How High Is A Volleyball Net? A Comprehensive Guide


volleyball net height

This is a very common question, and given that the height of the net changes depending on who you are and what age category you’re competing in–and even what surface you’re playing on–it can be hard to keep track of. 

Women’s Indoor Volleyball

net height for women’s indoor volleyball

Beginning with the women’s side of the sport, competitions at the professional, collegiate, and international level all have the same net height of 2.24m (7′ 4⅛”)

For different age groups and countries, the height will vary. USA Volleyball, for example, has the following net heights for specific age categories:

Age (in years)Net height
70 and up2.19m (7’2 ⅛”)
55 and up2.19m (7’2 ⅛”)
45 and above2.19m (7’2 ⅛”)
18 and under2.24m (7’4 ⅛”)
14 and under2.24m (7’4 ⅛”)
12 and under2.13m (7’0”)
10 and under1.98m (6’6”)

Men’s Indoor Volleyball

net height for men’s indoor volleyball

Moving on to the men’s side, the net is significantly higher, given that male athletes tend to be taller and more powerful on average. Professional leagues, colleges, and international competitions all have a net height of 2.43m (7’ 11⅝”). 

Again, the height will vary depending on age group. USA Volleyball has the following guidelines for net heights on the men’s side:

Age (in years)Net height
70 and up2.29m (7’6”)
55 and up2.38m (7’9 ⅝”)
45 and above2.43m (7’ 11⅝”)
18 and under2.43m (7’ 11⅝”)
14 and under2.24m (7’4 ⅛”)
12 and under2.13m (7’0”)
10 and under1.98m (6’6”)

Women’s Beach Volleyball

women’s beach volleyball net height

Moving to the sand, you might think that because it’s tougher to jump compared to indoor, the net may be lower. But you’d be wrong–at least at the highest level. 

Adults competing in indoor volleyball and beach volleyball play at the same net height, 2.24m (7′ 4⅛”). Like indoor, the height can be varied based on age, as set out by the USAV:

Age (in years)Net height
16 and under2.24m (7’4 ⅛”)
14 and under2.24m (7’4 ⅛”)
12 and under2.12m (6’11 ½”)
10 and under1.98m (6’6”)

Men’s Beach Volleyball

men’s beach volleyball net height

Like the women’s side, the net height for adults is the same on the beach and indoor, and then varies according to age:

Age (in years)Net height
16 and under2.43m (7’ 11⅝”)
14 and under2.24m (7’4 ⅛”)
12 and under2.12m (6’11 ½”)
10 and under1.98m (6’6”)

Why Doesn’t the Net Height Increase at All After 18 Years Old and Not Change Until 45 Years Old?

To get kids involved in the sport and make it more fun to play right off the bat, the net height is considerably lower for younger players. Can you imagine being 10 or 11 years old and trying to bump the ball over an 8ft net? 

However, as kids grow and become more physical, it makes sense that the net height increases. By the time kids are 18 years old, or in their final years of high school, they are playing at the full net height. 

Once they move onto the college level, they’ve entered one of the most competitive levels of the game you can play. Many of these players are at the peak of their athletic ability, which explains why so many college athletes pop up on their respective national teams. 

Given this, college athletes play at the same net height as the professionals, since only a few years in age and even smaller differences in athleticism separate the two groups.

For older players who still want to enjoy the game they love but are limited by their physicality as they age, the net is lowered slightly. 

What Are the Dimensions of the Actual Net?

While the FIVB sets certain regulations for the nets (Part 2 – Section 1: Game, Chapter 1: Facilities and Equipment Under Net and Posts): it uses in international play and at FIVB-sanctioned competitions, volleyball nets can be any number of dimensions and be made of any number of materials.

dimentions of the actual volleyball net

In the FIVB however, the structure of the net is as follows:

  • The width of the net is 1m
  • The length of the net is between 9.5m and 10m long, since it has to be wide enough to cover the playing area and have enough room for the antennas to be attached. 
  • The white band at the top of the net–typically called the “tape”–is not actually the sticky stuff that someone picked up at a hardware store. It is made from canvas; should be 7cm wide, and extend all the way along the top of the net. Within this band of canvas sits the cable, which attaches to the posts and is tightened to keep the net taut during the game. 
  • At the bottom of the net there is another canvas band. If you’re like me and you’re just nuts about symmetry (what are you laughing about?), don’t look too closely at this part: the bottom canvas band is 5 cm, slightly smaller than the one along the top of the net. 

How Is the Net Measured?

To make sure that the net is at the proper height, its measurement is taken from the floor to the top of the net in the center of the court.

Measurements are also taken at the two side lines, and the height on the sides of the net has to be within 2 cm (¾ inch) of the height in the center of the court.

This measurement is taken using a chain and should be done by the referee before the beginning of every match.

They attach the clip to the top of the net and let the rest of the chain fall to the floor.

If any part of the chain is resting on the ground, then the net is too low. If the chain hangs in the air and does not touch the floor at all, then obviously it is too high.

Read Also: Can You Touch The Net In Volleyball?

How Tight Is the Net Supposed to Be?

It’s supposed to be taut, so that the tape at the top of the net is the same level all the way across.

On the bottom, however, it’s supposed to be pulled tightly so that the net doesn’t just scoop the ball like a hammock whenever it hits the net. 

Have you ever seen a serve that hits the top of the net, wobbles there for a second, and then dribbles over on the opposing side for an ace?

This is only possible because the net moves as the ball contacts it. The cable recoils from the contact, and if you’re lucky, the ball will not bounce back onto your side but instead onto your opponent’s. 

As the net gets looser and looser, the more it’s going to recoil as a ball hits it, and the greater the likelihood that the ball will roll over the net. 

So, setting up the net to its proper height and tension ensures that for every game, each team is playing under the same conditions, and that a point they score in one match is a point they could theoretically score in any match. 

ABOUT Harvey Meale

As a former international level volleyball player, I now spend my days working out and writing for Volleyball Vault. I look for ways to bring my wealth of experience and knowledge to create unique and insightful perspectives in my content.