Uses a swirled panel design to allow for stable flight after striking. Microfiber composite cover has a nice feel for optimal control during gameplay. Offered in 3 different color combinations. High-quality construction ensures this will last a long time when cared for properly.
You'll pay a bit extra for this model. Made for indoor use only.
Offered in more than a dozen color combinations that kids will like. Soft synthetic cover helps young players learn the game without pain. Light weight works well for young and novice players who are developing strength and control. Even with the lightweight design, it is regulation size.
Only works for indoor use, and cover may get damaged if it becomes wet.
Matches the official game ball of the AVP pro league. Synthetic leather cover will stand up to plenty of practice and game time while resisting dirt and moisture. Pebbled texture offers increased control. Has an 18-panel construction for a long lifespan. Offered at a low price.
Requires frequent inflation, as it may leak after use.
Same model that was used in several recent Olympic games. Limited number of panels (8), which provides a greater contact area than some others. Includes a microfiber material with dimples on the exterior to ensure a truer flight through the air.
Costs more than some other models. Made for indoor use only.
Made from composite leather that is comfortable, yet strong enough to stand up to regular usage. Suitable for all ages and skill levels. Comes in a variety of exciting color combinations that look great in the air. Designed for indoor use but serviceable in mild outdoor weather.
A littler more expensive than most. Avoid getting wet.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
One of the most enjoyable team activities for all ages and every level of play is volleyball. The sport has been part of North American culture for over a century. Invented in the late 1800s, the game is played with two teams on either side of an elevated net. Players hit a ball back and forth until one team can’t keep it up.
The ball in question is imperative to the success of the game. The shape, size, texture, weight, and internal pressure of the ball have been painstakingly perfected over decades to allow for the game to be played as competitively and practically as possible. A volleyball needs to be heavy enough to be manipulated by bumps, sets, and spikes, but it needs to be light enough to soar through the air and bounce properly.
Most volleyballs are around 26 inches in circumference and weigh just under 10 ounces. They consist of an internal rubber bladder core and a hard outer shell. Air is pumped into the volleyball to keep it inflated. Texture, weight, and pressure vary depending on where the volleyball will be used.
Volleyballs made to be used indoors are different from those used for beach games and other games played outside. If you don’t have the right ball for your environment, your game may be adversely affected, and the ball could be damaged.
Indoor volleyballs are slightly smaller than their beach counterparts. They have higher internal pressure and tend to be heavier and made of leather. They usually have a molded cover, although there may be stitched paneling as well. As the indoor game tends to champion quickness and power, heavier balls are more useful.
Beach volleyballs, also known as outdoor volleyballs, are a little bit lighter and made of composite materials so as to adapt to external elements such as sand, dirt, and water. To achieve this, beach volleyballs have a stitched outer layer with 18 panels. They are larger in order to battle against the wind. They are water resistant, and some are waterproof enough to be used in a pool or lake.
The number of volleyballs you might use over the course of a season or year may influence your choice. A pack of volleyballs is often more cost-effective than getting balls one at a time. If you’re looking for a volleyball for your club or team, it may be worthwhile to get more than one. If you intend to play less frequently and more casually, selecting a lone ball may be a better option.
Volleyballs made for competition and sanctioned by official volleyball governing bodies are a specific size and tend to be harder on the hands and wrists. These are intended for competitive play amongst teenagers and adults. For younger or casual volleyball players, a softer or smaller ball may be best. This can help with training, as these balls still require proper technique to hit but are easier on the body and don’t require as much strength.
Some volleyballs have a contrasting color pattern that allows you to watch how the ball spins in the air. This is ideal for those working on their serves and learning how the ball moves after it is hit. For advanced players, it may aid in tracking the ball to your body and inform you how to hit it.
Traditional volleyballs have tough exteriors that can withstand constant pummeling, but there are those made to be softer on the hands and wrists. These soft-touch balls are ideal for younger and more casual players. They’re also suitable for those who train regularly but don’t want to be regularly banged and bruised. There are even some soft-touch balls that are officially sized and made for competition.
While a leather cover doesn’t work well outdoors, some volleyballs are designed with a composite cover from manmade materials. This type of material can withstand rain, sun, and other elements. If you find yourself in varied climates while playing, or if you intend to play both indoors and outdoors, this type of ball is ideal.
Volleyballs are offered in numerous color patterns and designs. They may feature two or three colors or a unique design that stands out. With so many options available, it’s easy to match the volleyball to a team’s specific colors — or whatever your favorite look at the moment may be.
Volleyballs vary in price for any number of reasons — size, color, brand, durability — but in general, soft-touch and practice volleyballs cost less than volleyballs made for competitions. Oddly, the same type of volleyball may have a different price due solely to the color selection.
Inexpensive: For less than $15, you can find a wide range of decent volleyballs for both casual and competitive play.
Mid-range: For $15 to $45, you’ll find a great many choices in terms of size, texture, and color. These may be geared toward recreation or competitive play. In this price range, there are both bargain brands and top sellers.
Expensive: For over $45, the top-shelf volleyballs from the most regarded brands are available. These are carefully constructed balls that can be used in tournaments and competitions. If you’re a competitive player, you may want to look in this price range.
Q. How often do I need to pump the volleyball?
A. There is no set rule, but it’s worthwhile to check the ball before you’re off to play. Repeated use may slowly wear down the ball; sitting around in storage will find some air leakage as well. Either way, over time, the volleyball will lose air, so be sure to check before heading out to play.
Q. How much should I inflate the volleyball?
A. If you have a pressure gauge, you generally want between 4.3 and 4.6 pounds per square inch (psi) for indoor volleyballs and between 2.3 and 3.2 for beach volleyballs. However, you can fairly easily find the desired pressure without an instrument. Basically, you want the ball to have just a little give when it is squeezed. It should be hard but not rock hard. Leave a little more air out if you want a softer ball.
Q. Does the volleyball have a recommended age of use?
A. While there tend not to be age specifications for volleyballs, softer and smaller volleyballs are generally better for youngsters. However, it may also come down to a personal preference and what type of game you want to play. Kids may want harder balls to play intently, while adults may want softer balls for lighthearted games.