Most kids start playing sports from a young age. By the time they reach high school, it is already clear who stands out in terms of talent, skills, and physical gifts. They are recruited to varsity teams in their schools with some even joining local youth club teams. Volleyball is no different from other sports in this regard. The rules change slightly to fit the age group and playing level of the participants. This is clearly seen when looking at the volleyball net height. Those under 10 years go have a much lower net height than their older counterparts. This keeps increasing until it reaches the standard level.
Net Height for Boys and Girls
By the time that players reach high school, they are already considered as capable athletes who can play with the same equipment settings as the pros. There might be a huge gap in skills but there is barely any gap in height. People usually enter into a growth spurt in middle school or high school. They usually get as tall as they can be at this age range so it is not necessary to add more net height for college or pro players. For the boys, the standard is at 7 feet 11 and 5/8 inches. For the girls, the standard is at 7 feet 4 and 1/8 inches.
Measuring the Net Height
The numbers stated in the rulebook are based on the measurement at the center of the net. This stretches across a wide area so it is not unusual for it to sag in the middle. The design calls for reinforcement using canvas and rope at the top and bottom to make sure that the height remains as even as possible between the poles. The measurement is typically performed using a net chain. The baseline should be flat solid ground. The net height at the sidelines should not be too different from the measurement from the middle. The maximum difference is 3/4 of an inch. Anything more will result in a recalibration of the net.
How Net Height Affects the Game
With the net so high, players are expected to improve their jumps continuously in order to spike the ball on a consistent basis. Blockers have to step up as well since solid net defense makes everything easier for a team. Plyometric exercises are good for enhancing vertical leap but they have to be introduced carefully because they could cause injuries if overdone.
The higher net also means that the serves have to be adjusted to fit necessary trajectory. Otherwise, the serve will be too sharp and it will not cross the net. This is an automatic score for the other team and no one wants to give their opponents a free point off an error.
High school students may have a hard time adjusting to the increased height at first but they will eventually get used to it. After all, it will stay at this high school volleyball net height level from then on. They won’t have to make adjustments anymore when they go to college or when they play pro.