Beach Volleyball Setting Rules Should You Bump Set Over Deep Dish Set?

Beginner players adopt styles of beach volleyball setting by copying the professionals imitating their bump set or deep dish style. Is it the best thing to do? 


Beach volleyball setting is a skill of finesse.

It takes

  • a soft touch
  • great timing
  • and the ability to coordinate your upper body that is required to push the ball in the air with 
  • your lower body which first has to get into a low position and then come out of that position

all in one well-choreographed sequence.


Never do players find this more true than when setting on the beach where the sand and other elements are also introduced as "game" determining factors.

Players have certain styles of beach volleyball setting and beginners like to emulate the professionals by trying to copy their style.

But some styles aren't what they seem to be and they may not be the ones that should be copied.


Beach Volleyball Setting 
Why Do Players Deep Dish Set in Volleyball?


Deep Dish Beach Volleyball Setting, Why?

Some players try to use the deep dish set for a couple of reasons.

Some guys usually do it

  • because they think it looks cool, 

others do it

  • because they think it's the only way to take the spin off of the ball

Watch this great beach volleyball setting rules video by Dane LeBlanc which explains how you can and cannot contact the ball while hand setting on the sand. 


Other female players will deep dish...

...because the beach volleyball is heavier than an indoor volleyball ball and

  • the weight of the ball plus
  • it's downward momentum
  • lack of upper body strength
  • causes them to bring the ball down lower... 

usually below their chin and around their chest level before they push the ball back in the air in order to deliver a set to their partner.


Beach Volleyball Setting:
How to Deep Dish Set


To deep dish effectively you need to be able to

  • get the ball back in to the air,
  • after it's dropped past your chin to your chest
  • with a hand set and
  • deliver a ball to your partner with virtually no spin or rotation on the ball.

Good luck with that.


Beach Volleyball Setting Rules And The Problem With The Deep Dish Set


The problem with deep dishing is that you are setting yourself up to be called for holding or lifting the ball.

  • When you set a ball it shouldn't come to an absolute complete stop.

(This concept is a lot tougher on the beach than it is in indoor volleyball.)

By using your palms you are forced to push the ball or lift it back in the air, and that isn't setting the ball, that is a violation which you will be called for.

Combine these two elements I mentioned above with

  • not being able to put extra spin on the ball when you set it and
  • now you've increased your risk of committing not one but a couple of setting violations because by attempting to use the deep dish, instead of
  • contacting the ball to set it when it reaches the level of your forehead, you wait until the ball falls further down past your chin or chest area to hand set the ball.

I now ask you, is it worth all the trouble?



Referees are trained to pay special attention for setters who don't contact the ball above their forehead. 

You are increasing your chances of getting a bad beach volleyball setting call against you when you wait too long to set the ball back into the air.  

I now ask you, is it worth all the trouble?


This has been an important message by your favorite volleyball coach! That's me!!

Thanks for visiting.

Be sure to check out more of my volleyball articles by clicking one of the links below!  (April Chapple)






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