Beach Volleyball - Quick Guide


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Beach Volleyball - Overview

Beach volleyball is a game that gives nail-biting excitement to the viewers. People often love to play this game on the beach and the game in itself is so interesting that it is popular all over the world. All that you need to do is learn a few rules and you are ready to play this fun game with your friends.

Beach Volleyball

The objective of this game is to pass the ball to the opposite side of the net. The game is played between two teams and three chances are given in each turn to a team to pass the ball towards their opponent’s court and to ground it over there. Apart from basic knowledge some tricks are required to play the game well.

Beach Volleyball – A Brief History

Beach volleyball was first played in USA’s Hawaii. In Hawaii’s Waikiki beach at the outrigger canoe club in 1915, beach volleyball was played for the first time.

Outrigger Canoe

The Outrigger Canoe Club was established in 1908 by some businessmen of Honolulu. Initially this game was played with six players. But that concept is changed and new two player beach volley ball was invented in 1930 and all the credit goes to Paul ‘Pablo’ Johnson who himself is an indoor player at Santa Monica athletic club.

The first tournament to offer prize was played in Los Angeles in 1948. Beach volleyball began to appear in Europe in 1930’s. It gained popularity in the 60’s because the Beatles tried playing it in Los Angeles and john F. Kennedy was also a big fan of this game and was there to see the game.

In 1976 the first professional beach volley ball was played at Will Rogers State Beach in California. The name of the tournament was Olympia World Championship.

Participating Countries

Beach volleyball for the first time was introduced in the Summer Olympics during the 1996 Atlanta games. Currently many international competitions are being organized by FIVB. Brazil and USA are the dominating countries in this sport. They take maximum of the medals in each Olympics.

The top five countries that have dominated the medal table in this game are −

  • Brazil
  • Unites states
  • Germany
  • China
  • Netherland

Beach Volleyball - Playing Environment

Beach volleyball is played on a sand court with a light volleyball and a net bisecting the court. The playing area of beach volleyball is completely made up of sand. Any type of rocks and debris is removed from the surface of the court to prevent any type of injuries. The level of sand should be minimum 40 centimetres deep inside the court. As the players have to dive on the surface a lot, these safety measures are taken by the tournament hosts.

Sand Court

A standard volley ball court has a length of 16 metres and a breadth of 8 metres and the court is rectangular in nature. Surrounding the court, a free zone is there with a width of 3 metres.

Beach Volleyball - Equipment

The basic equipment used to play beach volleyball safely and enjoyably are listed below.

Net

Net

A net is used in beach volleyball game and the players always try to shoot the ball above the net. The height of the beach volleyball net is around 8 feet for men and 7 feet 4 inches for women. The height of the net varies for teenagers.

The net that is used for beach volley ball has a length of 28 feet. Each end of the net is padded. In official competitions the referee stand is usually attached with the net. The net is also bordered on top and bottom with 4 inch wide canvas.

Ball

Ball

As the name of the sport is volleyball so a ball is the centre of the play. The spherical ball used in beach volleyball is either made up of flexible synthetic material or leather.

The ball is striped with bright colours which makes it look beautiful and attractive. The weight of the ball is around 300 grams. The internal air in the ball is around 0.200 kg per square centimetres. The circumference of the ball should not exceed 70 cm and should not be below 65 cm.

Knee Pads

Knee Pads

Knee pads are very important for the players who are playing beach volleyball. One of the major equipment in playing beach volleyball is knee pads. They provide stability to the leg of the player which allows him to play up to his potential.

One of the major advantages is that it prevents injury to a player. If a player has an injury, then he can use knee caps to relax his knee.

Uniforms

Uniforms

The player belonging to same team or same country has same dress. Players normally prefer to wear swimsuits while playing beach volleyball.

Due to some unfavorable practices, some conservative parties have raised their voices about it and the governing body federation international de volleyball (FIVB) has changed some rules in ladies dress. While playing beach volleyball on a nice and smooth sandy surface, players are advised to wear sporting shoes for the safety of their foot.

Sunglasses and Sun Protection

Sunglasses

As we have already mentioned that these matches are normally held under the Sun in an open ground, the players are very keen on protecting their body and specially their eyes. To protect their eyes, they wear sunglasses.

But the glasses they put on their eyes should not have any power in it. This is also a safety guideline for the players. To protect their body from harsh sunlight, they use sun cream on their body.

Beach Volleyball - How to Play?

