Sports week: 10 things to know about sitting volleyball


Sitting volleyball is an exciting team sport with exciting rallies, explosive spikes and jubilant cheers after a point. Before you get into para sport at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, here are some interesting facts to know:

1. Sitting volleyball originated in the Netherlands in 1956 as a combination of volleyball and sitzball, a German sport without a net but with seated players. It was introduced by the Dutch sports committee and saw its first international competition in 1967 in Flensburg, Germany.

2. Initially, “standing volleyball” (for athletes with reduced mobility and able to be played while standing) appeared at the 1976 Paralympic Games in Toronto as a demonstration sport. Standing volleyball, as well as sitting volleyball, officially became part of the Paralympic program in Arnhem 1980. The Netherlands won the first gold medal in sitting volleyball, while Israel won. gold standing.

3. Standing volleyball was withdrawn from the Paralympic program after Sydney 2000. Women’s sitting volleyball was added in Athens 2004, with China winning the first Paralympic title.

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4. The rules for sitting volleyball follow the FIVB version for able-bodied persons with some modifications. Sitting volleyball is played on a smaller court (10m x 6m) and a lower net (1.15m for men, 1.05m for women). It is played in a best-of-five-set format, and the first to reach 25 points (15 in the fifth set), at least two points ahead, wins the set.

Each team is entitled to three touches of the ball (in addition to a legal block) before having to cross the net. The key offensive movement is the set and the spike, in which a player prepares his teammate to hit the ball into the opposing court.

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5. An important rule of sitting volleyball is that players should be seated and their torso should remain in contact with the ground when playing the ball. Athletes glide across the court using their arms, without leaving a seated position.

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6. Classification is a system in parasports that ensures a level playing field for athletes with different disabilities. In sitting volleyball, athletes are divided into two sport classes – VS1 and VS2 (less weakened) – depending on the severity and impact on the essential functions of sitting volleyball. Impairments can be upper or lower extremities, or both. Up to two VS2 athletes can be on a team roster.

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7. There are two medal events at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with eight men’s and women’s teams, respectively, aiming for the podium. Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, PRC, Rwanda and the United States make up the women’s tournament. The men’s event will see Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Egypt, Germany, Japan, Iran and the PRC.

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8. Each team has six players on the field. The Libero focuses on defense and wears a different uniform than other teammates on the pitch. She or he makes sure that the ball does not fall into any part of the field and cannot make an attack.

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9. Iran is the most successful country in men’s sitting volleyball at the Paralympic Games with six gold medals. They have faced Bosnia and Herzegovina in every men’s sitting volleyball gold match since Sydney 2000. China have won three of four gold medals since the introduction of women’s sitting volleyball in Athens 2004. But the States United ended their winning streak by winning gold for the first time at Rio 2016.

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ten. Rwanda became the first sub-Saharan women’s team in all-sport history to compete in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. They have already qualified for their second consecutive Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020.

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