Beach Volleyball debuted in the Olympics in the year 1996 and since then, it has been one of the biggest crowd-pullers in the Games. Read the article to know all about its rules and regulations.

Beach Volleyball

From the beaches of Santa Monica, California to Horse Guards Parade London, Beach Volleyball has come a long way since its inception in the 1920s. Also known as Sand Volleyball, Beach Volleyball is a relatively young Olympic sport. It is similar to indoor volleyball, but is played on a sandy, slightly smaller outdoor court. The court is divided into halves with a net extended at a certain height across the middle of the court. Each team player has specific positions in the court and the ball is specifically designed for the Olympics Volleyball game. The ball used is not a beach ball, but it is softer, slacker and slightly larger than an indoor volleyball. To win a set, a team must earn twenty-one points, and to win an Olympics Volleyball Beach Game or tournament, a team must win three sets total. Debuted at Atlanta Olympics in 1996, the popularity of Beach Volleyball has skyrocketed over the years and is a crowd favorite in Olympics today. Read on to know more about this game, its history and previous Olympic records.

Beach Volleyball Rules And Regulations
  • Both indoor and beach volleyball courts measure upto18m x 9m in area. The court is divided into two halves by a net, measuring 2.43m high for men and 2.24m high for women. The boundary lines of the court are counted as part of it.
  • The ball is of leather, has a circumference between 65cm to 67cm, and weighs 260-280 grams.
  • Two players of either team aim to hit the ball over the net with their hands. Although there is no firm rule about using just hands, the players can use any part of their body to hit the ball. Substitutions are overruled. 
  • Beach volleyball rules goes easy on player’s positions. A player is allowed to attack from any position on the court.
  • A point is gained by a team when it hits the ball and lands in the opponent’s court.
  • A team is allowed to hit the ball thrice to return it. However, no player from the team can hit the ball twice in a row. (Including the ball touching any part of the body and rebounding to another part.)
  • A block by a player is not considered as hit and the team has three hits even after blocking. A player who blocks the ball can also hit the ball.
  • A rally is also lost if a player lands the ball out of opponents court area or into the net or even when a player touches the net with any part of his or her body while playing the ball.
  • A server can serve the ball from anywhere behind the end of the court line and may be struck over or underarm with any part of the hand, arm or fist. The server can aim the ball anywhere into the opponent’s court.
  • Server can continue serving until the serving team loses a point or gains a point.
  • A serve must not touch a player from the serving team and players cannot vague the opponent’s view of a serve.
  • Players can block the shots at the net provided they do not touch it. If the ball crosses the court under the net it is taken as violation of the rules.
  • Maximum 12 seconds time is allotted between the rallies. And per set, 30 seconds time-out is allotted to each team.
The game was introduced in Barcelona Olympics as a demonstration event in the year 1992 and became a permanent part of the Olympics programme in the year 1996. In the demonstration event, twenty-four teams participated out of which Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos won the men's tournament and Nancy Reno and Karolyn Kirby won the women's. These 24 teams were selected on the basis of their performance in International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) events over the course of approximately eighteen months leading up to the Olympics. Only two teams were allowed to play from each country and one spot was reserved for the host country and a randomly chosen wildcard country.