Like some other Olympic games, beach volleyball is a team sport. It is played between two teams. Each team has two players representing either a club or country or a state of a country. Beach volleyball is played on a sand court with a light volleyball and a net bisecting the court.

Beach Volleyball

Beach volleyball was introduced in Summer Olympics since the Atlanta games held in the United States of America in 1996. Beach volleyball is inspired from indoor volleyball and the style, rule and regulation are approximately same in all these games. The main objective of the player is to shoot the ball over the net towards the opposition. During shooting, the ball should not touch the net, as it will result in a foul.

Besides sending the ball over the net, the main objective of the players is to ground the ball on the opponent’s side. At the same time, trying to stop the opponent to put the ball or ground the ball in their side. This can be done by proper defending the opponent’s attack.

After receiving the ball, the players can touch the ball three times before sending it to the other side. The game starts with a serve by the server who hits the ball behind the rear court boundary and over the net to the opponents. The ball going to the opponent side and coming back to own side is called rally of the ball.

And this rally is broken when the ball touches ground on one side or get out of the court or not sent in a legal manner. The side which is able to drop the ball in their opposition’s side will win the rally over the opposition and the same side will serve to start the following rally.

There are many techniques or skills involved in this sport, some of them are described below −

Serving

Serving is a technique to put the ball into the play after indication by the referee. For serving the striker strikes the ball with his hand or arm with full power from his side behind the rear court boundary.

Serving is of three types: jump serve, overarm serve, and underarm serve. From all of these underarm serve is a defensive one. But overarm serve and jump serve are attacking ones. These two are normally preferred by the strikers.

Serving

In indoor matches, there is no problem of wind but in beach volley matches, wind has a greater impact on the play. Normally most of the rallies are won by the serving team because they have the opportunity to attack first.

Attacking

Attacking in beach volleyball is hitting the ball with full force by one hand to the opponent side so that ball will move in a downward trajectory. Normally players are not able to stop the ball which is moving with great speed downwards. This method is called spiking.

Another attacking style is sending the ball with softer hands and the ball in this style moves with an arcing trajectory. It is similar to spiking and this method is called rolling.

Besides spiking and rolling, another attacking method is dinking. In dinking the ball is sent very softly over the net and its trajectory is very small and low.

Attacking

Passing

When the ball comes from the opponent, the receiving team’s main concentration is how to send the ball to them in legal manner. When the ball is received it cannot be sent back immediately. If it is sent immediately, then the sending will not be very effective.

Passing

So before sending, the ball has to be passed among the players so that they can come to a good position to send the ball. Before sending the ball, the players can touch the ball for a maximum three times. Though serving and attacking gain you point, but it is the passing which gives you the confidence.

Setting and Blocking

The main purpose of setting style is to attack on a third hit after positioning the ball. It is a second team contact and hand setting is often used by the players for the third hit. Among all the techniques blocking is the most trickiest and difficult technique.

Setting Blocking

In blocking, the receiving side player jumps to reach the top of the net and his/her main aim is to redirect the ball that came from the opponent side, back into their court. Blocking requires stamina, good eye contact, immediate decision taking power and of course experience.

Beach Volleyball - Scoring System

Beach volleyball consists of three sets, but it is played as best of three sets. Best of three means if a team wins the first two sets, then that team will win the match. Each set is of 21 points and the team that scores the 21 points earlier than the other team wins the match.

The team that scores 21 points first must have a two point advantage than the other one. So if the score level is 21-20, then the set will keep on until two point advantage is achieved. It means if the score will indicate 24-22 or 25-27, then the set will be over.

The third or the decisive set will be maximum of 15 points unlike 21 in the first two. Teams can switch ends after every 7 points. In the last set, they can change it in 5 points. Point is awarded to that team which is able to drop the ball on the ground at the opponent’s side. Whenever a team fails to deliver the ball in a legal manner, they commit fault and the other team gets a point.

Beach Volley vs. Indoor Volley

Indoor volley is played on hard court but beach volley is played on sand court. A team in beach volley consists of two players whereas in indoor game it is of six players. In beach volley, no substitution is allowed. Players in beach volley can play with bare feet.

Indoor Volley

The dimension of the court in indoor volley is 18m length and 9m breadth. But beach volley’s court has 16m length and 8m breadth. Scoring system is different in beach volley as best of three sets is played. But indoor volley has different scoring system.

