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Sitting Volleyball

Players of different ages and abilities attacking the ball on a sitting volleyball net

Anyone Can Play

Sitting volleyball is a sport that's growing across Canada both amongst able-bodied and disabled athletes alike. As a result, one of the most interesting features of this discipline is that it is open to a wide range of participants without discrimination (skills levels, age, and gender). Therefore, it holds a strong potential for social inclusiveness, especially if addressing young people.

Although Canada's sitting volleyball program did not start until 2007, this sport was introduced internationally in 1950 as a rehabilitative sport for World War II veterans. 

Today, sitting volleyball enjoys Paralympic Game status (1980 for men; 2004 for women), and its popularity continues to increase as it offers a unique and enjoyable twist on the traditional sport of volleyball.

In addition to the Paralympic Games, Canada competes in the Invictus Games, which use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured, and sick Servicemen and women..

In Ontario

Sitting volleyball participants at the 2018 Ontario Parasport Games

Sitting volleyball in Ontario is currently community-grassroots based and done in partnership with Parasport Ontario. Competitions are hosted by the OVA, community partners like the Brock Niagara Penguins, and bi-annually with the ParaSport Games, Ontario. 

Through the assistance of the Ontario Parasport Collective and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the 2021-2022 strategic year will focus on the building of a high-performance vision and plan to include:

  • A podium pathway structure
  • A high-performance coaching development plan
  • Deliberate training and competition preparation
  • The addition of sitting volleyball high performance camps

Team Canada

Team Canada Men's team in training

Team Canada Men's team in training - Photo Courtesy Volleyball Canada

Currently, Ontario has 5 athletes on Team Canada:

Women's Team

Men's Team

If you want to play on the National Team or in the Paralympic Games, there are classifications for competition, as well as, international rules. For more information about the Team Canada, Sitting Volleyball program visit Volleyball Canada's information page.

While the core and goals of the game are similar to its indoor and beach cousins, sitting volleyball differs in the following ways:

  • smaller court size (6m X 5m, attack line 2m off centre line)
  • lower net height (1.15m for men; 1.05m for women)
  • smaller net (7m long X 80 cm wide)
  • blocking the serve allowed by front-court athletes
  • contact with opponents under net is allowed (as long as it doesn't interfere with opponent's movement or play)
  • some part of the body from the shoulders to the buttocks must be in contact with the ground when playing the ball

Sound interesting?

Learn more about the sport with our Sitting Volleyball Information Guide including:

  • Background of Sitting Volleyball
  • Characteristics of the Game
  • General Rules of Sitting Volleyball
  • What to Wear
  • Equipment Needed for Sitting Volleyball
  • The guide also features a skill overview and fun activities to get participants familiar with the sport

For Referees

Sitting Volleyball Referee interacting with the athletes

The referees for sitting volleyball for an important part of its community. While there is currently no certification for referees in Canada for sitting volleyball, World Para-Volley has created a casebook to guide you using the full international rules

At the OVA we modify the international rules to promote inclusivity, increase the number of contacts and maximize the enjoyment of the participants, especially at the grassroots level. These modifications include:

  • 3 chances on services
  • Serving closer to the net
  • Smaller court size for 3v3 or 4v4 games (5mx4m per side with no attack line)
  • Shorter sets (0-15 and best of 3)

Check out the OVA Referee's Town Hall on Sitting Volleyball which will give you a comprehensive description of officiating sitting volleyball in Ontario.

For more information on Sitting Volleyball, contact

Kerish Maharaj

Manager - Community Outreach & Grassroots Programs

Phone: 647.477.2942

Sitting Volleyball in Ontario is developed in proud partnership with

The Ontario Parasport Collective