Understanding Beach Volleyball

Beach volleyball is a sport played outdoors. Prescribes the competition between two teams of two people.

The object of the game is to hit the inflated ball into your opponent’s territory by throwing it over a net hanging high in the middle of the court and causing the ball to fall into your opponent’s half of the field.

What Is Beach Volleyball?

The basis for creating this game is a combination of sports such as tennis, handball, and basketball. In beach volleyball, the main goal is to hit the volleyball in a strategical manner so the opposing team cannot return it in a “legal” way.
image of What is Beach Volleyball
Playing on the sand is almost certain, but in a sport where athletes jump a lot, it can cause the athlete to fall to his knees. Players can partially cut the patellar tendon by constantly jumping. At first, despite knee pain, this injury may seem less than serious.

But if ignored, the knee becomes inflamed, and if athletes are not careful, they may need surgery. Players also often suffer from injuries to ankles and fingers, and some may develop shoulder problems. Although the injury time is significantly shorter than most other team sports, this does not mean that beach volleyball is not a serious sport.

The Emergence and Development of Beach Volleyball

The sport originated in Hawaii around 1915. Competitions became common in the following decades, and the popularity of the sport increased markedly during the eighties.  In 1987, beach volleyball was officially recognized. It took only seven years to become an Olympic discipline.

The debut appearance at the Olympic Games happened quite recently in 1992. At first, it was just an exhibition event, but four years later, it was included as the Olympic sport’s official sport. Since then, it has been a constant discipline for the Olympics.

The United States and Brazil are the two most successful countries in this sport at the Olympics. The USA won 10 medals (6 gold, two silver, two bronze) and Brazil 13 (3 gold, seven silver, three bronze).


A team starts the game by hitting the ball over the net, which is called a “serve.” Then both teams compete in the so-called “rally” when the projectile is thrown from hand to hand and flies over the net between both sides of the track. 

A rally ends when one of the teams can not return the ball, and the ball is given to the opponents who provoked the opponent to make a mistake.

The first team to receive 21 points is declared the winner of the set. To become the leader of the total match, you must win in two sets.

As a sport, beach volleyball requires a number of strict rules, including:

  1. Players may touch the ball no more than three times before returning it over the net.
  2. There are a number of moves and kicks that are classified as illegal in beach volleyball, including hand movements, tips, and kicks.
  3. Players do not have a fixed position.  They can move to any part of their half of the course at any time.
  4. At the beginning of each match, the referee will call the team captains for a coin toss. The successful captain can then choose whether his team will serve first or choose the side of the court his team will occupy.
  5. A team makes a maximum of three touches before the ball must pass the net.
  6. Beach volleyball consists of 3 sets. 
  7. If there is a draw at the end of the time, an extra point will be played. There will be no one.
  8. The ball can hit any part of the body.
  9. It is forbidden to carry the ball around the court in your hands.
  10. Any contact with the network during games is a mistake.
  11. If the ball hits the net on your side, a team member can still hit the ball from the net if you have not used all three touches.
  12. Service – As soon as the ball leaves the hand, it counts as a service. You can not throw the ball a second time for a second serve.
  13. The ball cannot be blocked or kicked out of action.
  14. When serving, the feet must be behind the baseline and must not go under it or touch it in any way.
  15. A player cannot close the opposing team’s sight and must change his position if asked to do so.
  16. The server has to wait for the judge to whistle before the service.
  17. All players in a team must serve the ball in turn.
  18. Points are awarded for all entries.
  19. A service remains in play if it hits the top of the network and goes beyond the boundaries.
  20. A team cannot replace a player while a point is being played.
  21. An unlimited number of substitutions are allowed in a match, but this should not slow down the game.
  22. Every change must be ready for the game before it starts, and players from other games cannot join.
  23. All spectators and substitutes must stay away from games and off the court.
  24. Team players must respect their opponents, each other, and the referees. Any behavior that is considered unacceptable may disqualify a player or a team.


The beach volleyball court will be 22 meters long and 14 meters wide. Traditionally, the play area should have a sandy surface, at least 40 cm thick.

Maintaining the quality of the sand is important for normal play and for athletes. Since players play barefoot, it is very important that the sand is not contaminated with stones, glass, bottle caps, or other debris that can cut or damage them. For health and hygiene reasons, the sand should not be contaminated with household waste or feces from wildlife.

During the game, only participants should have access to the court. Animals and children should not be present on the site. There should be no foreign equipment for recreation, such as balls and other sports equipment, whose hit on the court poses a potential danger to the participants. In addition, there should be a secure fence around the sand area.

AVP and Olympic Sizes

The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) and the Olympics offer double beach volleyball with two players on each side of the net. As there are fewer players on the court, the dimensions are smaller: the double volleyball court is 15.9 meters long and 7.9 meters wide.

Lines of Attack

The net divides the court in half along the center line and creates square areas on each side of the net. The attack line is marked 3 meters from the center line on each side of the indoor courts to indicate the point beyond which the player can attack the ball. Sand courses do not have this or centerline because attacks can start anywhere.

