A newer variation of the game, beach volleyball, has evolved from
the popular social games of volleyball played on many beaches
around the world. This version, rather than played on indoor
hard courts, is played on sand courts which may either be formed
naturally or built specifically for the purpose. Instead of a
team of six, each team consists of only two players, but otherwise
the rules are almost identical with some exceptions including:
size of the court (16 x 8m) (though many recreational players
organizations use the old 18 x 9m court)
- The block
always counts as the first contact
- The disallowance
of the open-hand dink or dump plays where a player uses their
tips to redirect the ball into the opponent's
court instead of a hard spike. A dink may be performed
with a closed hand or knuckle
rules around double-contacts during hand setting
- The disallowance
of the first contact being an open-hand contact (i.e. a set)
Indoor Sand Volleyball
This is an even newer variation than beach volleyball. As beach
volleyball took volleyball outdoors, indoor sand volleyball takes
beach volleyball indoors. In the United States, a growing number
of colleges are now considering switching from hard court indoor
volleyball to sand court indoor volleyball. The biggest reason
for the possible change is the reduced rate of injury of players.
Secondary reasons are 1) bad weather doesn't cancel play as what
commonly happens with beach volleyball and 2) it enable the game
to be more appealing to spectators since sand courts do not need
players to wear nobbing elbow and knee pads nor shoes. Still
another reason for the expected success is the assumption that
indoor teams will wear bikinis as beach volleyball teams do and
thus increasing the sex appeal of the sport to male audiences.
Indoor sand volleyball teams vary from two to six members, with
college teams being six.
An indoor sand volleyball
court normally doesn't have its own special arena, but uses an
indoor basketball court. A protective
tarp covers the floor of the basketball court and then "soft" sand
is brought in and laid a foot deep over the tarp. The boundaries
are commonly marked off with lines in the sand. However, a recent
innovation uses colored lasers that illuminate the lines in the
Sitting volleyball for locomotor-disabled individuals was first
introduced in 1956 by the Dutch Sports Committee. International
competition began in 1967, but it would be 1978 before the International
Sports Organisation for the Disabled (ISOD) sanctioned the sport
and sponsored an official international tournament in 1979 at
Players in this variation typically are amputees or paraplegics.
The game is played on a smaller 10 x 6 meter court and with a 0.8
meter-wide net set to a height of 1.15 meters for men and 1.05
meters for women. When hitting or attacking the ball, players may
not lift or raise the buttocks from the floor surface.
Men's sitting volleyball was introduced to the Paralympic Games
in 1980 and has grown to be one of the more popular Paralympic
sports due to the fast and exciting action. Women's sitting volleyball
was added to the program for the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens,
Greece. The international governing body for the sport is The World
Organisation Volleyball for Disabled (WOVD).
Another attraction of sitting volleyball is how it eliminates
the height of the players as a determining factor for team success.
Blocks, spikes and overhand serves are easier to do for tall people
thus they have a major advantage over short people during a normal
volleyball game. Making all players sit removes this advantage.
Another variation that tries to remove height of players as a determining
factor in team success is blind volleyball. Ad-hoc blind volleyball
is where sheets are draped over the net so one side cannot see
the other side. A more formal type of blind volleyball removes
the traditional volleyball net and replaces it with a tarp thick
enough that shadows cast on it cannot be seen from the other
side. Blocks, spikes, and overhand serves are prohibited. Blocks
are almost impossible to do since it is difficult to know where
the ball is going to come over the net. Spikes and overhand serves
are prohibited because it is already very difficult for the receiving
team to react to any incoming ball without the increased speed
of a ball struck in such a manner.
Blind volleyball additionally creates a higher level of suspense
for spectators, who, unlike the players, can see what is taking
place on both sides.
Another unique feature of blind volleyball is how it can make
the back row the row that hits the ball over the net. In regular
volleyball, the back row tends to receive the volleyball and then
move it to the front row. In blind volleyball, moving the ball
to the back row makes it harder for the other team to see where
the ball is and by hitting the ball on a flatter trajectory, the
back-row players can more easily surprise the receiving team on
where the ball will be coming over the net.
However, this variation of volleyball is unknown to most people.
A variation of volleyball utilizing nine players and a slightly
larger court originated in Asia in the 1920s when American missionaries
introduced the game in China. The variant became popular within
the Chinese-American communities in large US and Canadian cities,
and continues to grow with a rotating popular tournament called
the North American Chinese Invitational Tournament.
Most competitive volleyball is played with same-sex teams (exclusively
so at the elite levels). Mixed teams for indoor play with both
male and female players operate under co-ed rules requiring alternating
male and female players in the rotation or service order. The
net is at a height halfway between men's and women's height.
(Other variants include reverse co-ed, with a women's-height
net and men prohibited from spiking inside the three-meter line,
and co-ed on a men's-height net, in which one man may come from
the back row to block, but not hit.) Additionally, in many leagues
at least one contact of a team's possible three contacts must
be made by a female player. Based on this rule, strategically,
the setter on a co-ed team is usually a female player.
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