FAQs: Volleyball in Step 2 of the lockdown roadmap

10th April 2021

FAQs: Volleyball in Step 2 of the lockdown roadmap

In February, the Government outlined a plan for cautiously relaxing lockdown restrictions in 2021. This plan was broken into key steps, with the decision to proceed to the next step based on a number of key tests. Following further information, we produced an infographic outlining what the steps mean for volleyball.

Guidance for Step 1A, Step 1B and Step 2, which allow for the return of school, outdoor, and junior indoor volleyball activity, has now been released and is available to read by visiting www.volleyballengland.org/coronavirus

We are awaiting further guidance from Sport England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as to how sport will be impacted in Step 3 and beyond. 

Below is a list of answers to commonly asked questions. The [NEW] and [UPDATED] tags highlight our latest information.  

Please note this page was last updated on 12/04/2021. 



[UPDATED] What volleyball activity can take place? 

On Monday, 12th April we entered Step 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown. As a result, the following is possible as long as Volleyball England guidance is adhered: 

  • Organised outdoor volleyball between up to 16 people per court, with a maximum of 32 people per session.
  • Organised beach volleyball between up to 16 people per court, with a maximum of 32 people per session.
  • Organised sitting volleyball outdoors between up to 16 people per court, with a maximum of 32 people per session
  • Organised indoor volleyball for juniors between up to 15 players under the age of 18 per indoor field of play. These areas must be at least 2m apart and players from different 'volleybubbles' must not mix.
  • Organised indoor sitting volleyball for juniors between up to 15 players under the age of 18 per indoor field of play. These areas must be at least 2m apart and players from different 'volleybubbles' must not mix.

Activity that is not classed as being formally organised (i.e. recreational) will need to follow the overall Government guidance on outdoor legal gathering limits. Currently, that limit is six people or two different households.  

Visit www.volleyballengland.org/coronavirus to read the guidance for each discipline in full.

What is classed as ‘organised' volleyball activity? 

Activity that follows the sport-specific safety plans and is formally organised by Volleyball England OR a constituted volleyball club that is affiliated to Volleyball England OR a registered level two (or above) volleyball coach OR an organisation or charity that completes our event registration process.

In all cases, the organiser must conduct a risk assessment, appoint a Covid-19 officer and take all reasonable steps to limit the transmission of Covid-19. 

We must stress that any activity that is not classed as organised (i.e. recreational) will need to follow the overall Government guidance on outdoor legal gathering limits.

Are there any exemptions to restrictions? 


  • Outdoor volleyball as part of educational provision.  
  • Outdoor and indoor volleyball activity for disabled people (as determined by an individual in line with the Equality Act 2010).
  • Elite training (for athletes that meet the Government definition of ‘elite’). 

Please check www.volleyballengland.org/coronavirus for further guidance and email info@volleyballengland.org if you require any further help.

Why has the definition of 'organised' volleyball activity changed?

As part of the return to play process in 2021, Volleyball England has been tasked with taking on even more responsibility for ensuring Covid-19 guidance is being applied. Therefore, at this stage, only clubs, level two coaches and organisations/charities we have established lines of communication with, which we can use to provide them with up to date information as it changes to deliver safe volleyball activity, will be able to arrange activity that includes 16 people on court, with a maximum of 32 people per session. See “Monitoring and enforcement of the rules” on our Covid-19 support page for more information.

[NEW] What's the definition of an U18 participant?

The exemption for U18s includes young people who were under 18 on 31st August 2020, even if they turn 18 during the remainder of the academic year.

[NEW] Can adults play alongside children when taking part in indoor sport?

No. However, coaches may feed balls into different volleybubbles.

Do workforce/volunteers/trainers count in the social gathering limits? 

No. Anyone acting in a workforce capacity (for example volunteers, officials, and coaches) are exempt from the rules on gathering, however, they must remain socially distanced from players where possible during play/activity. 

[UPDATED] Are spectators allowed at volleyball activity? 

Previously, the guidance in Step 1B did not allow spectators at any volleyball, beach volleyball or sitting volleyball activity that took place in an outdoors setting. That has now changed in Step 2. From 12th April, spectators are allowed on public land, where they must adhere to social gathering limits either in groups of six or two households.  

As a result of this change, activity organisers must now create a 3m boundary (this does not need to be physically marked out) stretching around the field of play and prevent any spectators from entering the ‘Red Zone’ area within it. This does not apply to carers for disabled people, or adults needed to supervise U18s in a safeguarding role. 

