Volleyball is a beloved sport and many people decide to switch up their environments during the warm summer months to get some sunshine while still playing their favorite game. Before you make the move, you should know that indoor and beach volleyball are two separate sports. There are several differences that you should be aware of while playing in the two environments. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about what makes them distinct!


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Court Size

The size of a beach volleyball court is smaller than an indoor one. Beach volleyball courts are 16 x 8 meters and they have no attack line. They are smaller because it is harder for players to move through sand, so less space makes it easier for the players to keep the ball alive. That makes the game fast-paced and more entertaining. Players are also allowed to hit the ball from anywhere on the court.

Indoor volleyball courts are 18 x 9 meters, and they have the attack line, which is located 3 meters from the center line. On this court, back row players have to stay behind the attack line when hitting the ball.



The ball used for beach volleyball is much lighter, softer and bigger than the indoor one. It is lighter so that the ball can fly and float through air more easily. Due to this, players with more experience know how to use the weather to plan the ball’s trajectory.


Number of Players

Beach volleyball has 2 players per team, one on the left and one on the right side. They don’t have specific positions and they have developed skills to do it all – hit, dig and block.

Indoor volleyball, on the other hand, has 6 players per team, each with a specific position. They rotate throughout the game, making sure to always stay in their appointed spot.


Rules & Scoring

In Beach Volleyball, it is a best-of-three match where each game is played to 21 points. Two sets win the match, and if a third set is necessary, it is played to 15 points. Players change sides every seven points.

In Indoor Volleyball, a match consists of 5 sets and is played to 25 points. Three sets win the match, and if a fifth set is necessary, it is also played to 15. Here, players change sides every set.


Indoor vs. Beach: Two Different Sports

Keep in mind, Indoor Volleyball and Beach Volleyball are two completely separate sports. Each have their own college leagues and their own teams at the Olympics. While they are very similar, they require different skills and preparation. But don’t let that discourage you in trying either. Use the warm weather to try out your volleyball expertise in the sand!

If you are heading to the beach and need new volleyball sunglasses, check out our Best Beach Volleyball Sunglasses of 2019 blog post or find out details about what to look for in beach volleyball sunglasses at Beach Volleyball Sunglasses Buyer’s Guide.


Women playing beach volleyball

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