Knowing when a season starts is important not only for playing it, but watching and cheering on your team. Volleyball can be tricky to place the seasons, so today I’ll be breaking it down in full.
So, when does the volleyball season start? The volleyball season changes depending on the level and type of volleyball that you’re playing. Indoor volleyball is played in the fall and spring, beach volleyball in the summer, and snow volleyball in the Winter. The normal start for fall volleyball is August, while spring volleyball is February.
Not knowing when the volleyball season starts can cost you a spot on the team by missing tryouts, so it’s incredibly important for all players to know when they need to be ready.
In this article, I’ll be discussing:
- The different seasons of volleyball
- Length of volleyball leagues
- Differences in country policy
Volleyball is a sport that can be played all year long, and that makes answering the question of “when does volleyball start?” difficult. While one style of volleyball might be out of season, there is potentially another option to enjoy; it’s all about knowing where to look.
The different styles of volleyball are indoor, beach, and snow volleyball, with the indoor seasons lasting the longest (3-4 months each for a total of 6-8 months total).
For the diehard player, one can always find someone to play with though, depending where you live. For the United States, areas like California, New York, and Texas are hot spots for the sport, with strong representation in the Midwest as well.
Whether you’re looking to join a school team, club, or enter an open tournament, knowing when the season starts is important.
To make things easier for you, I’ve compiled a handy table that’s easy to read and scroll through.
|Type||Season Start||Season Length||Games Played||Tournaments Played||Season|
|Middle school (girls)||Indoor||September||2-3 months||8-10||0||Fall|
|Middle School (boys)||Indoor||February||2-3 months||8-10||0||Spring|
|High School (girls)||Indoor||August/September||3-4 months||10||0-2||Fall|
|High School (boys)||Indoor||January/February||3-4 months||10||0-2||Spring|
|Club (men/women)||Indoor||August/September||6-9 months||10-15||3-5||Fall-Spring|
|College/Uni (women)||Indoor||August||4-5 months||10-15||3-5||Fall (or annual)|
|College/Uni (men)||Indoor||January||4-5 months||10-15||3-5||Spring (or annual)|
|Professional Volleyball||Indoor||September/October (league dependent)||8-9 months||12 per split||Dependent on season||Annual|
|Beach Volleyball||Beach||May||4-5 months||N/A||5+||Summer|
|Snow Volleyball||Snow||January||2-3 months||N/A||5+||Winter|
Middle School & High School
Middle school and high school volleyball is played almost exclusively indoors. This is done for practical reasons, as most schools don’t have the budget to build a beach court and the majority of schools aren’t located near the beach. If your school is an exception, you should feel pretty lucky – instant beach volleyball access!
The seasons for boys/girls are very similar, only being separated by winter break. Girls’ volleyball begins in the Fall with tryouts in August or September. Boys’ volleyball starts in the Spring, with tryouts in February.
When I was in high school, our boys’ volleyball tryouts were always on Valentine’s Day. For volleyball and I, it was love at first sight.
These seasonal splits between Fall and Spring are pretty consistent – at least for schools in the United States – apart from a few exceptions. The states of Wisconsin, Virginia, and New York have some school districts which play volleyball year-round: with boys also playing in the Fall and girls in the Spring.
If you live in one of these states, check with your school to make sure which seasons they are part of. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and once you miss tryouts then it’s often too late.
Club volleyball is played at the middle school, high school, and collegiate level, with most seasons starting in August or September. This includes both men’s and women’s volleyball, with the club seasons running at the same time.
While most clubs primarily focus on indoor volleyball, you will inevitably experience a bit of beach and grass volleyball, since I’ve never met a club coach who isn’t eager to shake things up.
College and University volleyball in the United States adheres to the sports pre-established conventions in seasonal divide. This means that women’s volleyball begins in the Fall, in August or September, while men’s volleyball is pushed to the Spring, beginning in January usually.
The only exceptions to this lie in any tournaments that have not concluded by the end of its season. This can include division nationals and finals, and are some of the highlights of volleyball worldwide.
In countries beyond America, this seasonal start changes. In the UK for example – and many places in Europe – both men’s and women’s volleyball seasons start in the Fall, in September. Both genders of teams play all year long, with the tournament season starting in the Spring after the conclusion of the normal league season.
With the coming of summer, beach volleyball season descends on college teams, but that’s a discussion for a different section (See “Beach Volleyball” below).
Professional & Olympic Volleyball
Professional volleyball leagues have unique schedules worldwide, but generally are played all year long. Most – such as the Polish and Russian leagues – begin in October and continue through May.
