New survey reveals students’ commitment to volleyball

28th February 2019

New survey reveals students’ commitment to volleyball

The results of a large survey have revealed just how big a role volleyball plays in university life.

1070 students who play volleyball at university answered a questionnaire on their experience of volleyball in higher education. The results underlined why university is often the place where people develop their long-term passion for the sport.

The headline findings found that most were very committed to playing, most commonly spending between one and two hours every week on court. Playing volleyball was important priority for the students with over 53% of the recipients ranking it as a high priority, on a four-point scale of low, moderate, high and very high.

“The results show the hugely positive impact volleyball is having on the lives of students,” says Volleyball England’s core market coordinator Rob Payne, who managed the survey. “Universities are delivering a brilliant volleyball experience and have the full support of Volleyball England. We will continue to work with higher education institutions and believe we could develop even more opportunities for students in volleyball.”

Over 93 nationalities from 84 different universities were represented in the study with the students having a wide range of motivations for playing. Asked to rank their top reason, the students’ responses included: to have fun (36%), to improve performance (17%), to keep fit (19%) and to take a break from studying (10%).

The quality of facilities and opportunities were key factors of students enjoying a brilliant experience of volleyball. The over 1000 students who responded ranked university facilities at an average of 8 out of 10, while the deliverers were found to play a crucial role too, scoring and average of 8.4 out of 10. The communication before, during and after volleyball sessions was scored at an average of 8.2 out of 10.

Overall, the students said overwhelmingly that volleyball at university is fun, giving it a remarkable 9 out of 10 on average.

A well-made match

University has traditionally been a place where volleyball has grown and thrived. With better facilities and more opportunities, many people have discovered or cemented their commitment to the sport.

Realising that the more university students got the chance to play volleyball, the more they seemed to get into the sport, the Higher Education Volleyball Officer (HEVO) programme was set-up over eight years ago.

The HEVO scheme sees student officers establish and lead recreational volleyball sessions, separate from competitive university teams, for fellow students in their universities. In the eighth year of the programme, the scheme is currently operating in 59 universities in England with over 3000 students playing through the scheme in just the first term of this academic year alone.  

If you’re interested in becoming a HEVO for the 2019/20 programme, please contact core market coordinator Rob Payne on 01509 227738 or email If you’re a student who is interest in enjoying fun, recreational volleyball sessions, visit the HEVO section of website to find out who is the HEVO at your university. 

Universities also play a big role in competitive volleyball. Most universities compete in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) leagues, as well as the Volleyball England Student Cup. There is also a big connection between universities and the National Volleyball League. Many universities enter teams into the national league or have partnerships with NVL teams.

“Having recently undertaken a strategic appraisal of our competitions programme, which specifically focused on the motivations behind student-athlete engagement in competitive sport, it is extremely encouraging to see that the insight gathered by Volleyball England mirrors our understanding of what drives participation in higher education (HE) sport,” says Jenny Morris, Head of Sport Delivery and Performance at BUCS. “Both BUCS and Volleyball England are committed to providing the best possible experience for all student volleyball athletes within HE institutions, therefore fully understanding the motivations of student-athletes is imperative to achieving any sort of success in this.”  

Going to university also gives the option for students to enhance their potential volleyball career. Volleyball England works with six universities which are designated Senior Academies. This means they have dedicated performance volleyball programmes which see talented players develop their skills alongside their studies. As well as enhancing their level, it can help players achieve new opportunities such as representing their country or going to play professionally abroad.

New survey reveals students’ commitment to volleyball