Rules of Beach Volleyball
Outdoor Grass and Beach

Ball "In"
In the rules of beach volleyball, the ball is in when it touches the ground of the playing court, including the boundary lines.

Ball "Out"

The ball is "out" when:

  1. It lands outside the boundary lines, without hitting them

  2. It hits a person or object outside the court

  3. It hits the antennae, cables, ropes, posts, or netting outside the antennae

  4. It completely crosses the net totally or partially outside the crossing space

Playing Faults

  1. The penalty for a fault is the opponent wins the rally

  2. If two or more faults are committed consecutively, only the first one counts.

  3. If faults are committed simultaneously, a double fault is counted and the rally is replayed.
Rules of Beach Volleyball

Rules of Beach Volleyball for Playing the Ball

Team Hits
Each team is allowed three hits

For doubles: The block does count as a team contact, and either player can make the next contact after the block.

For fours and sixes: The block does not count as a team contact, and any player can make the first contact after the block.

Simultaneous Contacts

  1. When two teammates touch the ball simultaneously it is considered two hits (except when blocking)

  2. If there is simultaneous contact above the net by opposing players, the team that ends up with the ball has 3 hits available to return the ball. If the ball goes "out" it is the fault of the team on the opposite side.

  3. If simultaneous contact above the net leads to a held ball, it's not a fault and play continues.

Assisted Hit
A player is not permitted to take support from a teammate in order to play a ball. However, if a player is about to commit a fault, they can be held back by a teammate.

Contacting the Ball

  1. The ball may touch any body part.

  2. The ball must be hit, not caught or thrown.

  3. During a defensive play of a hard-driven ball, the ball may be held momentarily with the hands, as well as doubled with the fingers.

  4. If simultaneous contact by opponents leads to a held ball, play continues.

Faults in Contacting the Ball

  1. Fourth Contact
    Team contacts the ball 4 times before returning it to the opponent.

  2. Player Assisted
    A player is supported by a structure or teammate when attempting to play the ball.

  3. Prolonged Contact
    The ball comes to rest on a player or is caught or thrown. Exception: During a hard-driven defensive play or simultaneous contact by opposing players.

  4. Multiple Contacts
    A player contacts the ball twice or more in succession (two separate attempts).

    A player hits the ball with his/her body twice successively (multiple contacts in a single attempt to make a play).

Rules of Beach Volleyball for Plays at the Net

Crossing into the Opponents Court
A player may enter their opponent's court to play a ball that is headed towards the opponent crossing under the net provided that the ball hasn't yet completely crossed under the net when making contact with the ball.

Pursuit Rule
A player may pursue a ball that crosses the vertical plane of the net, provided that:

  1. The ball is head to the opponent's free zone

  2. The ball passes totally or partly outside the crossing space

  3. When the ball is played back, the ball crosses again totally or partially outside the crossing space

The opponents may not prevent an opponent from pursuing such a ball.

Ball in the Net

  1. The ball may be recovered after it is driven into the net.

  2. If the ball knocks the net down, the rally is replayed.

Reaching Over the Net
When blocking, a player may reach over the net and touch the ball provided:

  • this contact doesn't interfere with opponents play or

  • contact is after the player executes the attack hit

Penetrating into Opponents Side
Player may enter opponent's space, court, or free zone provided they don't interfere with play.

Touching the Net

  1. Players can't touch any part of the net or antennae

  2. After a player contacts the ball they may touch the net posts, ropes, or anything outside the total length of the net, provided the contact doesn't interfere with play.

  3. If the net touches an opponent because the ball was driven into the net, it isn't a fault.

  4. Incidental contact with the hair in the net isn't a fault.

Rules of Beach Volleyball for Serving

The serve is the action of putting the ball in play by a server. The serve must be executed by contacting the ball with one hand or arm.

Doubles Serving Order

  1. When the serving team wins the rally, the player that just served serves again.

  2. When the receiving team wins the rally, the player that did not serve last will serve next.

Executing Serve
At the moment of contacting the ball to serve or at ground take off for a jump serve, the server must not touch the court, end line, or ground outside the service zone.

  • After the contact, the server may step outside the zone or into the court.

  • If the line moves because sand or grass pushes it, it isn't a fault.

  • The ball must be tossed or released before making contact for serve.

  • The ball must be contacted by the hand or any part of the arm.

  • The ball must be served if the server tosses or releases for an attempt to serve. (There's no re-serve because of a toss, drop)

When serving, the server's teammate must not prevent the opponent from seeing the server or the ball. On the opponent's request, the servers teammate must move sideways. 

Rules of Beach Volleyball for Attacking

All actions of directing the ball towards the opponent, except serving and blocking, are attack hits.

  • An attack is completed the moment the ball completely crosses the vertical plane of the net or is touched by a blocker.

  • Any player may carry out an attack hit provided the contact takes place in their own playing space.

  • For Males in Reverse Coed Doubles or Back Row Players in Sixes: If contact is made when the ball is completely above the height of the net, and the players foot is touching or last touched the ground on or inside the attack line, the attack hit must have an upward trajectory.

Attacking Faults

  • Hitting the ball when it's completely on the other side of the net.

  • Hitting the ball "out"

  • Completing an attack hit using open hand finger action or directing the ball using the fingers.

  • Completing an attack hit on the opponents serve when the ball is completely above the height of the net.

  • Completing an attack hit using an overhead pass, which has a trajectory not perpendicular in line with the shoulders.

Rules of Beach Volleyball for Blocking


  • Blocking is the action of being close to the net, intercepting a ball coming from the opponent by reaching higher than the top of the net. A block is a deflection of the ball coming from the opponent.

  • The next contact after a block may be executed by any player.

  • A blocker may place hands or arms over the net provide this action doesn't interfere with play.

  • These contacts may occur with any part of the body.

  • Rules of Beach Volleyball for Doubles and Triples:

    A blocking contact is counted as a team hit. The blocking team has two more contacts to return the ball after a blocking contact.

    Multiple blocking contacts made during a single blocking action are legal and only count as one team hit.

    In Reverse Coed, males may not participate in a block.

    In Sixes, back row players may not participate in a block.

  • Beach Volleyball Rules for Fours and Sixes:

    Blocking contact doesn't count as a team contact.

    The blocking team has 3 contacts to return the ball after a blocking contact.

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Beach Volleyball Rules Explained

Rules of Beach Volleyball Related Pages

Basic Rules

Is Serving Important?

Smarter Defense 

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