How is Beach Volleyball Different from Indoor Volleyball

Volleyball is a thrilling and highly competitive sport that can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors. While the rules and objectives remain relatively similar, there are notable differences between beach volleyball and indoor volleyball. In this blog post, we will explore these dissimilarities in detail to help you understand how each variant of the game offers a unique experience.

The Playing Surface: Sand vs. Hard Court

The most apparent distinction between beach volleyball and indoor volleyball lies in their playing surfaces. Beach volleyball is traditionally played on sand, which significantly impacts the dynamics of the game compared to its indoor counterpart played on hard courts.


  • Players have to navigate through challenging sandy terrain, requiring additional strength and agility.
  • Sand slows down movement, making it harder for players to reach the ball quickly.
  • The soft surface absorbs energy upon landing after jumps or dives, reducing strain on joints but also requiring players to adjust their techniques accordingly.

Hard Court:

  • A solid surface allows for faster movements since there is less resistance compared to sand.
  • Quick changes in direction are more feasible as athletes can rely on predictable footwork without sinking into sand pits.
  • Landing after jumps may put more stress on joints due to the limited shock absorption provided by hard court flooring.

Team Size: Doubles vs. Six-Person Teams

In terms of team size, another key difference becomes evident when comparing beach volleyball with its indoor counterpart:

Doubles (Beach Volleyball):

  • Beach volleyball is primarily played with two-person teams, commonly known as doubles.
  • Each team has only two players who must cover the entire court area, demanding exceptional individual skills and coordination.
  • The smaller team size allows for increased communication and strategic plays between partners.

Six-Person Teams (Indoor Volleyball):

  • Indoor volleyball generally consists of six-player teams, three in the front row and three in the back row.
  • The larger number of players enables different positions specialized in specific roles such as setters, hitters, blockers, and defensive specialists.
  • This setup encourages more complex strategies involving coordinated movements among team members.

    Serving Techniques: Float vs. Jump Serve

    The serving techniques utilized in beach volleyball differ from those seen indoors:

    Float Serve (Beach Volleyball):

    • In beach volleyball, players often employ a float serve where the ball follows an unpredictable trajectory due to minimal spin. This makes it harder for opponents to anticipate its path accurately.
    • The goal is usually to disrupt the receiving team’s rhythm by forcing them into less advantageous positions on their side of the net.
    • A well-executed float serve can create opportunities for scoring points directly or generating weaker returns that are easier to attack offensively.

    Jump Serve (Indoor Volleyball):