Venue: Earls Court
Dates: Saturday 28th July – Sunday 12th August
Competing Athletes: 288 (144 men, 144 women: 12 teams in each event)
Medal Events: 2
Volleyball is played by two teams of six on an 18m x 9m indoor court divided by a net (2.43m high for men, 2.24m for women). The object of the game is to land the ball in the opposition’s half of the court.
Each team is allowed three touches of the ball before it must cross over the net. The key attacking move is the set and spike, in which a player feeds the ball (the set) for a teammate to power it into the opposition’s court (the spike). Volleyball requires amazing power and astonishing reactions: in the men’s game, the ball can reach speeds in excess of 130km/h.
At London 2012, both the men’s and women’s Volleyball competitions will begin with a preliminary phase: the 12 teams in each event will be divided into two pools of six, and each team will play every other team in their pool. The eight best teams from this phase will qualify for the knockout phase, with the winners of the semi-finals eventually going head to head for the gold.
- Spike: To smash the ball overarm into the opponent's court.
- Block: Preventing the attacking ball to come over the net by forming a ‘wall’ of hands at the net.
- Dig: A defensive passing shot from close to the ground, usually following an opposition spike.
- Setter: The player who ‘sets’ the ball for the attacker, usually on the second of the team’s three permitted shots.
- Wipe: To return the ball off an opposing block so it lands out of bounds.