Where Is Volleyball Most Popular? Top 5 Countries!

Did you know that the game of volleyball was originally referred to as “mintonette” by its inventor in the late 19th century?

A lot has happened since William G. Morgan derived a new kind of game from badminton, tennis, and handball, as volleyball quickly spread, eventually becoming one of the most played sports in the world.

In this post, we’ll answer the question “where is volleyball most popular” in this top 5 list!

5. Netherlands

Volleyball is the most popular indoor sport in the Netherlands, and the national teams of both men and women have been dominant forces in the sport. Over 125,000 people play volleyball regularly with a team.

The men’s national team has won a gold medal at the Olympics in 1996 and was crowned winners of the World League the same year as well. They also nearly became world champions in 1994 but ended up being runners-up.

These successes have definitely contributed to the increased popularity of the sport in the country!

4. Serbia

Serbia has a very good men’s national team and an excellent women’s national team. These successes have translated into the fact that volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the country.

The men’s national team won a gold medal in the Olympics in the year 2000 and a silver medal at the World Championships in the year 1998. They also dominate European volleyball, being European Champions in 2001, 2011, and 2019.

Pretty impressive for such a small country, don’t you think?

3. Russia

Volleyball has been one of the popular sports in Russia since the Soviet Era, and this trend has continued after the Soviet Union fell apart. Russia remains one of the dominant forces in the sport, in both the men’s and women’s competitions.

The USSR has crowned itself, Olympic, European, and World Champion multiple times, and Russia has repeated these successes a couple of times as well. They won an Olympic gold medal in 2012 and were European champions in 2013 and 2017.

It’s easy to understand why volleyball is so popular in Russia, right?

2. Cuba

Even though the domination of the Cuban National teams, and especially that of the women, has declined seriously in the 21st century, the sport remains widely popular in the country.

The main reason is the fact that the women’s national team dominated most parts of the 1990s, an amazing achievement for the country. The women’s national team that made it happen was referred to as “Las Espectaculares Morenas del Caribe” which translates to “The Spectacular Caribbean Girls” in English.

That’s right, women made volleyball so popular in Cuba!

1. Brazil

Volleyball is without a doubt most popular in Brazil, something made possible because of the thousands of volleyball courts on the hundreds of popular beaches in the country. Both men and women enjoy playing volleyball from a very young age while they spend time at the beach.

This has resulted in Brazil dominating the sport of volleyball in both men’s and women’s competitions. The men’s team is frequently ranked as number 1 on the FIVB list and the women’s national team in the top 3.

So even though football (or soccer as some countries call it) is the number 1 sport in Brazil, volleyball is a pretty close runner-up!

where is volleyball most popular - brazil national team
Brazil national team / Source

So there you go, the question where is volleyball most popular answered, and as you can see, volleyball is popular all over the world!

But isn’t volleyball popular in Asia as well?