Sitting Volleyball Program Info

Sitting Volleyball Program Info

Sitting volleyball is included in the Paralympic program.

Season schedule


April 1-3, 2023 - Exhibition with USA (Dallas, TX)
May 9-13, 2023 - Zonal Championship (Edmonton, AB)*
November 11-18, 2023 - World Cup (Cairo, EGY)* 


April 1-9, 2023 - Exhibition with BRA (Sao Paulo, BRA)
May 9-13, 2023 - Zonal Championship (Edmonton, AB)*
June 28-July 4, 2023 - The Dutch Tournament (Assen, NED)
November 11-18, 2023 - World ParaVolley World Cup (Cairo, EGY)*

*Paralympic qualification tournament

What is sitting volleyball?

Sitting Volleyball is perhaps the most widely known form of ParaVolley thanks to its inclusion in the Paralympic Games since Arnhem in 1980. Played by over 10,000 athletes, in more than 55 countries worldwide it is a truly global game that anyone can play.
The Sitting Volleyball rules are based on the FIVB rules for able-bodied volleyball, with a few minor modifications. It requires a smaller court (10m x 6m) and a lower net (1.15m for men, 1.05m for women), and the game is considerably faster than standing volleyball. It’s played in a best-of-five set format, and the first to reach 25 points (with at least a 2-point lead) wins the set.
Teams compete in male and female events, with six on the court at a time. At all times, a portion of the athlete’s torso must be in contact with the ground, and service blocks and attacks are allowed.

Download this pdf with more info on the sport of sitting volleyball:

Who can play?

At the non-international level, sitting volleyball can be played by anyone. One of the great features of sitting volleyball is the fact that it provides the opportunity to easily integrate able-bodied athletes and athletes and athletes with a physical impairment on a more level playing field. Without the need for specialized equipment such as wheelchairs or sleds, it is very easy for anyone to sit down and play!

For international competition, sitting volleyball is open to athletes with a physical impairment who meet the minimum physical impairment requirements for volleyball. An athlete’s physical impairment must be permanent and can be either progressive or non-progressive. Athletes with progressive physical impairment (i.e., muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, etc.) are given a temporary classification and must be classified at each competition.

While many sitting volleyball athletes at the international level are amputees, the sport can be played by athletes with other types of physical impairment as well.


Sitting volleyball is governed by the World ParaVolleyball. WPV has adapted the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) rules for use in sitting volleyball.   The rule modifications for sitting volleyball include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The height of the net (1.15m for men and 1.05m for women) and the size of the court (10m x 6m) are reduced for sitting volleyball;
  • Front-row players are allowed to block the service of the opponent;
  • The positions of the players are determined and controlled by the positions of their buttocks. This means that the hand(s) and/or leg(s) of the players may lie in the attack zone (back-row player during an attack hit), in the court (server during the service hit), or in the free zone outside the court (any player during the service hit); and
  • At all times during playing actions the players must contact the court with some part of the body between the buttocks and shoulders. Lifting is permitted in the back zone when playing the ball in a defensive action if the contact is made when the ball is not entirely higher than the top of the net.

Official WPV Sitting Volleyball Rules

What is classification?

Classification is a process where athletes with physical impairments are classified into various groups in accordance with their physical and functional ability. This may be based purely on an evaluation of their impairment or an evaluation of the impact of their functional abilities on their participation in a particular sport.

Classification is a formal process: there are specific processes and regulations which vary between sports. Classifiers must be accredited for state, national and international classification by the relevant International Sports Federation.

The Volleyball classification is based on the " Amputee and Les Autres" system used by ISOD (International Sports Organisation for the Disabled). In general classification is conducted utilizing one or more of the following measures:

Level of amputation; Muscle strength; Joint range of motion; Difference in limb length

Classification system

Sitting Volleyball has two sport classes, VS1 and VS2. VS1 athletes have impairments that more significantly affect the core functions in sitting volleyball. VS2 athletes have impairments that minimally affect the core functions in sitting volleyball. More information on the classification process and information about the eligible VS1 and VS2 impairments can be found here:

For International Sitting Volleyball Competitions

Athletes must be classified prior to any participation in international competition. Athletes will then be assigned a classification of either VS1 or VS2. For international competition, teams can only have two VS2's on the roster and only one VS2 on the court at any given time. A team is not required to have any VS2’s and can have a full roster of VS1 athletes.

For Domestic Sitting Volleyball Competitions

Any athlete with a disability or able-bodied athletes may be eligible to compete and each individual competition reserves the right to determine its own eligibility criteria. Most recreational competitions in Canada and the USA encourage teams to have both able-bodied athletes and athletes with a physical impairment on their rosters to ensure that the sport is accessible for all participants.

Contact info

For additional information please contact:

Ian Halliday: Director, High Performance (Para Volleyball)