Can You Set a Serve in Beach Volleyball?

Beach volleyball is a popular and exciting sport played on sandy beaches around the world. While most people are familiar with traditional indoor volleyball, there are some differences when it comes to beach volleyball. One common question that often arises is whether or not you can set a serve in beach volleyball. In this blog post, we will dive into the rules of beach volleyball and explore whether setting a serve is permitted.

The Basics of Beach Volleyball

When playing beach volleyball, teams consist of two players each instead of six as seen in indoor variants. The game takes place on sand courts with dimensions slightly smaller than those used indoors. Another significant difference lies in the fact that players have no rotation restrictions; they can switch positions at any time during gameplay.

Rules Regarding Serving

In beach volleyball, serving follows specific regulations just like any other aspect of the game. According to official rules, there are two main types of serves allowed: underhand and overhand serves.

Underhand Serves

Underhand serves involve holding the ball using an open hand below waist level before striking it with another hand from below waist height as well. This type of serve resembles more casual play but still requires accuracy and technique to be effective.

Overhand Serves

On the other hand (no pun intended), overhand serves require tossing or releasing the ball into the air before making contact overhead using one hand or both hands simultaneously to strike it towards opponents’ side of the court. Overhand serves offer more power and precision compared to underhand ones but demand greater skill and control.

Sets During Regular Play

During regular play after receiving a successful serve, setting becomes an integral part of team strategies for attacking and scoring points. However, when it comes to serving itself, there are particular rules that come into play.

Can You Set a Serve?

The question still remains: can you set a serve in beach volleyball? The answer is no. According to official beach volleyball rules, the server cannot perform an overhand set during their own service motion.

The Reasoning Behind the Rule

The rule exists to maintain fairness and prevent servers from gaining an unfair advantage by being able to attack immediately after serving. Allowing a server to set their own serve could potentially lead to powerful jump serves or deceptive shots that would give them too much control over the game.


However, there are exceptions regarding underhand sets for beach volleyball serves. Players are allowed underhand setting motion provided they do not make contact with the ball above their waist level during their serve attempt.


In conclusion, while setting plays an essential role in regular gameplay of beach volleyball, it is not permitted specifically during one’s own service motion. This rule helps ensure fair competition and prevents excessive dominance by servers who might exploit this skill unfairly. Whether you’re playing casually with friends or competing at a professional level on sandy courts, understanding and adhering to these regulations will enhance your enjoyment of this thrilling sport!