Volleyball matches can be challenging to time. This is because there are many more variables involved in the scoring and winning criteria than there are in the strict time constraints in football, basketball, or soccer.

Instead of being a drawback, this makes volleyball even more exciting and dynamic to watch because anyone can win if they take the time to return.

How Long Is A Volleyball Game

A volleyball match typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes, depending on how many sets are played. Best of five games can last up to two hours, while best of three matches last less time—an hour on average. The length of a game of beach volleyball varies, usually lasting 45 minutes.

These figures assume that each set will last 20–25 minutes.

This is normal, but it can change dramatically in length during the same match. Always estimate highly when setting time goals for volleyball games, whether you’re going to book or watch. In spite of everything, volleyball players love to defy expectations.

Best 2-of-3 vs. Best 3-of-5

A volleyball game can be played to either two different set rules:

  • 2-of-3 sets
  • 3-of-5 sets

The 2-of-3 sets rule states that a volleyball team wins the match when it wins 2 out of 3 sets, whereas the 3-of-5 sets rule states that a volleyball team wins when it wins 3 out of 5 sets.

For either team to be declared the winner, they must take the majority of the sets. Thus, a team could triumph in a few sets while still dropping the match as a whole. If a team wins a sufficient number of sets, the remaining sets are discarded because the team has already won the match.

3 Factors That Make A Volleyball Game Longer Or Shorter

There are many different aspects of volleyball that can either significantly lengthen or significantly shorten a match.

Here are a few of the most typical ones.

1. Number Of Sets

The total number of sets played in a volleyball match is the main factor in determining how long it will last. The number of sets played affects how much time each team spends on the court, and effectively winning sets can have an impact on how well a team performs in a subsequent tournament or other matches.

A best-of-three match, which is typically played at the middle school and high school levels, requires a win in two of the three games for each team to prevail.

The shortest match might be completed in around 40 minutes if each set lasts about 20 or 25 minutes. A best-of-five set would lengthen the match even more, bringing it closer to an hour. But that’s not all.

Only a two-point advantage is needed to win a volleyball set, and in a close game, more points than the standard 25 can be scored. This lengthens the game while providing exciting athletic drama and intense competition.

2. TimeStops

The length of a volleyball match is then determined by TimeStops. The play is either paused or the time is stopped during these, as their name suggests. This covers breaks, injury (emergency) timeouts, and substitutions.

TimeStops are typically very short intervals, but they can accumulate. Each team is allowed two timeouts and six substitutions per set. A shrewd coach can take advantage of these opportunities to plan with his team, stall the game, and either extend their lead or mount a comeback. The set is extended by a few minutes if you do this.

3. Beach Vs Indoor

The number of sets and how indoor volleyball matches are either best of three or best of five have been discussed previously. The best of three rules apply to beach volleyball. Sets are also played to 21 rather than 25, with the final tiebreaker being played to 15 as usual.

Moving around in the sand while playing beach volleyball is exhausting enough, but best-of-five games with only teams of two are difficult and unpleasant. In order to make the beach sets more exciting, intense, and fun to watch, the sets are cut in half and are limited to three.

7. How Long Is A Volleyball Game2

What Is The Average Volleyball Set Length?

There are typically three sets in a volleyball match, but occasionally there are five. The rules vary depending on the match. Junior varsity volleyball matches typically last three sets each, whereas varsity matches during the regular season last five.

However, some volleyball matches for junior varsity teams do go to three out of five sets in the championship games. Beach volleyball is played in the best three sets rule, with the first and second sets each receiving 21 points and the tiebreaker set receiving 15 points.

Most common standards

Both teams are vying for rallies when they are playing against one another. Between a serve and the conclusion of the game, a rally, both teams are responsible for making sure their opponents lose the ball. A team receives the point whenever it triumphs in a rally.

Rallies can range in length from brief to lengthy. Even though they occasionally happen in under a second, rallies typically last between 5 and 7 seconds.

