How to Choose Your Volleyball Shirt Number? (Simple Tips)

Choose the right shirt number

Wearing the right shirt number in volleyball is very important for many players. Indeed, some players find a lot of meaning in some numbers and feel empowered while they are having them …

Others feel that some specific numbers is a synonym of a higher status in the team.

Regardless of all these different motivations, in this short article, I provide simple approaches I think you will find interesting to help you choose a cool number for your shirt (some people refer to it as jersey)

Let’s dive in!

How jersey numbers work in volleyball?

Jersey numbers in volleyball begin with one and, depending on the competition, can go all the way up to 99 …

Although they were once assigned due to individuals starting positions on court, this is now less common. Nowadays, it is the coach who often decides.

Numbering is less important in the sport anyway, because there are few roles that are as specific as that of a goalkeeper in soccer, with the arguable exception of the libero.

There are certain trends, though. For example, while one of the most popular numbers in men’s volleyball is number 9, with the women it is number 10. That is because some top stars like Yuko Samo of Japan, Gabriela Braga Guimaraes of Brazil, and Jordan Larson of the USA have all won it, and young, aspiring players want to have that number hoping some of their magic will rub off on them.

Helpful Side Note: I’ve noticed that many people are a little bit struggling to choose quality volleyball shoes (even amongst amateurs & semi-pros). Well, the most 2 important features you should focus on are Grip and Cushioning. The first is what makes you execute most volleyball movements easily and the latter is critical for your comfort. For example, these quality volleyball shoes have those qualities.

Who does generally choose the jersey number?

Usually it will be the team coach who chooses the jersey number, and this is primarily for reasons of practicality.

The rules in the various leagues often require teams to submit team rosters before the start of a game or, in some cases, seasons and, therefore, it makes sense to assign the same jersey and roster number.

And, with the requirement for jersey and short (or pant) numbers to match, this is also easy for all those concerned.

Whatever numbers are chosen though, there are very strict requirements as to how and where they are displayed on jerseys.

Numbers must be in the centre of both the front and back of the jersey – at least 4 inches high on the front and 6 inches high on the back – and they must be in a different colour to the rest of the jersey.

Are you allowed to choose your jersey number as a player?

For competitions like the Olympics often it is coaches who choose the numbers and individual players may have little say in that matter, although this may vary on a case by case basis…

Big name players, like in other sports like soccer and basketball, have become associated with particular numbers.

However, those who will play as a libero – whether as a starter or a replacement – should wear the same number for the purposes of identification.

Keep in mind that that jersey numbers must match those worn on shorts.

Tips to choose your jersey number?

Those able to choose their own volleyball number can use all sorts of inspirations for ideas, although they will be constrained by the rules of the individual competition so these should always be checked first.

However, a common way to choose a jersey is according to an individual’s birthday, because this will often have significance to them. Alternatively a birthday of a loved one, such as a parent or partner, can be taken into consideration.

There are also plenty of memorable dates that a plater may want to commemorate,

For the superstitious, then they may want to choose a number which they regard as a lucky one as far as they are concerned (Personally, I am not a fan of these superstitious attitude). 7 and 9 are considered lucky, but 13 is generally avoided as this is associated with bad luck.

Another popular way is to choose the number of a favorite athlete they admire, either from volleyball or from other sports…

23, for example, has become a popular number in a many sports because the legendary NBA player, Michael Jordan wore it.

Similarly, the number 9 jersey is among the most coveted in volleyball, with top stars like Andre Luiz da Silva Nascimento, Aleksey Spriridonov, Murphy Edward Troy, and Nikola Grbić among those to wear it on their jerseys.

If you are interested in other clothing items other than shirts, then you may want to learn about the importance of using leggings in volleyball. Many players have experienced an improvement in comfort when they’ve started using them.

Do jersey numbers matter at all?

To a large extent jersey numbers do not really matter in volleyball – except sometimes to the individuals concerned – because players interchange positions on court, so it is not as if they correspond to a particular role, with the exception of the libero.

Far more important are the rules that require the number on jerseys to be of the same color and size, and also the stipulation that the same numbers should be used on jerseys and shorts.

Most popular Jersey numbers?

The number 1 will always have some significance for some players, and is often worn by team captains.

And then there are those numbers associated with luck, with 7 and 9, often thought to bring good fortune, while 13 – and, to a lesser extent 6 – are to be avoided.

Young volleyball players will often want to wear the same number on their jersey as their favorite stars …

For example, Saied Marouf made a name for himself as not only one of the best setters in the world, he also inspired others to wear his number 4 jersey.

Equally, Irina Ryskal of the Soviet Union, was not only one of the most successful players of the late 1960s and early 1970s, she inspired many others to wear the same number 7 jersey as her.

Why they consider 22 as a lucky Jersey number?

According to numerology, 22 is considered one of the most powerful numbers of all.

Sometimes also called the ‘Master Builder” or “Master Architect, it has particular significance for Hebrews because that is the number of letters in their alphabet, and can represent everything from creation to infinity.

22 is also a very active number, and those who choose to adopt it do not allow themselves to be idle for any long periods of time. That is bad for their inner well-being, and allows any negative traits in their character to get the better of positive ones that they might possess.

People who opt for the number 22 tend to be organized, dynamic, over achievers and tireless, never giving up on a task.

On the other hand, they can be big talkers, and can become frustrated and jumpy if things do not go their own way, and they are not always the best team players.

Personally, I tend to highly disagree with all this … That’s basically nothing more than superstitious thoughts!

Can 2 players have the same jersey number?

In general, players cannot have the same number. The one exception is the libero, because both the regular starter in that position and anybody who is fielded as their replacement must have the same number.

The reason for this is that the libero has a unique position on the court in terms of what they are allowed to do, and wearing the same jersey number means that the referee is able to identify them at all times.

However, when the libero plays in a different position on the court, they are not only allowed, but expected, to change their jersey number.

What jersey number do the libero generally has?

There is no requirement for a Libero to wear a specific number, but according to the rules in most professional leagues, they must wear the same number as they are listed in the squad roster – that means if they are listed as number 5, then that is the jersey number they should wear.

Final Thoughts …

I didn’t want to make this article more than couple hundred words, but it seems that I’ve made it well over a thousand words … lol

Anyways, hopefully you’ve learnt how jersey (or shirt) numbers work in a sport like volleyball. Don’t be too much superstitious, what matters the most is obviously your skills and overall physical abilities.

Finally, if you want to reinforce your protection for the sport, then you probably should have a look at this simple approach to choose volleyball knee pads. I think you will find it quite 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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