Indoor to

Are you an indoor player thinking about trying out or switching to beach volleyball? p1440 has the resources you need to get you there.
First of all… What are the differences between indoor and beach volleyball?


In indoor volleyball, you typically play sets to 25, win by 2. The first team to win 3 sets wins the match. If the match is tied at 2-2, the fifth set will go to 15, winner takes all. In beach volleyball, you play sets to 21, win by 2. The first to win both sets wins the match. If the match is split 1-1, a third set to 15 will commence, winner takes all.

Side Switches

In indoor, you stay on one side of the net for the entire set, then switch to the other side after every set is done until the match is complete. If you go to a fifth set, a meeting between captains or coaches takes place where the refs will flip a coin to see who has the choice between side, serve or receive. Players switch sides of the net after the score adds up to 15. In beach, you switch sides of the net every 7 points. So if the score is 5-2, you switch, 7-7, switch, 13-15, switch. If you go to a third set, you will switch every 5 points until the match has been won.


In indoor, the volleyballs are made of leather and are smaller and heavier. In beach volleyball, the balls are lighter, larger and softer.


In indoor volleyball, there are 6 players on each side of the net, usually with specific positions and roles (i.e. setter, libero, middle blocker, etc.) In beach volleyball, there are only 2 players on each side of the net. Sometimes there will be a blocker or defender specified position, however, oftentimes, since there are only 2 people on the court, players are expected to be able to fill all roles.

Court Size

In indoor volleyball, the court size is 60’ x 30’w with an attack line that limits the backrow’s ability to attack from in front of the attack line. In beach, the court size is 52’ x 26.25’ w and has no attack line.


An obvious difference between indoor and beach volleyball is weather conditions. In indoor, you are inside. Things like wind, temperature, rain or sun don’t directly affect how the players play. In beach, you are outside and play despite certain weather conditions. You can play in the heat, cold, wind, rain or shine.

How can I benefit from playing beach volleyball?

Beach volleyball is a strenuous sport that requires a lot of strength, agility and explosiveness. If you are primarily an indoor volleyball player who cross-trains in the sand, you will notice lots of benefits. The sand can act as a resistance tool since it shifts with each step you take. Ever notice when you walk in the sand that your feet get deeper and it takes more effort to walk like normal? If you are training in the sand, you will start to build strength in muscles that you don’t normally use which helps make you stronger, quicker and more explosive. Another great benefit of training in the sand is that because of your new muscle formation, you are less susceptible to injury. It doesn't get rid of injury altogether but it does help build up important muscle groups that help protect your bones and ligaments.

Can I play both beach and indoor volleyball or do I have to choose one?

You can absolutely play both beach and indoor volleyball. It may be tough to balance both just because the seasons usually intercept in the spring and early summer months. If you are passionate about both, you should talk to your coaches and try to work something out so you don’t miss out on the important events and training sessions. Usually, around the time when you can start communicating with coaches, people will choose one or the other so they can put all of their time, energy and focus into it. The choice is yours. Do what you love!

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