Volleyball is a fun and challenging team sport which is played by two teams in a court divided by a high net, with the objective of grounding the ball on the opponent’s side. Since its conception in the late 1800’s, volleyball has become one of the most popular sports in the world. There are two main classifications of volleyball, namely beach volleyball and indoor volleyball.
Although these two are generally the same, there are some distinct differences that should be emphasized. Aside from the obvious fact that beach volleyball is played on the beach while indoor volleyball is played indoors, here are some of the significant differences between beach volleyball and indoor volleyball.
How is Beach Volleyball Different to Indoor Volleyball
One of the notable differences between beach and indoor volleyball is the court size. The court for beach volleyball is only 16 meters long and 8 meters wide. On the other hand, an indoor volleyball court is 18 meters long and 9 meters wide. Both playing courts are surrounded by free zones of 3 meters on all sides.
Beach volleyball can be played only if the weather is fine. Indoor volleyball is played in a controlled environment such as a gymnasium or a covered court. Whether it is sunny or rainy, players can play the game. In addition, the wind and the glare of the sun play an important role in beach volleyball, unlike in indoor volleyball wherein these elements do not have any influence on the game.
Another significant difference between beach volleyball and indoor volleyball is the playing surface. In beach volleyball, the playing surface is leveled by sand with a specification that the sand should be composed of fine loosely compacted grains that reaches a height of at least 40 centimeters. While in indoor volleyball, the game is played on a flat playing surface of a gymnasium or a covered court. White colors are used to draw the lines on the playing surface of indoor volleyball.
Since the playing surfaces are different, beach volleyball and indoor volleyball requires different footwear. In beach volleyball, footwear is not required and the players usually play barefoot or with just sand socks. Indoor volleyball requires proper and comfortable shoes. Because of the differences in playing surfaces of beach and indoor volleyball different muscle groups are used while running, accelerating, changing directions, and jumping.
Beach volleyball and indoor volleyball also make use of different balls. The balls for beach volleyball is lighter, softer, bigger and are usually made from a composite material which keeps them water resistant. While those of indoor volleyball are generally smaller, heavier and are made of leather. In beach volleyball, the ball has a circumference of 66 to 68 centimeters, a weight of 260 to 280 grams, and inside pressure of 0.175 to 0.225 kg/cm2. An indoor volleyball ball has a circumference of 65 to 67 centimeters, a weight of 260 to 280 grams, and inside pressure of 0.30 to 0.325 kg/cm2.
The number of players in beach and indoor volleyball is also different. Beach volleyball requires only 2 players, with no substitution and no specialized positions, only the left and right sides. One player is dedicated to blocking and one player to digging. Most beach volleyball players are well-rounded and can hit, dig, and block. On the other hand, indoor volleyball is composed of 6 players with each player specializing in a particular position. The playing team in indoor volleyball can consist of up to 12 members. The players observe complex rotations and substitutions throughout the game.
Another major difference between beach and indoor volleyball is the scoring system. The three-ball system is used in beach volleyball while the five-ball system is used in indoor volleyball.
In beach volleyball, a team has to get 21 points and have a minimum lead of 2 points to win a set. If a team wins 2 sets it will win the game. If a team wins one set and loses one set, the 3rd set (the deciding set) will be played wherein a team has to get 15 points and have a minimum lead of 2 points in order to win.
In indoor volleyball, a team has to get 25 points and have a minimum lead of 2 points in order to win a set. If a team wins 3 sets it will win the game. If a team wins 2 sets and loses 2 sets, the 5th set (the deciding set) will be played wherein a team has to get 15 points and have a minimum lead of 2 points in order to win.
In beach volleyball, a team can request only 1 time-out and no substitutions during the set while in indoor volleyball, a team can request 2 time-outs and 6 substitutions during the set.
During beach volleyball, when the total sum of points scored by two teams is equal to 21 points in set 1 and set 2, a 30-second technical time-out is applied automatically. While in indoor volleyball, when the leading team gets the 8th and 16th points during set 1 and 4, two 60-second time-outs are applied automatically.
Although both beach and indoor volleyball allows three hits for each team, beach volleyball rules qualify that a block is counted as a hit, while in indoor volleyball a block does not count as a hit. Beach volleyball rules does not allow open hand tips or dinks, or moves that send the ball just slightly over the net while in indoor volleyball, the rules allow it.
How is Beach Volleyball Different to Indoor Volleyball
To sum it all up, you play beach volleyball on the sand with only two players on each side. You use a lighter, softer and bigger ball. Indoor volleyball you play on a larger court with six players on each side with an assigned task. You use a smaller and heavier ball. Beach volleyball is a game of versatility while indoor volleyball is a game of technicality and complexity.