Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the world, with origins dating back to 1897 in the USA. Ever since it was created by volleyball’s pioneer William G.Morgan, volleyball gained widespread popularity not only in the USA but in Europe and beyond too. 

Nowadays, volleyball has an official World Cup for both men and women, as well as being part of the Olympics since 1959. There are several major volleyball tournaments which take places every year and it’s also one of the most highly viewed sports events worldwide and one of the top sports betting markets too. If you’re a volleyball fan interested in placing bets on your favourite teams, here is where you can bet on volleyball in the UK.

Let’s look at the top five countries where volleyball is the most popular.

  1. Brazil

Volleyball has become the most popular in Brazil, a country whose men’s national team has the highest scores from the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball), the official volleyball governing body. The Brazilian women’s team is ranked fourth by the FIVB, just below China and the USA.

Volleyball is popular in Brazil both as a competitive sport and as a leisure sport in the country, but competitively, Brazil has had the most success at the Olympics. The men’s volleyball team has won three gold medals and three World Cups, while the women’s volleyball team won two gold medals in the Olympics and three silver medals in both the World Cup and the World Championship, one of the most important volleyball tournaments in the world. 

  1. USA

The USA is the country where volleyball began, so it’s no surprise that it remains one of the most popular sports in the country. The USA has been a founding member of the FIVB since 1920 and the sport is very popular in all schools and colleges, particularly female volleyball. The country is ranked sixth just below Russia in the FIVB World Ranking and in this case, the women’s volleyball team has enjoyed even more success than their male counterparts.

The women’s team in the USA has won six FIVB World Grand Prix competitions and three silver medals in the Olympics, among other achievements such as winning the World Championship in 2014. The men’s volleyball team, on the other hand, won the World Championship back in 1986 but have won three gold medals at the Olympics.

  1. Russia

Volleyball is also a big sport in Russia and the country has some of the top volleyball teams in the world. Both the men’s and the women’s national teams were extremely successful as the Soviet Union. The women’s team as the Soviet Union have won a gold medal four times at the Olympics, but as Russia, they have yet to take gold. The men’s team also won four gold medals, three of which were won as the Soviet Union. 

Currently, the men’s volleyball team is ranked fifth in the FIVB World Rankings, while the women’s team is quite a bit lower at eighth place. Russia also has its own volleyball league, which was established in 1992 as The Russian Volleyball Super League. 

4. Australia

The popularity within Australia has been powered by strategic investments in cutting-edge infrastructure. The accessibility to volleyball facilities like Just Spike It, a prominent club of Sydney, has added to a huge expansion in participation rates, with more Australians participating in the game at different levels. This surge isn’t simply credited to increased accessibility to quality facilities yet additionally to the sport’s inclusive nature, making it a favorite among a diverse demographic.

With praiseworthy appearances in prestigious competitions like the FIVB Volleyball World Championships and the Olympic Games, Australian teams have garnered attention and awards on the international stage. Prominently, the Australian women’s volleyball team achieved its most noteworthy world ranking, reaching 13th place, marking a historic milestone and sparking heightened enthusiasm domestically.

5. Japan

Japan has some of the world’s best volleyball players and the sport has been immensely popular ever since the very first volleyball Olympics appearance in Tokyo in 1959. Both the men’s and the women’s volleyball teams won gold medals at these Olympics and hosted the second and third editions as well. Japan is also the best Asian volleyball team, having won the Asian Championships nine times and eight Asian Games wins too.

Today, beach volleyball is particularly popular in Japan and there are many places around the country where one can play volleyball in a non-competitive environment too. Currently, the men’s volleyball team in Japan is ranked seventh in the FIVB Senior World Ranking while the women’s team is ranked just above at sixth place.

6. Poland

Volleyball is the third most popular sport in Poland, after football and ski jumping. Controlled by the Polish Volleyball Federation, the men’s volleyball team in Poland is currently the best in the world according to the FIVB rankings. The men’s team is ranked first while the women’s team is significantly lower at tenth place. 

Although the Polish team only has one gold volleyball Olympics win, they’ve won numerous important volleyball tournaments over the years. These include three gold medals at the World Championships, a gold in the Volleyball World League, and another gold at the European Championship among a long list of silver and bronze medals in the same volleyball tournaments.