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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Play sitting volleyball

Take on a new sporting challenge in this seated version of volleyball - will your team get the ball back over the net?

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You’ll need

  • Volleyball net
  • Volleyball balls or balls of a similar size
  • A coin
Sitting volleyball court layout
PDF – 75.6KB

Before you begin

  • Decide where you’ll play – sitting volleyball can be played inside or outside.
  • Spend a bit of time getting familiar with the rules.
  • Ask if any parents or carers play sitting volleyball, or get in touch with a local club or university society. They may be able to help lead the activity, or may have equipment you could borrow.
  • Don’t worry too much about using volleyballs – lighter or softer balls may be best for younger players.
  • Set up the game using the ‘Sitting volleyball layout’ sheet. The net shouldn’t be higher than 1.05 metres (the height for official women’s games).

Warm up and get ready to play

  1. The person leading the game should introduce sitting volleyball. It’s a Paralympic sport where players score points by hitting a ball over a net and grounding it on the other team’s side. They should explain that everyone is sitting down, so it uses different skills and it’s important to warm up the right muscles.
  2. The person leading the game should mark a start and end line.
  3. Everyone should split into two teams; the two teams should stand in two lines opposite each other.
  4. The first player from each team should tap a ball towards each other, so they get one tap each. They should then skip sideways (doing sidesteps) towards the end line. When they reach the end line, they should return to the start line by sitting on the floor and using their arms and legs to propel themselves along.
  5. Once both players have made it back to their team, the second players in each team should repeat step four. Everyone should keep going, until everyone’s had a turn to warm up.

Play the game

These rules are for a slightly simplified version of sitting volleyball. For more information, check out a national or international association, for example Volleyball England, ParalympicsGB, or World ParaVolley.

  1. Everyone should get into teams of 12 people. Each team should choose a captain.

  2. The captain from each team should choose either heads or tails. The person leading the game should flip a coin. Whichever team’s captain guessed right should serve first.
  3. Six players from each team should sit on the court, three at the front and three at the back, just like on the ‘Sitting volleyball layout’ sheet.
  4. The person leading the game should explain that everyone must keep contact between the floor and their pelvis. When hitting the ball, one buttock (or an extension of the player’s torso) must be in contact with the floor.
  5. The person in position one in team who’s serving first should serve the first ball from the service line (at the back of the court) over the net. They should serve by tossing or releasing the ball, then hitting it with one hand (or a part of the arm).
  6. The other team should try to send the ball back over the net. Between them, they can hit the ball up to three times.

  7. Teams should keep sending the ball back and forth over the net until a team grounds the ball on the other team’s side of the court (or fails to return the ball or hits it out). If a team grounds the ball on the other team’s side of the court, they score a point. If a team hits the ball out, or fails to send the ball back over the net, the other team gets a point.
  8. Whoever wins the point serves for the next point.

  9. It’s up to the person leading the game how substitutions work.

  10. It’s up to the person leading the game how many points a team must score to win. Teams could start with the first to 10 points winning, to keep it simple.


This activity was a chance to be active with a new sport. What skills did sitting volleyball need? Do people think they’re the same skills as other sports, or are they unique? What was challenging about this game? Do people think this is a fun way to be active?

This activity also needed everyone to persevere. Was seated volleyball easier or trickier than people expected it to be? It may have sounded easy to be sitting down, but it probably needed everyone to use different muscles and be aware of where their legs were - and it was also tricky to reach and return the ball! How did people feel when they were getting the hang of this game? Some people may have found it frustrating to miss the ball. Well done to everyone who kept trying - it’s only by giving it another go that people learn and improve!


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.

Play the warm-up activity until everyone’s confident with the skills they need. It’s up to you how you score - you could just do points, instead of sets in a match. Change the height of the net if people are struggling (or allow more than three hits for each team). People could play on their knees instead of their bottoms.

Adjust the size and consistency of the balls to meet people’s needs, for example using softer balls.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Hold a tournament - how many of the official rules can everyone follow?