It all starts with the serve. The serve is the only part of the game that you control totally, because you initiate the play. If you can’t get the serve to your opponents, you give them free points and you will not win the game. You can use several types of serves; Underarm, Sky Ball, Floater and Jump Serve.

Face the net directly and standing just behind the back line take the ball in one hand, draw back your opposite hand while barely tossing the ball up, swing through contacting the ball.

Face your target, hold the ball with your arm extended at your shoulder height, toss it a few feet above and slightly in front of your head, draw your other arm back and bring it forward to contact the middle of the ball with an open hand.

Is essentially a 30-foot spike/hit where you set the ball to yourself with a toss. The toss should be far enough in front of you that you can make your normal spike/hit approach, also the toss has to be high enough to allow you time to run forward, plant your feet and contact the ball at the high point of your jump.

Jump Serve

Facing the sideline, with one of your shoulders closer to the net, the ball is held as in the underarm serve, using your legs is very important in this serve, since you want to almost jump into the ball to get more height.

  1. Get the opposing passer to move
  2. Serve to the opponents weakness
  3. Serve long rather than short into the net
  4. Use the wind and sun to your advantage
  5. Don’t miss your serve after an opponent’s time-out
  6. If you and your partner miss back to back serves, get the 3rd one in

Ball control will win you more games than any other part of the game and the most fundamental skill involved is the pass. The first rule is to lock your forearms out by straightening your elbows and keep your forearms as tightly together as you can, your 2 separate forearms forming one flat platform, second key is the grip to keep your arms together. Contact the ball a little above your wrists on your forearms. Keep your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart with your knees bent. If you need to make few steps first to get to the ball, get there first, you don’t need to form the grip until you are near the ball, get directly behind the ball playing it at the centreline of your body.

beach volleyball

  1. Focus on the ball, not the server
  2. Get to the ball as quickly as you can
  3. Take the serve as close to the centerline of your body as possible
  4. Pass the ball straight ahead and low
  5. Make a call on every serve

The set is the most elegant skill in volleyball. To see a heavy beach ball lifted softly with a feathery touch is a pretty sight, unfortunately the strict setting rules for the beach game discouraged many players from using their hands. Put your above your forehead so that they surround an imaginary ball, by pulling them apart, you create a little basket for the ball to fall into. Receive it with loose wrists and guide the ball up and forward.


Bump setting is a little different from passing. When bump setting your arms should be almost parallel to the ground so that you get a direct lift on the ball, it will help to bend your knees a little more to get under the ball and set it above you.

  1. Know what kind of set your partner likes
  2. Be aware of who is blocking and adjust the set accordingly
  3. On bump set, get directly behind the ball and face your target
  4. Partners should know where to set a ball – talk
  5. Take into account wind and topspin


Attacking requires 3 basic elements: the approach, the jump, the contact. As soon as you pass the ball start moving towards the net, using as few steps as possible, 4 or 5 feet from your takeoff point, take one final powerful stride. Round up your approach a little to face the angle on your spike/hit. After the last stride plant both feet together for jump, while planting your arms should be swinging back and than towards as you lift off the ground. Jump straight up behind the ball while keeping it slightly in front of your body, drawing your hitting arm behind your head, contacting the ball with your whole hand as high as you can.

Beach Volleyball

  1. Always hit the ball into the court
  2. Always approach the attack for a ‘kill’, disguising your soft shots until the last second
  3. Master the ‘4 corner offense’
  4. Listen to your partner call for the open area
  5. Be aware of the blockers body position and hand movement
  6. In hard hits, give yourself a 3 foot margin for error

While your knees are slightly bent and feet about shoulder width apart and put your hands at about head height. Watch the hitters approach. Crouch to get maximum jump and reach as high as you pushing your hands over and across the net. You should jump a little after the hitter does, the farther the hitter from the net, the later you should jump.

Beach volleyball players use hand signals to indicate the type of block they intend to make, also known as block signals. Block signals are made behind the back to hide them from the opposing team. They are usually given with both hands by the serving player’s partner prior to the serve, with each hand referring to the type of block that should be put up against an attack from the corresponding opponent. A player may also “wiggle” or “flash” one block signal to indicate which opponent to serve to. If the server is the designated blocker, he or she may run up to the net to block after serving. Otherwise, the signaling player will perform the block. Block signals may also be given during a rally while the opposing team is preparing their attack.

beach volleyball player signalling team-mate back view

Closed fist
No block should be attempted for the opponent on that side of the court

One finger
The blocker should block an opponent’s “line” attack, or a ball hit perpendicularly from the net and parallel to the sideline

Two fingers
The blocker should block an opponent’s “angle” attack, or a ball hit diagonally from the net and across the court

Open hand
The blocker should block “ball,” deciding how to block based upon the opposing team’s set, and the hitter’s approach and arm-swing

  1. Watch the set, then the hitter’s approach, then his or her shoulder
  2. Be aware of your hand placement
  3. Get as far over the net as you can
  4. Communicate and stay disciplined by following your chosen strategy

Beach volleyball is fundamentally similar to indoor volleyball: a team scores points by grounding the ball on the opponents’ court, or when the opposing team commits a fault (error or illegal action); teams can contact the ball no more than three times before the ball crosses the net; and consecutive contacts must be made by different players.

  • Playing surface: sand, rather than a hard floor
  • Team size: two players per team, rather than six
  • The beach court measures 26.25 feet by 52.5 feet (8.00 m × 16.00 m), while the indoor court measures 29.52 feet by 59.05 feet (9.00 m × 18.00 m)
  • A match consists of three sets, or games. A set is won by the first team to reach 21 points. The first team to win two sets wins the match, and a third tiebreaker set, if necessary, is won by the first team to reach 15 points. Teams must win by two points
  • Teams change sides of the court at every combined multiple of 7 points. For example, if Team A has 10 points and Team B also has 10, and then the next point will cause both teams to switch sides, the total score of 21 being a multiple of 7. On the third set, teams change sides of the court at every combined multiple of 5 points
  • It is legal to cross under the net as long as doing so does not interfere with the opponents’ attempt to play the ball
  • Players alternate service, but are not required to rotate positions
  • There are no ‘rotation errors
  • There are no ten-foot line (3-meter line) hitting restrictions
  • There are no substitutions
  • Most players, either by choice or by requirement of the rules, play the game barefoot
  • The ball is softer, has a lower internal pressure, and is slightly bigger than an indoor volleyball
  • Overhand finger passes are refereed more strictly
  • When receiving or attacking, an overhand pass must be redirected squarely to the shoulders and put little or no spin on the ball (a “clean” pass). In practice, this means that serves are never received open-handed. The exception to this rule is when receiving an opponent’s hard-driven attack
  • When employing an overhand pass, the standard for a double contact fault is lower than when receiving or attacking, though still much stricter than in indoor volleyball. The standard for a lift fault is less strict than in the indoor game, i.e. it is legal to allow the ball to come to rest for a small period of time