How Fantasy Volleyball Can Boost The Game's Popularity

Fantasy volleyball can help grow the sport by keeping fans interested beyond the wins and losses. Here's how it can be done.

How Fantasy Volleyball Can Boost The Game's Popularity

Volleyball’s global prominence is increasing, especially in the United States. Aside from NCAA Volleyball and Athletes Unlimited, the sports’ popularity will multiply once League One Volleyball and Pro Volleyball Federation starts. More options mean more coverage, bringing the sport closer to more people.

With more games available, the players and the league get increased recognition. Therefore, expansion is a realistic path soon. However, merely offering games and marketing the players won’t be enough to keep fanatics engaged.

Therefore, why not have fantasy volleyball in place? It keeps fans glued to the action while monitoring their player’s performances. It separates the good from the great, as the numbers show. Throw in some monetary incentives, and even casual volleyball fans will participate.

For those unaware, fantasy sports are big business. Its estimated market in 2023 is $26.98 billion. That number is expected to rise to $49.5 billion by 2028. Meanwhile, the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association estimates the number of fantasy players at 62.5 million as of 2022.

Those numbers are expected to increase over the years exponentially. In that case, why doesn’t volleyball take a slice? Implementing it won’t be difficult because there are platforms in place. Fantasy volleyball is another way to expand coverage beyond wins and losses.

Athletes Unlimited provides a fantastic scoring template

For those unaware, Athletes Unlimited started in 2021, ushering in a unique approach to competitive volleyball. Players don’t have fixed teams. Instead, teams depend on the four players with the most points the previous week. They are responsible for the lineups for the following week.

How are points determined? They factor in everything a player does, and here are the equivalent values:

  • Service ace: +12
  • Service error: -8
  • Kill: +8
  • Attack error: -12
  • Successful set (assist): +1
  • Set error: -12
  • Dig: +5
  • Good pass: +2
  • Passing error: -12
  • Stuff block: +12
  • Block assist: +2 (only for middle blockers)

According to the whitepaper on this scoring system, it accounts for the player’s statistical impact and influence on team outcomes. They determined the points based on historical data from international competitions and refined them using simulations.

Taking inspiration from Athletes Unlimited’s scoring system for fantasy football

Other leagues in the United States or abroad can pattern their fantasy volleyball platforms after Athletes Unlimited’s approach. It uses a fair scoring system that puts a premium on being a holistic contributor on the court.

Points added or deducted can be adjusted according to the league’s preference. But whatever the agreed values will be, it will spark endless debates among fantasy volleyball players, hoping to build the roster that generates the most points.

The beauty of it is that a player’s performance depends on her health and the quality of the opposition. In that case, you can adjust your lineup depending on projected points per game. They can rely on fantasy volleyball websites that track players’ performances in making clever but calculated decisions.

What’s an ideal fantasy volleyball roster?

Since volleyball leagues have fewer teams than the NBA and the NFL, fantasy players can draft seven players on their squad. It’s up to the player to strategize their selections based on his priorities, primarily when a snake draft format will be implemented.

The seven-player roster will comprise the typical volleyball rotation: two open hitters, one opposite hitter, one middle blocker, one setter, and a libero. The roster size can expand to accommodate reserve players as more teams join the league.

Fantasy volleyball players can retain their rosters or adjust them if it will improve the team's performance.