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Sport Overview

The objective is similar to volleyball: hit the ball over the net and land it in the opposing team’s half of the court. In sitting volleyball, however, the net is 1.05 metres high for women and 1.15 metres high for men, service blocks are allowed and one of the athlete’s buttocks must remain in contact with the floor at all times when handling the ball.

Canada brought home a bronze medal in Men’s sitting volleyball from Guadalajara in 2011, while Brazil took home gold. Women’s sitting volleyball will make its debut in 2015, when Canada will look to build upon its third-place finish from 2011.


The sport of volleyball was first developed in 1895 by American William Morgan. It wasn’t until 1953 when newly established disabled sport clubs in the Netherlands combined the sport of athletics with the German sport of sitzball that the sport started to take shape. Originally a low key sport, in 1956 the Dutch Sports Committee introduced a new sport that combined sitzball and volleyball, called Sitting Volleyball.

How it works

The rally begins with a serve from the back of the court, over the net and into the receiving team’s court; the receiving team must not allow the ball to touch the ground, and they may touch the ball as many as three times before it must be hit back over the net to the other team’s side.

Points are awarded to the team that wins the rally. Matches are the best of five sets.


When a player blocks an opposing player at the net with arms in the air.

A defensive shot where a player places both arms together when hitting the ball. Often used as a result of a spike from the opposing team.

To smash the ball into the opponent’s court using an overhead motion.



Physical Impairment

Sport Classes

There are two physical impairment sport classes in sitting volleyball — “minimally disabled” (MD) and “disabled” (D). Athlete impairments in MD are generally less severe than those in sport class D.

Fairness Between Two Teams:
To ensure fair competition, a team may only have one MD player on the court at a time. The remaining five players are to be allocated sport class D.

Additional Information

Additional Information