The sport of volleyball is the tallest in the world, so being not only short but also ‘not tall’ presents some unique challenges!
You might need a little reminder that success can still be achieved despite your low height if you are a shorter volleyball player…
Two of these ladies have retired and six are still playing professionally. A college athlete, three professional indoor volleyball players, and one professional beach volleyball player make up the five professionals.
Taking a closer look at the Shortest Female Volleyball Players!
Shortest Female Pro Indoor Volleyball Players
This list has more setters than liberos among the indoor players!
Deborah Green-Vargas (Debbie): 162cm [5’4″]
Debbie Green-Vargas was perhaps the most famous of the short volleyball players since she was always the shortest player on the court.
When it comes to setting, Debbie is considered one of the best in the world. She won a silver medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics.
It’s surprising how much gameplay footage there is of her online, considering she has long since retired!
It doesn’t detract much from Debbie’s prolific success as a volleyball player, even though the game was very different then.
Jamenea Ferrer (Jem): 157cm [5’2″]
In almost 10 years of playing in the PVL, Jem has also been a Filipino player.
In spite of the fact that she is quite a bit taller than Ella, she is regarded as particularly small since she is a setter.
Setters’ height is extremely important because it allows them to run a 5-1 rotation instead of the more predictable 6-2 rotation.
Currently signed with the Choco Mucho Flying Titans, Jem is one of the more experienced PVL players.
This setover was awful!
Yoshie Takeshita: 159cm [5’2.5″]
Her tiny stature did not prevent her from being one of Japan’s best-ever women’s setters despite retiring a decade ago.
During her time in the Japanese V League, Yoshie played over 100 games and earned a great deal of recognition for her setting performances.
A bronze medal was also won by her at the London Olympics in 2012!
Yoshie is an inspiration to me. Her career was truly a great one because she not only reached one of the highest levels of the game but also achieved a lot of success.
Shortest Female College Volleyball Players
Are you concerned about your height if you want to play college volleyball?
There’s no need to worry. Among NCAA volleyball players, there are plenty of shorties!
All four of the shortest Division 1 NCAA volleyball players in 2022 are liberos or defensive specialists, and all of them are 5’2″.
Among the Division 2 players, there are a couple that measure just 5’1″.
A 5’4″ senior defensive specialist, Gina Custer, competes in division 3.
Gina Custer: 152cm [5′]
Even though Gina is only 152cm tall, she has excellent skills as a libero.
Jorella (Ella) Marie de Jesus: 152cm [4’11.8″]
It’s hard to believe that Ella is only 152 cm tall, barely 5 feet tall and that she’s a Filipino libero who just won the 2023 PVL invitational conference with the Creamline Cool Smashers!
Eleanor is a great example of how liberos are rarely limited by height.
Liberos rarely have a problem with their height, except when they are too tall to play the position well.
In addition, 4’11” might also be too short for most liberos, since you will have a hard time covering the court adequately in such a small area.
You can too because Ella makes it work!
For more information, check out this article on height requirements for liberos.
Shortest Female Beach Volleyball Players
Beach volleyball places a greater emphasis on height than indoor volleyball.
The longer your legs are, the easier it will be to cover more ground when there are only two of you on the court!
Therefore, it makes sense that the beach players on this list are slightly taller than the indoor players. They are all 5’5″ tall and belong to either NORCECA, FIVB, or AVP federations, all of which offer legit professional beach tours.
Megumi Murakami: 165cm [5’5″]
In volleyball, Megumi Murakami demonstrates that height is no barrier to greatness. She stands at just 165cm. In spite of her short stature, Megumi has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with on the court.
She has won the admiration of fans and fellow players alike with her lightning-quick reflexes, agility, and tenacity, which have made her a defensive powerhouse. It is Megumi Murakami’s story that inspires all the shortest female volleyball players seeking to overcome physical limitations through skill and determination.
Katie Spieler: 165cm [5’5″]
With a height of 165cm, Katie Player is a shining example of how talent and determination can overcome physical limitations. Katie has displayed exceptional skills and tenacity despite being one of the shortest women on the court.
As a result of her lightning-fast moves, pinpoint ball control and unwavering spirit, she is highly respected among teammates and opponents alike. Athletes with shorter statures can still achieve greatness in volleyball if they believe in themselves, as Katie Spieler’s story demonstrates.
