Volleyball Court Products – Must Have Items

Volleyball is becoming one of the most popular sports in the world. Its different types, including indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, snow volleyball, and water volleyball, have gained immense popularity and support over the years. Millions of people participate in volleyball events every year, either in an official or recreational way, and it has a fan base of billions. Though the rules and number of players in every type of volleyball differ, some equipment for players and the court remains almost identical.

The primary accessories include the ball, net, scoreboard, etc., which are enough from the players’ point of view, but some equipment is used on the court to follow the rules or for the smooth conduct of activities. Those also help in improving the quality of competition. Depending on the competition level or needs, such products can either be optional or necessary. In this article, we have curated information on some of the court products that often go unnoticed but facilitate the game on a considerable level.

Volleyball balls

The volleyball ball is the primary equipment of this sport. The whole game revolves around the skill of handling this equipment to score points, which takes years to master. The balls specially designed for this sport differ in weight and construction depending on the floor of the playing area. It means the standard ball for indoor court will be different in weight and some other aspects from the ball used on the beach or in water. Despite such differences, every standard ball is made of synthetic or natural leather with multiple rectangular panels.

The balls are designed while keeping in mind the age group of players, the floor, and elements such as airflow in outdoor courts. For instance, the ball should be light enough to keep it in the air but not too light to get affected by winds. Below are the things that should be considered while choosing a volleyball ball.

Size and material

The size of the volleyball depends on whether it is to be used by adult players or youngsters. The difference in sizes is based on different circumferences. It is often advised for beginners to use smaller balls to learn to handle them well before switching to the standard size. The size also depends on the game setting, i.e., balls used on the indoor court have less circumference than the ones used for beaches.

The material of the ball is a factor that professional organizations consider the most in an attempt to provide the best equipment to the players. The quality depends on three parts of the ball, including the outer shell, the core, and the panels. The outer shell of professional balls is made of high-quality leather with panels glued together for a smooth finish. The core is made of rubbers with the intent to keep the ball light in weight, and the panels are used to keep it streamlined and firm.

Air pressure

The ball’s air pressure is an essential factor that affects the performance of volleyball. It should be between 0.3 and 0.325 psi for indoor balls and 0.175 to 0.225 psi for beach balls. The pressure in the ball can be felt by hitting it on the ground. Inflation is acceptable if the ball bounces back above a meter’s height. Otherwise, air pumps available in the court can be used to reach the desired level of pressure.

Game setting

The indoor and beach settings of the sport require different accessories, and thus balls also differ in these. Because of the environmental elements and game rules, the same balls can not work in different types of volleyball. Indoor volleyball requires a ball size and psi that suit the floor construction. It is available in two styles, including youth and adult balls, with circumferences of 25 – 26 inches and 25.5 – 26.5 inches, respectively. These weigh around 260-280 grams with inflation of 4.3 and 4.3 – 4.6 psi, respectively.

For the beach setting, the ball should be a bit bigger and lighter in weight. As there are a lot of environmental factors, such as wind, heat, UV rays, and sand, the ball’s material should be able to accommodate the setting without hindering the players’ performance.

Net and related equipment

The volleyball net is another mandatory piece of equipment in the game, which is placed in the center of the court, dividing it into two equal spaces for opposite teams. Players of both teams are required to pass the ball above the net into the opposite court. The net height can differ based on game setting, gender, special requirements, and age group of players. The standard height of a volleyball net is 2.43 meters for men and 2.24 meters for women, which can be adjusted for sitting volleyball teams.

Volleyball nets are of two types- indoor and outdoor nets. Both these types are pretty similar, but the only difference is the material. As outdoor nets are left in open spaces, their material is weather-resistance, tough to deal with environmental elements, and lasts longer. Still, they may not last as long as indoor nets. All types of net require some accessories to stand firm in the court, which is discussed below.

Posts and cables

The volleyball net is placed and held together by posts and metal cables. The posts are round, can be made up of different materials depending on indoor or outdoor usage, and are often padded to prevent injuries to players. These are placed at the height of 2.55 meters and are outside the sidelines at a distance of 0.5 meters. The cables are required to connect the net with the posts and keep it tight to ensure that it does not get loose during the game.

Antenna and net bands

At the top and bottom of the net, there is a two-fold white canvas sewn horizontally with a 7 cm width. These are known as net bands. At each corner of these bands, there are openings to attach them with posts using ropes. A flexible cable runs inside these bands that bind the net and posts and keep the top and bottom of the net taut. Similar to these, two sidebands are placed vertically over the net, forming a part of the net.

The antennas are attached at a right angle to the sidebands. These are flexible rods of 1.8 m in height extending above the edge of the net. The antennas help players and referees decide whether the ball is still in play or out of bounds, i.e., if the ball touches the antenna, it is considered out.

First aid kit

Injuries and sprains are very common in volleyball, as players must jump high frequently to hit or block the ball. Some injuries may just require a player to have a break and first aid before further actions. This first aid treatment runs on the principle of PRICE, an acronym for protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Considering this principle, the injured player should be protected from further injury, leading to adequate rest, ice application, and compression to reduce swelling and elevate the injured part.

Depending on the frequently observed injuries in the sport, a volleyball first aid kit may have sprain relief sprays, hot bands, ointments, etc. These must be only under the supervision of an expert, and the player then must be provided adequate treatments and diagnosis by professionals.

Rotation locators

A rotation locator is a small tool used in volleyball to keep track of the position of players on the court. It facilitates tracking the position of players in the next rotation and player substitutes’ as well. This tool eases the hassle of determining front and back row positions. Coaches and referees use these for providing directions and rule implications.

Scorecards and penalty cards

Scorecards are made of boards with two different color cards to refer to two different teams. The number cards are flipped over every time a team scores a point and help players and coaches keep track of performance. Though these are not used in high-level competitions, using these in practice sessions might be helpful.

Penalty cards in volleyball have two colors, yellow and red, with different meanings. Showing a yellow card by a referee is a warning to the players for bad behavior with other players or an attempted action against the rules but without any penalty. If the player continues to repeat his actions, he will be shown a red card announcing a penalty or a point deduction. Both cards can be shown together, asking a player to leave the court for the rest of the set.

Floor tapes and line painters

Floor tapes are mainly used to mark lines on the court and to mark positions for the players. These are not used in official games but are great accessories during practice to help players understand positioning better. Similarly, if the court does not have lines (for practice), those can be marked using line painters. It is equipment on wheels that carries paint. Both these products may seem worthless, but they are helpful to coaches during practice sessions.

Final thoughts

Apart from the above-mentioned volleyball products, there are water bottles, ball hammocks, carts, serving machines, finger tapes, and player equipment. All these products facilitate smooth play, make things easy for every person on the court, and improve game quality. It does not matter whether the game is played professionally or on local levels; small helpful accessories matter a lot. Thus, not only the players and the featured gears used by them make the game successful, but also the poles and antennae that keep things in place for smooth conduct.