Sport Rulebook

Mastering the Art of Beach Volleyball: Tips and Techniques

Beach volleyball is an exciting sport that has captured the hearts of many players and fans worldwide. As the name suggests, the game is played on the beach or sand courts, with players competing in teams of two.

This high-energy sport is gaining popularity with each passing day, and with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics approaching, it’s the perfect time to learn the basics of beach volleyball.

Basics of Beach Volleyball

Team Size and Format

Beach volleyball is a two-person team sport. The competition format is designed to be fast-paced, with each team serving and hitting the ball back and forth, trying to score points against their opponents.

The aim is to win two sets out of three, with the first two sets going to 21 points, and the third set, if required, going to 15 points.

Scoring and Serving

The scoring system in beach volleyball is rally-based, meaning that every serve counts as a point, regardless of which team wins the point. The team that wins the rally scores a point and the right to serve.

The serve is initiated from the service area, and the server must hit the ball over the net to the other side of the court. The serve must clear the net and land in the court without touching the net.

Equipment and Court

Beach volleyball requires very minimal equipment. Players only need a net, ball, and a sand court.

The court is 16 meters long and 8 meters wide, with a net that is set at a height of 2.43 meters for men and 2.24 meters for women. The sand allows for a softer landing which reduces the impact on the body, making it an excellent choice for players of all ages.

Understanding the Rules

Scoring System

As mentioned before, the scoring system in beach volleyball is rally-based. The team that wins the rally is awarded a point, and the right to serve.

The first team to reach 21 points wins the set. If the score is tied at 20 points, the winning team must lead by a minimum of two points.

The team that wins two sets out of three is declared the winner.

Serving and Hitting Rules

When serving, the player must make contact with the ball within the service area, behind the end line. The server must make sure that the ball clears the net and lands within the boundaries of the opponent’s court.

If the server fails to execute the serve properly, they are given a fault, and the other team is awarded the point. When hitting the ball, players must make sure to use only their hands or arms.

Kicking the ball or any other body part is not allowed. Players must hit the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court without touching the net.

If the ball touches the net, players are allowed to continue the rally.

Three-Hit Rule

The three-hit rule applies to all rallies. Each team is allowed a maximum of three hits to return the ball over the net.

The first hit is usually a serve or a “pass,” where the player receives the serve and passes the ball to their teammate. The second hit is typically a “set,” where the player sets up the ball for their partner, who then hits or spikes the ball over the net.

If the ball is not returned over the net within three hits, the team that missed the ball loses the point.


In summary, beach volleyball is an exciting and fast-paced sport that has specific rules and regulations. The team size is two, and the aim is to win two sets out of three to be declared the winner.

The scoring system is rally-based, with each serve counting as a point. The equipment required is minimal, and the sand court provides a softer landing, making it a great sport for players of all ages.

Understanding the rules that govern serving and hitting, along with the three-hit rule, is crucial for players in advancing their skills in beach volleyball.

Equipment and Court

Beach Volleyball Court

The beach volleyball court is a rectangular-shaped court, measuring 16 meters long and 8 meters wide. The court is divided into two halves by a net, with each half measuring 8 meters by 8 meters.

The net is placed in the center of the court, with a height of 2.43 meters for men and 2.24 meters for women. The court’s dimensions are the same for recreational and professional beach volleyball players alike.

Beach Volleyball Ball

The beach volleyball ball is designed to be lighter and larger than the indoor volleyball. It weighs between 260-280 grams and has a circumference between 65-67 centimeters.

The ball’s size, weight, and pressure are the same for men and women’s competitions, with a recommended PSI of 2.3-2.5. The ball’s lighter weight and softer composition make it easier to handle, especially in windy conditions.

Where to Find a Court

If you are looking for a beach volleyball court to play on, there are numerous options available. Many beaches and parks have public courts available for anyone to use.

You can also check with local recreation centers, universities, or community centers to see if they offer beach volleyball courts. If there is no public court available, you can create your makeshift court by using lines drawn in the sand or portable net sets.


