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How to Play Beach Volleyball

Batting a ball back and forth while you're barefoot on the beach is a fun way to get some exercise. Get started with these basic rules.


  • Step 1: Have a court Find a sand court divided by a net. If you're setting up your own court by putting down a net, decide the side line and end line boundaries. Official beach volleyball courts are 52 feet long by 26 feet wide.
  • TIP: Net height depends on the gender of the players: Women's nets are about seven and a half feet and men's nets are about eight feet high.
  • Step 2: Get players Have between four and twelve players, and divide into two teams
  • Step 3: Know the object of the game Know the object of the game, which is to send the volleyball over the net. Each team is allowed to hit the ball a maximum of three times before it must sail over the net. The ball can never touch the ground.
  • TIP: Smashing the ball down into your opponent's court with the heel of your hand is called a "spike."
  • Step 4: Toss a coin Flip a coin to decide who will serve first.
  • Step 5: Know the score Know how to score: A point is awarded to the opposing team each time a player lets the ball drop on the ground, sends it out of bounds, or fails to return it within three hits. If the team that wins the point served, it also continues to serve. If the winning side didn't serve, they now gain the right to do so.
  • TIP: Professional beach volleyball players use hand signals to indicate the type of block they intend to make to thwart their opponents.
  • Step 6: Play to win A team wins a set when it scores 21 points with a minimum lead of two points. In the case of a 20-20 tie, play continues until a two-point lead is reached.
  • TIP: A player who is good at setting up shots for teammates is called a "setter."
  • Step 7: End the game The team that wins two sets wins the match. In the case of a 1-to-1 set tie, the third and deciding set is played to 15 points with a minimum lead of two points.
  • FACT: Six-foot-three beach volleyball champion Gabrielle Reece was already five feet tall by the age of seven.

You Will Need

  • A beach or beach volleyball court
  • A volleyball
  • A volleyball net
  • At least four players
  • A coin

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