Sitting Volleyball

The Sport

Sitting volleyball is a team sport featuring constant motion, communication and bursts of explosiveness. Two teams of six players are separated by a net and try to score points by grounding the ball onto the other side’s court.

Sitting volleyball has many similarities to its stand-up version, but with a few modifications. Whilst teams in the stand-up version are separated by a raised net, sitting volleyball is played from a lower net. The court dimensions in sitting volleyball are also smaller.

The main difference between the two versions is that sitting volleyball, as its name implies, is played from seated positions. At all times, the athlete’s pelvis must be in contact with the ground, and service blocks and attacks are allowed.

It is played in a best-of-five set format, and the first to reach 25 points (with at least a two-point lead) wins the set.

Two medal events (men and women featuring eight teams each, total of 192 athletes) were contested at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

World ParaVolley is the global governing body of sitting volleyball.


Sitting volleyball athletes may be amputees or have loss of muscular strength or flexibility in a joint. There are two sport classes depending on the severity and impact on the core functions in sitting volleyball: VS1 and VS2 (less impaired).

Impairments can be either upper or lower limb, or both. Teams can have up to two VS2 on the roster.

Eligible Impairment Types

Impaired muscle power, Athetosis, Impaired passive range of movement, Hypertonia, Limb deficiency, Ataxia, Leg length difference


History and Paralympic Debut

Men’s sitting volleyball was first included in the 1980 Paralympic Games with the women’s version following in 2004.


Iran's Sitting Volleyball

Sitting Volleyball made its debut in 1980 in Iran and the first edition of its National Championships was held in the same year. Five years later, Team Iran experienced its first international appearance at the 1985 Norway World Championships.

Ranked atop over the past four decades as the most decorated team in sitting volleyball, Iran’s star-studded team remained unrivaled during 9 Paralympic appearances with 7 gold and 2 silver medals. Iran's Men squad also won the eight World Championships Titles and Four Asian Para Games’ gold medals.

One of the stars of the team is Morteza Mehrzadselakjani at 2.46m (8ft 1in) Iran’s tallest man. He suffered a pelvic fracture in a bike accident which caused the right leg to stop growing. It is now six inches shorter than his left. He can boast a large fan club.

Athletes activating in this sport are under support of IRISFE which the federation is member of IRI NPC.



Watch an introduction to the sport on Paralympic Sports A-Z: Sitting Volleyball