Beach volleyball is a popular sport that is being played by two teams on a sand court. It is a variant of normal volleyball and matches are mainly played on beaches, but various tournaments and (demo) matches also have been played on sand courts in city centers.
Beach volleyball is since the Olympic Games of 1996 an Olympic sport and the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) organizes since 1997 every two years a world championship tournament beach volleyball for men and women.
Differences between volleyball and beach volleyball
Although beach volleyball is a variant of volleyball, there are a number of significant differences between the two sports.
Official volleyball games are played against with teams consisting of 2 persons (although at a lower level, there are also matches with teams of 3 or 4 people). A normal volleyball team has 6 persons. During indoor volleyball matches it is possible to substitute a player, which is not the case with beach volleyball. Each beach volleyball player can block and attack, there are no fixed positions on the field and after a block, you can play the ball up to two times, compared to three times with volleyball.
Beach volleyball matches are played on a field with the dimension of 8 meters by 8 meters, which is a bit smaller than the 9 x 9 meters volleyball field, which also has an attack line. This line cannot be found on a beach volleyball court. The net is however at the same height, which is 2.43 meters for men and 2.24 meters for women.
The scoring system is also different: at indoor volleyball matches the winner is the team that wins 3 sets and the sets go to 25 points. Beach volleyball matches go to 21 points and the winner is the first team that wins two sets.
During beach volleyball, you are also allowed to go under the net, as long as you do not interfere with the opponents’ play. If that happens during a normal volleyball match, then the point is awarded to the opponent.
Beach Volleyball Balls
Beach volleyballs are lighter, softer and a little bit bigger than indoor volleyballs, which makes them float a little bit more and good beach volleyball players can use the weather circumstances to their advantage with the lighter ball.
Beach volleyball is not an easy sport, you have to work hard in the sand, but it is a lot of fun to play!
(Sources: Active.com, Volleybal.nl, FIVB)