How To Tell What Type of Volleyball Player by the Ball They Own
Volleyball is a team sport played six versus six. In beach volleyball, it is typically two versus two. Various other adult leagues have a four on four style. The object in volleyball is to be the first to reach a score of 25 for indoor, or 21 for outdoor. Matches are played in the best of 5 sets for indoor or the best of 3 sets outdoor.
According to Wiki, the first ball was created in 1896 by Spaulding, while some others claim it was four years after in 1900. The ball has evolved greatly over the years, with companies often changing styles to meet the needs of the game from a speed and strength perspective.
In the United States, there are numerous volleyball choices to make. This article will help guide players to know which type of ball they should be using throughout their lifetime.
The Tachikara Volley-Lite
If you see a player using a Volley-Lite, they are just learning the game and are likely just entering their teen years. The Volley-lite is designed to be a very forgiving ball on the forearms of younger players and is a gateway ball to the rest of the years in the sport.
For ages: 2-12
Likely Level: Pre-junior varsity or pre-modified depending on the part of the country
The Tachikara NFHS Ball
You, my friend, are playing women's indoor volleyball at the junior varsity or high school level. Congratulations, you have progressed away from the Volley-Lite and are into big girl territory. Your arms are tough and this is a ball you will likely use for the next four years or so.
Likely Level: Varsity and Junior Varsity Girls
Molten Super Touch
The Molten Super Touch
This is the ball that players will use during the girl's junior club volleyball season and adult women's club season at some events. Not all events mind you, just the ones that Molten sponsors. Honestly, there could be an assortment of balls used depending on who is the title sponsor, but this patriotic version is one of the more popular versions.
Likely Level: Girl's and Women's Club Volleyball
Congratulations! You're in college now! You chose to save some money and enroll at your local community college and made their volleyball team. And Tachikara is the ball that you will be using for your two-year stay at your current university with their black, blue, and white design.
Likely Level: Two-year Colleges
Another ball designed solely for college play, the Tachikara NAIA ball highlights an entire division of four-year colleges. With their patriotic red, white, and blue design, this balls screams play in the United States.
Likely Level: Four-year NAIA Colleges
Molten Super Touch
Molten NCAA Women's
Another version of the college volleyball, Molten partnered with the NCAA many years back and have supplied NCAA colleges in Division I, II, and III for well over ten years now. The Super Touch is similar to the junior women's ball but has a blue, silver, and white design to it. This was likely to mirror the NCAA's own color scheme and logo.
Likely Level: Four-year NCAA Colleges
Molten Men's Collegiate
The Molten Flistatec
Newly instilled as the ball of men's collegiate volleyball and men's adult leagues within the last two years, this ball has an interesting feel and pattern that mirrors the changing designs in the international game. It's a little lighter than it's predecessor the Molten Pro Touch and easier to handle from reports that have been heard from setters.
Likely Level: Men's Club, Collegiate, and Adult Volleyball
Molten Flistatec International
Molten Flistatec FIVB
You have graduated college and you have signed on with a professional volleyball club in a foreign land. This is the ball you will be using. Similar to the men's collegiate ball, only with a Christmas feel with their red, green, and white design. It also reminds you of a big, round candy cane.
Likely Level: International Professional Volleyball
Mikasa Olympic Ball
Mikasa FIVB Olympic Ball
You have reached the pinnacle of your career now, you're in the Olympics. Mikasa designed a ball just for this event. New pattern, blue and gold coloring, and a very lightweight feel. There's nothing you want more than to channel your inner Karch Kiraly, siphon the gold off the ball and turn it into a medal you can hang around your neck.
Likely Level: The Olympics
Wilson AVP Ball
Wilson Pro Beach Volleyball Ball
It's Summer and you've packed away your indoor court shoes. You've got the sandals out, the sunscreen, and your bathing suit. Here's the ball for you - the Wilson AVP Beach Volleyball. Lightweight and water resistant, this ball is a welcome site after months of colder temperatures. With it's simple design of white and yellow, it's an ideal ball to dirty up in the sand.
Likely Level: Anything outside
Tachikara Setter's Ball
The Tachikara Setter's Ball
You have been given the keys to the castle. You could be playing any level of volleyball, but you are a specific position. You are the setter. Your coach wants you to be strong, have fast hands, and big shoulders. Either that, or they hate you. You'll never be sure which after using this ball, but you'll suspect the second option every time.
Likely Level: Developing teenage setters
You, sir, have watched one too many movies and are likely not a volleyball player. Either that or you are a huge Tom Hanks fan and have an inherent jealously for the relationship that he developed with a volleyball. Either way, volleyball players will likely steer clear of you if seen with this ball.
Likely Level: Fans and non-volleyball players
What's Your Favorite Ball?
Volleyball in the United States is a growing sport. With a huge presence in high school, club, college, and beach volleyball, the opportunity to play is immense. It's important to understand the ball progression so that your family can provide you with the age-appropriate and gender-appropriate volleyball. I hope this guide helps.