net may be varied for specific age groups as follows (heights in meters):

Age Group

16 years and under

14 years and under

12 years and under

Female

2.24

2.12

2.00

Male

2.24

2.12

2.00

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Ball

Hard Court

The ball shall be spherical, made of a flexible leather or synthetic leather case with an internal rubber (or similar) bladder inside. It may be a uniform light colour, or a combination of colours. It has a circumference of 65–67 cm, weighs 260–280 g, and is pressurised to 294 to 319 mbar.

Beach

The ball shall be spherical and of a flexible material (leather, synthetic leather, or similar) which does not absorb humidity - it may be used while raining. It will have an internal rubber (or similar) bladder, in a bright colour(s) (such as orange, yellow, pink, white, etc.), a circumference of 66 to 68 cm, weigh 260 to 280 g, and be pressurised to 171 to 221 mbar.

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Teams

Hard Court

A team may have no more than 12 players, including a maximum two players classified as “minimal disability”, one coach, one assistant coach, one trainer and one medical doctor.

Beach

A team is composed exclusively of three players. A maximum of one Minimum Disability player is permitted on court at any time during the match. All players of each team must always be in play. There are NO substitutions or replacement of players.

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Equipment, Hard Court

Sitting

A player’s equipment consists of a jersey, shorts and/or long pants, socks (the uniform) and optionally, sport shoes. Players are also permitted to wear tight-fitting cycling shorts/leggings under shorts or long pants.

Players may wear long pants or shorts with tight fitting cycling shorts/leggings, providing that the entire team is attired similarly. Players may not sit on thick material or wear specially made thick shorts or pants.

Standing

A player’s equipment includes a jersey, shorts, socks (these three comprising the uniform) with sport shoes. The jersey, shorts and sock colour and design must be the same for the entire team (excepting the Libero).

Shoes will be light, pliable, have rubber or composite soles, no heels, be not predominantly black, and have non-marking soles.

Players’ jerseys must be numbered from 1 to 18 (to 20 for WOVD official games). The team captain must have on his/her jersey a stripe of 8 cm x 2 cm underlining the number on the chest.

Forbidden Objects

Players may not wear objects capable of causing injury, or which give an unfair artificial advantage to the player. They may wear bandages, but nothing that may be dangerous is permitted. Players wear glasses or lenses at their own risk.

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Equipment, Beach

A player’s equipment consists of shorts or a bathing suit. A jersey or “tank-top” is optional unless Tournament Regulations decree otherwise. Hats are allowed.

Sitting

Players must be barefoot unless authorized by the referees.

Standing

Players must play barefoot except when authorized by the referees. All prosthetic limbs must be approved prior to the match or event to ensure compliance with the rules, advertising and that they do not provide advantage to the player. Players’ jerseys (or shorts if players are allowed to play without shirt) must be numbered 1, 2 and 3. The number must be placed on the chest (or on the front of the shorts).

Forbidden Objects and Uniforms

Players may not wear objects capable of causing injury, such as pins, bracelets, casts, etc.

Glasses are worn at the players own risk.

It is forbidden to wear uniforms without official numbers (Rules 5.1.5 and 5.1.6 above).

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Prosthetic Limbs

Players may wear prosthesis within the considerations of Rule 5.3.1

Prosthetic arms or hands may not extend the limb beyond its normal length.

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Scoring

To Score a Point

Points are scored by successfully grounding the ball on the opponent’s playing court, or when the opposing team commits a fault, or when the opposing team receives a penalty.

When two or more faults are committed successively, only the first one is counted.

If opponents simultaneously commit two pr more faults, a double fault is called and the rally is replayed.

A point is scored for the serving team and that team continues to serve when they win a rally.

A point is scored for the receiving team and they take over the serve when they win a rally.

The ball is deemed out when:

the part of the ball that contacted the floor is completely outside the boundary lines;

it touches: an object outside the court, the ceiling or a person out of play, the antennae, ropes, posts or the net itself outside the side bands;

it crosses the vertical plane of the net either partially or totally outside the crossing space, except in the case of Rule 10.1.2.

it crosses under the net.

