Are you an indoor volleyball player looking to expand their skills onto the beach or a new player to the sport and looking for a fun way to get involved?

Beach volleyball is a great sport for new and experienced players.

This article will explain both beginners and existing volleyball players looking to make a jump to sand. Pun intended.

There are a few key differences between indoor and beach.

Let’s start with the obvious ones:

  • Only two players to a side.
    There are variations of all types for volleyball. I have played 9 to a side in South Korea which was a hoot, and beach is no exception. There are leagues that have 2, 3, 4, and 6 per side. All of them are fun. For brand new players, I suggest starting with 6 to a side as there is a lot of real estate to cover if there are only two of you out there.
  • Court size
    Indoor courts are 9m x 9m. The average beach court is 8M x 8M. It is smaller, but don’t underestimate the area you have to cover if there are only 2 of you.

Now the not-so-obvious ones:

  • Team sides
    Teams must switch sides when the score totals sums of 7. So when the total of the two scores equals 7, they switch sides, and then again when they total 14, and so on.
  • Low sets
    Beach volleyball is a little more flexible on some of the rules that are very strict for indoor. One is setting. If you watch beach volleyball, you will see the sets are lower and slower than indoor and it is ok. Along with net touches and crossing the center line that don’t affect the play, some of the rules are less strict.
  • Reffing
    For club ball, the majority of tournament games are reffed by the players, not hired referees.
  • Tips/directed last touches
    Tipping is not allowed in beach volleyball and in addition if the last touch on one side is a set, the shoulders must be squared up to where the are setting the ball to. So no tricky setting shots!
  • No coaching during matches
    This is possibly one of my favorite rules. During tournament games, there is no outside influence allowed. No coaching, directing, correcting, time out calls… nothing. If coaches or parents insist on doing so, you can be yellow carded.
    I like this because it gives ownership of the games to the players and forces them to understand more about the game than just following instruction. Coaches are allowed to approach the players during time-outs IF REQUESTED BY THE PLAYERS.

Beach volleyball is an excellent way to improve your skills, get some exercise, or just have an excuse to get out of the house and get some sun.

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