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  • Sand Court Experts

Indoor and Beach Volleyball: What’s the Difference?

The two main types of volleyball that are enjoyed by both men and women alike is indoor volleyball and beach (sand) volleyball. With the change of the seasons, many players switch surfaces as they make the transition from indoor to sand volleyball. While both versions share a lot of similarities, there are also some significant differences that make beach volleyball standout on its own. Many enjoy the unique challenges that come with playing beach volleyball, which would explain why the NCAA has labeled sand volleyball as the “fastest-growing, emerging NCAA sport ever.” It’s true, beach volleyballs’ popularity has been growing at an unprecedented rate and shows no signs of slowing down.

If you play indoor volleyball and are interested in making the switch to beach volleyball, there are some differences you should be aware of. Let’s take a closer look at some of the differences between beach and indoor volleyball.

  • You might think that indoor and beach volleyball utilizes the same ball, but that’s not the case. Balls designed for indoor volleyball are heavier than outdoor balls and are made of leather. On the other hand, beach volleyballs are a bit bigger in size and are softer and lighter than indoor volleyballs.

  • With indoor volleyball, you have six players on each side, and players typically specialize in a specific position, all while taking part in active rotations. With beach volleyball, there are no specialized positions, just a left, and a right side. The game is played by doubles, so it allows for the athlete to become a well-rounded volleyball player since there are only two players per side.

  • Beach volleyball has a smaller court than indoor volleyball, which helps make the game much more exciting. Indoor volleyball courts measure out to be 18m x 9m, with the parallel attack line located 3m from the center line. While beach volleyball courts are 16m x 8m and there is no attack line, which allows the player to hit the ball from anywhere on the court.

  • Scoring systems are even different between the two sports. With indoor volleyball, for a team to win a set, they must get 25 points and have a lead of at least 2 points. In order to win the game, a team must win three out of the five sets, but if the game goes to a tie-breaker, the last set is only played up to 15 points. However, to win a set in beach volleyball a team has to get 21 points and have at least a lead of 2 points. The same rule applies if a tie-breaker is needed, as the last set is only played up to 15 points.

  • The environment is a huge factor with beach volleyball, as the environmental conditions can be controlled with indoor volleyball. For starters, indoor volleyball takes place on an even, hard surface. While beach volleyball is played on the sand, which often poses a challenge as it makes it more difficult to maneuver. Beach volleyball also has to contend with wind, sun, and weather – elements which cannot be controlled.

Many find that the transition from indoor to sand helps them become a better volleyball player overall, and with the low overhead cost associated with the sport, many are opting to have an outdoor beach volleyball court installed at their home or sports facility. Here at Sand Court Experts, we specialize in the creation of custom sand volleyball courts, so if you need assistance planning the court of your dreams, contact us today.


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