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Volleyball: 15 Countries Where Is Most Popular (Worldwide)

Whether you want to move to a new country or visit, you may wonder where volleyball is popular. If you play the sport, you can keep up with it even during your international travels. But you should look for where it’s already popular if you want the best chance of getting to play it.

Volleyball is popular in countries all around the world. Some of the top countries include Brazil, Russia, the United States, Japan, China, and Italy. However, there are plenty of additional countries in which volleyball has a large and enthusiastic following. 

If you’re interested in pursuing volleyball around the world, you can travel to a variety of countries. Then, you can experience the sport on a new continent. Let’s dive into the countries where volleyball is most popular.

1. Brazil

With their national team receiving one of the top scores from the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), it’s no wonder that Brazil is a country with a big volleyball community. Volleyball has been on the rise in Brazil since the 1980s, and it will continue to grow in the near future.

Brazil has an excellent national team that consistently ranks in world tournaments, even if they don’t win. Volleyball is also quite popular at a recreational level, especially in the coastal areas.

2. Russia

While not as popular in the country as some sports, Russia still has impressive volleyball teams. The sport is one of the most popular among professional athletes, and there’s both a men’s and women’s national team.

During the Soviet era, Russia had very successful national teams, and the teams still rank well today. You may not see many children playing volleyball in Russia, but it’s still an important sport.

3. United States

Volleyball has been popular in the United States since the 1920s when it became a founding member of the FIVB. Team USA provides competitive and instructional activities to players of all ages and abilities. The sport is very popular in high school and college, especially female volleyball. The state of Massachusetts is home to the International Volleyball Hall of Fame

4. Japan

Japan is one of the best countries in Asia for volleyball players. The sport is very popular, and you can find many places to play in Tokyo and around the country.

You also don’t need to worry about speaking Japanese since many local volleyball players have to speak English if they want to play abroad. In Japan, you can enjoy playing volleyball from a beginner to a professional level.

5. China

Volleyball is also popular in China, where the women’s national team has won multiple Olympic medals. The team has also competed in the World Championship and World Cup. They also have medals from the Asian Championship and Asian Games.

China’s volleyball teams have had more success than other sports teams, so that could be why it’s become a popular sport. Women’s teams are especially popular and skilled in the country.

6. Italy

Volleyball in Italy has a long history, starting around World War I. The country founded multiple volleyball organizations, and the current Italian Volleyball League has multiple levels. Each level has a different number of teams, and some levels are more regional than national.

The league is very competitive, especially the highest level, called SuperLega. Volleyball is particularly popular in medium-sized cities since soccer tends to dominate the more populated areas.

7. Cuba

In Cuba, volleyball is popular among women and men. The men’s team was the first Cuban team to win a gold medal, and the women’s team has done just as well in various competitions.

Cuba’s women’s team has won tournaments since the 1970s, and they won eight championships in a row in the 1990s. They were the top Latin American team for years, and they hope to continue that legacy by recruiting younger players.

8. Poland

Poland features both a men’s and women’s national volleyball team. The men’s team ranks among the top teams in the FIVB; while the women’s team doesn’t rank as high, they still have considerable success. You can find both teams participating in international competitions.

Within Poland, volleyball is one of the most popular sports. There are multiple leagues, and the Polish Cup is a popular volleyball tournament for both men and women.

9. Netherlands

The Netherlands is an excellent country for volleyball players and fans. It’s very popular thanks to the country’s success in the Olympic games. You can enjoy indoor volleyball in the main part of the country.

But if you want to play beach volleyball, you can head to Dutch Caribbean places such as Aruba and Sint Maarten. Either way, you can enjoy volleyball both as a player and a spectator.

10. Germany

Currently, the German men’s national volleyball team may not do as well as other countries in championships, but volleyball is still popular. Women have fared better, and they’ve been to the Olympics since the days of West Germany. The women’s national team has placed in many competitions, and they’ve earned the top places a couple of times.

11. Serbia

In Serbia, team sports are very popular, and volleyball is no different. While soccer is the most popular sport in the country, volleyball is in the top five. You can enjoy fantastic training matches, and you don’t have to worry about travel restrictions.

If you want to play volleyball in Europe, Serbia is an excellent option. Plus, you can soak up some of the culture, both on and off the volleyball court.

12. Bulgaria

Bulgaria ranks highly in the FIVB rankings, and it’s a popular sport within the country, too. The country is great for sports fans, and you can play volleyball even if you are just starting. Still, the national teams are fantastic. Along with other sports, volleyball is a great activity for Bulgarians. If people don’t play, they can watch the sport both in and out of the country.

13. Peru

People in Peru love to play and watch volleyball. They take the World Championship seriously, and Cenaida Uribe is a famous volleyball player from Peru who won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics.

Now, she serves as the national volleyball coordinator, and she will continue to promote the sport in her country. If you go to Peru, be sure to check out a game of volleyball at any level of play.

14. Argentina

Various sports fuel fandoms in Argentina, and volleyball is becoming a popular one. It has gained a lot of interest in the past few years, and the national team has performed well in international competitions.

Argentinians love watching sports, including volleyball; and you can find a ton of excellent beaches for playing beach volleyball. So whether you’re a player or a spectator, you can enjoy the sport in Buenos Aires or along the coast.

15. Australia

In Australia, volleyball is among the biggest Olympic sports in terms of participation, and both men and women play it. It’s also the most gender-equal sport in the country. The Australia Schools Cup attracts players from all over the country.

You can play volleyball at any level in Australia, and you shouldn’t have a problem finding people to play with. Professionals can go on to join the national team.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to play volleyball in a new country or experience it as a spectator, plenty of countries love the sport. You can visit places all over the world, from North America to Africa. Consider these countries when planning your next volleyball trip.