D1 volleyball requires athletes to be dedicated to excellence. It’s not easy entering this elite world of athletics, but you will have a better chance with determination and constant training. You may already have the drive to accomplish your goals but aren’t sure about the height requirements.
Continue reading below to find out how tall you need to be in order to qualify.
The requirements typically depend on your gender and playing position. This mostly has to do with how tall an Olympic volleyball net is. Below is the outline for height by gender and role for your reference.
- Libero: Libero players act as defense and mainly stay in the back, so they do not have to be as tall as front positions. They need to be 5’5″ or taller.
- Middle Blocker/Hitter: Middle blockers are expected to be tall because it gives them an advantage in blocking the other team’s attacks. They’re expected to be 6’1″ or taller.
- Outside Hitter: Working as offense and working in the back and front row, outside hitters send out most attacks and need to jump pretty high. These players also need height and must be at least 6 feet tall.
- Setter: Setters run the team’s offense and function as the point guard of the unit. They work in front and back. Players in this role must be at least 5’10”.
- Libero: Just like female players in the Libero role, males in this position do not need to be extra tall. Typically, 6′ is satisfactory.
- Middle Blocker/Hitter: Men in this position need to be quite tall. They must be at least six inches taller than the Libero.
- Outside Hitter: Males in this position only must be around four inches taller than the Libero.
- Setter: Men are expected to stand 6’4″ or taller as a setter.
Average D1 Volleyball Player Height
It’s no secret that tall players have an advantage in the sport of volleyball. The average female D1 volleyball player’s height is five feet and ten inches, and six feet for males.
Shortest D1 Volleyball Players
If you’re not very tall, do not fret because there’s still a chance of becoming a D1 volleyball player. Listed below are the shortest heights by position.
Shortest Outside Hitter
There’s still hope for you if you’re interested in playing as an outside hitter but lack height. The shortest outside hitter Mami Uchiseto (a Japanese professional volleyball player), stands at 5 feet and 6.9 inches.
Middle positions, as noted earlier, require the most height. However, there are shorter middle positions out there at the professional level. For example, Aya Watanabe (a Japanese professional volleyball player) plays the middle blocker role of about 5 feet and 9 inches.
The shortest male libero player is about 5 feet 5 inches and played for the Iranian team. Even if you’re a male, you still have a chance.
The shortest setter was around five feet four inches and is well known. Her name was Debbie Green-Vargas, and she was known for being one of the best women’s volleyball players. Green-Vargas was a member of the U.S. national team and received the silver medal in the 1984 Olympics.
Tallest D1 Volleyball Players
If you’re curious about the tallest volleyball players, a list below outlines some of the tallest players by position.
Tallest Outside Hitter
At 8 feet and 1 inch tall, Morteza Mehrzad Selakjani is the tallest outside hitter. He served an Iranian team and represented Iran in the 2016 and 2020 Summer Paralympics. Although successful in volleyball, he suffers from a condition known as acromegaly, which causes the pituitary gland to create too much growth hormone. He also had an accident where he was injured before he began playing professionally.
At 7 feet and 1 inch, Dmitry Muserskiy is the tallest professional Middle blocker. Muserskiy is of Ukrainian descent and played for Russia. He has won many awards, including the 2012 Olympics Champion, the 2013 European Champion, and the 2011 World Cup.
The tallest libero is Jenia Grebennikov. He also won several awards, including the 2015 European Champion, and was a gold medalist in the World League. He stands at 6 feet and 2 inches.
Micah Christenson is one of the tallest professional setters. He’s around 6 feet and 6 inches tall and plays as a United States National Volleyball team member. His accomplishments are impressive and inspire many. He won gold in the 2014 World League and bronze in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. He also won the World Cup in 2015.
Hopefully, the above information will help inform and inspire you on your journey to pursue a D1 volleyball career. As can be seen from the information above, volleyball players come in many shapes and sizes. The main thing to remember is to focus on strengthening your abilities and using what you were born with to succeed.