Passing Techniques

Passing is an essential skill in beach volleyball, and there are two primary techniques used for passing the ball: bumping and setting. The bump is the most basic passing technique, where the player passes the ball with their forearms.

To execute the bump, the player should place their hands on their knees, bend their knees, and lean forward slightly. Next, the player should form a triangle by keeping their thumbs together, pointing their fingers downwards, and keeping their elbows straight.

The ball should hit the forearms directly below the triangular shape, which will propel the ball upward.

The second passing technique is setting, which is usually used to set up the player’s partner for a spike.

Setting involves using the fingertips to direct the ball to the desired location. The player should begin the set by forming a triangle shape with their hands, similar to the bump.

However, instead of hitting the ball with their forearms, the player should use their fingertips. The player should then push the ball upward with their fingertips, arching it over the net towards their partner.

How to Practice Technique

Practicing the passing technique is essential to improve one’s game. In the beginning, it is best to practice with self-hitting by standing a few feet away from the wall and hitting the ball against it.

This will help develop timing and accuracy when hitting the ball. Once a player has mastered self-hitting, they can move on to hitting with friends who can help improve their coordination and test their skills.

The back and forth rally between two players is an excellent way to improve both of their passing techniques, offering a chance to practice bumping, setting, and spiking. Players can also benefit from practicing with a coach or taking lessons to learn advanced techniques and gain a better understanding of the game.


Understanding the court dimensions, ball specifications, and passing techniques, along with where to find courts, is critical to one’s success in beach volleyball. Practicing the basics of passing with self-hitting and friends can help improve skills for those looking to take their volleyball game to the next level.

With proper equipment and techniques in hand, you can enjoy all that beach volleyball has to offer and have fun while playing it.


Overhand Serve

The overhand serve is a more advanced serving technique that requires practice to perfect. This serve begins with the ball held in the player’s non-dominant hand.

The player should step forward with their dominant foot and toss the ball slightly in front of them. As the ball reaches its peak, the player should bring their dominant arm back, and then quickly move their arm forward while hitting the ball with the heel of their palm.

This motion should create topspin on the ball, making it more difficult for the receiving team to handle.

Underhand Serve

The underhand serve is the most basic and traditional serving technique in beach volleyball. To execute the serve, the player should begin by holding the ball in their non-dominant hand, while standing behind the service line.

The player should then step forward with their dominant foot and swing their non-dominant arm forward, allowing the ball to drop from their hand. Using a wrist snap, the player should make contact with the ball using the heel of their hand.

The key to a successful underhand serve is to hit the ball with the right amount of force to get it over the net, without giving the opposing team an easy opportunity to score.


Technique and Execution

The attack, also known as spiking, is a crucial part of beach volleyball and requires precision, coordination, and power. The attack begins with the setter setting the ball for their teammate, who then jumps and hits the ball in a downward motion over the net.

To execute a successful attack, the player should jump high and hit the ball with the palm of their hand, using a sharp and downward motion. The player should aim for the open spaces in the opposing team’s court, not directly at the blockers.

The speed of the ball and the player’s power, combined with accuracy, can make it impossible for the opposing team to defend the incoming attack.

Practice and Game Strategy

Practicing attacking techniques is essential for players who seek to be successful in beach volleyball. One way to practice is to predict the right time to jump to hit the ball.

Players should study the server’s speed and trajectory to identify when the ball will be at the right height and position to jump and spike it to the other side. Attacking practice can also take place in controlled scrimmage sessions or in a game-like scenario that challenges players to improve their coordination, timing, and power.

During games, players should be strategic and mindful of the playing style of their opponents and adjust their attacking style. If the opposing team’s blockers are tall, a player can choose to aim for sharp angles or make a cross-court shot to catch them off-guard.


Serving and attacking are essential skills in beach volleyball that require different techniques to achieve success. Overhand serving demands power, accuracy, and timing, while underhand serving ensures the ball gets over the net and into the opponent’s court.

Attacking involves a complex technique, including jumping, hitting with accuracy, and power. Practicing these skills can improve any player’s ability to serve and attack, while game strategy helps players to be strategic and focused on achieving the desired outcome.