Indoor volley has an attack line of 3m from net, but there is no attack line in beach volley. In beach volley, open hand touches, dinks or tips are illegal unlike indoor volleyball.

During the match, the coach cannot give any suggestions or coaching. Teams switch ends in every seven points in beach volley, but in indoor volley, switching of the side is done after every set.

Beach Volleyball - Rules and Regulations

International Volleyball Federation is the governing body of beach volleyball. The rules are made to make the game fair and transparent. Listed below are some of the important rules −

  • Like indoor volleyball, a team is always desperate to ground the ball in the opposition’s court.

  • The team which is able to ground the ball at the opponent’s side wins a point.

  • If the opponent sends the ball in an illegal manner they commit a fault.

  • Before sending the ball to the opponent’s side there may be consecutive contacts made by the players. These contacts have to be made by different players and only three touches are allowed for a team before sending the ball to the other side.

  • The beach volleyball playing area is completely made up of sands. Any type of rocks and debris is removed from the surface of the court to prevent any type of injuries as normally players like to play with bare foot so these precautions are taken.

  • The level of sand should be minimum 40 centimetres deep inside the court. It may increase in different competitions.

  • A standard volley ball court has a length of 16 metres and breadth of 8 metres and the court is rectangular in shape.

  • Surrounding the court, a free zone is there which has a width of 3 metres and there is no obstruction for at least a height of 7 metres.

  • Players in beach volley can play with bare feet; it depends on the choice of the players.

  • In each team, there are only two players. So a total of four players can compete with each other.

  • Scoring system in beach volley is an interesting one. The best of three sets played between the players. In each set, a maximum of 21 points can be scored by a team to win the match. If the match is moved to the third or the deciding set, then the maximum points are reduced to 15 instead of 21.

  • Open hand touches are not allowed in beach volley. Any type of open hand touch or dink or tip is recommended as an illegal action.

  • During the match, if a block is occurred at the net, then it will be counted as a touch and the number of allowed touches is reduced to two.

  • During the match, the players can switch the sides at will. Teams can change or switch ends of the court at every seven points.

  • A net is used in beach volleyball game and the players always try to shoot the ball above the net. The height of the beach volleyball net is around 8 feet for men and 7 feet 4 inches for women. The height of the net varies for teenagers.

  • The net that is used for beach volleyball has a length of 28 feet and each end of the net is padded. In official competitions the referee stand is usually attached with the net.

  • The net is also bordered on top and bottom with 4 inch wide canvas.

  • In beach volleyball, the ball is the centre of the play. A spherical ball used in beach volley is either made up of flexible synthetic material or leather.

  • The ball is striped with bright colours which makes it look beautiful and attractive. The weight of the ball is around 300 grams.

  • The internal air in the ball is around 0.200 kg per square centimetres. The circumference of the ball is not above 70 cm and is not below 65 cm.

Safety

As beach volleyball is an outdoor sport, certain guidelines has to be followed by the players for safety and some of them are described below.

  • Kneepads are very important for the players who are playing beach volleyball.

  • Kneepads provide stability to the leg of the player which allows him to play up to his potential. One of the major advantages is that it prevents injury to a player and if anyone is having injury, then by wearing kneepads, the player can relax his knee.

  • Since these matches are normally held under the Sun in open ground, the players are very keen on protecting their body and specially their eyes. To protect their eyes, they must wear sunglasses. But the glasses they put on should not have any power. This is also a safety guideline for the players.

  • For protection of their body, they put sunscreen.

  • As the sun rays contain ultraviolet and infrared rays which can cause cancer. So by putting cream on the skin the players can make their skin safe from directly exposing towards sun.

  • While playing the players should wear sporting shoes for feet protection though it is not mandatory.

Beach Volleyball - Champions

International Volleyball Federation is the governing body of beach volleyball that organizes international matches and tournaments all over the world. Apart from that, all nations have their own governing bodies to manage the game within their territory. Here is a list of some of the important championships −

  • FIVB beach volleyball world championships
  • College Beach volleyball
  • Asian Beach volleyball championships
  • WUC Beach volleyball
  • US pro. Beach volleyball league
Volleyball Federation

Champion of Champion

Beach volleyball is a game in which players of many countries participate in various competitions. Some of the champions of this game with their details

Todd Rogers

Todd Rogers

Todd Rogers is a beach volleyball player and represents America in various competitions. He has won gold medals in Olympics and FIVB beach volleyball competitions. Rogers started his career in partnership with Dax Holdren and won the first tournament in 1998.