The rally typically lasts longer as the teams play better. The teams will engage in rallies that last for 50 touches or longer in a single continuous play in some very evenly-matched games.

How Long Is A High School Volleyball Match?

A high school volleyball match typically lasts an hour. However, varsity games can last for up to an hour and a half. The distinctions between JV and varsity teams can be primarily blamed for the variations in length. Varsity teams typically play a best-of-five format, as opposed to JV teams (or freshman teams), who typically play a best-of-three format. This prolongs play time in addition to their higher level of participation and rate of return.

How Long Is A Volleyball Match On The Beach?

A beach volleyball match usually lasts 45 minutes or so. This is because outdoor (best of three) scoring has a lower point requirement and set cap than indoor scoring.

Beach players can play up to five or even six games a day in some tournaments, though this number is reduced at higher levels. Indoor teams typically play a maximum of two or three matches per day in a tournament.

Beach volleyball is an exhilarating sport that moves quickly. For a fun afternoon and your recommended daily intake of vitamin D, consider attending a nearby competition as a spectator or participant. In-person, everything is always better.

How Long Is A Volleyball Match In College?

An hour and a half is the typical length of a college or university volleyball match. Even though matches can end as early as the first-hour mark, it’s also common for high levels of competition to last closer to two hours.

The greatest disparity in ability is present at this level, making it special. Some players who join collegiate teams may have never played before, while others regularly compete at the national level and have the same level of attack and defense as professionals.

This ability disparity, which has as much to do with division level as it does individual ability, contributes to the most unpredictable match lengths of any level. This level is among the most fun to play and watch due to its unpredictable nature.

Furthermore, many of these student-athletes will play volleyball for the final time this season, giving their teams motivation and fervor that are uncommon at other levels.

Get out there whenever you can to support your neighborhood college team and enjoy some outstanding volleyball while you’re at it.

What Is The Duration Of A Volleyball Tournament?

The two types of volleyball tournaments are progression types and endurance types. With two days of teams playing 2-4 matches each, endurance events typically take place over a single weekend. These competitions typically go on for 10 or 12 hours each day, with shorter durations on the second day as teams are eliminated.

On the other hand, progression tournaments span several weeks or even months of play. On a specific day, teams play one (or occasionally two) matches while traveling to their opponent’s location rather than the tournament venue. Teams meet there for one day, typically 8 hours, when the tournament reaches the quarter- or semi-final stage.

While both types of tournaments are beneficial, progression-style tournaments take a lot more time and effort to prepare for. Since they are typically used at the professional and collegiate levels, endurance competitions are held at the high school and club levels.

How Many Points Does A Volleyball Game Need To Win?

The points for the best 3-of-5 sets are identical to those for the best 2-of-3 sets, with the exception that a team must win three sets rather than just two in order to win the match. For the first four sets, the game is played to a total of 25 points. However, only 15 points are scored in the fifth set.

A team can only win a set using a two-point margin according to the Rally Point System. Accordingly, the game will go on as long as either team can score enough points to hold a two-point advantage. It can take a very long time to complete a competitive game, especially when two powerful teams are involved.

When Grand Canyon University took a 45-43 lead over Brigham Young University in the second set of their volleyball match on February 25, 2021, Grand Canyon won the match. The 2010 record of 86 points was surpassed by the current 88-point set to become the longest set in NCAA history.

The scoring rules for beach volleyball are slightly different. Beach volleyball players compete to 21 points rather than 25 as is the standard rule. Players in beach volleyball will switch ends once they have scored 7 points in each of the opening two sets. Players will switch sides after every five points in the third set.

Final Thoughts

A volleyball game’s length can undoubtedly be influenced by the disparity in skill levels as well as a number of in-game factors.

A volleyball match typically has no set time limit. To the best of two sets, a typical match, on the other hand, typically lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. They typically last up to 150 minutes for the best 3-of-5 sets.