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Characteristics and rules of the game

The size of the volleyball field is 16 x 8 metres, so there is no 8 x 8 metre area for each of the two teams on each side of the net (in contrast to the 9 x 9 metre field in the hall). The net height is 2.43 metres for men and 2.24 metres for women. Each move is scored with a point, called Running Score/Rally Point. 2 winning sets up to 21 points are played; if a deciding set is needed (this is the case if it is undecided after two sets), it is only played up to 15 points. Since there are usually unequal conditions such as sun and wind, the sides are changed after every 7 points or in the decision set every 5 points.

As with indoor volleyball, beach volleyball is about preventing the ball from landing in your own field. Another goal is to place the ball in the opposing field or to force the opposing team to make a mistake (about four ball contacts). The ball is considered to be inside (the field) if it either touches the ground inside the playing surface or touches the line.

This so called. Laying with the open hand or the “praise” known from indoor volleyball is not permitted and is considered a technical error. As an alternative the “Pokeshot” or the “Cobrashot” (explanation see terms) are offered. Since they offer less ball control than praise, these two shots are allowed.

The ball may only be deliberately driven over the net if this is done with an absolutely clean technique and vertically to the shoulder axis, i.e. vertically forwards or backwards – a platform to the side, however, is not permitted. Apart from this, the platforming over is only not considered a mistake if it was done unintentionally, i.e. with a clearly recognizable intention to play.

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The ball must not be guided (i.e. touched for too long). The only exception here is the defence of a hard hit ball, which may be led easily in the upper game. A double touch (finger or hands not on the ball at the same time) is only permitted on the first stroke and only if it occurs within a uniform, uninterrupted movement / action.

Entry into the opponent’s play area, playing field or free zone is only permitted if the opponent is not disturbed in his play. A “crossing over” with the opponent touching is usually considered a mistake.

Each team is entitled to a time-out of 30 seconds per set. There are no positional errors, as in tennis. The players of a team alternate with the serve each time they win back the right to serve. It is the responsibility of the arbitral tribunal to observe the service order determined at the beginning of each set. If, however, there are deviations from this order, the new “de facto” order shall apply from the time at which these deviations are noticed. However, this has no effect on the score.

The teammate of the task player may not give the opponent either the task player or the trajectory of the ball by such a person. Cover the viewing block. At the opponent’s request they must move sideways. If a serious accident occurs while the ball is in play, the referee must stop the game immediately. The move is then repeated.

If any external interference occurs during play, the game is stopped and the move is repeated.

Playing the ball / defence

The ball may be played with any part of the body. Exception: The serve is only allowed with hand or arm.

The ball may not be held or thrown; however, this is permissible for defence against a hard attack ball. In this case, the ball may be held briefly with the fingers in the upper pass, even if the block could not defuse the ball significantly. A good criterion for deciding whether it was a hard blow is, for example, the reaction time the defending player had to play the ball.

The ball may touch several parts of the body if this happens simultaneously.

Delay in play

  • Exceeding the permitted twelve seconds between rallies without permission will be considered “over-long” discussions about the Referee’s decision(s).
  • The first delay is punished with a warning (yellow card).
  • The second and each subsequent delay in the same set shall be penalised with a red card, resulting in a loss of play.


  • It is not a mistake for the ball to touch the net on impact and fly (inside the side antennas) into the opponent’s field.
  • Rights and obligations of participants
  • Participants must be familiar with and follow the Official Beach Volleyball Game Rules.
  • The decisions of the referee must be recognized. In case of doubt, an explanation may be requested.

Types of tournaments

Double Elemination (Double-Ko-System): A team is only eliminated from the tournament after the second defeat (exception is the semi-final match).

Pool Play: In the group games the teams for the next round are determined first. This is followed by the single elimination system, i.e. if a team then suffers a defeat, the team is eliminated.