The best and only way to know scheduling for sure is to check the relevant league’s schedule, which can be found online on their site. Recruiting can take place up to a year in advance, so if you’re looking for information on that side of the coin, try emailing the league director to get the ball rolling.
Above even the standard level of professional play, the highest levels of competition and tournaments such as the Volleyball World Cup and Olympics take place between the months of June and August. Here, the best of the best are chosen to battle it out on the highest stage – it’s exhilarating!
Even if you don’t follow teams in their individual leagues, these tournaments are great fun to watch and support and happen every year, so check when (and where!) the next will be held so you’re sure not to miss any of the action.
The summer is beach volleyball season. While you can grab a friend and find a net (or set one up yourself) whenever the weather gets warm enough, the official beach volleyball season usually lasts from may until august.
Professional beach players will normally train all year though, which can result in competitions happening outside of these normal boundaries. When in doubt though, use your common sense. A bit of summer cold won’t kill you, and if they can train in Norway you can probably play where you are too.
The exact opposite of beach volleyball, snow volleyball takes place exclusively in the winter and its season usually begins in December or January.
This volleyball is heavily dependent on weather conditions to be able to play – more so than any other variant of volleyball. While playing in the Spring skiing season is ideal, the snow is slushier and not as firm to play on.
On the other hand, playing during a snowstorm is neither viable nor enjoyable. Finding a balance in the weather is just as important in starting the season as ending it, and this makes the snow volleyball season much shorter than other types of volleyball.
How Long Does The Volleyball Season Last?
Middle School & High School
The middle school season lasts between 2-3 months, while the high school volleyball season lasts between 3-4 months.
This can include around 10 games per season, and occasionally the inclusion of a tournament if your team and coach are willing.
Club volleyball season lasts between 6-9 months depending where in the world you play, usually including at least 15 games and 3-5 tournaments during this time.
These games can either be against fellow clubs in your district or – more commonly for big clubs than smaller ones – against other teams of a similar level in your organization. Tournaments are the definite highlight, and should be undertaken at every opportunity.
College and university volleyball seasons usually last 4-5 months. This usually includes 10-15 games in the regular season, depending how well your team performs.
Some university leagues (like the UK) include a “tournament season” after the end of league season, lasting an additional 3-4 months. This typically begins in the Spring and can involve as many as 5-6 tournaments played.
Professional & Olympic Volleyball
Professional volleyball leagues run throughout the year, with several small breaks to split the league season up and renew contracts (typically three times a year).
A typical pro season can be expected to last up to 8-9 months. This includes weekly or bi-weekly games and regular in-between competition for practice and recovery of the players.
For the best and most up to date details of the volleyball leagues in your region (or interest), check out their specific website and scheduling.
Beach volleyball lasts as long as summer, and is typically played for 4-5 months from May to August. This season can extend for the serious player, with training beginning in February and ending in October at times.
For obvious reasons, the beach volleyball season is longer in regions with warmer climates, as it’s more conducive to continuous play without the presence of snow, sleet, or storms.
Snow volleyball is the shortest season, lasting a mere 2-3 months. With a bad season of snowfall, this can even be reduced to a single month at times, or none at all.
Best played during the approaching Spring months and the tail end of the ski season, snow volleyball is gathering a growing popularity among the volleyball community for its unique rules, court size, and number of players (6 total – 3 each side). If you haven’t experienced it yet, you can check it out here:
Does Volleyball Start At Different Times Depending On The Country?
Different variants of volleyball have their individual seasons: indoor dominates Spring and Fall, beach and grass volleyball belong to Summer, and snow volleyball is strictly confined to Winter. Around the world, volleyball seasons roughly stick to this schedule and can be relied on to continue doing so.
However, different countries may have delayed/faster starts to the season, or a climate which eliminates the possibility of one altogether. This can change the schedule of a season, and the progression of its accompanying league. While the minutiae of this are many, it boils down to one simple fact: differences exist across the world, and that’s not bad.
The best thing is to double check with the governing body of volleyball in your region, which you can find online. Or, for school purposes, check with your educational body (or coach, if you know them).
It would be impossible to provide everyone in the world with precise start dates for each season in this article, so use it as a jumping off point for your own research. Knowing now the normal conventions and reasoning for the splits, you should be able to reasonably determine the start of your desired season.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Volleyball Have A Season?
Volleyball can be played all year long. Different types of volleyball are broken into different seasons, with women’s volleyball typically played in the fall and men’s volleyball in the spring. Some obvious deviations are beach volleyball, which is a summer sport, and snow volleyball, which is played in winter.
Other Volleyball Resources
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- How to Make the Volleyball Team Without Experience (12 Tips)
- How Long Is A Volleyball Game? (High School, College, Beach)
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