Volleyball is a popular sport worldwide, played both indoors and outdoors. An important part of the game is the rules and regulations regarding the court or playing surface. How big must it be? How should the lines be drawn? What kinds of regulations are there regarding the nets? All of these issues are necessary to know in order to have a successful, competitive volleyball match.
A volleyball court must be rectangular and symmetrical. Its dimension includes both the playing court and the free zone that surrounds it. The playing court measures 18 meters by 9 meters (59 feet by 29 feet 6 inches) with three meters (nine feet 10 inches) all around for the free zone. In addition, there must be a free playing space that should extend a minimum of 7 meters (22 feet, 11 inches) above the playing surface.
The surface has to be flat, horizontal and uniform. It can not be rough or slippery or pose any visible injury risk to players. For indoor courts, the playing surface should be a light color. For outdoor courts, a slight slope is allowed to account for drainage of moisture. The court must be made of either wood or an approved synthetic material if the match is part of an official or international level competition.
All lines on the court should be five centimeters wide and must be white for top level matches. The playing court is defined by two sidelines and two end lines drawn within the appropriate dimensions. The center line should divide the court into two equal, square courts. Each half of the court must have an attack line, the back end of which should be drawn three meters from the center line.
The area in front of the attack line is considered the front zone. The zone extends forward to the center line and beyond each sideline to the outer edge of each free zone. The service area is a nine-meter-wide space behind each end line. Its lateral edge is limited by two lines that extend from the end line. They are each 15 centimeters long and are drawn as extensions of the sidelines 20 centimeters behind the end line. It extends backward to the outer edge of the free zone. The substitution zone is the area between the two attack lines extended to the scorer's table.
The nets are to be placed vertically above the center line at a height of 2.43 meters (7 feet 11 inches) for men's matches and 2.24 (7 feet 4 inches) for women's matches. Co-ed matches should have the net set at the men's height. The height is measured from the center of the net with the ends of the net reaching the same height. The net must not be more than two centimeters above the official height. Each net must also have a flexible rod antennae on each outer edge.
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