When it’s time to enjoy the weather outside and step outdoors, nothing screams summer fun more than your own volleyball court! While the schooled or indoor veteran may be used to a six on six league competition (and nothing wrong with that setup for the great outdoors too), there’s nothing cooler to the eye than your own beach sand volleyball court right in the backyard!!
Traditionally played as a two on two game, your friends and family can enjoy spending time sipping drinks in between their digs, sets and spikes in the sand. Diving for a loose ball was never as safe, fun, and easy to get back up from! The sand washes right off at the end of the day, but the smiles and memories keep lasting!
It’s good to decide on some basic key components that will make up your court. You can always ask a professional to help steer you in the right direction.
Let’s take a look at some things to consider when planning to build that backyard volleyball court.
The reason beach volleyball sand is difficult to find is that it can be unpleasant to play in for 3 separate reasons or any combination of them.
- It can be too dusty.
- It can be too coarse.
- It can compact too much.
Volleyball Sand is not Masonry Sand, Golf Course Bunker Sand or Play Sand
- Masonry sand is typically full of dust, little pebbles, or both. Courts built with this bad sand will be dusty, cut your feet, knees and elbows and will pack often after rainfall.
- Golf sand is made to pass the fried egg test with golf balls. This means if a golf ball hits the sand only half the golf ball submerges in the sand. This is the exact opposite of what you want with beach volleyball sand.
- Play Sand is designed to be sat in and played with by little kids and is sold at a lower price. To keep the price low they don’t remove the dust.
To properly set up a sand volleyball court, you will need proper drainage. You’ll have to excavate the desired area up to several feet in depth (1-3 feet), basically creating a giant sandbox. Set up a drainage ditch running toward the lowest point of land, and then lay a perforated drainage pipe across the middle of the court. The pipe, laid with the perforated side facing down and the closed end at the highest point of the excavation zone, should zigzag across the court and empty out into the drainage ditch.
A bottom layer of gravel (covered with landscape fabric) and enough proper sand—meaning sand particles that don’t cloud or dust up easily—will complete your court’s surface area.
Proper drainage is probably the trickiest part of setting up a sand court, since you don’t want your playing area turning into a giant mud-wrestling ring every time it rains.
There are several options to choose from when deciding which pole is best for you. You want poles that will hold up to rigorous use and that don’t fall down when the ball or player makes contact with the net.
Many pole types including steel (stainless or galvanized), treated wood or aluminum can do the job. However, installing aluminum telescoping poles of at least 1”¾” in diameter should provide years of use although they may be a bit higher in price.
Once again, you want a net that is sturdy and can withstand play and allow the ball to bounce off of it. The best volleyball netting system will provide galvanized steel aircraft cable at both top and bottom and uses up to a #42 outdoor nylon netting.
On the low end, some systems will provide a rope cable for the top only and as low as a #18 outdoor nylon netting.
Indoor Volleyball vs Sand Volleyball
Here are some differences between standard indoor play vs sand or beach volleyball.
- Court Size
- Sand volleyball courts are typically 8 meters x 16 meters for two player teams and increases to 14 meters x 24 meters for 3, 4 or 6 player teams.
- Indoor courts measure 18 meters x 9 meters in size.
- Indoor volleyballs are made of leather and are heavier than outdoor balls. Indoor volleyball is a game of power and the heavier balls move quicker and can be hit harder.
- Beach volleyballs are softer, lighter and a bit bigger than indoor balls. The lighter weight allows them to float more in the air, allowing good players to use the weather to their advantage.
- Indoor volleyball is played with six per side. Each person has a specialized position and there are complex rotations and switches going on throughout games to ensure that each person remains in their designated position.
- Beach volleyball is typically played with doubles. There are no specialized positions, only a left and a right side. Most beach players are well-rounded and can hit, dig and block.
- With indoor volleyball, a match consists of five sets, or games. The first team to reach 25 points wins the set. Three sets wins the match, and the fifth tiebreaker set, if necessary, is only played to 15 points. Teams switch sides after every game.
- In beach volleyball, a match consists of a series of best-of-three game, with each game played to 21 points. Two sets wins the match, and the third tiebreaker set, if necessary, is also played to 15 points.
So if you’re looking to ramp up your fun and excitement this summer, especially in your own backyard, now is the time to get started!