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Beach Volleyball Rules and Regulations

Learn how to play sand beach volleyball rules and regulations. This simplified guide has all the player tactics and game strategies.

SAND BEACH VOLLEYBALL: It is a game played barefoot in a skimpy bathing suit.

The venue for this outdoor version of volleyball is most often a sun-drenched sandy beach. The history of the game most likely originated in California around the early 1900s.

They introduced a new ball design in 1900. But, the game retained the basic characteristics of the traditional ball sport.

Beach volleyball rules received official credit and recognition in 1907. That is when the Playground of America convention acknowledged the sport.

The FIVB is the sport’s governing body – founded in France in 1947. The organization formed with 14 national federations representing 5 different continents.

Two years later the first international major volleyball event took place. The competition occurred at the World Championship. Even so, women did not play in FIVB volleyball rules tournaments until 1952.

FIVB Beach Volleyball Rules UK

It shares a similar sporting title to the traditional indoor version. Even so, the FIVB rules and regulations of Beach Volleyball UK are not the same. Beach volleyball is often abbreviated to ‘BVB‘. The rules for sand beach games are different and distinctive for many reasons.

This section will help beginners and newcomers get familiar with the sand game. There are unique technicalities and unconventional terms used in beach volleyball rules. They include unconventional volleyball terminology like ‘side changes, dinks, and setting the ball‘.

Beach Volleyball Rules

Aim of Beach Volleyball Game

The goal of playing beach volleyball is much like the regular indoor court game. The main aim is making the ball hit the ground (sand) on your opponent’s side of the court.

Each team tries to do this as part of the game strategy. They also try to stop the ball hitting the ground anywhere on their side of the net.

They do this using no more than three hits or touches of the ball.

Beach Volleyball Rules for Beginners
Beach Volleyball Playing Field

The dimensions of an official sand beach volleyball court should measure 16 by 8 meters wide. There should also be a free zone (at least 3 meters wide) surrounding the main playing area.

Sand beach volleyball playing areas and the free zone should be rectangular in shape and symmetrical.

Beach Volleyball Players

Beach Volleyball UK is a sport played by two teams with two or more players on each team. They play on a sand court which should get divided equally by a net. Players must play barefoot except when authorized not to by the 1st referee.

Beach Volleyball Equipment
  • A net should get placed vertically over the middle of the court. The top should be set at the height of 2.43 meters for men and 2.24 meters for women. But, the net height may vary for specific age groups.
  • The width of the net should measure 8.5 meters by one meter (+/- 3cm).
  • Beach volleyball posts must be of padded material and rounded. They should be smooth and fixed to the ground. But, you should not use guide wires or any other dangerous or obstructing devices for fixing.
  • The ball must be spherical and made of a non-absorbent flexible material. The ball should be leather or made of synthetic leather. This is according to FIVB official beach volleyball rules.
  • The beach ball version usually has a bladder inside made of rubber or a similar material. It should be a light colour (or combination of light colours). The ball circumference measures 66 to 68 cm and weighs 260 to 280 grams.
General Beach Volleyball Rules and Regulations
  • Serving takes place from the back of the court.
  • The server can use an over-arm or under-arm motion to send the ball into the opponent’s side of the court.
  • An opposing team can use no more than three touches on their side of the court.
  • They must send the ball back over the net (the ball must get hit – not caught).
Beach Volleyball Rules for ‘Setting’

Players may hold the ball a tiny bit longer than a normal set for indoor games. But the ball cannot spin when you set it. Anything more than a 3/4 turn of the ball will get counted as an illegal set and you cannot set the serve.

Setting over the net is not allowed (tricking the opposing team). There is only one way you can legally set the ball over the net. You must be looking straight ahead and the ball goes in the direction you are facing.

Scoring in Beach Volleyball Regulations

Games play by rally scoring. That means each mistake results in a point for the other team. If you miss a serve, miss a hit, or miss a block, the other team gets a point.

All games go to 21 and the third game goes to 15. Teams change sides every 7 points to make sure the game is fair when playing in sunny weather conditions.

Sand Beach Volleyball Tips

Open hand tips are not permitted in sand volleyball regulations. All tips must get contacted with:

  • The knuckles.
  • Straight finger tips.
  • Strictly palm action with no finger touching the ball.
Hitting and Blocking in Beach Volleyball Rules

Hitting counts as good providing you hit the ball (not carry) and it lands in bounds. Blocking the ball gets considered as one of your three hits if it still comes over. Your team must then manage to be successful with the two remaining hits.

Beach Volleyball Umpires and Officials

Sand beach volleyball regulations are usually officiated by a 1st referee, a 2nd referee, a scorer, and two (or four) line judges.

Winning a Game of Beach Volleyball

The first team to reach 21 points with a two-point advantage wins the set. The winner of a beach volleyball match is the team that wins two sets.

Advanced Beach Volleyball Regulations


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FIVB Beach Volleyball Rules PDF: [Free Download Option]

Rules and Regulations of Beach Volleyball in the United Kingdom