Did you know aside from the usual 6v6 player volleyball or 2v2 player volleyball there is also 9v9 player volleyball? This type of volleyball called 9 man volleyball is not very common in the states or not common in general. This type of volleyball is very common among Chinese communities and is mostly played in northern parts of the U.S.

9 man volleyball started in the Guangdong Province in China around the 1930s and was later introduced to the states. Leading to the first nine-man volleyball tournament held in Boston, MA in 1938.


I am not familiar with this type of volleyball so I had to do some research about how to play and what the requirements are. Nine-man volleyball has its own organization called NACIVT. Nine-man volleyball is only for men and no women can play, unless it was something put on together with your friends and not through the organization. But it goes a little further than just being a male. The organization also states that “6 of the players have to be 100% Chinese players on the court and the last three just have to be of an asian descent.

Aside from the number of people on the court all the mechanics are the same as the other two types of volleyball I listed, but there are some different rules of what you can and cannot due. In nine-man volleyball you don’t have to rotate the player like you would normally and you don’t have a set substitute like the other types of volleyball due the only thing with that, is the referee has to know of the substitution. The rest of the rules that are different are listed below:

  • Players cannot jump serve
  • If the player serves and it touches the net, the server is given a second chance
  • Cannot touch any other body part except the arms and hands
  • Allowed three touches and the block counts as one
    • Exception if the ball goes into the net in an attempt to get it over
  • Players from the back row can attack the ball from the front row


Nine-mine scoring is based on a rallying scoring system and that means that you do not have to be serving in order to win a point. Each game is played to 21 and you have to win by two. If there is no two-point lead when a team gets to 21 then the first team to 25 wins.

When reading about where games of nine-man volleyball take place I could only find that there is one big tournament a year on labor day that is held in Boston and teams from Boston, Maryland, Los Angeles, Chicago, North Carolina, Huston, Montreal, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, Toronto and Washington, D.C. Below are the 6 most recent tournaments held:

69th NACIVT was hosted in Washington, D.C. in 2013

70th NACIVT was hosted in Las Vegas in 2014

71st NACIVT was hosted in New York in 2015

72nd NACIVT was hosted in Las Angeles in 2016

73rd NACIVT was hosted in Fort Lauderdale in 2017

74th NACIVT was hosted in Montreal in 2018

Nine-man volleyball is a unique way to play volleyball and is a space for Asian communities to get away from stereotypes and have the opportunity to play a sport that is part of their community

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