Volleyball Court Dimensions

Understanding the dimensions of a volleyball court is essential for players, coaches, and spectators alike. In this article, we will break down the dimensions of a volleyball court into logical sections, providing a comprehensive guide to help you grasp the intricacies of a volleyball arena.

Overall Court Dimensions

The volleyball court is a rectangle measuring 18 meters (59 feet) in length and 9 meters (29.5 feet) in width. These dimensions create a playing area that accommodates the fast-paced nature of the game, allowing players to showcase their skills and engage in strategic gameplay.

Size of a volleyball court.
The size and layout of a standard volleyball court with measurments in meters and feet.

Volleyball Court Markings

To define the playing area, several boundary lines are marked on the court. These lines help determine whether a ball is in or out of bounds during gameplay.

All lines on the court are 5cm wide and are a light colour different from the colour of the floor.

Let's explore these lines in detail:

End Lines

The end lines run parallel to the length of the court and mark the outer boundaries. They measure 18 meters (59 feet) in length.


The sidelines run parallel to the width of the court and mark the outer boundaries. They measure 9 meters (29.5 feet) in length.

Attack Lines

Attack lines are located parallel to the net, dividing the court into front and back zones. These lines are 3 meters (9.8 feet) from the centerline and help regulate player positioning during service and attack.


The centerline divides the court into two equal halves, creating right and left zones. It measures 0.05 meters (2 inches) in width and extends from one sideline to the other.

Zones and Areas

Free zones

Beyond the boundary lines, free zones are designated to ensure the safety of players. These areas should remain clear of any obstacles and provide ample space for players to maneuver during intense gameplay. The free zone should be a minimum of 3 meters (9.8 feet) on all sides. For FIVB, world and official competitions, the free zone measures a minimum of 5 meters (16.4 ft) from the side lines and 8 meters (26.2 ft) from the end lines.

Service Zones

When serving, the player must stand within the service zone. They can choose any position within the zone as long as both feet are behind the end line and within the width of the sidelines. The service zone is a 9m wide area behind each end line and extends to the end of the free zone.

Front and Back Zones

In volleyball, the front and back zones refer to the divisions of the court created by the attack lines. These zones play a significant role in positioning and determining the roles of players during different phases of the game.

Front Zone

The front zone on each court is found between the axis of the centre line and the rear edge of the attack line. The front zone extends beyond the side lines to the end of the free zone.

When the ball is in play, specific player positions are assigned to the front zone. In the standard six-player rotation, the players in the front zone typically include the setter, middle blockers, and outside hitters. These players have primary responsibilities in blocking, attacking, and setting up offensive plays.

Back Zone

The back zone, also known as the back row or back court, is the area of the court farthest from the net. It extends from the attack line to the end line and is divided into right back and left back zones by the centerline.

The back zone is typically occupied by the libero and the opposite hitter, along with the other players when they rotate to the back row. Players in the back zone primarily focus on defensive duties such as passing, digging, and setting. They also have the opportunity to attack from behind the attack line.

One important rule regarding the back zone is that players are not allowed to perform an overhead finger or hand set from inside the front zone. This limitation ensures fair play and prevents players from gaining an advantage by setting close to the net.

Official Court Colors

In official volleyball competitions, the court lines must be white, while the playing surface should be a light color. The standardization of these colors ensures visibility and adherence to international regulations. The choice of court colors can vary in non-official or recreational settings.

Net and Antennas

The net plays a vital role in volleyball, serving as a physical barrier that separates the teams and influences gameplay. Here are the key dimensions associated with the net:

Net Height

The top of the net is set at a height of 2.43 meters (7.97 feet) for men's competition and 2.24 meters (7.35 feet) for women's competition. This height variation accounts for the differences in average player heights.

The net is placed vertically over the centre line. It is 1m wide and 9.5 m - 10 m long and is 10cm square black mesh.


Antennas are thin rods made of flexible materials attached to the net. They extend vertically upward from the outer edges of the net and are used to determine ball crossing and passing. Each antenna measures 1.8 meters (5 feet 10.9 inches) in length and must be firmly secured to the net.

The top of the antenna extends 80cm above the net and is marked with 10cm stripes of contrasting colour, usually red and white.

Net Tension

Before each volleyball match, the net's tension is carefully adjusted to ensure it meets the required standards. This is typically done using a tension gauge to measure the net's sag, ensuring that it is uniformly taut from one side of the court to the other.

Net Padding

In some volleyball competitions, padding is installed on the top and sides of the net to protect players from contact with the net cables. This padding reduces the risk of injury when players make contact with the net during intense rallies.

Ceiling Height

In indoor volleyball, the ceiling height is a crucial factor to consider, as it can impact gameplay and limit certain actions such as overhead serves or high-reaching attacks. The recommended minimum ceiling height is 7 meters (23 feet), although higher ceilings are preferred to accommodate more versatile play styles and aggressive attacks

Types of Indoor Playing Surfaces

In indoor volleyball, the playing surface is an essential component that directly affects gameplay, player performance, and injury prevention. Different types of surfaces offer varying levels of traction, shock absorption, and stability.

The playing surface is flat and a light colour. For FIVB, world and official competitions, only a wooden or synthetic surface is allowed.

White colours are required for the lines. Other different colours are required for the playing court and free zone.

Let's explore some common indoor playing surfaces:

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood is the most prevalent and traditional playing surface in indoor volleyball. It provides a firm and consistent surface, allowing players to make quick movements and transitions with ease. Hardwood flooring offers excellent traction, reducing the risk of slips and falls. It is commonly made of maple or oak and is known for its durability and longevity.

Synthetic Sports Flooring

Synthetic sports flooring has gained popularity as an alternative to hardwood. These surfaces are engineered to mimic the performance characteristics of hardwood while offering additional benefits such as enhanced shock absorption, improved joint protection, and increased energy return. Synthetic surfaces are often made of materials like rubber or polyurethane and provide excellent traction and consistent ball response.

Composite Flooring

Composite flooring combines different materials, such as wood and synthetic elements, to create a versatile playing surface. These surfaces offer a balance between the qualities of hardwood and synthetic flooring, providing a comfortable feel, shock absorption, and consistent ball response. Composite flooring is often used in multi-purpose sports facilities where volleyball is played alongside other sports.

Tartan or Vinyl Flooring

Tartan or vinyl flooring is commonly found in recreational or amateur volleyball settings. These surfaces are cost-effective, easy to install, and require minimal maintenance. While they may not offer the same level of performance as hardwood or synthetic surfaces, tartan or vinyl flooring provides a suitable option for casual play and training environments.

Alternate Court Sizes

While this article primarily focuses on standard indoor volleyball court dimensions, it's worth noting that variations exist for other forms of volleyball. Beach volleyball, sitting volleyball, and para volleyball, for example, have different court sizes, markings, and rules tailored to their respective formats.