Hard Court

To Win a Set

A set (except the deciding, 5th set) is won by the first team to score 25 points with at least a two point lead. If the score reaches 24–24, play continues until one of the teams has a two-point lead.

To Win the Match

The first to three sets wins the match.

In the case of a 2–2 tie, the deciding set (the 5th) is played to 15 points with a minimum lead of 2 points.

Beach

To Win a Set

A set (except the deciding 3rd set) is won by the first team to score 21 points with at least a two point lead. If the score reaches 20-20 tie, play continues until one of the teams has a two-point lead.

The deciding set is won by the first to 15 points with a minimum lead of 2 points.

To Win a Match

The first to two sets wins the match.

In the case of a 1-1 tie, the deciding set (the 3rd) is won by the first to 15 points with a minimum lead of 2 points.

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Positions, Hard Court

When the ball is hit by the server, each team must be positioned within its own court in the rotational order (except the server).

Relative positions between players: each back-row player must be positioned further back from the centre line than the corresponding front-row player; the front-row players and the back-row players, respectively, must be positioned laterally in the order indicated above.

Sitting

The players position is determined by the position of the buttocks contacting the ground: each front-row player must have at least a part of their buttocks closer to the centre line than the buttocks of the corresponding back-row player; each right (left) side player must have at least a part of their buttocks closer to the right (left) side line than the buttocks of the centre player in that row.

Standing

The players position is determined by the position of the feet contacting the ground: each front-row player must have at least a part of their foot closer to the centre line than the feet of the corresponding back-row player; each right (left) side player must have at least a part of their foot closer to the right (left) side line than the feet of the centre player in that row.

After the serve, players are free to move around and may occupy any position on their court, and the free zone.

When the receiving team has wins the serve, its players rotate one position clockwise, as per the diagram above.

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Positions, Beach

At the moment the ball is hit by the server, each team must be within its own court (except the server). Players may choose to position themselves anywhere within the court as there are no fixed positions on the court, and consequently no positional faults.

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Team Hits

A hit is any contact with the ball by a player in play. These team hits include not only intentional hits by the player, but also accidental contacts with the ball. The team is allowed a maximum of three hits (in addition to blocking) to return the ball. If more are used, the team commits the fault of “FOUR HITS”. For Beach games, a block is considered one of the team's three hits.

Consecutive contacts

A player may not hit the ball two times consecutively (except Rules 9.2.3, 14.2 and 14.4.2).

Simultaneous contacts

When two (three) team-mates touch the ball simultaneously, it is counted as two (three) hits (with the exception of blocking). Collisions between players do not constitute a fault.

When two opponents touch the ball simultaneously over the net and the ball remains in play, and the team receiving the ball is has another three hits. If such a ball goes “out”, it is the fault of the team on the opposite side.

Sitting

When a CATCH results from simultaneous hits by two opponents over the net, it is a “DOUBLE FAULT” and the rally is replayed. However, a short catch is permitted when the extended contact does not stop the continuity of the play.

Standing

If simultaneous hits by two opponents over the net lead to extended contact with the ball, play continues.

Assisted hit

A player is not permitted to take support from a team-mate or any structure/object in order to hit the ball. However, a player who is about to commit a fault (touch the net, etc.) may be stopped or held back by a team-mate.

Characteristics of the Hit

The ball may touch any part of the body.

The ball must not be caught and may not be thrown. It may rebound in any direction.

The ball may touch multiple parts of the body, provided that the contacts take place simultaneously.

Exceptions:

at blocking, consecutive contacts may be made by one or more blocker(s) provided that the contacts occur during one action;

at the team's first hit, the ball may contact multiple parts of the body consecutively provided that the contacts occur during one action.

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Faults in Playing the Ball

Four Hits: a team hits the ball more than three times before returning it.

Assisted Hit: a player takes support from a team-mate or any structure/object in order to hit the ball within the playing area.

Catch: the ball is caught and thrown, or thrown; it does not rebound from the hit

Double Contact:: a player hits the ball twice in a row or the ball contacts multiple parts of his/her body in succession.

