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How Long is a Volleyball Game? [With Rules and Key Moves]

How Long is a Volleyball Game

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Do you know how long is a volleyball game? Up to the Olympic level, there are two main types of volleyball. You can play volleyball on the ground or on the beach. Traditional volleyball is played on a court that is 18 meters long and 9 meters wide. 

The court is split in half by a net that runs down the middle of the court. The game is played by two teams of six people against each other. Volleyballs are made of either real leather or fake leather.

Beach volleyball is played on a 16-by-8-meter sand court that is level and split in half by a net in the middle of the court. The game is played by two-person teams that play against each other. As with traditional volleyball, the ball is made of leather or synthetic leather. Volleyball games aren’t timed, so it’s hard to know how long each one will last.

It depends on how skilled each team is, how evenly the teams are matched, and how many sets they play. Before a set is over, it has to reach a certain score, which is different for each type of volleyball and skill level. Traditional volleyball games at the Olympics, college, and high school take an average of 90–100 minutes, while traditional volleyball games at the youth level take an average of 30–60 minutes. From the warm-up to the end of a beach volleyball game at the Olympics, college, or high school, it takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

When and Where Was Volleyball First Played?

Volleyball was first made in the United States by a man named William G. Morgan at a YMCA in Massachusetts. This was in 1895, and the sport was called Mintonette at the time. The game was based on tennis, basketball, baseball, and handball.

Soon after, a fan who was watching a game said that the teams seemed to volley back and forth over the net, so the game should be called volleyball.

Even though volleyball was created in the United States, it wasn’t until recently that it became as popular there as it was everywhere else. More than 46 million people in the United States play volleyball on a regular basis. In contrast, more than 800 million people play the sport every week around the world. Since it was first made more than 125 years ago, the sport has changed a lot. Here are some of the most important things that made the sport so popular.

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How Long is a Volleyball Game?

Volleyball is different from other team sports in that there is no set time for a game. The set goes on until one team gets to 25 points. When a team gets the point, they make a rotation. It’s interesting that in volleyball, more time goes by during the rotation than during the action. The average length of a rally is about 5 seconds, and a team can spend more than 20 seconds rotating.

With this information, we can see that each team spends about a minute on each of the two points, which means that the whole 25-point set takes about 20 to 30 minutes. A possible last set played up to 15 points takes between 12 and 18 minutes on average.

It’s important to remember that this depends on the level of volleyball; the stronger the attacks, the shorter the rallies will be at higher levels. There is also a difference between men’s and women’s rallies. On average, women’s rallies are longer than men’s because they have less power.

Read Also: How Long is a Basketball Game

How Many Points Needed to Win a Set?

As I said in my first answer, a set is won when a team gets 25 points. So, a team would have to win at least 25 rallies. So, volleyball has a rule that is a lot like the “deuce” rule in tennis. Under this rule, a team must have a difference of at least two points at or above 25 to win (i.e. 26-24). Usually, this rule caps the points at 30, which means that a team could win with a score of 30-29.

Also, the number of sets can change how many points you need to win. In a tie-breaker set, 15 points are needed to win. In a 2-out-of-3 match, for example, the team that wins the third game is the first one to get 15 points. But the deuce rule still applies, which says that the difference between the teams must be at least two points. The points cap is then changed to 20 in this last set.

How Long is a High School Volleyball Game?

High school volleyball is the step between playing volleyball with less skill and playing volleyball with more skill. Most high school leagues play games with a “best of five” format. The first team to win three out of five games is the winner. At this level, there are more variables about how long a match will last. For example, a team could win a match quickly by 3-0, or it could take a long time and end with a 3-2 score.

The length of a match can be affected by these two extra games. Games in high school and beyond are usually won by the first team to score 25 points. The team that wins must win by at least two points.

For example, a score of 25-24 is not a win, but a score of 26-24 is. If it takes a fifth game to decide who wins, the game is usually played to 15 points. Even though the last game was cut short, the win-by-two rule still held.

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How Long is A College Volleyball Game?

A volleyball game at a college or university usually lasts about an hour and a half. Even though a match can end in the first hour, it’s not unusual for the level of competition to get close to the two-hour mark. This level is unique because it has the most different levels of skill.

Some college players have never played before, while others play regularly at the national level and are just as good at offence and defence as professionals. This difference in ability contributes to any level’s most unpredictable match lengths and has as much to do with division level as individual ability.

This level is also one of the most fun and entertaining to watch because it is hard to tell what will happen next. Not only that, but for many of these student-athletes, this is the last season they will ever play volleyball. This gives their teams a drive and passion that isn’t often seen at other levels. If you can, go out and support your local college team and watch some great volleyball while you’re there.

