Are Men’s and Women’s Volleyball Balls The Same Size?

are men's and women's volleyball balls the same size

In this short article, you’ll discover the main differences between men’s and women’s volleyball balls. I also share some interesting factors that influence their size …

This should give you an idea on how these distinctions actually impact the gameplay and cater the specific needs of each gender.

Key Takeaways

  • Men’s and women’s volleyball balls have slight differences in size and weight.
  • These differences accommodate the physical differences between them. They serve men larger hands & strength and ensure enough comfort for and control for women.
  • Governing bodies such as the FIVB are imposing the strict regulations to set both men’s & women’s volleyball balls.

Specifications of men’s volleyball balls

Men’s volleyball balls (Check this Example Here at Amazon) are designed to adapt to the players’ dynamic. Below are their key specifications:

  • Circumference: Men’s volleyball balls have a circumference generally ranging from 65cm to 67 cm (25.6 to 26.4 inches). This is the most suitable measurement to properly handle & control the ball.
  • Weight: The standard weight for men’s balls is anywhere between 260 & 280 grams (9.2 to 9.9 ounces). This is optimal for the ball flight through the air.
  • Used material: These balls are usually made from synthetic or authentic leather. The goal is to ensure reliable grip and durability. The surface is quite smooth for indoor volleyball unlike the sand version when the ball’s texture is rough.
  • Air Pressure: Well, this one is really important as the air pressure directly impact the quality of the game. Indeed, the recommended pressure is generally between 0.30 and 0.325 kg/cm² (4.26 to 4.61 psi).
  • Used colors: FIVB approved balls for international competitions are generally required to have an optimal combination of contrasting colors in order to ensure a very good visibility not only for the players involved, but also for the spectators.

Specifications of women’s volleyball balls

Well, women’s volleyball balls (Check this example Here at Amazon) are not totally different from men’s as they share several specifications. However, the slight differences are well chosen to adapt to women specific needs.

Below are the key specifications that you should be aware of:

  • Circumference: Women’s volleyball balls come with a circumference ranging from 65 to 66.7 cm (up to 26.3 inches). This will ensure an ease when it comes to handling and controlling the ball.
  • Weight: The official weight is anywhere between 260 and 280 grams (9.2 up to 9.9 oz). This weight has been proven to provide the best possible performance.
  • Used Materials: Most pro women’s balls are made out of synthetic or genuine leather. It generally has what’s called 18-panel design, this gives the ball an optimal grip and maximum durability.
  • Air pressure: This one is pretty standard. Indeed, the recommended air pressure is between 0.30 and 0.325 kg/cm² (4.26 to 4.61 psi). This measurement is good for consistent bounce and responsiveness.
  • Used colors: Well, there are no harsh conditions in this regard. Yet the FIVB always recommend using contrasting colors for a better visibility for players & viewers as well.

Reasons behind the differences in size

As you’ve noticed men’s and women’s volleyball balls share many similar specifications. Yet there are slight differences that allows to accommodate to their specific needs.

Below are couple of reasons behind those differences:

  • Physical differences: Men generally have larger hands. That’s why, when the ball is slightly larger, this shouldn’t represent any issues for them. Grip and ball handling should be just fine for them. Likewise, smaller balls are more adapted for women’s hands.
  • Strength & power: Men’s upper body strength is usually superior comparing to women. This translates to more powerful serves & hits. Since men’s balls are slightly heavier & larger, this allows them to offset this difference, thus maintain an optimal balance in the game’s dynamics.
  • Skill development: Since the ball size is well adapted to each gender needs and characteristics, this will allow them to better focus on skill development, rather than being hindered by an ill-suited ball.

It is important to note that these differences in size are relatively minor. Indeed, both men’s and women’s volleyball balls follow strict regulations …

At the end of the day, the overall goal is to provide an enjoyable and fair experience for all participants!

For more details, you can learn how big is volleyball ball size! You will discover some new interesting details …

Final Thoughts …

To sum up, it is worth mentioning that even if those differences in size & weight are minor, they are still scientifically chosen to accommodate to males and females …

I highly encourage you to grab those balls yourself and experience those differences in the court. You should notice that those little differences actually matter!

Lastly, I strongly recommend having a look at this in-depth guide to properly choose your right volleyball! I think you will find it very useful ….

Carissa Harmer

Carissa Harmer has over 6 years of volleyball experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest volleyball teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right path.

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