Sitting only, Hard Court

Lifting: the player’s body (between the buttocks and the shoulders) loses contact with the court during a playing action.

Sitting only, Beach

At all times during playing actions the players must contact the court with some part of the body between the buttocks and shoulders. But, a short loss of contact with the court is allowed when playing the ball unless it is a service hit, a block or an attack hit when the ball is completely higher than the top of the net.

It is forbidden to stand up, raise the body or take steps.

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Service, Hard Court

The ball is tossed or released from the hand(s) and then struck with one hand or any part of the arm.

Only one toss or release of the ball is allowed. If the ball, after having been tossed or released by the server, lands without being touched or caught by the server, it is considered as a service.

Sitting

At the moment of the service hit, the server’s buttocks may not touch the court, including the end line or the floor outside the service zone. The server’s foot(feet), leg(s) or hand(s) may touch the court and/or the free zone outside the service zone.

Standing

At the moment of the service hit or take-off for a jump serve, the server must not touch the court including the end line, or the floor outside the service zone. After the hit, the server may step or land outside the service zone, or inside the court, and may move outside the service zone, or back inside the court.

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Service, Beach

If sand pushed by the server moves the line, it is not considered a fault.

Sitting

The server may move freely within the service zone. At the moment of the service hit, the server’s buttocks must not touch the court including the end line, or the sand outside the service zone. The server’s foot(feet), leg(s) or hand(s) may touch the court and/or the free zone outside the service zone. After the hit, the server may move outside the service zone, or inside the court.

Standing

The server may move freely within the service zone. At the service hit or take-off for a jump service, the server must not touch the court including the end line, nor the ground outside the zone. The foot may not go under the line. After the hit, the server may step or land outside the zone, or inside the court.

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Screening

The players of the serving team may not, through individual or collective screening, prevent their opponent from seeing the server or the flight path of the ball.

Sitting

A screen is deemed to have been made when the serving team player(s) makes a screen by waving arms or moving sideways at the time of the service, or by sitting grouped to hide the flight path of the ball.

Standing

A screen is deemed to have been made when the serving team player(s) makes a screen by waving arms or moving sideways at the time of the service, or by standing grouped to hide the flight path of the ball.

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Attack Hit

Characteristics of the Attack Hit

Any action directing the ball to the opponent, excluding services and blocks, are attack hits.

Tipping the ball is allowed only if it is cleanly hit, and not caught or thrown.

Once the ball completely crosses the vertical plane of the net or is touched by an opponent the attack hit is complete.

Restrictions of the Attack Hit, Hard Court

There are no restrictions on a front-row player, providing that the hit is been made within the player’s own playing space.

A back-row player behind the front zone may complete an attack hit at any height:

Sitting

at the hit, the player’s buttocks must neither have touched nor crossed over the attack line;

after the hit, the player may move his/her buttocks into the front zone.

Standing

at the hit, the player’s foot (feet) must neither have touched nor crossed over the attack line;

the player may land within the front zone after the hit.

Back-row players may are allowed to complete an attack hit from the front zone, if at the moment of the hit part of the ball is lower than the top of the net.

Standing only

It is forbidden to complete an attack hit on the opponent’s service, when the ball is in the front zone and entirely higher than the top of the net.

Restrictions of the Attack Hit, Beach

Essentially none: any player may carry out an attack-hit at any height, as long as the contact with the ball has been made within the player’s own playing space (except Rule 17.2.4 below).

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Blocking, Hard Court

Blocking is the action of the front-row players who are closest to the net intercepting the ball coming from the opponent by reaching above the top of the net, without regard for the height of the ball contact. The only players allowed to complete a block are the front-row players. Part of the body must be higher than the top of the net when the ball is contacted.

Block Contact

Consecutive (quick and continuous) contacts may occur by one or more blockers provided that the contacts are made during one action.

Block and Team Hits

A block contact is not counted as one of the team's three hits. Anyone may execute the first hit after the block, including the player who performed the block.

Blocking the Service

Sitting

Blocking the serve is allowed.

Standing

Blocking the serve is NOT allowed.

