Beyond the Size

The Ultimate Guide to Beach Volleyball: Rules Skills and Tips

Beach Volleyball: A Comprehensive Guide

Beach volleyball is an exciting and challenging sport that requires skill, strategy, and teamwork. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to know to get started or improve your skills.

History of Beach Volleyball

The roots of beach volleyball can be traced back to Southern California in the 1920s, where it was played on the beaches of Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach. The first official tournament was held in 1948, and the sport gained popularity in America and Europe during the 1980s.

Beach volleyball made its Olympic debut in 1996, and has been a popular feature ever since. The game has evolved significantly since its early days, with changes to the rules, court size, and player positions.

Differences between Beach and Indoor Volleyball

While beach and indoor volleyball share many similarities, there are some key differences that set them apart. Court Size: A beach volleyball court is smaller than an indoor court, measuring 16m x 8m compared to 18m x 9m.

Gameplay Rules: The rules of beach volleyball differ slightly from indoor volleyball. For example, a player is allowed to touch the ball twice in a row as long as the first touch is a pass or a serve receive.

Team Size: Beach volleyball is typically played in teams of two, while indoor volleyball is played with six players on each team.

Player Positions: In beach volleyball, players can choose to position themselves anywhere on their side of the court, unlike indoor volleyball where players have designated positions.

Attack Line: On a beach volleyball court, there is no attack line, so players are free to hit the ball from anywhere on their side of the court.

Winner: In beach volleyball, the first team to reach 21 points with a two-point lead wins the set. In indoor volleyball, the winner of each set is the first team to reach 25 points with a two-point lead, and the team that wins three sets first, wins the match.

Score System: In beach volleyball, points are awarded on every play, while in indoor volleyball, a point is only awarded to the serving team.

Weather Conditions: Weather conditions can have a significant impact on beach volleyball games, as strong winds can make it difficult to serve and receive.

Ball Size and Weight: Beach volleyballs are slightly larger and heavier than indoor balls, which makes them easier to control in windy conditions.

Ball Material: Beach volleyball balls are made of a softer, more durable material than indoor balls, which helps them to withstand the wear and tear of the sun and sand.

Tipping and


Tipping and blocking are more prevalent in beach volleyball, as players have more time to read their opponents’ movements and anticipate their shots.

Uniforms: In beach volleyball, players are allowed to wear more revealing clothing than in indoor volleyball, which is a nod to the sport’s beach culture roots.

Beach Volleyball Basics

Now that we’ve covered the differences between beach and indoor volleyball, let’s take a closer look at the basics of beach volleyball.

How to Score a Point

In beach volleyball, points are scored when the ball hits the opponent’s side of the court and lands either on the sand or outside the court boundary lines. If the ball lands on the line, it is considered in play and the rally continues.

3 Touches Per Side

In beach volleyball, each team is allowed a maximum of three touches to get the ball back over the net. These touches can include a serve, contacts, a block, or a swinging motion.

First to 2 Sets

Beach volleyball matches are typically played in a best-of-three system, with the first team to win two sets taking the match. Each set is played to 21 points, and there must be a two-point difference in order to win the set.

Side Changes

In beach volleyball, teams switch sides every seven points in the first two sets, and every five points in the third set. This is to ensure that neither team has an advantage due to wind or other weather conditions.

In conclusion, beach volleyball is a fun and challenging sport that requires skill, strategy, and teamwork. By understanding the differences between beach and indoor volleyball, as well as the basics of the game, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying this exciting sport.

So grab a partner, head to the beach, and start playing!

Beach volleyball is a beloved sport that can be played competitively, or for fun while soaking up the sun. It’s important to understand the different elements that make beach volleyball unique in order to fully enjoy and engage with the game.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the size of the court and gameplay rules.

Beach Volleyball Court Size

The beach volleyball court is made up of sand, which sets it apart from indoor volleyball courts. The length of the beach volleyball court is 52.5 feet, or 16 meters, and the width is 26.25 feet, or 8 meters.

The sand court is surrounded by an attack, or apron, which is 32.8 feet, or 10 meters, long on both sides. The beach volleyball court size is standardized by the governing bodies of the sport, the AVP and FIVB, and was established to ensure consistency in the sport.

