How Many Players Are On a Volleyball Team? Get the Facts!

How many players are on a volleyball team

When you think of a volleyball team, the number of players is usually the first thing that comes to mind.

You see some players diving, digging, and spiking on the court, but guess what?

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There’s more to the team than just those faces you see in action.

Today, I will answer the most-asked question: “How many players are on a volleyball team?”

Key Takeaway: An indoor volleyball team usually has 6 players on the court and up to 6 substitutes, totaling 12 players. In some competitions, this can go up to 14. The number of players varies for different formats like beach, sitting, or snow volleyball.

After this quick rundown, I bet you’re eager to explore more.

So, in this detailed guide, I will elaborate more on the players’ formations in various volleyball match formats.

I will also discuss a few official rules about team sizes, including the other team members, such as the coaching and medical staff.

So stick around and read to the end for the maximum benefit.

How Many Players Are on a Volleyball Team Including Substitutes?

When you watch a volleyball game, you’re likely most attentive to the six players competing on the court.

However, those are just the tip of the iceberg regarding a volleyball team’s entire lineup.

According to the FIVB Rulebook 4.1.1, a standard indoor volleyball team is allowed up to 12 players for most matches.

It includes the six on-court players and up to six substitutes sitting on the bench.

6 volleyball players celebrating

Now, when it comes to elite volleyball, especially in international tournaments like the FIVB World Championships or the Olympics, the scenario is a bit different.

In such leagues, you’ll often see teams with rosters that expand to 13, 14, or even 15 players. 

This allows teams greater flexibility and gives coaches more options for better substitutions during important matches.

Number of Players in Different Volleyball Formats

You probably picture volleyball as a game with six players on each team, bouncing a ball over a tall net on an indoor court.

Sounds familiar?

But hold up.

What if I told you volleyball isn’t just a one-size-fits-all kind of sport?

That’s right!

Volleyball comes in various flavors, each with its rules, court sizes, and, most importantly, different team structures.

So, let’s dive in and explore these unique forms of volleyball.

Spoiler Alert: I’ll talk about a couple of volleyball formats you probably never knew existed.

Indoor Volleyball Team Size

First, let’s discuss the classical version of all volleyball formats: indoor volleyball!

Each team has six players on the court, giving their all to keep that ball flying and trying to score maximum kills.

Now, listen to this.

The FIVB Rulebook says a team can have up to 12 players, including six substitutes waiting for their turn at the bench.

Also, it is necessary to list one of the team members in the score sheet as the team captain.

players playing in indoor court

For some senior-level competitions, you can have 14 or 15 players lined up before the lengthy match.

Yeah, you read that right.

I have described the reason for this exception above, so scroll up if you missed it!

How Many Players Are on a Beach Volleyball Team?

Beach volleyball? Oh man, it’s a whole different ball game.

You’ve got just two players on each team.

No substitutions, and no coaches are giving real-time guidance from the sidelines.

It’s just you, your teammate, and your skills against the world.

Talk about a test of strategy and stamina, huh?

Occasionally, you might spot a beach volleyball game with four players on each team!

But let’s keep it real; those are as rare as a solar eclipse.

A volleyball player spiking in beach volleyball

Sitting Volleyball Team Structure

Sitting volleyball is a match format near and dear to many hearts.

This emotional and impactful volleyball format typically consists of six players on each side of the net. 

In sitting volleyball, the substitution rules can vary by competition.

But generally, the focus remains more on the game and less on rotating players.

The setup is a bit different as compared to other volleyball formats.

All players must remain seated, and the net is lower.

This format is particularly popular among athletes with physical disabilities.

Despite the seating requirement, the game is just as fast-paced and requires a similar level of strategy as a typical volleyball match.

a sitting volleyball match

Snow Volleyball Team Structure

Are you eager for another volleyball twist?

Let’s jump into the world of snow volleyball! 

In this chilly game, each team has three players on the court.

But wait, there’s more.

Each team can have an extra player waiting on the sidelines.

Plus, you get two substitutions per set.

I’ve watched these icy matches on YouTube, and let me tell you, it’s a whole new level of cool.

As a big fan, I can’t wait to catch a live game someday.

Could you imagine anything better?

a snow volleyball match

How Many People Are On A Volleyball Team Including Staff?

When it comes to staff, each volleyball team can have:

  • One head coach
  • Up to two assistant coaches
  • One team therapist
  • One medical doctor

So, the number of players in a volleyball team, including staff, could be 17-18.

But remember, these numbers are not fixed and can vary a lot depending on the level of play.

Like in official senior-level competitions, the coach can choose up to five staff members to be on the bench.

Team managers and journalists, however, can’t be on or behind the bench.

Medical staff must be FIVB-accredited and can only intervene in emergencies when invited by the referees.

To summarize, besides the players, a team could have as many as 8 to 10 additional people taking care of various aspects to ensure everything runs smoothly.

If you want to know the source of these rules, I recommend you read the FIVB official Rulebook for more clarity.

How Many Players On A Volleyball Roster?

We all have that one friend who always insists on inviting “just one more person” to the party.

And before you know it, your cozy gathering is a full-blown bash.

Well, putting together a volleyball roster can feel a bit like that.

There’s a temptation to add “just one more” amazing player, but you’ve got a crowd before you realize it.

That said, the size of your volleyball roster is more than just a numbers game.

It’s a decision influenced by many factors, including the competition level and the coaching staff philosophy.

I believe there is enough build-up now.

Let me come straight to the point and elaborate on how many players are actually on a volleyball roaster.

High School Roaster Size

Usually, you’ll find 10-12 players hustling on the court.

But, some schools go up to 16.

It’s all about the vibe and the coaching style, whether they aim to win at all costs or give everyone a shot.

College Volleyball Roaster Size

In college roaster, teams have around 17 to 18 players.

Some teams even have up to 20!

But remember, this doesn’t mean everyone’s getting playtime during the volleyball season.

a college volleyball team

Number of players in Professional Volleyball Roaster

On this level, you’re typically looking at rosters with 16-20 players.

And this isn’t just a random number.

It’s all calculated based on talent, strategy, and competition.

International Play Roaster Size

Now, we’re in the big leagues!

Rosters here can go up to 25.

But only some people qualify for international tournaments.

Usually, a team travels with about 15-16 players and the supporting staff.

So, what’s the takeaway here?

The size of a volleyball roaster isn’t something that has fixed digits.

It depends on what you’re aiming for.

It could be about helping new players improve, aiming to win the big title, or something in the middle.

Can A Volleyball Team Play With Less Than 6 Players?

Technically speaking, the answer is no, at least not in official matches.

The rules are pretty clear: you need six players on each side. 

Now, if you’re just messing around with friends or practicing, you can make it work with fewer players. 

But remember, that’s not something you’d be able to pull off in a formal match.

Professional volleyball players' team

Final Words

In conclusion, a volleyball team typically has six players on the court during a game.

With substitutes, you can have up to 12 players on your team, allowing for strategic changes and adaptability during matches.

The exact number may vary depending on the competition level, but what remains constant is the importance of teamwork.

Success in volleyball doesn’t just come from having the right number of players.

It’s about how well those players work together.

The strength of a team lies in its unity and the ability to leverage each member’s skills effectively.


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