The first thing anyone needs to understand, before getting on the sand, is that sand or beach volleyball rules are much different than indoor volleyball. Common mistakes for beginners deal with setting the ball, dinks, and side changes. If you know how to play volleyball, knowing the different rules for sand volleyball will not be enough. The technicalities are mastered through repetition and practice. Learning the rules are just the beginning.
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Basic sand volleyball rules say that you are allowed to hold the ball a tad bit longer than a normal set indoors. For this purpose, the ball cannot spin when you set it. Anything more than a 3/4 turn of the ball, is counted as an illegal set. Also, you cannot set the serve. If the serve heads your direction you must bump pass or hit the ball with one hand. The other common mistake is side setting over the net. This is not allowed. A side set is typically done to trick the opposing team. The only way you can set the ball over the net is if you are looking straight ahead and the ball goes in the direction you are facing.
There are no open hand tips in sand volleyball. All tips must be contacted with; the knuckles, straight finger tips, or strictly palm action with no finger touching the ball. If you learning how to tip a ball correctly, you will be a valuable player to any team. Technique over power is needed for a game of sand volleyball.
All games are played by rally scoring. This means every mistake is a point for the other team. If you miss a serve, miss a hit, or miss a block, the other team gets a point. All games go to 21 and the third game goes to 15. To make sure the game is fair, under weather conditions or sun rays, the teams change sides every 7 points.
Hitting and Blocking
The hitting rules are very simple. As long as you hit the ball and do not carry it and it lands in bounds, it counts. the blocking rule is what is different. If you block the ball, but it still comes over, it is considered one of your three hits. Your team must then manage to be successful with only 2 hits left.