Beach volleyball is perfect to play in summer. We have all played it with family or friends, but do we know the official rules and how it is different from indoor volleyball?

Beach volleyball rules

Beach volleyball originated in the 1920s on the California beaches in the United States, and was introduced to Europe a few years later. It has been an Olympic sport since the 1992 Summer Olympics and has become a famous summer sport in Asia nowadays.


- Beach volleyball equipment -


Everyone can play this sport! We will just need:

1) 2 teams, 2 players per team

2) A beach volleyball

3) A net

4) A court which is 8m x 16m

beach volleyball

- Beach volleyball rules -

How many ball touches are allowed?

During the match, 2 teams compete against one another and each team has a maximum of 3 touches before hitting the ball back to the opposite side.

Unlike indoor volleyball which does not regard passive touch from blocking as hits, beach volleyball does. It means the block is regarded as first touch, and their team only has 2 touches left. However, the player who made the block has the right to strike the ball on the second touch. 

How to score points?

The game is won by the first team who has 2 winning sets out of 3 sets. The first 2 sets are played to 21 points while the final tie-breaker set is played to 15 points.  A team must win a set with a 2 point advantage. 

When to serve?  

When the serving team misses the serve or loses the point, the right goes straight to the opposite team. The players will each take turns to serve according to the rotation system.  
Also keep in mind that 2 teams have to change sides every 7 points in the first 2 sets and every 5 points in the final set, so as to balance the game. 

Ball touch

The ball must be struck clearly or touched with the back of the hand; it must not be held or used a feint attack with fingertips or open hand. The entire action must be “clean”.

beach volleyball
differences from indoor volleyball


1) Beach volleyball pressure is slightly lower than that of volleyball.

2) Beach volleyball is made of water-resistance materials.

3) Beach volleyball court (8m x 16m) is smaller than the volleyball court (9m x 18m).  

4) Beach volleyball has fewer players (4 players) than volleyball (12 players).

5) With no position marked on the beach volleyball court, players can place themselves wherever they want.

6) No substitute players in beach volleyball matches.

7) Beach volleyball does not allow feint attack while volleyball does.

8) Beach volleyball coaches cannot guide players during the match.

9) 2 winning sets from 3 sets for beach volleyball while 3 winning sets from 5 sets for volleyball.

These are the official rules for beach volleyball but you can also play it freely! To have fun with friends, you can make up larger teams (e.g. 5 against 5) with a larger court size. Enjoy the dives and rolls, and do not feel obligated to respect all the official rules. You are there to have fun! Good game!    

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