Free Zone

The free zone is the area around the court that players can enter to play volleyball, but only after the ball has been served. On standard courses, the outer zone is at least 3 meters wide on each side but can be undefined as natural obstacles can end the free zone. In beach volleyball, a free zone is a defined zone with a width of 4.8 meters to 5.8 meters.

Practicing the Finer Points of Sand Volleyball

Pro players must practice their services to maximize their chances of winning by learning to hit the volleyball with enough force preventing the opponents from returning the ball to your side. 

A second important skill to master in beach volleyball after serving is attacking. Players can “attack” the ball in various ways, including using different parts of the hand to help the ball land in certain areas of the court (from which the opposing team cannot return the ball). 

Knuckles and fingers are often used to control the speed and direction of the ball.

Beach volleyball defense blocks the ball as it travels to the ground on your side of the sand court. Special hand signals are used to notify your partner if you are attempting to block the middle shot, or trying to block a line shot. 

This is usually done behind the back, so the other team cannot see what the opponents are attempting to do. Different finger movements and signs are used to indicate different types of blocks. These signals are planned and processed in advance so that communication between teammates is as efficient as possible.

Typically, two fingers straight down would indicate blocking the line shot. Two fingers spread would indicate blocking down the middle, while the fist may represent falling back to return the attack. 


In beach volleyball, points are awarded when the team hits the ball in a certain way and the opponents cannot return the ball back correctly. An incorrect answer means that you hit the net, hit the ball too often in a rally (three handshakes are allowed), or do not hit the ball at all.

After every seventh point during the first two sets, the team must change sides and move to the other side of the course. They also needed to change sides after every fifth point in the third set.

In beach volleyball, the winner is the first team to win two sets. An individual match is won by scoring 21 points or 15 points in the playoffs with two pure points. So if, for example, the score is 21-20, the set continues until one of the teams becomes the leader with two points (for example, 24-22).

Uniforms | Equipment

Beach volleyball games involve the use of uniforms and equipment. Unlike indoor volleyball, beach volleyball has little equipment other than a court, a net, and a ball. However, beach volleyball has specific equipment requirements that are specific to the sport. In official beach volleyball competitions, there are specific specifications for the volleyball used, the playing field, and the net. Players’ uniforms are also covered by the official beach volleyball rules.

The most important uniforms and equipment are:

  1. Bollen. The inflated ball used in beach volleyball is often light in color (white, yellow, orange) and weighs about 300 grams. The ball used in beach volleyball is a ball made of leather or some other type of flexible synthetic material, according to the International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB). 

There is usually a rubber bubble inside a volleyball. The ball is usually decorated with light colors and weighs 260 to 280 g with an internal air pressure of 0.175 to 0.225 kg per square centimeter. In official international competitions, volleyball must be between 66 and 68 cm in circumference.

  1. Clothes. Since the turn of the millennium, players have had to wear a specific uniform when participating in a beach volleyball match. Women are allowed to wear long-sleeved tops and shorts or a swimsuit.  Over the last several years and during the Olympics, bikini’s with short bottoms have become increasingly popular.

Why are Volleyball Shorts So Short?

A high degree of controversy remains around the beach volleyball uniform. While many players prefer shorter, lighter clothing that covers smaller areas of skin, organizations are reluctant to allow this for fear that it may be considered “too revealing” by viewers and audiences. 

While tennis and badminton players wear T-shirts and shorts, the volleyball player on the beach wears shorts. Most players say that it is practical to play in the sand, while others claim that it was intentional to pay attention to the game. But because the game was created by simple and casual people on the beaches of California,

  1. Network. According to USA Volleyball, the net used in beach volleyball is typically 8.5 meters long, with soft edging at both ends. The judge’s position is usually also attached to the net for official competitions. The net, located in the middle of the track, is made of a 10 cm square net, which is edged at the top and farthest by strips 7 to 10 cm wide. Sidebands run vertically along with the net over all sides of the track. The height of the volleyball net is 2.43 meters for men and 2.24 meters for women, but the height of the net can vary from 2.00 meters.
  2. Player equipment. Beach volleyball players wear slightly different protective equipment than their basic uniform. Players’ uniforms are usually shorts and jerseys or swimwear of a specific color and style for each team, USA Volleyball reports. Competitors play barefoot unless the referee allows the player to wear socks. Beach volleyball players sometimes wear knee pads and sunglasses. Sometimes hats are allowed in beach volleyball.

Sand volleyball tournament

The most popular competition in the world is the Beach Volleyball World Championship. It was founded in 1997 and occurs every two years. Before the official start of the competition, it was held in Rio since 1986.

Also popular is the Beach Volleyball World Tour, which started in 1980. Countries from all continents compete in this tournament.

In addition, athletes compete in Grand Slam tournaments. Men started competing in 199. Women started fighting after four years.

In addition, athletes have participated in open tournaments since 2013. They are held in the same way as the Grand Slam tournament.

Beach Volleyball Association

The most famous in the world is the International Volleyball Federation. It was formed in 1947 in France. It now includes 222 national federations from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania, the Americas, and the Caribbean.

The organization’s main task is to control and organize competitions, promote the development of beach volleyball and manage volleyball in the world.

Recent Posts