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It was a struggle to set up a coed volleyball net the other day. I just couldn’t agree on the proper net height. Later research made me realize that volleyball courts have different net heights based on who is playing. After some investigating, here’s what I learned.
How Tall Is a Volleyball Net?
So just how tall is a normal volleyball net and when does the height differ? The standard size for a volleyball net is 7 feet 11⅝ inches for men, and 7 feet 4⅛ inches for women. Youth and senior volleyball can be as short as 7 feet depending on age.
Although these are the most common net heights you’ll find, people of different ages and abilities have some variation in standard height. Those are covered in more depth below.
Volleyball Net Heights
Net Heights change if players are:
- Men or Women
- 45+ Age Ranges
- Playing Sitting Volleyball
Men or Women
As previously mentioned, men use a net 7 feet 11 inches tall, and women use a 7-foot 4-inch net. This is because men on average tend to be taller and stronger than women so their nets are slightly higher. Given that only 24% of volleyball players in the U.S are men, most nets you encounter will be the shorter height.
The image below shows the volleyball court for men and women. You’ll notice that there are antennas on each side of the net. These are always 32 inches tall no matter who is playing.
When men and women play together, typically the net is put at the mens height, 7 feet 11 inches. However there is no official net height for recreational coed volleyball, so it is possible you will see variations. One popular coed height is 7 feet 8 inches, which is right in the middle of men’s and women’s typical net height.
In addition to accounting for players that are male or female, net heights must factor in the age of players. Because youth are shorter and have less power, their nets are slightly lower. Boys and girls typically play on the same height net as youth unless they are under 10.
Net Heights for Boys and Girls Under 16:
- Aged 13-16 – 7 feet 4 inches
- Aged 11-12 – 7 feet
- Girls Aged 10 and under – 6 feet 6 inches
- Boys Aged 10 and under 7 feet
55+ Age Ranges
Once the age of all players goes above 55, the net height changes again. The table below summarizes differences in net height for men and women across older age ranges. Generally, when players are older or younger than 16-55 years, the nets get shorter.
|Men||7 feet 6 inches||7 feet 9 inches||7 feet 11 inches|
|Women||7 feet||7 feet 2 inches||7 feet 4 inches|
There are some different kinds of volleyball played by older folks as well. No-fall volleyball and balloon volleyball have become popular among older, less mobile generations. Nets for these types of games vary significantly and have no standard height.
Playing Sitting Volleyball
Sitting Volleyball is a popular game variation played competitively and recreationally with slightly different rules than other volleyball games. For those with disabilities and mobility issues, sitting volleyball offers a chance to continue playing this much-loved game. The standard net height for sitting volleyball is 3 feet 9 inches for men and 3 feet 5 inches for women.
How Much Variation in Net Height Is Allowed?
When setting up a game yourself, remember that volleyball nets can be no more than ¾ inches higher or lower than the height stipulated in the rulebook.
How Tall Are Beach Volleyball Nets?
Surprisingly, beach volleyball nets do not have a different height than indoor courts. This means the two most common net heights in beach volleyball are still 7’11 and 7’4 for men and women respectively.
How to Measure Volleyball Net Height?
The only tool needed to correctly set up a volleyball net is measuring tape. However, it’s important to follow these guidelines to make sure you have the proper height.
Step One: Place the measuring tape at the center of the net and let it hang on the floor. (side note- for beach volleyball, please make sure your sand has been properly raked flat)
Step Two: The center of the net may be slightly lower than expected. Make sure it is no less than ¾ inches below the standard height for your players.
Step Three: measure the two ends of the volleyball net near the antenna. These measurements should be as close to the standard size as possible.
Step Four: Keep the measuring tape parallel to the poles on either end of the net while measuring.
Step Five: Enjoy your net!
There is quite a bit of variation in volleyball net heights across gender, age, and ability levels. Ultimately, the average standard net height for volleyball is 7 feet 11 inches for men and 7 feet 4 inches for women.