What is the double crossing of a check

Beach volleyball rules simply explained!

Beach volleyball is a sport that is becoming increasingly popular with a wide audience, not least because of the great successes of the German beach volleyball players Ludwig / Walkenhorst and Brink / Reckermann. At the same time, sport, just like indoor volleyball, has an extensive set of rules - and that is why amateurs and beginners alike always have questions about the Beach volleyball rules.

Here are the answers from VolleyballFREAK to all important questions about beach volleyball rules. This text is intended for beginners who want to quickly and easily understand the basics of beach volleyball rules - but advanced volleyball players can certainly still learn something ...

Beach vs. indoor volleyball: 2 dissimilar brothers!

Beach volleyball game idea

2 teams face each other on a sandy field separated by a net. A team has up to 3 ball contacts (the block contact counts differently than in the hall!) To bring the ball to the opponent's floor. The ball is brought into play by serving.

The German beach volleyball player Chantal Laboreur climbs up to attack!

Game structure

  • a team of 2 players (no substitutes or coaches allowed) wins a game if it wins 2 sets

  • each sentence has 21 points (with the exception of the 3rd sentence). If there is a 21:21 tie, the set is continued until a team has achieved a 2-point lead

  • in the event of a 1: 1 set tie, the decisive 3rd set is played up to 15 points is counted according to the rally point counting method: If the serving team scores, it retains the serve; if the accepting team scores, it receives the right to serve

  • Every 7 points the sides are changed, in the 3rd sentence every 5 points

  • if a change of page is “forgotten”, it will be carried out late. The score remains unchanged

  • The break between sets is 1 minute

How does a team get a point?

  • the ball touches the ground of the opposing field

  • the opposing team makes a mistake, i.e.

    • an illegal action

    • if there are several mistakes, only the first will be punished

  • If two mistakes happen at the same time between both teams, a double mistake (repetition) will be decided

Playing field & rotations

The whole playing area is divided into different areas. The real one matchfield

  • is 16 m long and 8 m wide, each half of the game is 8 x 8 m. At least 3 meters of free space around the field is required and 7 meters above the field without obstacles. The lines belong to the field (touching the ball on the line is equivalent to a point for the attacking team). The 5-8 cm wide lines must be anchored in the sand. The lines must stand out clearly in color from the sand.
    There is no center line. Trespassing is therefore permitted, provided that no opposing player is hindered or touched.

  • Both halves of the field are separated by a net. Both

    • For men, this is eight feet

    • for women 2.24 m

    • and 2.35 m high in the mixed area

Playing field surface

The surface must be flat and made of sand. No objects may pose a risk of injury to the players. According to the rules of the FIVB, the sand should be at least 40 cm deep and fine.

4 feet of 2 beachers jumping in the sand on the beach volleyball field (Photo: Peter Anderfuhren)

Service zone

The entire width of the baseline is the service zone.


Too little light no longer allows a game and means risk of injury for the players. In large tournaments, 1000-1500 lux must prevail 1m above the playing area.


Basically, the game is played in all weathers. The game is aborted in the event of a thunderstorm.

Game situations and mistakes

  • The referee releases the ball for play with his whistle

  • the game is over with his final whistle

  • the ball is "in“If it touches part of its circumference on the field of play or the boundary line

  • the ball is "out“If he doesn't touch the field

        • touches an object or a person who is not playing

        • Antenna, post ... touched

        • flies over the network outside of the crossing sector / antennas

        • flies under the net

        • the ball may be played with any part of the body (except when serving)

        • the ball must be hit, throwing / holding is prohibited

        • 2 contacts in a row (exception block) are prohibited

        • no other players or objects are allowed to help touch the ball

Ball touches

  • 3 touches of the ball are allowed

  • 2 players are allowed to touch the ball at the same time. There is only one contact left

  • If 2 opponents touch the ball above the net at the same time and the ball remains in play, 3 further contacts remain

  • a pressure ball / held ball between 2 opponents is not a fault

  • a hard hit ball may be held in the upper pass for a moment (interpretation of the court of arbitration)

  • Touching the ball on the opponent's side before or during the opponent's attack is prohibited

  • an open-handed attack as praise is prohibited

  • Playing the ball on the other side of the net in the upper pass is only permitted at a right angle to the shoulder axis. An exception is the attempted pass if the ball unintentionally flies towards the opponent

