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Team Navy Road to the Warrior Games Featured Sport: Sitting Volleyball

WASHINGTON -- In this series, we will explore each of the twelve sports that will be featured during the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games: archery, cycling, field, golf, indoor rowing, powerlifting, shooting (precision air sports), sitting volleyball, swimming, track, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.

Sitting volleyball is a fast and exciting spectator sport, demanding excellent reactions, great upper body strength, stamina, balance, and tactical awareness.

Sitting volleyball requires a smaller court (10m x 6m) and a lower net, but is played with the same ball as standing volleyball. It’s played in the best-of-five format, and the first to reach 25 points (with at least a 2-point lead) wins the game.


From the sport’s origin to explaining why one team member wears a different color jersey, here is a list of four facts to know.

  1. Sport Origin and Paralympics History: While standing volleyball was invented in Massachusetts, by William G. Morgan in the late nineteenth century. Sitting volleyball originated in the Netherlands in 1956. Sitting volleyball is currently played in more than 60 countries world-wide.

    After entering as a “demonstration” sport during the 1976 Paralympic Games in Toronto, Canada, sitting volleyball was first included in men’s competition in 1980 and the women’s competition in 2004. It has been in every Paralympic Games since.
  2. Warrior Games Competition Style: The Sitting Volleyball tournament is one of three Team Sports events at the Warrior Games. Sitting volleyball consist of a maximum of 12 athletes of either the same or combined genders.

    Player positions are determined by the location of their buttocks, which must always be in contact with the court when playing the ball, expect in extreme defensive situations when a brief loss of contact is permitted.

    Service Teams can field no more than six athletes, and no more than five of any one classification category, on the court at the same time. The tournament consists of pool and bracket play to determine which teams contest for the gold and bronze medals.
  3. Sitting Volleyball Classification: Sitting volleyball consist of a maximum of 12 athletes of either the same or combined genders across three classification categories: minimum, moderate, and maximum. 
  4. Why is One Team Member Wearing a Different Color Jersey?: The sitting volleyball court’s attack line is 2m from the net, creating a front zone and a back zone. Only the three players in the front zone may attack or block. A defensive specialist, called a Libero, wears a different color jersey from the rest of the team. The Libero plays in the backcourt.


Follow along on Team Navy's Road to the Warrior Games on the official Team Navy webpageFacebook, and Instagram, and join us in cheering for the team at the DoD Warrior Games!


Article originally published on July 12, 2021 | Story by Megan Trexler | Commander, Navy Installations Command


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