Volleyball setting is one of the hardest beach skills to master.
The tight setting rules in American beach volleyball have historically confused the rest of the world. Other countries want the FIVB setting rules to be as loose as indoor volleyball.
They contend that American beach volleyball rules for setting are far too demanding and in effect eliminate a basic skill of the sport.
Strict hand-setting rules
Unfortunately, because of the strict rules for hand setting, many players are afraid to use their hands on the beach.
Setting without spin
The big difference between volleyball setting on the beach and indoor
setting is beach players tend to hold on to the ball longer in order to
take off the spin.
Should you hand set or bump set? It's good to develop good setting skills and use your hands as long as you aren't being called for your sets. Hand setting is more accurate as well as easier for spikers to time the set.
Volleyball Beach Bumpset
Hand setting a volleyball on the beach is a very challenging skill that can take years to
When you watch great hand setters, you must understand that it takes a lot of practice to master the beach volleyball setting technique.
On the beach, the ball must come off your hands without any rotation. Setting is definitely one of the toughest skills on the beach to master. There is no leniency for setting while making an "athletic play" like it is with indoor setting. In sand volleyball, sets must come off your hands perfectly clean, no matter how much spin is on the ball from a pass or from what height the ball descends.
Hand Setting on the Beach
When first learning
how to play beach volleyball and setting on the beach, start by pressing all 10 fingertips together with your thumbs pointed down.
Next, raise your joined hands above your forehead and pull them apart, so your hands are positioned in a way to surround an imaginary ball.
When making contact with the ball, be sure to make contact with all fingers and thumbs.
You want your wrists to be loose and your fingers to be stiff. Use your fingers to guide the ball into the proper direction.
Beach players tend to hold onto the ball longer to help take off spin.
The deep dish is the style of volleyball setting where a player takes the ball in, dropping it deep into their hands and pushing out with absolutely no rotation.
Back in the 80's this became the standard for setting on the beach. This style of setting is the standard today.
Since it's so tough to do without being whistled for a setting violation, many pros elect not to use their hands for setting.
Deep Dish Beach Setting
Anticipation skills are very important for setting.
As soon as you know your partner is going to receive the serve, you should be moving to the target position. In case of a bad pass, you need to be ready to quickly change directions and go after the ball.
The first rule is to get to the ball quickly and in proper position. You should be perfectly centered with knees slightly flexed.
As you set, your legs, arms, and hands are all coming up. Follow through with your hands, facing directly toward the spot where you want the ball to go.
Bump setting is a little different than forearm volleyball passing.
When bump setting, your arms should be almost parallel to the ground.
It might help to get your knees a little under the ball and set it above you.
If you are forced to make a trouble set because of a bad pass, high dig, or a spinning one, make sure you are directly behind the ball facing the direction you are setting.
Avoid bump setting a ball at your side unless you have no choice.
Keep the Platform High When Bump Setting
At the top level on the beach, the real thrill comes from taking a bad pass and making it into a great set.
Good volleyball setting is expected at the highest level. When your partner gives you a great pass, it's expected you'll give them a great set.
However, what's real exciting on the beach is when you must run down a bad pass and turn it into a great play. There's something real exhilarating about turning a bad pass into a great set. Running after a ball, bump setting up to the net so your partner can kill it is a great feeling because of the athleticism it takes to make such a dynamic play.