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.