Countdown to the Games
17-25 June 2023


Know your facts:

  • Vollyball has been a sport at Special Olympics World Games since 1983
  • Unified Sports? Yes
  • Estimated number of athletes participating: 159 athletes + 131 Unified partners

The goal in volleyball is to receive the ball correctly and play skillfully as a team to be able to execute a good attack. During a match, two teams with six players each compete head-to-head.

Special Olympics feature:

We have volleyball in three forms/types.

  • In modified volleyball, volleyball players play slower than usual and use a larger, lighter ball.
  • Traditional volleyball involves athletes who play with a standard volleyball.
  • In unified volleyball, a person with an intellectual disability and a person without an intellectual disability play in tandem.

The peculiarity of Special Olympics Volleyball is the rule that a person may make a maximum of three serves in a row. Basically, the rules of the game correspond to those of the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). There are slight adaptations in terms of court size, net height and weight, and size of the ball.

We have two competitions:

  1. Unified Sports Team Competition - Men/Mixed
  2. Unified Sports Team Competition - Women

By the way:

William G. Morgan invented the game of volleyball in 1895, creating it as a balanced mix of basketball, baseball, handball and tennis.


The volleyball competitions are ticketed.



All timings of our competitions and award ceremonies.


Spectator Guide

All information for visiting volleyball.

The photo shows two women's teams playing volleyball. Two players are waiting for their teammate to serve. They have their arms stretched upwards.
1  of  6
The photo shows a dynamic scene of three Volleyball players during competition.
2  of  6
The photo shows two Volleyball teams shaking hands underneath the net while smiling.
3  of  6
The photo shows a Volleyball team in a circle from below during their time out.
4  of  6
The photo shows a team playing volleyball. One player is just taking the serve. She is almost on the floor with her knees.
5  of  6
The photo shows two teams playing volleyball. Two players from the two teams are at the net. One is trying to pass the ball over the net, the other has his arms up and is trying to defend the ball.
6  of  6
1  of  6

Messe Berlin

Volleyball takes place on the grounds of Messe Berlin in the Halls 18 & 20.