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Sitting volleyball

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Sitting volleyball is a variation of the standing version of the sport. It is played by two teams of six players who slide around the court using the power of their arms to remain in the sitting position. The court dimensions in sitting volleyball are smaller and the net is lower than in Olympic volleyball, making sitting volleyball a fast-paced, intense sport. 

Sitting volleyball was devised in 1956 as a rehabilitation activity for injured soldiers. It became an official sport for men at the 1980 Paralympic Games, but it wasn’t for a further 24 years before the women’s game was added to programme at Athens 2004. Athletes must be able to move around easily and safely in a seated position. 

Brief overview of the rules 

The sport is played using a standard volleyball, on a smaller court (6m x 10m) and a lower net (1.15m for men, 1.05m for women). Matches follow a best-of-five set format, with the winning team the first to reach 25 points, or 15 in the fifth set. Athletes’ buttocks or back must maintain contact with the floor, especially when playing the ball.  

Eligible impairments 

Orthopaedic impairment, hemiplegia, cerebral palsy, degenerative neurological disorders. 

International federation 

World ParaVolley: www.worldparavolley.org 

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