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Ready to take a leap? Volleyball is a team sport played with two teams of six players, separated by a seven foot net, with players attempting to ground the ball on the other team’s court. While volleyball may be commonly associated with Miami Beach and bikinis, it is actually played on indoor courts worldwide. Fun and energetic, volleyball involves a lot of jumping and teamwork. We won’t blame you if you picture yourself sweltering next to the ocean somewhere mid-game...

How does it work?

Think volleyball is mostly about posing on the beach? Think again. There’s a lot more to this game than first meets the eye... During a match, players must not let the ball fall to the ground on their side of the court and must direct the ball over the other side of the net past the opposition. To start play, one of the players will begin a ‘rally’- serving the ball to the other side of the court by tossing it and releasing it with the hand or arm. The other team must hit the ball back without it touching the ground- this continues until the ball falls. The team can pass the ball to each other a maximum of three times on their side of the net before they are charged with a fault and the other team is awarded a point. Doesn’t sound as easy now, does it?

The ball is not allowed to touch the net and the same player must not touch the ball twice in a row or catch the ball and throw it - there must be a quick hit or strike motion. A game finishes when 21 points or any other agreed upon number has been reached by either team. The team that wins two out of three games wins the match- and, if you’re in Miami, the chance to gloat over a bit of ice cream..

Is it for me?

If you shouldn’t be jumping due to joint problems, then volleyball may not be the best sport for you. During a professional game, a player is said to jump, on average, 300 times! The sport is, however, great for toning the legs - calves and thighs get a great workout as you spring for the ball. There isn’t a lot of running - as the game is played on a fairly small court there is, however, a lot of stopping and starting.

When you do move, you move quickly and with power, burning lots of calories and improving muscle strength. If you don’t like to get stuck in during games of sports and prefer to take a back seat to other teammates then volleyball probably isn’t a good choice, as you have to be proactive and really go for it when the ball is heading your way!

Good to know

The ball in volleyball is generally played with the hands or arms, but technically players can strike the ball with any part of the body. Header, anyone?

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