In 2000, the team won FIVB beach volleyball world tour tournament. In 2001, Rogers had partnership with Sean Scott and won four separate AVP Tour stops. In 2006, he partnered with Phil Dalhausser and won eight AVP events and six FIVB events. In 2008 Olympics these partners won a gold medal in beach volleyball but suffered a defeat in 2012 Olympics.

Phil Dalhausser

Phil Dalhausser

Phil Dalhausser is an American beach volleyball player who has won 2007 AVP Tour championship and FIVB world championship in partnership with Todd Rogers. The team has also won 2008 Olympics gold medal.

Phil Dalhausser started his career in partnership with Nick Lucena but could not get any medal. In 2006 he made partnership with Todd Rogers who also became his coach. In 2007, the team won world championship. The two were also the gold medalist in 2008 Olympics but could not win in 2012 Olympics.

Jonas Reckermann

Jonas Reckermann

Jonas Reckermann is a beach volleyball player from Germany who was the winner of beach volleyball in 2012 Olympics in partnership with Julius Brink. Earlier he took part in 2004 Olympics with his partner Markus Dieckmann and got ninth rank. He won European beach volleyball championships in 2002 and 2004.

He also won four FIVB competitions in 2009 with Julius Brink. After 2012 Olympics he retired from the game.

Dax Holdren

Dax Holdren

Dax Holdren is a beach volleyball player from America who is now in partnership with Jeff Nygaard. He started his career in 1997. He made partnership with Todd Rogers and won eight tournaments. The win also included the world tour 2000.

After this Holdren made partnership with Eric Fonoimoana. The partnership ended in 2003. In 2004 Summer Olympics, finished fifth with his partner Stein Metzger. In 2003 beach volleyball championship, they won a silver medal.

Stein Metzger

Stein Metzger

Stein Metzger is a beach volleyball player from United States. In 2006 he took part in 14 events and won five of them with his partner Mike Lambert.

In 2004 Olympics, Metzger was the partner of Dax Holdren and they finished with fifth rank. Then he made partnership with Jack Gibb and won in Belmar. They were also at second position in FIVB Grand Slam event. The duo also won 2005 Manhattan Beach championship.

Zhang Xi

Zhang Xi

Zhang Xi is a beach volleyball player from China who was the winner of the game in 2006 Asian games. In this win her partner was Xue Chen.

In 2004, she participated in Swatch FIVB world tour. In 2008 she, with her partner, won bronze medal in beach volleyball. In 2010 they won FIVB world tour. In the same year they took part in FIVB beach volleyball world rankings and got fourth position.

Xue Chen

Xue Chen

Xue Chen is a Chinese beach volley ball player. Xue started her career as a basketball player but didn’t like it so she started playing indoor volleyball.

Xue made her debut in 2005 in Swatch FIVB world tour where she took part in two events with her partner You Wenhui.

In 2006, she won China Shanghai Jinshan open and became the youngest winner. In the same year she won a gold medal with her partner Zhang Xi in Asian games and a bronze medal in 2008 Olympics.

In 2010, the team won grand slam and a gold medal in FIVB world tour.

Larissa Franca

Larissa Franca

Larissa Franca is a beach volleyball player from Brazil who won 57 FIVB career gold medals. This win include the winning of 2011 beach volleyball world championship with Juliana Felisbarta. Along with this with her partner Talita Antunes she won 2012 FIVB beach volleyball world tour.

In 2008 Olympics, she finished fifth. In 2014, she won FIVB world tour with her partner Talita Antunes. Now she is planning to win a medal in 2016 Olympics.

Jennifer Kessy

Jennifer Kessy

Jennifer Kessy is an American beach volleyball player. Jennifer started her career with a contract for six month for Chicago Thunder. Then she joined Pinke de Corozal but could not get any medal.

In 2007, she made a partnership with April Ross and won FIVB championship. She has finished at first place in ten AVP and nine FIVB tournaments. In 2012 she won a silver medal in Olympics with her partner Ross.

April Ross

April Ross

April Ross is a beach volleyball played from America. In 2008, she made partnership with Jennifer Kessy and got third place in Swatch FIVB world tour. In Dubai open in 2008, she got the team got the second place and in Phuket Thailand open they got the first place.

In 2009 the duo won FIVB world championship. April Ross has also won eight AVP and nine FIVB championships where she finished first. In 2012 Olympics, she won a silver medal with her partner Kessy.



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