Spectators cannot attend indoor volleyball activity. Again, this does not apply to carers for disabled people, or adults needed to supervise U18s in a safeguarding role.

[NEW] Do I have to wear a face covering to play volleyball indoors?

You do not need to wear a face covering while playing indoor volleyball, but you should wear a face covering at all other times when at an indoor sports facility.

If you are playing sitting volleyball, players must either wear a face mask during the activity or return a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours before the activity takes place. This is required as sitting volleyball presents a unique set of challenges that require additional measures to reduce the risk involved in playing.

Can I travel to take part in sport and physical activity? 

You should minimise time spent outside your home, but you can leave your home to exercise and take part in informal and organised activity. Always check that it’s safe to travel before you set out to take part.

[UPDATED] When will volleyball activity be able to return indoors? 

Disabled athletes have been able to return to indoor activity from 29th March.

Indoor volleyball and sitting volleyball activity resumed for juniors in Step 2, which England will entered on 12th April. 

Indoor and sitting volleyball activity for adults occurs in Step 3. The Government has indicated that 17th May is the earliest point this could happen.

What is the best way to clean volleyballs? 

Please seek instructions from the manufacturer on how equipment should be cleaned. Here is some guidance from three of the most common makes of volleyball: 

  • Mikasa: mikasasports.co.jp/e/support/maintenance
  • Molten: www.molten.co.jp/sports/en/volleyball/product/volleyball/index.html (please click on the relevant product to find ball care instructions)
  • Wilson: Wet wipes, regular disinfectant spray or cloth will not harm Wilson volleyballs, according to the manufacturer, because they are made of composite leather. Make sure volleyballs are completely dry before storing them. 

Remember, balls should be cleaned between sessions and wiped down and dried during timeouts and after every set. During training sessions, they should be cleaned every 30 minutes. It should be stressed that regularly sanitising your hands and not touching your face are essential to reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19. 

Will I be breaking any anti-doping rules if I have any of the Covid-19 vaccines that are approved for use in the UK?  

WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) has released a statement clarifying that, in the highly unlikely event that a vaccine may cause a possible anti-doping rule violation under the World Anti-Doping Code, WADA’s oversight of any subsequent results management will ensure that vaccines and the principles of anti-doping do not come into conflict. UKAD (the UK Anti-Doping Agency) has also released a statement in support of this. UKAs has also confirmed that all three of the approved UK vaccines have been added to Global DRO with a ‘not prohibited’ status.  

[NEW] Will I need a vaccine passport to be able to play volleyball?

Volleyball England has no intention of introducing a requirement for vaccine passports. However, we will follow Government guidance should the situation change.



What must affiliate clubs do to ensure they are covered by their Volleyball England member insurance?  

Clubs must follow Government and Volleyball England guidance to remain covered. For more information on the insurance cover, click here

Is Covid-19 covered under Volleyball England’s membership insurance? 

There is no cover for contracting Covid-19 due to the challenges in pinpointing when and where it was transmitted. Affiliated clubs following Volleyball England’s guidance will receive assistance from Sports Insure should a claim be raised against a club. 

Our club is affiliated to Volleyball England but is based outside of England, what advice should we follow? 

Please heed the advice from your devolved administration. For example, clubs based in Wales should read the latest advice from Volleyball Wales and the Welsh Government. 

[UPDATED] What is the advice for sports venues? 

Outdoor sports facilities can now re-open as we have entered Step 1B of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Indoor sports facilities will be able to re-open for certain reasons as part of Step 2, which will happen on 12th April. 



What is the best way to contact the Hub team? 

To ensure your query is answered as soon as possible, please email info@volleyballengland.org. Staff are continuing to work from home and therefore do not have access to the main office phoneline. Thank you for your understanding. 

Can I still buy items from Volleyball England's online shop? 

Yes, but we are unable to put a time frame on when those items will be shipped. Members of staff are working from home and do not currently have access to our storeroom. 

If you have made an order, rest assured it will be fulfilled once we return to the office. If you have made an order and now wish to cancel it, please contact our finance team (finance@volleyballengland.org) who will be able to arrange a refund for you. 


Please refer to our dedicated Covid-19 support web page and Sport England's FAQ for more information. If you have any questions or need further support, please email info@volleyballengland.org.

FAQs: Volleyball in Step 2 of the lockdown roadmap