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Sitting Volleyball [ History, Rules, … ]

Sitting Volleyball is a Paralympic sport that was created with the purpose of helping people with some motor deficiency to be able to practice a sport and also to help in their social and psychological integration, as the great majority of Paralympic sports were.

History of Sitting Volleyball

The sport that today is called seated volleyball it was not always as it is now and a half that was the evolution of another Paralympic sport that existed, which was called sitzball.

This one ended up disappearing because it was considered too passive for a sport and with the combination of normal volleyball characteristics the adapted volleyball appeared.

At that time there was a Paralympic volleyball, but it was played standing up until in 1980 sitting volleyball also became a Paralympic modality in the Games, which still stands today, played by both men and women.

In 2004 the standing volleyball version was eventually abandoned as a Paralympic mode.

Characteristics of Sitting Volleyball

Although this has many similarities with conventional volleyball, it also has several differences, most of which arose due to the physical limitations of the practitioners. Let’s now see some unique things in this sport.

Sitting Volleyball Game

This is practically equal to ordinary volleyball. It is divided by sets, being the best of five, so anyone who earns 3 sets wins the match.

In each set have to mark 25 points and there must be a difference of two points so that either team wins the set.

If 2 × 2 ends in sets, a final set called tiebreaker, which is in all equal to others, but this ends up at 15 points.

Each team consists of 12 players, only 6 are on the field, divided by players who are on the attack, those who are in defense and the libero.



As with many Paralympic sports, in adapted volleyball, there is also a classification depending on the degree of limitation, which can then influence the constitution of the team in play according to some rules of the event.

The ratings are as follows:

  • Class A1: refers to players with double amputation above or through the knee joints (Double AK, “Above Knee”, meaning “above the knee”);Class A2: just like the previous classification, it refers to an amputation above or through the knee joints, however a simple and not a double amputation;
  • Class A3: are those with a double amputation below the knee (Below Knee, BK), or through or above the talus-calcanear joint;
  • Class A4: the same as previous ones, but with simple amputation;
  • Class A5: refers to athletes who have a double amputation above or through the elbow joint (AE);
  • Class A6: the characteristics of the amputation are the same as the previous one, however, this is simple;
  • Class A7: characterizes players with a double amputation below the elbow (below elbow, BE) or through / above the wrist joints;
  • Class A8: like the previous one, however, there is only a simple amputation;
  • Class A9: ACMIS refers to combined amputations of lower and upper limbs.

Note: There is an additional category called The Others and this one is composed by athletes with another type of locomotor limitation, being able to have arisen for example due to a heart attack, problems of bone marrow, partial paralysis, etc …

Sitting Volleyball Rules

Here we are not going to talk so much about all the rules, but about those that are different from traditional volleyball and so the other rules you already associate with being the same.

The court is smaller than the common one, taking measures 10 meters long by 6 wide. The lines of attack are 2 meters from the center of the field.

The network has 6,50 to 7 meters long and 0,80 meters wide, with it being 1,15 meters from the ground for men and 1,05 meters for women.


Of the 12 team players, there can only be at most two that have “minimal disability” and only one can be playing in the field.

While in conventional volleyball the position of the player is marked by his feet, here is the buttocks of the players, and may have legs or arms in other areas.

During the service, any attacker may touch the ball and interfere with the service path if it is above the height of the net.

The attackers of the opposing team can also block the service, which is considered a foul in normal volleyball.


In each match there are 2 referees who watch all the plays and see if there are any irregularity, 2 assistants who are each at one end of the field and are more attentive to the lines and if the ball falls or not within the field and there are still 2 markers who are at the table to mark the score of the game.

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