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Football vs. Volleyball: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 5, 2023
Football involves teams competing to score by getting a ball into the opposing goal, while Volleyball teams volley a ball over a net, trying to land it in the opponent's court.

Key Differences

Football is a sport predominantly played on a rectangular field with two goal posts at each end. Teams compete to score by maneuvering the ball into the opposing team's goal using any part of their body except their hands (goalkeepers are an exception). Volleyball, on the other hand, is played on a rectangular court divided by a net. Teams aim to send the ball over the net and have it touch the ground on the opponent's side without it being returned.
The equipment used in Football primarily includes a spherical ball, cleats, shin guards, and jerseys. Volleyball equipment, in contrast, consists of a more elliptical ball, knee pads, and specialized shoes designed for court surfaces. The attire in Volleyball often provides more freedom of movement due to the jumping involved.
Football can be played both outdoors, typically on grass or artificial turf, and indoors in some variations like futsal. However, Volleyball has distinct indoor and beach versions, with the beach variant being played on sand and usually involving teams of two.
Scoring in Football is achieved when the ball crosses the goal line between the posts, regardless of how it gets there. Each goal counts as one point. In Volleyball, points are scored by making the ball land in the opponent's court or when the opponent commits a fault. Matches are typically played in sets, with a team needing to win a certain number of sets to claim victory.
Football is known for continuous gameplay, with each half lasting around 45 minutes, while Volleyball consists of rallies with short breaks between points and more frequent rotations among players.

Comparison Chart


Rectangular field with goal posts
Rectangular court divided by a net

Primary Objective

Score by getting ball into opposing goal
Score by making ball land in opponent's court


Spherical ball, cleats, shin guards
Elliptical ball, knee pads, court shoes

Playing Surface

Grass, artificial turf, indoors (futsal)
Indoor court, sand (beach volleyball)

Scoring System

Goal equals one point
Point per rally, match divided into sets

Football and Volleyball Definitions


Team sport with an objective to score goals
The Football match drew thousands of spectators.


Played both indoors and on the beach
After indoor Volleyball, they relaxed with a game on the beach.


Known for its worldwide tournaments
The World Cup is the pinnacle of Football.


Team sport where the ball is volleyed over a net
They trained hard for the Volleyball championship.


Involves strategy, endurance, and teamwork
Football requires both physical and mental agility.


Emphasizes height and jumping ability
Many Volleyball players are tall and have an impressive vertical leap.


Has variations like futsal and American football
He transitioned from Football to playing as a quarterback in American football.


Requires accurate serves and spikes
Her Volleyball serve is notoriously difficult to return.


A game played by two teams of 11 players each on a rectangular, 100-yard-long field with goal lines and goalposts at either end, the object being to gain possession of a ball and advance it in running or passing plays across the opponent's goal line or kick it through the air between the opponent's goalposts.


Points are earned through rallies
A long Volleyball rally can be both exhilarating and exhausting.


The inflated oval ball, slightly pointed at both ends, that is used in this game.


A game played by two teams on a rectangular court divided by a high net, in which each team, using up to three hits per effort to return the ball, tries to drive the ball over the net onto the ground on the opposing team's side.




The inflated, spherical ball used in this game.




(uncountable) A game played on a rectangular court between two teams of two to six players which involves striking a ball back and forth over a net.


The ball used in soccer or rugby.


(countable) The inflated ball used in such a game.


(Informal) A problem or issue that is discussed among groups or persons without being settled
The issue of tax reform became a political football.


A game in which two teams hit an inflated ball over a high net using their hands


(general) A sport played on foot in which teams attempt to get a ball into a goal or zone defended by the other team.
Roman and medieval football matches were more violent than any modern type of football.


An inflated ball used in playing volleyball


Association football: a game in which two teams each contend to get a round ball into the other team's goal primarily by kicking the ball. Known as soccer in Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
Each team scored three goals when they played football.


American football: a game played on a field of 100 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide in which two teams of 11 players attempt to get an ovoid ball to the end of each other's territory.
Each team scored two touchdowns when they played football.


Canadian football: a game played on a field of 110 yards long and 65 yards wide in which two teams of 12 players attempt to get an ovoid ball to the end of each other's territory.
They played football in the snow.


Australian rules football.


Gaelic football: a field game played with similar rules to hurling, but using hands and feet rather than a stick, and a ball, similar to, yet smaller than a soccer ball.


Rugby league.


Rugby union.


(countable) The ball used in any game called "football".
The player kicked the football.


(uncountable) Practice of these particular games, or techniques used in them.


An item of discussion, particularly in a back-and-forth manner
That budget item became a political football.


The leather briefcase containing classified nuclear war plans which is always near the US President.


To play football.


An inflated ball to be kicked in sport, usually made in India rubber, or a bladder incased in Leather.


The game played with a football{1}, by two opposing teams of players moving the ball between goals at opposite ends of a rectangular playing field. Outside the United States football refers to soccer, and in England, also to rugby, but in the United States the shape of the ball and the rules of the game are different.


Soccer or rugby.


Something which is treated in a rough manner, usually as part of a dispute; as, a political football.


Any of various games played with a ball (round or oval) in which two teams try to kick or carry or propel the ball into each other's goal


The inflated oblong ball used in playing American football


Played predominantly with the feet
He practiced his Football kicks daily.


What's the difference between indoor and beach Volleyball?

Indoor Volleyball is played on a court with six players, while beach Volleyball is on sand with two players.

How do teams score in Volleyball?

In Volleyball, teams score by making the ball land in the opponent's court.

Are there serve rotations in Volleyball?

Yes, Volleyball involves rotations, ensuring all players serve in turn.

How long is a standard Football match?

A standard Football match consists of two 45-minute halves.

What does a "spike" mean in Volleyball?

A spike in Volleyball is a forceful hit of the ball to the opponent's court.

Can Football be played indoors?

Yes, there are indoor variations of Football, like futsal.

What's the most prestigious Football tournament globally?

The FIFA World Cup is considered the most prestigious Football tournament.

What is the primary objective in Football?

In Football, teams aim to score by getting the ball into the opposing team's goal.

What skills are essential for Volleyball?

Serving, passing, setting, attacking, blocking, and digging are key Volleyball skills.

How tall is a standard Volleyball net?

For men, it's 2.43 meters, and for women, it's 2.24 meters.

What's the role of a midfielder in Football?

In Football, a midfielder bridges the defense and offense, controlling play and creating scoring opportunities.

Why is handball a foul in Football?

In Football, players (except goalkeepers in their penalty area) cannot use hands to ensure fair play.

What's a "hat-trick" in Football?

A hat-trick in Football means a player has scored three goals in a single match.

How many sets are in a standard Volleyball match?

A standard Volleyball match is usually best of five sets.

Why are net touches penalized in Volleyball?

Net touches in Volleyball disrupt the game and give an unfair advantage.

Can Football players wear any footwear?

No, Football players typically wear cleats designed for grip on the field.

What is the offside rule in Football?

In Football, a player is offside if they're nearer to the opponent's goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent when the ball is played to them.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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