Equipment options

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There is a wide variety of balls available in catalogs according to ages. Volume facilitates control, weight conditions the impact of the hit. There is no advantage in using balls that are smaller than regular but we can use balls that are lighter that the adult ball. The weight and elasticity should enable control of the bounce. Lightweight and very elastic balls are uncontrollable and do not enable to build the game.

We didn't have any when we filmed but these lightweight balls present many advantages. We have used them from CE1 to CM2 (see "volley-ball at school" from the same authors. 1986). Beach-volley type balls present a more comfortable contact for young pupils but are also more fragile. We advise testing the equipment before ordering a large quantity.


All surfaces are usable from sand to sports hall, including grass and sports stages. Soft surfaces facilitate development of lower level game without needing to wait for floor reception techniques which will come gradually. Dimensions of the court are a teaching element we play with. A long and narrow court, a wide and short court, a large area, produce certain behaviours and bring to light particular problems and technical learning.

Here we use regular 9x9 m courts and smaller cours of 6x6 m, 3x6 m etc. A permanent rule could be: "volley-ball should remain a game of movement". When outdoors we can use marking tape (white/red). Indoors lines, cones or chalk can draw the court.

The net:

The role of the net is simple… making defence possible. In practice floor defence in volley-ball (limited to three touches) constitutes the first stage of a counterattack. The right height from a teaching point of view is therefore… the one that makes defence possible! This means that we can play with this parameter to dynamise and balance the game but that in the beginning, a high net means: more time to defend, which is more than useful.

On the other hand, in a courtyard, on a beach, on a lawn, we can organise a space where the net is replaced with a neutral zone. This way we can multiply workshops while introducing significant learnings.

This builds a representation the game as a fundamendal attack and defence logic rather than a ball exchange over the net. With this set up, interventions in lower zones develop more spontaneously than with a net.

We meus be aware that the net, due to its visual impact, monopolises attention and is the focus of activity: playing without a net, playing at different distances from the net, becoming independant from this visual anchor when coordinating, is a real un challenge in our opinion.

See the resource on
court types and organisation
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