Volleyball is often deemed to be a tall person sport and while you look at the volleyball lineups of professional teams it is simple to see why. Men’s volleyball may be dictated by taller players, but that doesn’t mean short guys are left out.

Though being tall can certainly be beneficial, does it mean that you simply can’t play volleyball to a good standard if you are not exalted in the height department? Well, the short answer is no and some would dispute the extremely long answer is yes. Six of the shortest men’s volleyball players have had an outsized control of the sport. 

And today, we’ll be taking a quick look at each of their accomplishments. 

FARHAD ZARIF
Farhad Zarif Ahangaran V. Of Iran tries to receive the ball during the 5th/6th Playoff FIVB World Championships match between Iran and Russia on...

Iranian-born Farhad Zarif is the shortest professional men’s volleyball player to have attained wide success in the sport. And at fewer than 5 and a half feet tall, he’s as much as a full foot shorter than many of his opponents! He is one of the shortest men’s volleyball players.

His height gave him an extraordinary advantage as his team’s libero or back-row defense. He plays for Paykan Tehran and he’s a preceding player of the Iran national team. Zarif was called to the national team in 2006. After the 2013 World Grand Champions Cup where he obtained the Best Libero award, he declared his retirement from the national team to focus on family responsibilities. He came out of retirement prior to the 2014 World League, and was also awarded for the best pro men volleyball player.

TAICHIRŌ KOGA
古賀太一郎 - Taichirō Koga - JapaneseClass.jp

Participating in the role of libero for Japan’s men’s national volleyball team, Taichirō Koga has been active in leading his country to triumph in three different national championships. With a height of just 5 feet 7 inches, he is an affiliate of the Japan men’s national volleyball team and a gold medalist of the 2017 Asian Championship

With more than 150 matches under his belt in 29 different tournaments, this young but experienced player has a long and capable career ahead of him.

MATÍAS SÁNCHEZ
News - Matias Sanchez to lead Argentine squad at Pan American Cup

Futbol may be the national sport of Venezuela, but Matías Sánchez chose to take his sporty talents to the volleyball court as a professional setter. He is an Argentina men volleyball player He’s achieved such ability in this position in fact, that he’s won the “best setter” award eight times over.

Just 5 feet and 8 inches long, right now, he’s drawing double tasks as part of both the Argentine men’s national volleyball team and the French club Tourcoing LM.

MASAHIRO SEKITA
The Art of Masahiro Sekita | Most Creative Volleyball Setter (HD) - YouTube

Tokyo-based Masahiro Sekita is a setter who participates for both the Japan men’s national volleyball team and the Osaka Sakai Blazers. His height is only 5 feet and 9 inches, but excellence has endowed him completely. He presently plays in V.League for Osaka Blazers Sakai and Japan men’s national volleyball team.  He was the captain of the Asian Junior Men’s Volleyball Championship of the Japan U-21 national team for the year 2012.

With an athletic career that was only initiated in 2016, he hasn’t had much time to participate in tournaments outside of his home country. Look for more great work from Sekita as his skills develop and mature.

FRANCISCO RUIZ
Player - Francisco J. Ruiz - FIVB Volleyball World League 2017

Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Francisco Ruiz participates as an outside spiker for Spain’s men’s national volleyball team. His height is 5 feet and 10 inches, but it didn’t stop him. His lively footwork and remarkable vertical have made him fairly the asset for his team, but a lack of experience means he is yet to emerge in a national tournament. On the club level, he plays for Ca’n Ventura Palma.

LUCAS PROVENZANO JOÃO DE DEUS
WorldofVolley :: AUT M: Brazilian libero in Hypo Tirol

The only Brazilian as the shortest men’s volleyball player to make up this list is Lucas Provenzano João de Deus, with a height of 5 feet 10 inches. He is an olympic-caliber libero who represents Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei. When he’s not playing volleyball, you’ll locate him having fun with Brazil’s national sport — futbol.

No doubt, the endeavors of these shortest men’s volleyball players have proved that if played with dedication, height is just a measurement. But Friendly disclaimer, if you wish to contend, tall or short, you will need to put in a lot of exertion. Regrettably, if you are shorter, you might need to put a lot more action even still. At this point, you should prudently consider where you are putting your effort.

Volleyball has locations for all types of players. As a shorter player, most will have more possibilities with the outside hitter, the setter, or the libero position. We’ll break down why below.

  • The Outside Hitter (OH)

The height of an outside hitter is a significant factor, but it is one where ability and performance can generally conquer a height difference. The position is of course less dependent on speed and more on implementation. The position of outside hitter needs a well-rounded player who can pass, defend, block and hit. Passing and defending when you’re small offers you some advantages over bigger players. If you want to strike the ball, the outside hitter position is your best possibility of competing.

  • The setter

A great setter has a lot of requirements; height is not at the pinnacle of that list. Management abilities, technical skills, and decision-making are more significant factors in making a good setter. Height does have rewards but if you can perform enough to be the steadiest setter you can be, you can make yourself irreplaceable. If you are the leader sort, you want to be in power, setter might be your position.

  • The libero

You don’t know, the libero is the arrangement that just plays defensively, and wears a different colored jersey. Due to the character of the position, height is simply not a factor that anyone should judge. It’s 100% about skills, steadiness, and speed. You will need to be a master at ball-handling, be nimble, and quick with your reflexes.

Libero is likely the most suitable position for you if you attain an average height and are scared of high jumping. 

Remember that all this only actually applies if you are thinking of playing competitively. Or else, do what you please and do your best.

Indeed, these shortest men’s volleyball players have put into outlook their great accomplishments. Even with the odds heaped against them, their athletic prowess and tactical thinking have allowed them to be successful in their chosen sport. And really, that’s more remarkable than winning the genetic lottery, isn’t it?