I suspect most long-time observers of volleyball would agree in general terms that women’s matches have longer rallies than do men’s matches. Have you ever really quantified it, though?

The FIVB actually did this back in 2016 in a report they produced. It indicates that rallies in the men’s game generally average between 5 and 6 seconds at the international level. Between about 6.6 and 7.6 seconds if you exclude ace and missed serve rallies – what the FIVB describes as pseudo-rallies. For some reason their study period was much shorter for the women, but it was 7-8 second and 8-9 seconds respectively.

As part of the research I mentioned here I took a look at the length of rallies from a different perspective. That is attacks per point. For the women it came out to 1.63, while for men it was 1.25 if we included rallies featuring aces and service errors. If we exclude the psuedo-rallies, those numbers are 1.93 and 1.61 respectively.


John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Men's & Women's Head Volleyball Coach at Medaille College, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy (formerly Charleston Academy). His previous experience includes the college and university level in the US and UK, professional coaching in Sweden, and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. Learn more on his bio page.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.