Sitting volleyball: An exciting, action-backed team sport for amputees

Sitting volleyball: It's fast, it demands a high level of fitness and ball handling skills, and it can be played in mixed disabled/non-disabled teams.
Sitting volleyball: It's fast, it demands a high level of fitness and ball handling skills, and it can be played in mixed disabled/non-disabled teams.

A Fast And Action-Packed Sport For People With Lower Limb Difficulties

I have never been too interested in team sports. People who have been following this blog for some time know that I love to be active in the outdoors. Hiking, kayaking, climbing - that is my world. Enjoying a day out in mother nature, challenging myself, exploring the world around me, one place at a time, that’s what makes me happy. And more often than not, I do this by myself. Quality me-time, so to speak. Time to let the mind wander (and wonder); time to recharge my batteries; time to get into a different headspace and come up with new and creative ideas for my day job and the various projects I run. Having said all that there is one exception to my „I have never been too interested in team sports“. And that is sitting volleyball. 

 

This was actually the first regular sport I took up after the amputation. And while I haven’t had the chance to play for quite some time, I still think it’s one of the most exciting sports for people with lower limb difficulties. 

 

Why do I think so? Well, it’s fast, it’s action-packed, it demands a high level of fitness, quick reactions combined with good ball-handling skills and a commitment to your team. And you can easily play it in mixed teams of pople with and without disabilities. A great combination, if you ask me.

 

 

The Basics

The rules are very similar to the ones for able-bodies volleyball and there are only minor changes. 

  • The most obvious one - and the name gives it away - is that all players are sitting on the floor.
  • It’s played in a best of five set format.
  • The court is slightly smaller (10m x 6m) than the one for able-bodied players.
  • The net is lower (1.15m for men and 1.05m for women) than the one for able-bodied players.
  • When playing the ball, a part of your torso needs to be in contact with the floor.
  • Service blocks are allowed. 

 

 

It's Fast

This sport is fast. I used to play volleyball before I lost my leg. And I always loved the fast pace of an able-bodied volleyball game. But sitting volleyball takes this to another level. 

 

For a good pass, it’s essential that your body is well placed in relation to the ball. But as you are sitting on the floor, you depend on your hands to move around the court. The very same hands you also need to play the ball. It takes some time to develop the necessary skills, develop a routine and internalise how best to coordinate your movements around the court and the handling of the ball. But once you have mastered the basics, sitting volleyball is an amazing sport. Both as a player as well as for watching.

 

 

Further Information

If you are interested to learn more or have ago at it, here are links to some of the national and international bodies.

 

 

Post by Bjoern Eser, the creator of The Active Amputee.