Beach Volleyball Frequently Asked Questions

If you're considering switching from indoor to beach volleyball, or planning to start a club or league, you may be wondering how beach volleyball is different from the conventional version. To help you get started, we've put together a few answers to some of frequently asked questions about beach volleyball.

What are some differences between beach volleyballs and indoor volleyballs?

While beach and indoor volleyballs both weigh between 9 to 10 ounces, and are made of similar materials, there are a few things that distinguish them from one another. Beach volleyballs are generally more durable, and built to hold up to the outdoor elements. Beach volleyballs have a more textured, non-moisture-absorbent surface for easier handling in the outdoors. Beach volleyballs are generally more colorful for better visibility against the sun, and are less pressurized than indoor volleyballs.

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What is the official beach volleyball?

Mikasa is currently the FIVB-approved beach volleyball.

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How many players are on a beach volleyball team?

Beach volleyball normally uses two players in the game at a time, as compared with the indoor volleyball team consisting of six players on the court.

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What are the health benefits of playing beach volleyball?

Any activity that gets you moving, particularly if it's fun, can make a huge difference in your health and fitness, mental outlook, and overall quality of life. Add to that lots of sunshine and fresh air, what's not to like about beach volleyball? Other than a possible overexposure to sun and heat, beach volleyball could quite possibly be the perfect warm-weather pastime. And since beach volleyball is played on sand, it's much gentler on the body than other hard-surface sports. Particularly if you're prone to back and knee problems.

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What are some health risks of playing beach volleyball?

Beach volleyball is one of the safest summer sports there are. It's far easier on the body than indoor volleyball, and other hard-surface sports. About the only real risk of beach volleyball is your extended exposure to the sun. It wouldn't hurt to give your head, eyes, skin, and feet a little extra protection.

*HEV stands for High Energy Visible Light believed to cause retinal injury. Some sunglasses now offer HEV and UV protection.

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What's the best protection against sun damage from playing beach volleyball?

Your best defense against the UV rays is a good sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or more, and protective sports sunglasses. You may also consider wearing a sports cap or visor, and protective clothing if necessary. Sand shoes could be your best friend on days when the sun is scorching hot.

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How is the scoring of beach volleyball different from indoor volleyball?

General differences include the number of sets played, and the number of points needed to win.

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What gear do I need to play beach volleyball?

Your basic gear will be your uniform, which consists of a one or two-piece sports swimsuit, or board shorts and sports top, depending on your league. Added protective wear may include a hat, sports sunglasses, UV-protective clothing, and sand socks.

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When did beach volleyball begin?

Though volleyball owes its more than century-old beginnings to its inventor, William G. Morgan, by most accounts outdoor volleyball began on the beaches of Santa Monica, Calif., in the 1920s. The first beach volleyball competitions took place in 1924. From there it spread to France and throughout Europe. The game was played much the same way as indoor volleyball. In 1930, beach volleyball teams were narrowed down to two people, although recreation volleyball often has more.

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What is the main governing organization for beach volleyball?

The Federation Internationale De Volleyball (FIVB) governs all forms of international volleyball competitions, including beach volleyball.

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What are the dimensions of a beach volleyball court compared to an indoor court?

The beach court is smaller than the indoor court.

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How long is a beach volleyball net compared to an indoor volleyball net?

While the nets are about the same height, roughly 8 feet high for men and 7-1/2 feet high for women, the lengths of the nets differ. A beach volleyball net is shorter, measuring just under 28 feet long, while the length of the indoor volleyball net is between 31-1/2 feet to 33 feet.

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How are beach volleyball uniforms different from indoor volleyball uniforms?

Your typical indoor volleyball uniform consists of a jersey, shorts, and socks. Board shorts and a tank make up the uniform for men, and either a one-piece bathing suit, sports bikini, shorts and sports top, or full body suit comprise a uniform for women. Shoes are worn indoors, whereas outdoors players play barefoot unless given permission by the referee to wear sand socks or shoes.

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What are some difference between men's and women's beach volleyball uniforms?

While what men and women wear to play indoor volleyball remains much the same, there are dramatic differences between men's and women's beach volleyball uniforms. Since the sport's 1996 debut at the US Summer Games, until the spring of 2012, women were required to wear either a one-piece swimsuit or sports bikini while the men usually wear board shorts and a tank. Out of consideration for various religious and cultural observances around the world, rules recently undergone changes that have added athletic shorts and tops, or full body suits to what women are allowed to wear while participating in an international beach volleyball competition.

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