The combination of skills and game strategy improves a player’s performance on the sand court while making beach volleyball an enjoyable and competitive sport.

Blocking (Defense)

What is Blocking? Blocking is a defensive technique used to stop the incoming attack from the opposing team.

When the attacker spikes the ball over, the blocker jumps upward and stretches their arms out to stop the ball from passing over the net. The blocker aims to deflect the ball back at the opposing team or send it out of bounds, resulting in a point for their own team.

Technique and Execution

The blocker’s job is to position themselves at the net and predict where the ball will be hit. They should be prepared to jump vertically as soon as the ball is served, and stretch their arms out over the net to block the incoming attack.

The blocker should keep their hands and fingers together and close to the net, with their thumbs pointing down. As they jump, the blocker should close their hands and fingers, then swing their arms down and slightly forward while making contact with the ball.

Effective blocking requires timing, precision, and the ability to read the attacking team’s movements.

Practice With Others

Benefits of Playing with Others

Playing beach volleyball with others offers numerous benefits. First, it helps to develop coordination, timing, and other essential skills needed for the game.

Regular practice helps players become more comfortable with the ball, improving their passing, serving, and attacking techniques. Additionally, playing with others provides a social environment, which can improve players’ mental health and well-being.

Being part of a beach volleyball group helps to build strong relationships, allows for players to share knowledge and enhance overall gameplay.

How to Find Groups to Play With

If you’re looking to play beach volleyball with others, there are many ways to find groups to play with. One option is to utilize social media platforms such as Facebook and meet-up groups that offer local beach volleyball events.

Many cities have local beach volleyball leagues that players can join, offering regular games against various opponents and challenging gameplay. Joining a league is another great way to find others to play with, and you can also make new friends and get involved with the community.


Blocking and practicing with others require regular training, team communication, and coordination to be effective on the sand court. The key to efficient blocking technique is to read the opponent’s moves and work together to position oneself at the right place and time.

Regular practice with others is an ideal way to improve one’s skills and develop friendly competition. Additionally, participating in beach volleyball groups or leagues not only benefits players’ physical well-being but also their mental health and social engagement.

With practice and community, beach volleyball players become more efficient blockers and enjoy the sport’s social aspect as well.

Playing a Game

Relax and Have Fun

The primary objective of beach volleyball is to enjoy the game while having fun with your teammates and opponents. While there may be times when the game becomes competitive, it’s essential to remember that playing a casual game of beach volleyball on the beach should be a relaxed and fun experience.

The key to having a good time would be to focus on the things you’re doing right, talk to your teammates, mingle, get to know others, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Protecting Yourself from Injuries

While playing beach volleyball can be fun and enjoyable, it is not without risks. Injuries can occur due to the surfaces and environment on which it is played.

Here are some ways to protect yourself from injuries while playing beach volleyball:

1. Stay hydrated: Dehydration is a common risk when playing on the beach.

Drink plenty of water before, during, and after playing to stay hydrated and prevent heat exhaustion. 2.

Wear sunscreen: Protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun by wearing sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or after swimming.

3. Wear protective gear: Wear proper attire, like sunglasses and hats, to protect your eyes and face from the sun’s glare.

Wearing footwear also protects the feet from hot sand and sharp objects on the ground. 4.

Warm up properly: Before playing, it’s essential to stretch and warm up to prevent muscle strains, sprains and other injuries. 5.

Take breaks: Playing for extended periods in the sun can lead to exhaustion or heatstroke. Take regular breaks and rest in the shade.


Playing beach volleyball is an exciting and enjoyable experience, provided that proper safety measures are taken to avoid injuries while protecting oneself. The primary aim of playing the game is to have fun, be relaxed and safe while also embracing the beauty and scenery of the beach.

Always ensure that you remain hydrated and take necessary rest breaks, wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and apply sunscreen to avoid sunburns. By taking the necessary precautions and adopting healthy and safe playing habits, you can enjoy the game to the fullest and avoid injuries or other harmful outcomes.

In conclusion, beach volleyball is a fun and exciting

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