June 9, 2023

Five Key Differences Between Beach and Indoor Volleyball

Volleyball is of course one of the most played games on the planet with more organised leagues than any other sport. It’s also followed by close to 1 billion people. So it’s quite popular. The game features a number of variants, incidentally both of which feature in the Olympic Games: Beach and Indoor Volleyball. So how are these different? 


Ok, pretty obvious. While beach volleyball is played on sand, the indoor game plays out on a hardwood floor. The sand makes beach volleyball more physically demanding given its softer, more unstable surface. On the other hand, indoor volleyball requires more precision and finesse due to the slippery nature of the hardwood court.

Team Size

Indoor volleyball is typically played with six players on each team, while beach volleyball is played with only two players. The smaller number or players in the beach variant means that more ground has to be covered. This requires a different set of skills and strategies than those used in indoor volleyball.


The serve is another area where beach and indoor volleyball differ significantly. In indoor volleyball, players typically use a standing or jump serve. This requires the player to run-up and jump before making contact with the ball. In beach volleyball, however, players often use a float serve.  This is a low, hard serve that’s supposed to make it difficult for the receiver to handle. The difference in serving styles is down to the sand which makes it challenging for players to run up and jump. 


The scoring system used in beach volleyball is also different from that used in indoor volleyball. In beach volleyball, the first team to reach 21 points wins the set provided they’ve got a minimum two-point advantage. If the score is tied at 20-20, the set continues until one team has a two-point advantage up to a maximum of 25 points. 

For indoor volleyball, the scoring system is a bit more complex. A set is played to 25 points but a team must win by two points. If the score is tied at 24-24, the set continues until one team has a two-point advantage, up to a maximum of 30 points. Additionally, indoor volleyball games are typically played as best-of-five sets, while in beach volleyball, matches operate on a best-of-three set format. 

The Ball

The ball used in beach volleyball is slightly larger and lighter than the indoor one. The beach version has a circumference of around 66-68 cm and weighs between 260-280 grams. It is also usually softer than an indoor volleyball. 

The indoor volleyball has a circumference of around 65-67 cm and weighs between 260-280 grams as well. It is made of a thicker material than the beach volleyball and it’s usually harder and more rigid. This makes it more suitable for play on a hard, smooth court. Overall, the differences in ball size, weight and texture are meant to accommodate the unique demands of the two different versions of volleyball and provide players with the best possible experience while playing.

Play Volleyball Bingo

If you’re looking to enhance your televisual viewing of this engaging sport, regardless of which discipline you prefer, we recommend you try your hand at our volleyball bingo cards. Our cards are free to customise and print out. Instead of numbers, they contain in-game events that will likely take place during a match. The first person to mark all or most of the events off is the winner!