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Volleyball is an Olympic team sport and features two teams of six active players competing against each other. Each of the two teams has its own half of the field separated from the opponents half by a high net, the goal of the game is to ground the ball in the opponents court and at the same time prevent the other team from scoring any points. Should any one of the teams commit a foul, this also counts as a point for the opposing team.

Volleyball is a relatively young sport; it was only invented in 1895 in Massachusetts. However, today the international governing body of the volleyball world, the FIVB is the biggest international sports association. The FIVB has 219 member states which represent about 35 million licensed players and apart from that, the FIVB estimates that there are about 998,000,000 active volleyball players worldwide. William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical education director in Holyoke, Massachusetts, invented the sport of volleyball with the aim of creating a sport which could be played indoors, by an unlimited number of players and which was not as tiring as basketball – a sport which had only been invented a few years prior in Springfield. The new recreational activity he created in 1895 was called Mintonette and combined elements of tennis and handball. In due course Morgan presented his new sport at a YMCA physical education directors’ conference where the game was accepted – with a new name and slightly modified rules. Although volleyball was created in the United States (if you want to bet in the USA, check out IBCbet), most of its further developments took place in Europe, where especially Eastern Europeans pushed the development of the game along. Today’s top volleyball nations are Brazil, Italy, Serbia, China and Russia.

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Game Structure

Every won move in volleyball counts as one point – no matter which team is serving – this counting system (rally point scoring) was only introduced in 2001 to accelerate the game and make it more interesting for the audience. The first team to reach 25 points wins the set and with three won sets the whole match is determined; though a difference of two points must be obtained, so in case of a one point distance the game is continued until one team is two points ahead.

Premier League Basic Rules and Regulations

First of all – it is always up to the referee to make decisions, he or she is responsible for the correct application of the rules and in case of an inconclusive situation the referee’s opinion counts most. The net, which must be positioned vertically above the centre line, has to be 2.43 meters high for men’s games and 2.24 meters high for women. The official height may only be exceeded by a maximum two centimeters. The volleyball itself has to be round and made from an air-filled plastic bladder coated with leather or synthetic material. It may be solid white or of a light, uniform color or a combination of three different, easily distinguishable colors. Its circumference shall be between 65 and 67 cm and its weight shall lie between 260 and 280 grams. The court shall be 18 by 9 meters in size and surrounded by a so-called free zone which has to be at least three meters wide. The surface of the court shall be flat, horizontal and uniform.

Teams and Positions

A team may consist of a maximum of 12 players, one coach, one assistant coach, one trainer and one medical doctor. One of the players, other than the Libero (a specific defensive player), is the team captain, who shall be indicated on the score sheet. Only the players recorded on the score sheet may enter the court and play in the match. The coaches and the team captain are responsible for the correct behavior and discipline of the team members. A player’s equipment consists of a jersey, shorts, socks (the uniform) and sport shoes. The color and the design for the jerseys, shorts and socks must be uniform for the team (except for the Libero). The players’ numbers (between 1 and 18) must be affixed to the front as well as to the back of the jersey and the color and brightness must differ from that of the jersey.

The players’ positions are numbered as follows:

  • The three players along the net are front row players and occupy positions 4 (front-left), 3 (front-centre) and 2 (front-right)
  • The other three are back row players occupying positions 5 (back-left), 6 (back-centre) and 1 (back-right)

A basic rule is that the back-row players always have to be further away from the net than the respective front row players. When the receiving team has gained the right to serve, its players rotate one position clock-wise: the player in position 2 rotates to position 1 to serve, the player in position 1 rotates to position 6, etc. Despite this rule, which has the effect that every player has to play every position, every player of the team is specialized on a certain position. This is only possible because after the service hit, the players may move around and occupy any position on their court, and the free zone.


Player Specializations

The Middle-blocker or Middle-hitter is a player who can perform very fast attacks, usually he operates near the setter around position 3. The Outside hitters attack from the left side of the field, near the left antenna, possibly also outside the sideline because most sets to the outside are high and from the free zone, he may take a longer approach. In professional teams there normally are two Outside hitters per team. The Setters’ responsibility is it to coordinate the teams’ offense. They try to make the second ball contact and then place the ball in the air, ready for the attacker to smash it into the opponents’ half of the court and score. What is crucial here is that the setters manage to choose the right attacker to set which means they need to move around the court very quickly and have swift appraisal. The Opposite hitters or Right side hitters are those players who are most important for the offence of their team, what they have to do is to attack the ball from the right side and put up a well formed block against the opponents Outside Hitters. Because sets to the opposite usually go to the right side, he has most frequent ball contact on the team.

The Libero is a player in defense, usually the player with the best reaction time and optimum passing skills, who is responsible for receiving attacks or serving. The word libero in Italian means free – so the Libero has to be able to freely move around the court and substitute any other player. The Libero, who has a very important role in the team, may not occupy any other role in the team once he was designated as Libero, his Jersey has to have another color than those of his teammates. If you’re a fan of volleyball and would like to place a bet on the outcome of a certain match, then you should check out the online bookmaker bwin. Besides having some of the best odds on the internet, you will also receive a 100% sign-up bonus when you register over our link. You can also use our Live Scores section to stay up to date about current and upcoming matches as well as compare odds before placing your bets. Our Standings & Statistics page will also help you decide who to place your money on. If you want more information about this sport, visit the FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) official site.


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