Rules and Regulations of Beach Volleyball

The Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) is the international governing body for the sport. The FIVB publishes the Official Beach Volleyball Rules every four years, as approved by the FIVB congress, which provides the framework for how beach volleyball is played internationally. The rules have changed through the years: the court size became smaller, side out scoring was replaced by rally scoring and let serves were allowed. Beach volleyball differs from indoor, especially in requiring “clean hands” while setting.

FIVB regulations state that the ball must be spherical and made of flexible and water resistant material, such that it is appropriate for outdoor conditions. A beach volleyball ball has a circumference of 66–68 cm, a weight of 260–280 g and an inside pressure of 0.175–0.225 kg/cm2.

A team is composed exclusively of two players, who must always be in play and who cannot be subjected to any substitutions or replacement. At the moment the ball is hit by the server, each team must be within its own court (with the exception of the server), but there are no determined positions on the court, such that no positional faults can be committed.

A team scores a point when: the ball lands on the opposing team’s court; the opposing team hits the ball “out”; the opposing team commits a fault; or the opposing team receives a penalty. The team that won the point serves for the next point. The ball is considered “out” if it: lands on the ground completely outside the boundary lines (a ball is “in” if any part of it touches a sideline or end-line); touches an object or person (who is not a player) outside the court; touches the net’s antennae; does not cross the net’s lateral boundaries (within the antennae) during service or during a team’s third contact; crosses completely under the net.

A set is won by the first team to reach 21 points (15 points in the deciding final set) with a two-point advantage. Thus, if the score is 21–20 (or 15–14 in a final set) the set continues. The first team to win two sets wins the match.