How Long Is A Volleyball Game? The Best Guide (2023)

So you want to play volleyball and need to know how long is a volleyball game? No wonder volleyball and Lacrosse games are quite famous these days. Actually, there is no specific answer to this question because it depends upon the sets and the level of the game.

There usually are 3 or 5 sets in a match; you can say a best of 3 or best of 5 games. A set lasts for 25 minutes, so this way, a best of 3 games has an average time of 60 minutes; likewise, a best of 5 games almost lasts for 150 minutes.

In this article, we’ll guide you on how long is a volleyball game; we’ll also discuss its rules, scoring system, and other crucial details.

So if you’re ready to start playing volleyball and want to know everything about this exciting sport, read on! But before moving on,  you must be aware of all relevant information regarding this game.

What is Volleyball Game?

introduction to volleyball game

Volleyball can be traced back to the early 1900s, and it is believed that the game was developed in North America.

The sport was initially known as “mignonette” and it was invented by William G. Morgan at the YMCA of Holyoke, Massachusetts. The game is played with 2 teams consisting of 6 players each.

The game’s main objective is to hit a rubber ball over the net and make the opposing team unable to return the ball. It is primarily played in a gymnasium where a net separates the players on either side.

In terms of rules and scoring, volleyball is quite similar to the game of tennis. It is quite famous in schools, colleges, and professional players who compete in international tournaments to win the gold medal.

Let’s discuss its rules,

The Rules of Volleyball Game:

  • The game is played with a rectangular court that measures 18 meters in length and 9 meters in width.
  • A net that is 1.55 meters high separates 2 teams on either side of the court.
  • The team that wins the toss decides whether to serve or receive the ball.
  • A player can hit the ball 3 times before it crosses to the opposing side, and he/she is not allowed to step on the line while playing a ball.
  • A player can only hit the ball with his/her hand, at the moment of contact with the ball, he/she has to be in a volleyball position.
  • The team that wins the most sets wins the match

Now let’s talk about the factors that can increase or decrease the time of the game,

Factors that Increase or Decrease the Game’s Length:

  1. The level of the game
  2. Rally duration
  3. Points
  4. Time stops
  5. Changing the sides
  6. Substitutions
  7. Number of sets

Duration of a Volleyball Game at Middle and High School:

Duration of a Volleyball Game at Middle and High School

The duration of a volleyball game always differs, like at a middle or high school the number of sets would be around 3 to 5.

A set usually takes 20 to 25 minutes to conclude, so this way if a best-of-3 game is played, the duration would be around 60 to 70 minutes.

What is the Rally?

A rally is a time in which a point is scored. Rally is always a deciding factor in the duration of a match. There is no specific duration for a rally, like it may be 1 second or a minute or more, for instance, if the rally duration is more then the game is going to be long.


As evident by its name, a timeout is a legal term that is used for pausing the game, mostly a whistle is played by the referee to announce the timeout.

The timeout duration is almost 30 seconds (as per FIVB) to 75 seconds (as per NCAA) per set, but there are examples in volleyball history when the timeout was more than it is.

How Long Is A College Volleyball Game?

A college volleyball match lasts longer than the games played at middle and high schools. A college volleyball game lasts for almost 150 minutes, in NA and Canada, most national players are chosen from college teams.

We have many great volleyball players who were picked from the colleges, for example, Giba who is an international volleyball player and is one of the best players around.

Credits: Nokkun Volleyball YouTube Channel

How Long Is An International Volleyball Game?

At an international level, mostly the best of 5 games are played, therefore, an international volleyball game would be around 90 to 150 minutes.

There were examples when a match lasted for hours. For example, the longest single volleyball match was played between the German and Polish teams and lasted for almost 25 hours.

We have tried our best to answer your query “How Long Is A Volleyball Game” but as I said there is no exact explanation for this question, it depends.

Beach VS Indoor Volleyball:

beach vs indoor volleyball

This game is quite famous for being played at beaches; though it becomes difficult to move quickly on sand is fun. Beach volleyball matches always have the best 3s because it is not that easy to move like indoor games; moreover, beach games always have 21 sets.

Talking about indoor volleyball matches, an indoor volleyball match usually contains the best of 5 because it is quite easy to shuffle on the floor as compared to the beach.

How Many Points Win A Volleyball Match?

Points always depend upon the sets, I mean, the obvious number of winning a set is 25, but you need to score 2 more points to win the set.

For example, if A team scores 24 points and B team scores 25 points, B team will have to score at least 1 more point to win the set. If you play a best of 5 volleyball game, you’ll have to win 3 sets in order to win the match.

Similarly, If you play a best of 3 volleyball matches, you will have to win 2 sets to win the match. Now let’s talk about the benefits of playing volleyball game,

Benefits of Playing Volleyball Games:

  • If you play volleyball on a regular basis, it will keep you physically fit.
  • Positive effects on your mind.
  • The game helps you be social.
  • Good for your brain and decision as well.
  • Makes you learn teamwork.

I think your main question has been answered; now let’s move on to the FAQS,

FAQs: (How Long is a Volleyball Game)

1. How long is the average volleyball play?

60 to 90 minutes.

2. How long does a 5-set volleyball game last?

Almost 150 minutes.

3. How long is a volleyball game set?

The duration of sets is not specified; it can be anywhere from 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the points in a set.

4. How long is the volleyball game in College?

At the college level, mostly the game has 5 sets, and the duration would be around 150 minutes.

5. How long is the Volleyball game in the Olympics?

The time duration would be the same as the college game but some rules are different at the international level and Olympics.

6. How many rounds are in a volleyball game?

5 rounds.

7. How many halves are there in volleyball?

2 halves.


There you have all the relevant information on how long is a volleyball game. As I mentioned in the introduction, there may be no specific duration for a volleyball game, but I tried my best to cover every single factor that can change its duration.

This game has many benefits as well, so go out and start jumping around. I hope this article was helpful, if you have questions or suggestions, you can mention them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

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