Natalia Alfaro: 165cm [5’5″]
A true volleyball dynamo, Natalia Alfaro stands 165cm tall. Even though Natalia is relatively short in stature, she has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. Her exceptional skills, lightning-quick reflexes, and flawless technique have made her a valuable member of her team.
Throughout her career, Natalia has earned the admiration of fans and fellow athletes for her ability to read the game and execute precise plays. Inspiring aspiring female volleyball players to reach for greatness, regardless of their height, her journey proves that passion, determination, and skill can overcome physical limitations.
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What Makes These Women Compete In World’s Tallest Sport?
Is it because they are tall that they are the exception to the rule that you have to be tall to play volleyball?
The average height of Asian leagues is lower
Ella and Jem, the two PVL players competing in the Filipino league, where average heights are significantly lower than elsewhere, are competing in the inferior league.
You can certainly get away with being a little shorter when your opponents are less likely to be 6’3″.
In the V.League, height isn’t as much of a disadvantage as it is internationally because the Japanese simply don’t have many tall players.
The Japanese national team, despite their height, did have decent success against international opposition led by Yoshie!
The positions they chose complimented their height!
Moreover, it is also worth taking a moment to note that each of these players is either a libero or a setter, which are two of the best positions for short players!
A person’s height is less of an issue when he or she isn’t hitting or blocking as much.
A player’s exceptional skills enabled him to reach the level he did in all of these cases.
Middle blockers and opposite hitters are some positions where being tall can make a big difference. It is probably possible to have decent success in volleyball if you master spiking and blocking…
Athletes who are short, however, must rely on exceptional technical abilities, which each of these athletes has shown.
The Future of Shorter Players in Volleyball
There has been an increase in inclusivity and diversity in volleyball as the sport continues to evolve. Increasingly, coaches are recognizing the value of shorter players in the game, and height is no longer the only criterion for selection. Athletes of all heights will have opportunities in the future, with shorter players likely to make a greater impact.
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How Tall Is The Shortest Volleyball Spiker?
A career in professional men’s volleyball has seen Iranian-born Farhad Zarif achieve wide success despite his short stature. He’s also about a foot shorter than some of his competitors, at just over 5 feet and a half tall.
What is the average height for a female volleyball player?
Volleyball players have an average height of 5’9″ to 6’4″ at both professional and collegiate levels. Depending on the position and style of play, successful players can take on many shapes and sizes.
Can I Play Volleyball If I’m Short?
No matter what height he is, he can play volleyball at the highest level, no matter if he is a boy or a girl. As well as your height, what counts is how tall you play.
What Is The Hardest Volleyball Position?
In order to give a faster and not loopy set to their teammates, setters must memorize which teammates hit faster. The setting is also one of the most difficult positions in volleyball because you have to watch your current hitters.
How Heavy Is A Volleyball?
A regulation volleyball should have a circumference of 65-67 centimeters and a weight of 260-280 grams (9-10 ounces). You should have a ball with an inner pressure of 0.30-0.325 kg/cm2 (4.26-4.61 psi).
How Short Is The Shortest D1 Volleyball Player?
Marie de Jesus – 152 centimeters (4’11.8 inches) tall. She is 152cm tall, which makes her barely 5 foot tall, and currently plays libero for the Creamline Cool Smashers, who won the 2023 PVL invitational conference! Eleanor is a prime example of how liberos are rarely limited by their height.
How Do You Run A 5 2 In Volleyball?
Two setters always set in the front row and two setters always set in the back row. This is called the 5-2. As a result, there is a greater variety of plays and strategies. Young athletes just getting started with the game should use the 4-2 system. In order to avoid excessive running and confusion, the setter always sits in the front row.
Can A 5 0 Person Play Volleyball?
Our sport is not a sport in which height alone is a deciding factor that prevents anyone from reaching the highest levels. The myth has been shattered by many players, and that view is outdated.
It just so happened that you read the name of the shortest Olympic volleyball player Debbie Green-Vargas, as well as the names of other eight legendary athletes. The position of the shortest volleyball player does not matter; what matters is how you play. Each short volleyball player also has a player or plays in a position that is right for them. After reading this list of the shortest volleyball players, you must have realized that skills are the key to your success.
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