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What Is the Difference Between Indoor Volleyball and Beach Volleyball?

There are significant rule differences.

The beach court is smaller. The end lines are not as deep so that is something to take into account. The measurements for a beach court is 8 meters by 8 meters for each side of the net.

Beach volleyball has no rotation rules like indoor does. The most obvious reason for this is that there are only two players on a team. The order of the serve does alternate between the two players though.

A player cannot set the serve. The reason is double contacting the serve is not allowed. You can actually pass the ball using your hands above your head however your hands need to be in contact with each other.

A player can not open hand tip the ball. Volleyball rules for the beach believe that open hand tipping makes it too easy to score and does not suit the game well. The alternative to this is a roll shot using an open hand.

Your set must be clean. Indoor sets are different because you will see the ball spinning out of a setter’s hands. The volleyball setter in beach also sets the ball in a completely different fashion. Beach volleyball players make it look as though they are catching the ball as they set it. In indoor this will almost always be called a lift or a carry.

Indoor volleyball allows for double hits but beach volleyball does not. As previously mentioned, beach volleyball players are not permitted to double contact the ball during the serve receive, and this also applies to digging a spike. For whatever reason, these things are allowed in indoor volleyball.

In beach volleyball, a player may not set a ball over the net when not facing the net on the first or second contact. Basically, if you are going to set over the net you have to be square to the net, whether that is facing the net or your back is to the net. Anything in between is not allowed.

Something extremely different from indoor volleyball is that in beach volleyball a block counts as a hit. Any touch at the net counts.

Another interesting difference is that the volleyball for beach is much different than the volleyball for indoor. Believe it or not, the pressure of the two volleyballs are different. Volleyballs used indoor have a much higher air pressure and are pumped rather high. Beach volleyballs are not. The likely reason for this is because beach volleyballs are not meant to be bounced on the ground. And, obviously, beach volleyballs are not meant to be used inside and vice versa with the indoor volleyball.

Photo by Miguel Teirlinck on Unsplash

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