photo by Luomen
It's important to adopt these rules of sand volleyball passing when
playing on the sand.
Mastering the skill of passing a ball on the beach will take time,
finesse and a lot of practice.
It usually also takes a lot of mental focus, concentration and
Below I'd like to share two unofficial serve receive rules of sand
volleyball that you can add to your beach team's passing strategy
while competing in sand competitions.
These should hopefully help you narrow your focus on the game plan
you should establish with your partner.
Indoor volleyball players are trained to pass the ball from anywhere on
the volleyball court, all the way up to the traditional indoor setter target
area which is just one foot right of center on the net.
We all know, that area is located between zone 2 and zone 3 in the
front row, which is about four feet in front of the right antenna within
the ten foot line.
The rules of sand volleyball doubles are different.
Since there are only two players on the court, you want to have a
consistent point of reference as to where and how you want your
volleyball passing strategy to be most effective.
If you or your partner passes the ball straight ahead of you,
keeping the ball four to five feet off the net, then you or your partner
will automatically know where to go or where to be in order to set the
If this passing rule is established between two partners then whenever
the partner on the right passes the ball then the one on the left should
be ready move to a spot between her partner and four feet off the net
and vice versa.
The passer doesn't have time to try and "find" their partner by moving
the received serve all around the court.
So that's why the best point of reference to establish is straight ahead,
not at an angle.
By passing the volleyball straight ahead, as a spiker I will already know
where I need to begin my spike approach.
I can approach straight ahead or I can take a few steps to my left and
approach at a slight angle like I do indoors.
What I don't have to do, is spend extra time, energy and steps chasing
my setter along the net in order to figure out where to get set up to
make my spike approach.
This is especially applicable if I get served deep in the court.
In beach volleyball, as a passer turned spiker I want to maintain as
much control over the play as possible.
So by passing the volleyball straight ahead I eliminate any additional
movement I would need to make, to go chase the ball before spiking the
ball over the net.
Beach volleyball players spend many hours of practice on making this
volleyball passing strategy work effectively.
By performing numerous serves and by passing a volleyball repeatedly in
practice, a beach player reinforces in her mind and in her partner's mind,
where she needs to end up on the court to pass the ball while her
partner begins to automatically know where she needs to set up to set
the ball or in other words where the setter needs to be in relation to the
photo by Luomen
On the beach you want to pass the volleyball using a low body position,
which is usually one of the first things girls playing beach volleyball learn
when they transition from the indoor volleyball game.
It's one of the most important things to adopt in your volleyball passing
The wind can play a big part in where your pass ends up regardless of
To counteract its effects as much as possible you want to pass the
volleyball using a low body position.
The farther you can let the ball fall before making contact with it, the
more time you are giving yourself to react to any wind gusts that move
the ball away from you.
Once you pass the volleyball, you want to deliver a relatively low but
controlled pass to your partner/setter.
The higher you pass the volleyball, the more chance you give the wind
to take hold of it and move it around.
This will then force your partner to have to go chase the ball which will
get both of you out of sync.
So you want to adopt the passing strategy of "staying low to pass" and
"passing low to control the ball."
Quite frankly, if you can't master how to bump the volleyball on the
sand then you can't play.
Since this is an offensive volleyball skill of finesse and technique, it will
take practice, concentration and repetition to improve your sand
passing skill in no time at all.
In beach volleyball the way that you should place your feet for the
forearm pass ready position does not differ much than what you do in
an indoor game.
Your feet should be in a comfortably balanced position about shoulder
width apart with your knees bent in a slight squat so that you can move
front, back, sideways, diagonally or turn and run quickly for any balls
that land behind you.
Some sand players when performing the serve receive
skill prefer to have their right foot forward when they are passing
the ball on the right side of the court and have their left foot forward
when passing on the left side of the court to protect the sideline that
they are playing the closest to.
This serve receive strategy positions a player's body so that it faces
where they want the ball to go.
Alternatively, there are beach players who face their target so
they pass the volleyball straight ahead of them.
The secret to improving your sand volleyball passing skill is to move
your feet so that you get your body behind the ball.
When you can, you always want to play the ball within the centerline of
your body, in other words that's the area in front of your belly button.
And now, since you are playing sand volleyball, you want to first run
to get to the ball and then fight to get your feet in a balanced position
underneath you so that you can have your body behind the ball.
Your passing skill will improve when you pass the ball with a stance
where you have both feet squarely planted side-by-side,
so you're not rocking back and forth or wobbling around by the time you
contact the ball.
For any last minute adjustments that you make (and you will have to
make them) you want to make them so you finish up in this balanced
Positioning Your Legs During The Pass
In the unofficial rules of sand volleyball, you need to "pass with your
You use your bent knees and leg strength to get underneath the ball,
getting your body as far towards the ball to play it, by stepping into it
and with your platform angled to the target.
Check out more rules of sand volleyball and beach information on
the pages below:
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