Volleyball, a sport that has captured the hearts of many worldwide, is played across a spectrum of levels, from the junior school stage to professional leagues. However, the timing of the sport can be somewhat complex due to the different seasons at each level of play. This guide aims to demystify the volleyball calendar, providing a detailed understanding of when each level of volleyball is in action.
Volleyball in the School System
The journey of structured volleyball competition often commences at the middle and high school stages. The timing of the volleyball season at this level can fluctuate based on your geographical location, age bracket, and gender. In the U.S., the majority of high school matches adhere to the guidelines and rules for volleyball set by the National Federation of State High School Association.
Typically, the volleyball season for girls unfolds in the fall, commencing in late August and wrapping up by the end of October. Conversely, boys’ seasons are scheduled in the spring, from March through May. These seasons usually span 10 to 12 weeks of intense competition. However, this can vary based on the specific timetables of leagues and tournaments in different districts or states.
Club volleyball emerges as a favored option for athletes with a thirst for more competitive challenges. Most clubs cater to various age groups, typically ranging from 11 to 18 years old. A club season demands more commitment than school volleyball, extending between 6 to 9 months of competition. For the majority of clubs in North America, a season kicks off in late August or September and concludes in the spring, around April or March.
College-level volleyball caters to seasoned athletes who possess a competitive streak in the sport. In the U.S., the NCAA supervises the most significant competitive sports circuits at the college level, including volleyball. Women’s volleyball, which garners more recognition as an NCAA sport, aligns with the fall semester of college, initiating between late August and early September. The season comprises between 20 and 30 games, culminating with a championship tournament in December. Men’s volleyball, on the other hand, aligns with the winter/spring college semester, with competitions from January until April/May.
Professional and International Volleyball
On the international stage, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) orchestrates world-class tournaments such as the “Volleyball Nations League”, the Olympics volleyball, and the “Volleyball World Championship”. These tournaments are typically scheduled in the summer, between June and August.
Professional volleyball leagues, particularly prevalent in Europe, are in action throughout the year. The most distinguished men’s leagues are located in Italy, Russia, Poland, and Brazil, while the most prominent women’s professional volleyball leagues are hosted in Italy, Turkey, and Switzerland.
Beach volleyball is typically enjoyed in the summer between the months of May and August in most parts of North America. However, with the sport’s surging popularity, indoor beach facilities have become increasingly common, enabling enthusiasts to play irrespective of the season. Beach volleyball offers a variety of competition formats, including men’s and women’s 2v2 or 4v4, and co-ed 2v2, or 4v4.