Beach Volleyball Characteristics

Beach Volleyball is a sport played by two teams on a sand court divided by a net.

The team has three hits for returning the ball (including the block touch).

In Beach Volleyball, the team winning a rally scores a point (Rally Point System). When the receiving team wins a rally, it gains a point and the right to serve. The serving player must be alternated every time this occurs.


A serve begins each rally. A player must hit the ball with his or her hand over the net to land inside the lines of the court. Players may serve underarm or overarm (hardly anyone at elite level would offer an underarm serve). A popular serve is the "jump" or "spike" serve: the player jumps and serves the ball while airborne.

Each player gets only one chance to serve. The serve can touch the net and continue into the opponent's court. Before this rule was introduced, a net touch on service ended the rally and the point was awarded to the receiving team. When the serving team loses a rally, it loses the right to serve. The receiving team then rotates one position on the court.


First contact with the ball after the serve. The “reception” is a forearm pass that is used to control and pass the ball  to the partner. The “reception” can be used also to make a direct “set”.


It is usually the receiving team's second contact. The objective of the “set” is to put the ball in a good position for the spiker.

Attack Hit

All actions which direct the ball towards the opponent, with exception of service and block, are considered as attack hits. 


Blocking is the action of players close to the net to intercept the ball coming from the opponent by reaching higher than the top of the net, regardless of the height of the ball contact. At the moment of the contact with the ball, a part of the body must be higher than the top of the net.


Ball brought up (saved) with any part of the body, particularly from a spike attempt.

The Ball

The ball shall be spherical, made of a flexible material (leather, synthetic leather, or similar) which does not absorb moisture, i.e. more suitable to outdoor conditions since matches can be played when it is raining. The ball has bladder inside made of rubber or a similar material. Approval of synthetic leather material is determined by FIVB regulations.


A rally is the sequence of playing actions from the moment of the service hit by the server until the ball is out of play. A completed rally is the sequence of playing actions which results in the award of a point.