Beach Volleyball Gameplay Rules

Team Size

The two-player team size is standard in beach volleyball, and each team is allowed two substitutions per set. If a team decides to substitute a player, the player leaving the game must exit via the substitution zone on the side of the court and cannot return in that set.

Bench players are allowed, but only the active players on the court can make contact with the ball.

Player Positions

In beach volleyball, there are no fixed positions on the court, unlike indoor volleyball. Instead, players are free to position themselves anywhere on their side of the court.

However, players must rotate in the same direction for each play, In addition, the player in the right-side serving position must serve or receive the serve.

Attack Line

On the beach volleyball court, the attack line or “3 meter line” is located 33 feet from the net and separates the frontcourt and backcourt areas of the court. The frontcourt is where players can jump and attack the ball above the height of the net, while the backcourt is where players must remain grounded when playing the ball.


Similar to indoor volleyball, beach volleyball matches are played in sets, and the winner is the first team to win two sets. The standard set length is 21 points, and a team must win by two points.

The third set (if needed) is played to a score of 15 points with the same two-point difference requirement. Another difference between beach and indoor volleyball is the match length.

In beach volleyball, a match can be won by winning two sets, whereas indoor volleyball requires the winning of three sets to clinch a match.

Score System

In beach volleyball, a point is awarded to the serving team if they win the rally, or if the receiving team fault while serving. The possession of the serve alternates between the two teams after each completed rally, no matter who won the rally.

This means a team may score points without the serve, unlike in indoor volleyball, where only the serving team can score.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions play a significant role in beach volleyball, especially when it comes to wind speed and direction. While the game isn’t necessarily postponed or called off due to inclement weather, strong winds can sometimes make it difficult for players to control the ball.

However, if the conditions become too dangerous, such as an approaching storm, matches may be temporarily stopped or postponed.

Ball Size and Weight

Beach volleyballs are slightly larger and heavier than indoor balls, measuring 26-27 inches in circumference and weighing between 9-10 ounces. The larger size makes it easier for players to see the ball from a distance, and the heavier weight helps to keep the ball from being affected too much by the wind.

Ball Material

Beach volleyballs are made from real or synthetic leather or a combination of the two materials. They are usually made with 18-panels, which are either glued or stitched together.

The ball surface is designed to be softer than indoor balls, which makes them more comfortable to hit without the support of shoes.


Players can score points by tipping the ball over the net with their palm or fingers.

Tipping is a great option if the receiving team is anticipating a hard drive by the attacker, as it can catch them off-guard and increase the likelihood of a successful play.


A block counts as a touch in beach volleyball and can be made up to three times per rally. If the blocker makes a successful block, it does not count as one of their three touches.

However, the opposing team may still play the ball and continue the rally. Each player is only allowed two more touches after a block.


Beach volleyball uniforms can vary and often are influenced by the weather conditions. Because of the beach environment, the dress code is more relaxed, and players are allowed to wear spandex shorts, tank tops, bikinis, and other clothing that is suitable for the heat.

Footwear is not required, as players can play barefoot or with sand socks if they prefer. The dress code is more lenient than for indoor volleyball, but players must still adhere to regulations.


Beach volleyball is an exciting sport, and understanding the court size and gameplay rules is essential to playing on the sand or watching from the sidelines. With the basics in-place, teams can focus on their strategy, and players can perfect their technique.

Keep in mind, success in beach volleyball is highly dependent on weather, so be sure to check the forecast before your next game. In conclusion, beach volleyball is a unique and challenging sport that requires skill, strategy, and teamwork.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, understanding the court size, gameplay rules, and equipment will help you enjoy the game to its fullest. With the knowledge provided in this article, you’ll be well-equipped to dive into the action and enjoy the summer fun.


1. What is the size of a beach volleyball court?

– The standard dimensions of a sand court are 16 meters in length and 8 meters in width. 2.

How many players are on a beach volleyball team? – A beach volleyball team has two players on the court at a time, with two substitutions allowed per set.

3. What is the scoring system in beach volleyball?

– In beach volleyball, a point is awarded to the serving team if they win the rally, and the first team to win two sets, each played to 21 points with a two-point difference, wins the match. 4.

Are there specific player positions in beach volleyball? – Players are not limited to specific positions on the court, but they must rotate in a clockwise direction.

5. Can I play beach volleyball barefoot?

– Yes, footwear is not required in beach volleyball, but sand socks can be worn for protection if desired.

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