Beach Volleyball Rules


A beach volleyball game essentially comprises of an inflated ball, a net, a court and two players on each side. The first ever game recorded took place at the Outrigger Canoe Club upon Waikiki Beach, in Hawaii.

The two-player format was begun in Santa Monica, California which has become the norm practised in professional volleyball games all over the world. This particular game was included at the Summer Olympics of 1996.

Beach Volleyball Rules

Every volleyball game maintains a set protocol and is played based on the rules specified by its governing body Federation Internationale-de-Volleyball (FIVB).

Volleyball can be played as a mixed or a singles game, which means the two players representing a team can comprise of a woman and a man, or 2 women or 2 men. When playing a professional game, a referee checks the tactics of the players to ensure fair play.

Additionally, there are a few specifications to be kept in mind, when playing a beach volleyball game. They are:

Court Dimension

The existence of a court dimension makes it easier to keep one’s focus directed to a confined area. A basic disregard of the court dimensions can result in the loss of a point which is a risk you must not be willing to take, in case you wish to score points or rather win the game.

The length of a beach volleyball court is 52 feet and 6 inches long, with a width of 26 feet and 3 inches.

A court comprises of a playing area and a free zone of a minimum width of 9 feet 10 Inches. You must be cautious of the lines, when you play because in case the ball falls upon an undetermined area, a replay will be demanded.

Also, the court has 2 side lines and 2 end lines to mark the area of play, and keen attention must be paid to contain yourself with the boundary line.

This need not be noted in the case of a server, as they must step outside the rear court to start the game with a serve.

Net Height

The purpose of a net is to divide the court into two equal halves that look like 2 squares. It gives an equal court space to the players of both the teams.

The standard net height for men and women varies in consideration of their physiologies. For men, the net height is placed at 7 feet 11 5/8 inches and for the women at 7 feet 4 1/8 inches.


In order to score a point, the two teams must engage in a rally where a server must try to throw the ball over the net and ground it into another’s court space. The players at the other end must try to stop their opponent from doing so, to avoid loss of a point.

If the players are in a single match game, the team that scores the first 15 points wins. If the best of 2 is looked into, then the team that attained the 11-point target before their opponent is the winner.

When a 3-match formula is applied to the game, a team must win at least 2 games in order to win the match. Plus, the first team to score 7 points wins the final match. There is plenty more to the game in case you intend to take up the game professionally.


I hope that the next time you attempt to play the game, you will brush up on the Beach volleyball rules that you were informed of in this article.

The Game

Beach volleyball is played on a sand based court 8m x 16m separated across the middle by a net at a height of 2.24m for women and 2.43m for men.

A team has two players and play is similar to indoor volleyball – one team serves, the other tries to win the rally or ‘side-out’ using moves known as ‘dig’, ‘set’ and ‘spike’.

The ball can be played over the net on the first or second touch to surprise the opposition, but your team is not allowed more than three touches of the ball.


The team usually fields a ‘frontcourt’ player and a ‘backcourt’ player. The frontcourt player is responsible for ‘blocking’ and is usually the taller of the pair, while the backcourt player is the defender covering the rest of the court making ‘digs’.

The sun, wind and sand make beach volleyball a difficult game to play requiring a high level of fitness. Players need spatial awareness and excellent ball skills, and must be able to react and move fast in order to win. It can take years to acquire the ability to follow and place the ball, while knowing the exact position of your playing partner as well as the oppposition.

Games are played as rally point and best of three sets, the first two played to 21. If a tiebreaker is needed, it is played to 15. A team must win the set by a two-point advantage. Scoring systems may vary slightly depending on the competition.

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Beach volleyball was first introduced as an Olympic sport in Atlanta in 1996 and due to its success and popularity around the world, now has some of fastest ticket sales for the games.

Beach Volleyball

Two weeks of international beach volleyball brought 29,000 people to Blackpool and put £12.5million in the local economy according to an independent economic impact assessment. From delivering the UK’s first FIVB International tournament in 2007 to our European Championship Tour English Masters and Swatch FIVB Junior World Championships in 2009, Beach Volleyball UK Ltd has confirmed its position as the only UK company with professional volleyball people experienced in planning and managing all aspects of World Class tournaments.

We are now seeking sponsors to join us in building the British audience for the fastest growing Olympic sport.


Beach volleyball

With British Beach Volleyball taking centre stage on Horse Guards Parade at the London Olympics in 2012, it is already attracting growing interest here in the UK. Beach volleyball has a huge following in the rest of the world.

The FIVB World Tour visits 19 cities in 16 host countries and attracts more than 600,000 spectators. Prize money stands at $9million and the tournaments are televised worldwide reaching an estimated 620 million households.

Check out the movie on this page to see what BVUK’s plans for womens and mens Beach Volleyball could have for England. If the UK is to put up a winning performance in 2012, we must raise it’s profile here and help its governing bodies bring our up-and-coming players to World Tour standard.