Volleyball is among the world’s most popular sports, with over 900 million fans globally. Since its inception, the game has inevitably evolved in different ways, giving rise to several interesting variations. Sometimes the players develop new rules and strategies, while others reinvent the whole game in different ways. Regardless of how far the game has gone, human creativity has helped launch different variations of volleyball that you can play in your backyard.
In this article, we’ll discuss four volleyball variations that you can find in different arenas across the world. These volleyball variations are quite interesting to play because they keep everything fresh and fun.
- Indoor volleyball
Invented by William Morgan, indoor volleyball is the most popular variation of this highly loved sport. This traditional volleyball variation is common in gymnasiums, played on a large court and a net in the middle. The gameplay features rallies of two teams competing for points and the first team to score 25 points wins.
A volleyball set starts with one team serving the ball to their opponents and they each try to score a point. The players are allowed to use all their body parts to make contact with the ball, but the game mainly uses hands. Additionally, the players aren’t allowed to hold the ball (unless while serving) and each team is allowed a maximum of three touches before returning the ball to their opposition.
Being the original volleyball format, this variation has the widest range of amateur and professional competitions. As such, you can easily bet on indoor volleyball with the top online casinos in the USA offering sports betting.
The game is available in many schools, colleges, sports clubs, and international championships, including the Olympics. Indoor volleyball has also featured in the Summer Olympic Games since 1964.
- Beach Volleyball
Without a doubt, beach volleyball is among the most popular volleyball variations with over 50 million fans worldwide. This volleyball variation is believed to have originated in Hawaii in the early 20th century and its popularity has increased significantly in the last century. However, the game is played on sandy beaches instead of the traditional indoor gymnasium.
Similar to indoor volleyball, beach volleyball features two opposing teams trying to make the ball land on each other’s side to score a point. While the variant features some adjustments, the gameplay and core mechanics remain the same as the original volleyball variation.
At low levels, you can find beach volleyball courts on many beaches in North and South America, where many people play the game recreationally. At high levels, the NCAA features beach volleyball as a professional collegiate sport, with over 90 colleges participating every year.
In the global arena, beach volleyball is featured in the Summer Olympic Games. The variation made its debut in the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, with competitions for both women and men.
- Sepak Takraw
A volleyball variation tracing its origin to Southeast Asia, Sepak Traw was created before the 1900s. Sepak is a Thai word meaning kick, while Takraw refers to a woven rattan ball. As such, Sepak Takraw can be loosely translated as “kicking the woven rattan ball”.
Like other volleyball variations, Sepak Takraw features a rectangular court and a net in the middle for determining the point scoring in every set. Each set starts with the first team kicking the ball over the opponent’s side, similar to a normal service. Additionally, each team has a maximum of three touches before sending the ball over to their opponent’s side.
While Sepak Takraw isn’t an Olympic game, there are different competition levels for the game. At the top, Sepak Takraw fans can enjoy the action at the Kings Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship. This major event features teams from Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and others.
Footvolley is an interesting volleyball variation that mixes beach volleyball with football. In this variation, the players aren’t allowed to use their hands while playing the ball, but most of the rules remain the same as beach volleyball. This variation started in Brazil in the 1960s, growing in popularity at a time when playing soccer was banned on public beaches.
Unlike other volleyball variations, footvolley features two players on each side and the net is set at 2.15 meters. Fortunately, this volleyball variation has a pretty active scene in Europe, South America, and the US. In fact, America launched the annual Pro Footvolley Tour, while Europe offers the European Footvolley League.
Volleyball is a versatile and interesting sport that can be modified to suit the needs of different athletes. Some of the most popular variations include beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, Sepak Takraw, and foot volleyball. There are also other variations of volleyball, including nine-man volleyball, Wallyball, and others spread across the US and Asia.