Beach volleyball is a sport that can be played anywhere, so long as there is sand and a ball present. Beach volleyball has grown in popularity worldwide, and it's no surprise because of the nature of its simplicity and little demand for unique equipment. The equipment requirements increase in more official competitions, but beach volleyball for the casual player makes a fun and easy sport for all.
Sand is the most important requirement for beach volleyball. Once you've found an open space in the sand, you're just about ready to go. After that, all you need is a ball, some teammates, and something to hit the ball over. You can find a net that is already set up or bring one yourself to attach to poles or trees. Below is a list of equipment to bring with you when playing beach volleyball.
A beach volleyball backpack should carry all your personal things and equipment necessary when going to play at the beach. The most common feature in these backpacks is a space for keeping a volleyball. The backpack should be light and easily transportable. Beach volleyball backpacks should be water resistant and protect the inside from sand. Some beach volleyball backpacks may even contain a cooler feature to keep snacks or drinks cool.
If drawing lines with feet in the sand doesn't cut it, then a set of beach volleyball court boundary lines will be necessary for gameplay. Boundary lines are often made of a durable material that is easily rolled up and out, and set up to make the court. Lines will often come with stakes to push through rings on the corners so as to keep the lines stable. Official court dimensions should measure 8 meters long by 16 meters wide.
A hat is often necessary for a pleasant playing experience of beach volleyball. When playing on the beach, the sun is often shining brightly throughout the day. For this reason, a hat is recommended to protect from sunburn as well as shielding the eyes of the player. A hat or visor will also keep long hair out of the face of the athlete.
While they are not vital to playing beach volleyball, knee pads can be a smart and effective accessory for a beach player. Knee pads can provide stability in the legs for a player as well as minimize the risk of injury. If a player is already injured but still wants to play, knee pads may ease the pain and help with movement flow in the legs for the player. Knee pads can be used in indoor, outdoor, and beach volleyball.
A beach volleyball net has some specific measurement and detailed requirements for official competitions that must be adhered to. In most competitions, nets should measure 28 feet in length and about 7 feet 4 inches (women) or 8 feet (men) in height. Adolescent players may even play as low as 6 and a half feet for net height. If not playing in an official competition, whatever height the players are comfortable with or are able to set up does just fine.
In beach volleyball, athletes are free to wear whatever they feel most comfortable in while playing unless the competition has specific clothing or uniform requirements. Most commonly, outdoor athletic clothing is worn or simply a swimsuit if playing right by the beach or a pool. In official competitions, athletes must wear clothing with color(s) that match all teammates.
Palm protectors, or beach volleyball gloves, are used exactly as the name states, to protect the palms. Palm protectors can be used for any kind of volleyball, as they assist players in protecting the palms from any sort of bruising, skidding, or burns from the floor or sand. Beach volleyball gloves should be comfortable to wear and leave adequate room for the fingers and fingertips so that hitting and setting action is undisturbed.
A beach volleyball referee stand serves the same role as an indoor volleyball referee stand, with the main difference being in the ability to withstand weather conditions. A beach volleyball referee stand becomes necessary when entering into the official competition realm, and allows the referee to have a high view and vantage point to observe the entirety of the court. Referee stands for beach volleyball are often easily transportable so to be able to move to different venues or locations on the beach or sand.
In any official competitive event for beach volleyball in which a referee is present, the official should be properly equipped with his or her referee whistle. The whistle should be assertive and interruptive so that players, fans, and other officials can hear its blow. Referee whistles are used to stop a play or make a call in order to clarify any controversial foul, point, or out of bounds calls.
A clothing accessory that is unique to beach volleyball, sand socks are a useful piece of equipment. Sand socks serve the purpose of protecting the feet of a player from the hot sand, objects laying stray in the sand, mud, dirt, plants, and anything else. Sand socks are a lot like "aqua socks" or "water shoes", but are specifically tailored to beach volleyball players, both casual and professional.
Usually used in official competitions, scorecard flippers provide an efficient and viewer friendly means to keeping track of the score in a game of beach volleyball. This is usually operated by a designated scorekeeper or by the referee at the match. Scorecard flippers can be used by professional or casual players, and are easily transported for travel purposes. Beach volleyball matches will generally be played to 21 points per game, unlike the typical 25-point standard used in indoor volleyball.
Beach volleyball, as mentioned before, is often played with the sun shining above. In many cases, this makes seeing the ball or other side of the court difficult if facing the sun. So, many beach volleyball athletes will sport sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun. However, sunglasses double as protection from sand, as sand will fly everywhere from being kicked up from the ground to falling off the ball when struck.
Beach volleyball can be a very active and physically demanding sport that causes players to sweat profusely under the hot sun all day. To counter this, many players will bring a towel to wipe the sweat away. This helps eliminate slipping and slickness on the ball. Beach volleyball towels are also used to get sand off of the body, clothing, or equipment of a player.
A beach volleyball is unique to the sport, and actually does have some differences to a regular indoor volleyball. The ball should be made with leather or synthetic and flexible material, and should weigh 8 to 10 ounces. Balls should also measure 25.9 to 26.8 inches in circumference. Beach volleyballs are often multicolored so as to be easily spotted in the air or in the sand. They also tend to be softer and lighter than a typical indoor volleyball.
A water bottle is a highly recommended piece of equipment to have present when playing beach volleyball. People often underestimate the physical demand that moving around quickly on the sand requires. A water bottle helps maintain energy throughout gameplay and during resting breaks.