How Long is a Junior High School and Youth Volleyball Game?

When teams are in junior high or younger, they often play shorter games. “Best of three” is the way most games are played. The first team to win two out of three games is the winner.

Even though this sounds like it could shorten a match compared to longer formats, it is important to remember that the level of skill is not quite as high as in other formats.

Rallies can go on for longer because players at lower levels have trouble with the aggressive kills and set plays of players at higher levels. The patterns may not be as fluid as they are at a higher level, and it may take longer to make changes.

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How Long Do Volleyball Tournaments Last?

There are two types of volleyball tournaments: those that last a long time and those that get harder over time. Most endurance types take place over a single weekend, with each team playing 2-4 games over two days. Most of the time, these tournaments last 10 or 12 hours per day, with less time on the second day as teams get knocked out.

On the other hand, progression tournaments are played over a number of weeks or even months. Teams play one (or sometimes two) games on a set day, but instead of going to a tournament site, they go to their opponent’s place. When the tournament gets to the quarterfinals or semifinals, teams meet at the venue for a day, usually 8 hours long.

Both types of tournaments are fun, but progression-style tournaments take a lot more time and planning in the long run. Because of this, they are usually used in pro and college tournaments, while high school and club tournaments are usually endurance tournaments.

How Many Players On A Volleyball Team

6 vs 6

Six people from a volleyball team will be on the court at once. They will play another team that also has six people on it. This is the classic indoor volleyball game that was made up in 1895. Each high school, college, and indoor club tournament volleyball team will have six players.

2 vs 2

Usually, there are two people on each side of the net in beach volleyball. In the 1920s, this version of the sport was first made in California. Beach volleyball, played by two people on a team, is becoming more and more popular. It was added to the Olympics in 1996 and to the NCAA in 2012.

4 vs 4

In some grass tournaments, the sport is played by four-person teams. This isn’t as common as the 6 vs. 6 and 2 vs. 2 lineups. Four-person volleyball is not recognized by any official volleyball group.

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Volleyball Equipment and Other Rules


The net is 3 feet wide and 9.5 feet long when it is stretched out. The net is attached to tall poles that stand one meter (three feet) outside the court. The standards can be padded to a height of no more than 5 feet and a half. Like the standards, the front and sides of the referee’s platform must be padded.

Net Antennas

Along the outside edge of the sideline, antennas are attached to the net. Antennas stick up at least 2 and a half feet above the net and no more than 3 and a half feet. The antennas should be securely attached to the top and bottom of the net. The antennas should be made of something that can’t be broken.


In most places where volleyball is played competitively, each team gets two timeouts per set. Depending on how hard the game is, each timeout will last anywhere from 30 to 75 seconds. For example, the FIVB gives two 30-second timeouts per set, but the NCAA gives two 75-second timeouts per set. A timeout can add up to 5 minutes to the length of a set at most.

Set Interval

At each competition level, the time length for the set interval can be different. Most of the time, set intervals are short breaks that last 3 minutes. There is one difference in the 3-out-of-5 format used in competitive volleyball, where most set breaks are 3 minutes long. The only time the intervals aren’t 2 minutes in between sets 2 and 3 is when they are instead 5 minutes long. If there are 5 sets in a match, the time between each set is 14 minutes.

Referee Stand

The rules of volleyball say that the referee stand must be a stable platform that raises the referee’s head about 2 or 3 feet above the top of the net. The length and width of the platform should be 18 and 12 inches.

The Ball

The volleyball must be round and have a cover made of at least 12 pieces of smooth leather, either real or fake. The ball is between 25 and 27 inches around. The ball should be about 9 to 10 ounces and 4.3 to 4.6 pounds when inflated.


For competitive volleyball, the rules say that a scoresheet has to be used to keep track of the score. There is also room on a scoresheet for the lineup, individual scoring, team scoring, and timeouts. There is a place to write down warnings, penalties, unsportsmanlike behaviour, and anything else out of the ordinary.

Warmup Session

Even though it’s not really part of the game, each level of volleyball will have some kind of rules that teams can use to warm up. During this warmup, organizers usually set up the net at the right height, put up the antennas, and do other things. During this time, both teams will warm up and stretch to get ready for the game. Each team will have the same amount of time on the court to practice serves and attacks with the net in the right place. The length of the warmup can vary, but it usually takes between 10 and 30 minutes before the game starts.

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What Else Affects Volleyball Match Time?

In volleyball, a lot of things can happen that were not planned. All of them added up to make the match last longer. If a player gets hurt, for example. It happens once in a while, and it takes at least 30 seconds to help him get off the court.

