Volleyball ball

Volleyballs are one of the most important pieces of equipment in the game of volleyball. It is required for every game and is the main tool used by the players. Learning about the different types of volleyballs and how to use them will greatly benefit a volleyball player.

What are volleyballs used for?

Volleyballs are a spherical ball filled with air. They are made up of different materials and have a similar size to soccer balls or basketballs. Volleyballs are usually very light, which makes them easy to maneuver during a game, but not light enough to where they are affected by wind or air pressure.

Volleyballs are used to score points during a volleyball match. The ball can be served, passed, hit, blocked, and dug by every player on each team. When the ball touches the ground, it is scored a point for the opposing team of the side where the ball landed in bounds. Every point involves using a volleyball. 

Things To Consider

When looking for a volleyball, you'll want to consider the following:

  • What size volleyball do you want?
  • How much do you want to spend on a volleyball?
  • Will you be playing indoor or outdoor volleyball?
  • Is there a certain color of volleyball you want?


The two main types of volleyballs are indoor and outdoor volleyballs.


Indoor balls are made specifically for indoor volleyball use. They are made by gluing the different panels to an inner lining. The ball feels smoother and will produce more consistent results because of this. These balls are usually lighter than outdoor balls.


Outdoor or beach volleyballs are made specifically to withstand outdoor elements. They are hand-stitched and tougher, which makes them more durable to the rough outdoor courts. They also will usually be heavier, and sometimes larger, to prevent the ball from moving in the wind.


The different materials used in volleyballs include leather and synthetic leather.

  • Leather: Leather is commonly used as the lining of volleyballs. It is soft and is the material in volleyballs that has been used the longest. Leather is more commonly found in indoor balls.
  • Synthetic (Composite): Synthetic or composite leather is a man-made type of leather. It offers a similar feel to genuine leather but is usually more water-resistant as well. This makes synthetic leather a good choice for outdoor volleyballs.


The most popular brands that produce volleyballs are Mikasa, Molten, and Wilson.


Mikasa produces balls for a variety of different sports. They make indoor and outdoor volleyballs in a variety of different patterns and colors. Their balls have been used in the Olympics and other international competitions on a few occasions. 


Molten is another company that specializes in producing various different sports balls. In addition to producing the basketball used for international competitions, Molten provides the official volleyballs for the US national teams and NCAA tournaments.


Wilson makes equipment and apparel for a variety of different sports. They also make both indoor and outdoor volleyballs and are the official ball for a few different collegiate programs.


When deciding which volleyball to buy, always consider the durability, cost, sizes, and color.


Like most handheld sports balls, volleyballs will be pretty durable. Over time, the feel of the ball might change and become slicker, but the overall performance will usually remain for a few years. Outdoor balls are usually more durable than indoor balls and can resist water and other elements.


In general, genuine leather balls will usually cost a little bit more than synthetic balls. Volleyballs can widely range in price depending on materials and performance standards. Most volleyballs will cost anywhere from $20 to $100. Most leather balls will cost around $50, with synthetic balls costing a little bit less.


Volleyballs come in a few different sizes. They come in youth and adult sizes and vary slightly within each category. Outdoor balls will be slightly larger and heavier than indoor balls.


Volleyballs will come in all different colors. The most traditional color is all white, but most teams will use balls that align with their specific color scheme. Most volleyballs will use a combination of a few different colors.


What are the dimensions and weight of a volleyball?

Adult indoor volleyballs will have a circumference of 65-67 centimeters and an internal pressure of 4.3-4.6 psi. Youth balls will have a circumference of 63-65 centimeters and an internal pressure of 4.3 psi. Beach volleyballs are 66-68 centimeters in circumference and have an internal pressure of 2.5-3.2 psi. Most balls will weigh 9-10oz.

What volleyball do professional players use?

Most professionals use genuine leather balls for competitions and use composite balls for practice. However, some professional leagues use composite balls for competitions. Different leagues use a variety of different brands as their official ball.

How do you know if a volleyball has enough air?

In order to know exactly how much air is in a volleyball, a specialized pump must be used. These pumps will show the psi of a volleyball, and can adjust the pressure if there is too much or too little air.