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Blocking, Beach

This is when the players close to the net intercept the ball coming from the opponent by reaching above the top of the net.

Hits by the Blocker

Anyone may execute the first hit after the block, including the player who performed the block.

Blocking Contact

Unlike the hard court game, the contact made during a block IS counted as a team hit, and the blocking team will therefore have only a further two hits after a blocking contact. Consecutive (quick and continuous) contacts may occur by one or more blockers provided that the contacts are made during one action. These are counted as only one team hit (Rule 18.4.1 above). These contacts may occur with any part of the body.

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The Libero Player

Not applicable to the Beach game.

Teams may nominate up to two of their members as specialised defensive players: Liberos.

Only one Libero from each team may be on the court at any time. The coach will nominate the starting Libero before the start. The Libero currently on court is the Acting Libero, and if there is another Libero, they are known as the second Libero.

The Libero may not be team or game captain while performing as a Libero.

Libero Equipment

The Libero players must wear jerseys or bibs that must contrast in colour to the standard team uniform. It is allowed to have a different design, but must be numbered like the other team uniforms.

Actions Involving the Libero

The Libero may replace any back-row player. They are restricted to perform only as back-row players and may not complete an attack hit from anywhere (including playing court and free zone) if when it is hit the ball is entirely higher than the top of the net.

They may not serve, block or attempt to block.

If the ball comes from an overhand finger pass by a Libero in their front zone, no player may complete an attack hit from higher than the top of the net. The ball may be freely attacked if the Libero makes the same action from outside their front zone.

Replacements involving the Libero do not count as substitutions and are unlimited, but, except under special conditions, there must be a completed rally between two replacements involving a Libero.

The Acting Libero can only be replaced by the normal player for that position, or by the other Libero. The regular replacement player may replace either Libero.

The Acting Libero may be replaced with the second Libero after a completed rally at any time during the match.

Replacements may only occur while the ball is out of play and before the whistle for service.

At the start of each set, the Libero must not enter the court until the starting line-up has been checked by the second referee.

Replacements made after the service whistle but before the service hit should not be rejected; however, the game captain must be informed after the end of the rally that this is not a permitted procedure and that future instances will be subject to delay sanctions.

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Selected Rules: Beach

5.1.5

Player’s jerseys (or shorts if players are allowed to play without shirt) must be numbered 1, 2 and 3. The number must be placed on the chest (or on the front of the shorts).

5.1.6

The numbers must be of a contrasting colour to the jerseys and a minimum of 10 cm in height. The stripe forming the numbers shall be a minimum of 1.5 cm wide.

5.3.1

It is forbidden to wear any object that may cause an injury to a player, such as pins, bracelets, casts, etc.

17.2.4

A player completes an attack-hit on the opponent’s service, when the ball is entirely above the top of the net.

18.4.1

A blocking contact is counted as a team hit. The blocking team will have only two more hits after a blocking contact.

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Selected Rules: Hard Court

9.2.3

The ball may touch various parts of the body, provided that the contacts take place simultaneously.

Exceptions to 9.2.3:

9.2.3.1

at blocking, consecutive contacts may be made by one or more blocker(s) provided that the contacts occur during one action;

9.2.3.2

at the first hit of the team, the ball may contact various parts of the body consecutively provided that the contacts occur during one action.

10.1.2

The ball that has crossed the net plane to the opponent’s free zone totally or partly through the external space, may be played back within the team hits, provided that:

10.1.2.1

the opponent’s court is not touched by the player; 

10.1.2.2

the ball, when played back, crosses the net plane again totally or partly through the external space on the same side of the court.

The opposing team may not prevent such an action.

14.2

BLOCK CONTACT

Consecutive (quick and continuous) contacts may occur by one or more blockers provided that the contacts are made during one action.

14.4.2

The first hit after the block may be executed by any player, including the one who has touched the ball during the block.

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Creative Commons licence text.

This page is derived, in part, from wiki pages:

Sitting Volleyball

Volleyball at the Summer Paralympics

and the rules from WOVD.



› Paralympic Volleyball

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