Indoor Volleyball vs Beach Volleyball: 5 Key Differences

Volleyball is one of the most loved sports in the US. This means you can always find someone to play with, whether it be indoor or beach volleyball.

The key difference between the two is the environment of play. This also determines the number of players, the rules of the game, and the gear you need to play.

So what is the difference between indoor volleyball vs beach volleyball? Keep reading as we explore them below. Let’s get started!

1. Court Structure and Play Area

The indoor game is usually played on a regulation court and is commonly set up in a gymnasium or other indoor facility. Beach volleyball, on the other hand, should be played on a volleyball court sand.

The size isn’t as set in stone as the indoor court, although guidelines do exist depending on whether it’s a professional or amateur match. The beach setting also allows for a much bigger playing area, and the ball will travel slower due to the sand.

2. Size of the Ball and Net

The net for beach volleyball is typically two meters high, and the official size of the ball is 65-67 cm in circumference. On the contrary, an indoor volleyball has a net with two and a half meters high, and the ball is slightly larger at 67-68 cm in circumference.

In addition, both have different ball and surface materials, with indoor surfaces typically made of hardwood or synthetic materials and beach surfaces of sand or short grass.

3. Number of Players

Indoor volleyball is typically played by six players on a team, with three players on each side of the net and one libero. However, beach volleyball can have two or four players per team.

The two-person team consists of one player in the front and one player in the back. At the same time, the four-person team consists of two players in the front and two players in the back. 

4. Protective Gear and Clothing

Indoor volleyball requires a higher level of protection due to the increased risk of impact injuries. Choosing the right volleyball gear is essential for any indoor player.

Nevertheless, the beach setting has a softer surface and therefore does not require as much protection. Protective clothing can still be worn, such as:

  • Light shorts
  • Swim tanks
  • Sunglasses

Lastly, a UV-protective fabric for swimwear can be a great addition if the sun is out. 

5. Strategies and Scoring Rules

In playing indoor volleyball, only the service team can score points, while beach volleyball allows both teams to score points from the serve. This makes sand volleyball more high-scoring than its counterpart.

Playing beach volleyball requires a slower pace with a greater emphasis on agility and accuracy. Teams can block and spike with much greater precision in this kind of setting.

Yet, indoor volleyball is usually more high-paced and defensive due to the larger court and number of players. In the end, both can offer an exciting game of volley with unique rules and strategies to master.

Key Differences of Indoor Volleyball vs Beach Volleyball

The differences between indoor volleyball vs beach volleyball vary in several important ways. Indoor one is played on a smaller court, with a much heavier ball, whereas beach volleyball can be played one-on-one or in teams of two.

To experience the thrill of each type of volleyball, it is recommended to give both a try. So what are you waiting for? Get your sporting gear and head to your nearest beach or gym today!

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