The playing area includes the volleyball court and the free zone. The rectangular court measures 18-by-9 meters (59 feet, 1 inch by 29 feet, 6 inches). It is surrounded by a free zone extending 5 meters (16 feet, 4 inches) from the sidelines and 6.5 meters (21 feet, 4 inches) from the end lines.


The lines on the court are a light color, and the surface of the court and the free zone must be of different colors. All lines are 5 centimeters (2 inches) wide. A ball hitting the line is considered in. An "attack line," parallel to and 3 meters (9 feet, 10 inches) from the net, divides each team's side of the court into two zones: the front zone (offensive) and the rear zone (defensive). A back-row player executing an attack hit must jump from behind this line.

Service zone

The service zone runs the length of each end line (9 meters), extending out to the end of the free zone.



Dimensions and height

The court is divided into two equal parts by a net, which is placed vertically over the court's center line and divides the court into equal 9-meter halves (29 feet, 6 inches by 29 feet, 6 inches). The top of the net is 2.43 meters (8 feet) high for men and 2.24 meters (7 feet, 4 inches) for women. The net is 1 meter (3 feet, 3 inches) tall and 9.5 to 10 meters (31 feet, 2 inches to 32 feet, 10 inches) wide, so as to slightly extend across each sideline.


The top band of the net is 7 centimeters (2.75 inches) and the bottom band is 5 centimeters (2 inches). Both are threaded with cable or rope to keep the net taut and fastened to the two poles supporting the net outside the sidelines.


At each end of the net, there is an antenna extending 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) above the net. The antennae are considered part of the net — a ball hit toward the opponent's court must pass an antenna on the inside to be considered legal.


An Olympic volleyball is spherical, made of a flexible leather or synthetic leather exterior, while its interior is an inflatable rubber or other similar material. Its circumference is 65 to 67 centimeters (about 26 inches); its weight is 260 to 280 grams (about 9.5 ounces). Prior to the Sydney Games, the FIVB introduced a ball with yellow, blue and white panels. This ball replaced the traditional all-white ball as the international standard.


A player's dress consists of a jersey, shorts, socks and shoes. In many cases, players will wear knee pads as well. All jerseys must be the same color, except for the libero, who wears the team's alternate jersey.