Also, making changes takes a lot of time. It takes about 10 seconds to make a change. For each set, a team can make up to six changes. If both coaches decide to make 12 changes per set, the whole process takes about 2 minutes. That’s quite a long time.

Volleyball games can be really exciting at times. It forces players to talk to each other and to the referee. Small disagreements can sometimes turn into a big mess. Some players do it on purpose to get other players’ attention. Most of the time, they get yellow or red cards.

How Is A Volleyball Game Won?

In a volleyball game, only the team that serves can score a point. When one team serves the ball to the other team, the other team has three chances to get the ball back to the court of the serving team. A single player can’t touch the ball twice in a row, and the ball shouldn’t touch the ground.

If the ball touches the ground, if the team doesn’t send the ball back to the serving team’s court within three touches, or if a player touches the ball twice, the serving team gets the point. When the other team sends the ball back to the serving team’s court, the serving team has to send the ball back to the other team’s court using the same rules.

And this is how you play volleyball. Both teams’ players have to bring the ball back to the other team’s court until the ball touches the ground once, or a team fails to bring the ball back. If the team that is serving doesn’t return the ball, the other team won’t get the point. Instead, they will get to serve the ball this time. A team only gets the point when they serve the ball to the other team and don’t get it back. In volleyball, this is how you get the point. Each match has 3 or 5 sets. In a 3-set match, a team must win 2 sets; in a 5-set match, they must win 3 sets. To win a set, a team needs to score 25 points and have at least a two-point lead over the other team.

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What is the Longest Professional Volleyball Game of All Time?

The longest volleyball game ever played in a professional league took a total of 85 hours. Players from SVU Volleyball in the Netherlands finished this game in December 2011. There were 63 matches, 338 sets, and a total of 14,635 points in the competition. It was played between teams from Germany and Poland and took a total of 25 hours. It was the longest single volleyball game ever played. The game started on Saturday and went all night and into Sunday morning before it was over.


A college volleyball game usually lasts between sixty and ninety minutes, so each game is twenty minutes long. We’ve reached the end of this article, which has been very helpful. We hope you found information that helped you figure out how long a volleyball game is. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How Long is a Volleyball Game?

How long is the average volleyball play?

A typical volleyball game with the best two out of three sets usually lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, but there is no time limit. Each set could take between 20 and 30 minutes. The game uses a Rally Point System, and whichever team gets to 25 points first wins the set as long as they are ahead by 2 points.

How Many Sets are in a College Volleyball Game?

The rules for college volleyball games are “best of five sets.” The last set is played to 15 points, while the first four sets are played to 25 points.

Are Timeouts allowed in volleyball?

Yes, each team usually gets up to two timeouts per set, which they can use whenever they want between plays.

How does the Scoring System work in Volleyball?

Scores can be different depending on how the game is set up or played, but volleyball is usually played with the best of at least three sets. At the college and international levels of indoor volleyball, games are won by the team that wins the most sets. In each format, the last set will go to 15 points if that’s what it takes to decide who wins. When a ball touches the ground, you get the point. Who gets the point for that rally will depend on who last touched the ball and where it lands, in or out of bounds.

How Long is a Volleyball Set?

For indoor volleyball, a set usually lasts between 20 and 25 minutes. Sets can last up to 30 minutes if the teams are evenly matched or if there is a lot of back and forth. This means that in a best of five, some games can last longer than two hours.

What is The Longest Set in Volleyball History?

The set with the most points in volleyball history was 87-85, and it happened in 1979. At the time, the rules said that a team could only score on its own server, which led to a change in the whole system to prevent this from happening again.

Is there a half-time in volleyball?

Most volleyball games take three minutes between the first and second sets and any sets after the third (if played). Sometimes the time between sets 2 and 3 is longer, and sometimes it’s the same length.

How long is a volleyball warm-up?

Both teams will have five minutes to warm up on their own side of the net, doing things like stretching, handling the ball, passing, and so on.

Can you hit a volleyball with a fist?

Even though you can hit the ball with a closed fist, the best way to serve overhand is with your hand open. To start, the server should hold the ball at shoulder height. When the server is ready, they throw the ball into the air about one to two feet above their head and then punch it with their palm.

Is it legal to kick the volleyball?

The rule about how to handle the ball is probably the most misunderstood. As long as the contact is legal, the ball can touch any part of the body, from the head to the toes. Yes, a player can legally kick the ball.

How often do volleyball rules change?

Internationally and at the college level, rule changes can happen at different times, but USA Volleyball changes its rules every two years. This means that we review rule changes with our Rules Commission every two years and add a new set of rules to the official USA Volleyball Rulebook.

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