Playback from ex-national player Kay Matysik

Rules to the network

  • the ball is allowed to touch the net
  • Players are prohibited from touching the net while actively participating in the game
  • Accidental contact of the hair with the net is allowed
  • After hitting the ball, the player may touch all objects (posts ...) outside the net
  • It is not a fault if the ball is played against the net and the net touches an opponent

Block rules

  • Blocking is a defense above the net near the net
  • after a block, the blocking player may touch the ball one more time
  • reaching over at the block is permitted, provided that this does not hinder the opponent
  • after a block, a team still has 2 ball contacts available
  • blocking the opponent's serve is prohibited

Beach volleyball player Tim Holler at the block (Photo: FIVB)

Viewing block

The serving team must not obstruct the view of the server and the flight path of the service


Beach volleyball player Bieneck serving (Photo: P. Anderfuhren)

  • if the team that served scores a point, the same player serves again
  • The ball must be hit with the hand or arm of an arm after a previous throw
  • The ball may only be thrown once, there is no second attempt
  • When serving, the ball may touch the edge of the net (inside the antennae). Going over / under the baseline during service is considered a fault.
  • Before the game, the order of service is determined by the captain. This must be adhered to throughout the sentence. If the wrong player serves, the opponent receives one point.

Timeout regulations

Each team can request a time-out (30 seconds) with a show of hands per sentence. This must take place before kick-off. Both teams can request their time-out immediately one after the other without having to play a point in between. At national or international tournaments there is aTechnical time out (Technical timeout) after 21 points played (e.g. when the score was 13: 8). This time-out lasts 60 seconds and only takes place once per set.

Match ball in beach volleyball

  • The ball must be spherical and made of a leather-like material and be certified

  • The circumference is 65 to 67 cm with a weight of 260 to 280 g and a pressure of 0.175 to 0.225 kg / cm2

The Mikasa VLS 300 Beach Champ is the official match ball of the German Tour, the FIVB Beach World Tour and in 8 German national associations.


The Molten beach volleyball V5B5000 is the official match ball in 8 national associations

Team composition

The captain…

  • represents his team at the draw (choice of side, serve / acceptance)

  • Signs the sheet after the game and confirms the result of the game

Both players ...

  • acknowledge the applicable rules and accept the decision of the arbitral tribunal

  • are allowed to speak to each other during the game

  • may communicate with the arbitral tribunal (explanations of rules, request time-out ...)

If a player is injured, the team is incomplete and loses the game

Equipment rules

As a rule, the clothing consists of shorts and a shirt, or a bikini. Headgear and sunglasses are allowed. In large tournaments, the tops are marked with numbers 1 and 2

Players must play barefoot (with the exception of beach socks or tapes)

Upon request, additional warming textiles can be worn or the jersey can be exchanged if it is wet

Penalties and delays

  • the first delay is punished with a warning

  • the second delay in the same set is punished with loss of play

  • Small inaccuracies are punished with a warning, which is neither registered nor has any consequences

  • the yellow card is the final warning signal for the entire team

  • "Improper" behavior such as commenting (not offending). draws a red card and a loss of a play

  • Offensive behavior means the referee showing the yellow and red cards. The player must leave the field of play for the set. The team is incomplete for the current set

  • Assault: In the event of an assault, the referee also shows the yellow and red cards, but separately in their hands. The player is disqualified and the game is lost because the team is incomplete.

  • Incorrect behavior before and between sentences is also punished.

Injuries or interruptions

  • In the event of an injury or other impairment, the move is repeated

  • Injured players are allowed a recovery time of 5 minutes per game

  • If an injured player cannot continue playing, the game is lost (incomplete team)

  • If the game is interrupted by external influences (once / several times) for more than 4 hours, the game must be repeated, otherwise the game continues with the same score

VolleyballFREAK TIP # 1:
The volleyball associations keep thinking about / testing new rules, so try to stay up to date. The VolleyballFREAK always introduces you to every innovation!
VolleyballFREAK TIP # 2:
If you want to become a real volleyball expert, only a detailed study of the rules and training as a (beach) volleyball referee will help!

Have fun and good game at all times


P.S. If you want to read even more into the rules, you can either download them here directly from the FIVB as a PDF

Download the official FIVB beach volleyball rules

or buy the beach volleyball rules as a book:

Last update on 05/21/2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API