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..
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:
Team Canada Men's team in training - Photo Courtesy Volleyball Canada
Currently, Ontario has 5 athletes on Team Canada:
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:
Learn more about the sport with our Sitting Volleyball Information Guide including:
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:
Check out the OVA Referee's Town Hall on Sitting Volleyball which will give you a comprehensive description of officiating sitting volleyball in Ontario.