Volleyball can be played on beaches, in gyms, and on grass in competitions worldwide. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a high school player, a casual beach player, a parent buying a ball for your children, or a coach, choosing a good volleyball ball is paramount to enjoying the game at each level. In this guide, we’ll list our favorite and best volleyballs that we have researched and tested.
Types of Volleyballs
Before diving into specific products, it’s essential to differentiate between the primary types of volleyballs:
- Indoor Volleyballs:
- Description: Indoor volleyballs are the most commonly used and are designed for hard court surfaces. They have a soft touch and are made using leather or high-quality composite materials.
- Size & Weight: Standard size (Size 5) with a circumference of 65-67 cm and weight of 260-280 grams.
- Beach Volleyballs (Outdoor Sand):
- Description: Beach volleyballs are designed for outdoor play on sand. They are slightly larger and softer than indoor volleyballs and have a more durable exterior to withstand the outdoor environment.
- Size & Weight: Standard size but with a slightly larger circumference (typically around 66-68 cm) and similar weight to indoor balls.
- Outdoor Volleyballs (Grass and Hard Surfaces):
- Description: These are versatile balls designed for play on grass or hard surfaces other than the standard indoor court. They are durable and may vary in softness.
- Size & Weight: Similar to indoor or beach volleyballs, but the exact specifications can vary depending on the brand and intended use.
1) Mikasa V200W (Official FIVB)
Best for: Professional, High-Level, or Competitive Indoor Play
Review: Having played volleyball for years, I have played with the Mikasa V200W. Right from the start, I gotta say, I was pretty impressed by the softer touch, less slipperiness, and just has a great grip and feel of this ball. Its consistent touch and flight stability truly stood out during gameplay.
It’s clear to see why it’s chosen as the official ball for FIVB events; its performance is unparalleled. Highly recommend for any competitive play.
2) Molten Official NCAA Super Touch Volleyball (Official Women’s NCAA)
Best for: NCAA Official, High-level, or Competitive Indoor Play
Review: After playing several matches with the this Volleyball, I can confidently vouch for its superior quality. The ball’s texture from the Premium Japanese leather provides an excellent feel, facilitating precise hits, passes, and serves. Good durability and a 1-year warranty make it a reliable choice.
Truly, the “Super Touch” name is well-deserved, making it a worthy choice for NCAA games.
3) Wilson OPTX AVP Tour (Official Beach)
Best for: Professional, High-Level, or Competitive Beach Volleyball
Review: I was excited to try the Wilson OPTX AVP Tour Volleyball. Right off the bat, its new visual design made tracking the ball during play easier than ever. The touch and feel of the ball were exceptional, striking the right balance between softness and firmness.
It’s definitely a great beach volleyball and an obvious choice for the ATP Tour.
4) Molten Youth VBU12 (Best Youth)
Best for: Indoor Youth Leagues
Review: I found the Molten Youth VBU12 to be an excellent choice for children. Because its size and weight are perfectly tailored for younger players, ensuring they can handle and play with it comfortably. The ball is constructed with high-quality and durable materials, ensuring long-lasting performance. Its softness makes it safe for children to play with without causing any harm.
Overall, I’m genuinely pleased with the Molten VBU12; it’s clear why it’s considered one of the best youth volleyballs on the market.
5) Mikasa VQ2000 Plus (Best High School)
Best for: High School or Recreational Indoor Play
Review: Many parents of high school volleyball players have gifted this popular volleyball to their kids. Impressive durability and longevity were observed during my experimentation, as I used an old ball that had already withstood numerous practices and games without noticeable wear. It has an incredible soft feel, versatile color options, and just the right balance of softness and firmness.
6) Baden Perfection Elite Volleyball
Best for: High School, College, or Recreational Indoor Play
Review: Having played with various volleyballs over the years, the Baden Perfection Elite truly caught my attention. The ball’s grip and balance felt exceptional, allowing for precise control during serves and rallies. I also appreciated its durability, showing minimal wear even after numerous games.
Overall, the Baden Perfection Elite Volleyball lived up to its name, offering an elite playing experience. Some states use this as their official high school volleyball.
7) Molten L2 Replica Volleyball (Best For Recreational)
Best for: Recreational Indoor Play
Review: I recently picked up the Molten L2 Replica Volleyball for some casual games with friends, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. It strikes a great balance between durability and a comfortable touch. And it’s a great bang for your buck! This ball offers excellent value for its price.
So for anyone looking for a reliable and affordable ball for fun, yet competitive games, the Molten L2 Replica is a good choice.
8) Wilson Outdoor Recreational Volleyball (Most Fun)
Best for: Recreational & Fun Outdoor Play
Review: Not only is the ball’s performance on point for casual games, but the myriad design options, including the iconic “Wilson” face from the movie “Cast Away,” add a unique touch of nostalgia and fun. Every time we set up a game, that design becomes an instant conversation starter. Also, it’s sold at quite an affordable price.
So if you are looking for outdoor volleyball that combines performance and fun. This is the perfect pick for you!
9) Tachikara SV-5WSC Volleyball (Best Soft Volleyball)
Best for: Recreational Indoor Play
Review: The high-quality ball offers a notably soft touch, making this a good ball for beginners and kids. The price is in the mid-range between affordable and premium balls. So for those who prioritize comfort and a gentler touch in their games, the Tachikara volleyball is the best choice.
10) Baden Match Point (Most Affordable)
Best for: Recreational Play
Review: I was on the hunt for an affordable yet reliable volleyball and stumbled upon the Baden Match Point. To my surprise, despite its budget-friendly price, the ball delivers a commendable performance on the court or even outdoors. It has a soft feel that is easy on the arms and hands, making it a good choice for beginners. Also, it has multiple colors to choose from.
For those looking for a cost-effective option without sacrificing too much on quality.
What to Consider When Buying a Volleyball
- Purpose: Are you playing indoors, outdoors, or on the beach? Ensure the ball is designed for the intended environment. And are you playing competitive or just recreational?
- Material: Leather volleyballs offer a soft feel but can be pricier. Synthetic materials can be more durable and water-resistant.
- Size and Weight: Official size and weight vary depending on the type. An official indoor ball typically weighs between 260-280 grams, while a beach ball weighs between 260-280 grams but is slightly larger.
- Price: While professional-grade balls can be expensive, there are many mid-range and budget-friendly options that offer good value for their price.
Different Volleyball Sizes
- Size 5 (Full Size)
- Circumference: 65-67 cm (25.5-26.5 inches)
- Weight: 260-280 grams (9.2-9.9 ounces)
- Usage: Standard size for adults and official play, including indoor volleyball for both men’s and women’s leagues and beach volleyball.
- Size 4 (Youth)
- Circumference: 63-65 cm (24.8-25.6 inches)
- Weight: 230-250 grams (8.1-8.8 ounces)
- Usage: Typically used for youth volleyball, specifically for players aged 12 to 14.
- Size 3 (Junior)
- Circumference: 58-60 cm (22.8-23.6 inches)
- Weight: 200-220 grams (7-7.8 ounces)
- Usage: Designed for younger players, usually those aged 8 to 12.
The world of volleyballs is vast and varied, with options to suit every type of player and environment. By understanding the nuances of each ball and considering your specific needs, you can find the perfect volleyball for your next game or practice session. Whether you’re hitting on the beach or setting in a gym, the right ball can make all the difference.