The Basics of Beach Volleyball
Are you ready to hit the beach? With the summer season quickly approaching, beach volleyball is becoming a popular sport to pick up. Whether you’re new to the sport, or already a pro, this article will give you all the information you need on the basics of beach volleyball.
What is beach volleyball? Beach volleyball can be described as a team-sport that involves two teams of two players, who compete against each other on a sand court. The aim of the game is to score points by grounding the ball on the opponent team’s court. The team with the most points at the end of a match wins.
What equipment do you need? The basic equipment for beach volleyball is a ball, a net and a court. The ball should be made of a soft material and must not have an inflated pressure higher than 0.2 atm in order to avoid any injuries. The net should be at least 2m high, and the sand court should be a minimum 18mx 9m.
The Rules of the Game
Beach volleyball is a team sport played between two teams of two players. Each team has a specific area of the sand court to defend against the opposing team. Each team is also allowed a maximum of three touches to return the ball over the net.
As regulated by the Federation of International Volleyball, the court size for beach volleyball is 16m x 8m. There is a central net (2.55m high for men and 2.24m high for women) which divides the court in two parts. Each court covers an area of 4.5x9m.
Volleyball is won by a team when it rallies 25 points, but at least by two points, during a set. Points are won when the opposing team fails to return a ball, when the ball lands outside the court, when the ball is sent into the net by the opposing team, or when an infraction of the rules is committed.
The game does not have extra points as in indoor volleyball, so there are no set or time limits. After each rally, the team that has won the point takes possession of the ball and starts their offense, without the need of a serve.
Strategies and Tactics for Beach Volleyball
One of the biggest differences between indoor and beach volleyball is the strategical and tactical approaches. Beach volleyball requires an advanced level of coordination, especially between the two players on the court. Here, we will cover the strategies and tactics you need to know to succeed in beach volleyball.
One of the most important shots in beach volleyball is the serve. A successful serve is the starting point of every point. The server should aim to place the ball into an area near the end line, where the opponents are not able to be in a good defensive position. The serve should also be fast, because the defenders have to react faster.
Another important tactic is the block. A successful block gives the team a good chance to score a point, because it prevents the other team from hitting the ball into their side. The blocker should try to reach the highest point possible, and land on their toes. This makes it easier to stay in the air and to react to the shot.
Finally, playing the ball is a fundamental skill in beach volleyball. The ability to direct the ball in a precise way or to change its direction quickly gives an advantage that should not be underestimated. To hit the ball, the player needs to keep their arm and hand in the correct position, and place the ball near the opponents and out of their reach.
Warm Up and Injury Prevention
Before playing beach volleyball it’s important to warm up properly and prevent injuries that can occur during the game. This can be done through stretching before the game to make sure the muscles are prepared and loose, and training such as strength exercises to build muscle and make sure the joints and muscles are strong enough.
Stretching before a game of beach volleyball is especially important as the body can be exposed to sudden and extreme movements while playing, moves which could become more dangerous if the muscles are tight. To warm up properly it’s important to incorporate dynamic stretches such as legs and arms swings to prepare muscles and joints for the game. Also, static stretches of major muscle groups in the arms, torso and legs can be a great way to improve flexibility, reduce risks of injures and perform better during the game.
In addition to stretching, strength drills and exercises are also important in injury prevention and improvement of game play. An example of such exercises are exercises to build strength and agility in the legs and core, as this is the main support for when leaping, landing and moving on the sand. Also, strength training for the upper body and arms can help to improve your backhand and set control.
Common beach volleyball injuries include shoulder, ankle and knee injuries due to the extreme movements of the game. It’s important to do prevention exercises and build muscle and strength so that these injuries can be avoided. Additionally, keeping hydrated and having a proper diet also helps in injury prevention.