Hand Setting or Bump Setting in Beach Volleyball Why Do Beach Players Bump Set in Sand Games?

Although you can bring your hand setting skills from indoor to your beach volleyball game should you do so or do you bump set instead when playing outdoors?


For indoor volleyball players there are a lot of factors to get used to in beach volleyball like

  • learning to run in the sand
  • getting your sand legs
  • adapting to the wind, sun and other outdoor elements like light rain and snow sometimes

In the sand, the bump set in volleyball helps players adapt to their surroundings and use these factors to be able to gain confidence in their playing ability.


The Bump Set vs.
Hand Setting in Beach Volleyball


One of the beach volleyball setting tips I learned early in my career was the importance of delivering a good bump set in volleyball instead of relying on overhand setting the ball.

As soon as I got my ego out of the way and realized that on the sand using the bump set was not a cop out...

...but was one of the most important volleyball skills that almost all beach players use to control the ball, then  I really started enjoying the game and really got better at it.


The Bump Set 
Why Use It Instead of
Hand Setting on the Beach


As I mentioned previously, players transitioning to the sand game from the indoor game, will need to

  • get used to playing outside 
  • dealing with elements like the wind blowing the ball around
  • being distracted by the sun and brightly lit sky when you look up at the ball when hand setting it

and other things like 

  • playing beach matches in the rain and heavy wind at times 
  • playing in late evening matches with very low lighting

How The Bump Set Lowers The Risk of Getting Called For A Setting Error or Foul


In beach volleyball, when the referee whistles a foul because you "threw the ball" more than likely it happened because your upper body, hands and arms were facing in one direction but you set the ball outside the plane of your body to another direction.

Once you face a particular direction to especially if you're hand setting a ball you are only allowed to set the ball in front of you or in back of you within the plane of your body.

But if you "re-direct" the ball so that it goes outside the plane of your body you have "thrown the ball" which you will be whistled for.

That's one of the popular reasons most professional players prefer bump setting over hand setting the ball during their pool play and playoff games.



Developing Your Leg Speed and Leg Muscle Strength Helps Improve Hand Setting on the Beach

The 7 Deadly Sins of Hand Setting produced by Camp Hermosa


Beach players need to develop their leg speed and muscles needed for accurate hand setting and bump setting on the beach.

By developing this leg strength you will be able to anticipate where your teammate is going to pass you the ball... and then you can beat the ball, using your legs to get into a low position and deliver a nice volleyball bump set for your partner to hit.

And you'll have to develop the strength and stamina to be able to do this over and over and over for at least, at a minimum 50 times in a 21 point game.


Be sure to check out more beach volleyball articles below.


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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I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 






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