How do players choose a division in The Sand Club?

IMPORTANT NOTE: Players looking to join intermediate/competitive teams are highly recommended to sub or receive a personal skill assessment by contacting us to schedule an appointment.

The Sand Club welcomes players that have never played organized sand volleyball. Reading the rules and basic strategy is recommended but not required. An official will be present at every game to help clarify the rules and help develop basic skills. Officials will replay up to 3 faults per game per team without a point loss to help relieve the stress of new players. Although The Sand Club will try to avoid “Jungle Ball” (which is disregarding the beach rules altogether) some double hits, lifts and throws may be overlooked in order to encourage longer rallies in the beginner divisions. Intermediate and even competitive players are welcome to join beginner divisions to help teach the game but no more than one intermediate/competitive player per team will be allowed. Intermediate and competitive players are not allowed to spike and should expect a warning if they are controlling the game with shot selection for points in the beginner divisions. There is nothing wrong with demonstrating a couple of points on how to place the ball if that is the intention, but at the official’s discretion only.

Recreational players tend to have the basic idea of a “diamond formation”, the setter having the second hit (unless calling for help), bump-set-spike or at least a 3-hit mentality, tend to have players that are starting to develop a consistent serve that are in-bounds as well as controlling the pass off a serve, and recreational teams are starting to identify “bad sets”, lifts, throws, and double hits. Recreational players should start calling their own net violations and expect less modifications to the rules by the officials. With that said, recreational players are recommended to advance to the intermediate divisions once they completely understand the rules or if a recreational team wins more than 2 tournaments. Competitive players are welcome to join recreational to intermediate divisions, so recreational players should be prepared for the competition.

Volleyball ranking is very subjective but here are 3 specific position rankings for The Sand Club’s intermediate players:

Intermediate Passer – demonstrates moderate serve receiving (handling float serves, sky balls, etc) and good communication of who will receive the serve as well as an understanding of how to position themselves before the opponent attacks the ball. They also anticipate short/cut shots and 1/2-overs.

Intermediate Setter – communicates to their team when they have 2nd hit and demonstrates moderate bump and/or hand setting techniques. Communicates well with attackers on high/low, inside/outside, off/tight set preferences. They also demonstrate moderate skills of receiving passes out of the net, pokes on high tight passes, and moderate footwork getting to the 2nd hit. Intermediate setters know when to pursue the block or cover short/cut shots.

Intermediate Attacker – knows when to spike, roll, and cut when attacking the ball. They demonstrate hard enough hits to draw a blocker but are not executing a consistent line shot versus angle shot. Intermediate attackers know when to pursue the block or cover short/cut shots.

Competitive players consistently display advanced ability in either offensive skills (spiking, serving, setting) or defensive skills (passing, digging, blocking) to compete as a specialist and have sufficient ability to execute the dynamics of power volleyball. These players have begun to master the use of power shots and are beginning to handle pace, have sound footwork, can control depth of shots, and are beginning to vary game plan according to opponents. All rules apply.

Intermediate teams not only understand the rules but are able to call their team when committing hand-set violations, lifts, throws, net violations and other faults, where as recreational teams are not and need officials. Intermediate teams will control the serve and pass better than recreational teams. Intermediate teams will also place the ball in open areas and have a better offensive strategy than recreational teams. Although intermediate teams know the rules, captains will dictate how loose or tight they want to call the game before the match begins. The Sand Club recommends to replay any point where a team calls the opponent for a fault unless the call is obvious by definition (i.e. net violations, more than 1 revolution on a set, hand-setting over, open-hand receiving the serve). Recurring faults may be called for a point. Intermediate players will start executing finesse shots, but may be looked at as “cheap” shots–I’m just saying :), like intentionally returning the ball over on 1 or 2 in order to win the point because a player is down or just out of position. Shot selection and execution is the biggest difference between recreational and intermediate players.

Competitive teams tend to have two consistent attackers or one “power” attacker, who knows how to make great cut shots, deep rolls in the corner or down the line for a point. Competitive matches will have more kills, blocks, or winners (unforced errors) than intermediate matches. Competitive teams will also identify weaker players or find open spots; however, most competitive teams will recognize the shot, communicate, and have the footwork to be in position on defense. Competitive players should except shot selection as part of the game. With that said, there is however an unwritten etiquette rule of avoiding to serve one player on a consistent basis in coed doubles.

The purpose of having officials in The Sand Club recreational leagues is to explain the rules and prepare players to advance to intermediate leagues. Since The Sand Club culture is fun-first, competition-second, players are encouraged to continue playing through questionable calls rather than stopping play and arguing about technicalities at the intermediate/competitive levels. Even though there are no officials for intermediate/competitive divisions, there will always be a Sand Club representative to help clarify the rules and mediate calls.


Yes. You register as a full team. The league fee covers all players for 8 weeks of volleyball or 21 total games plus playoff.

Yes. Please pay online as a “free agent” and we will help find a team or partner.

No, but free agents will receive a 100% refund if The Sand Club is unable to find a team or partner.

The players ref their own games but there will be a league host that will assist with rules and recording scores.

In 2018, The Sand Club introduced a weather policy to help make the “Winter” months of January and February more desirable to play.  When the weather forecast “feels like” 54 degrees or below at 4P MST for the hour of a scheduled match in Gilbert AZ, according to AccuWeather, the players may either play or have their match rescheduled on a warmer day.

How do you receive your credit?
First and foremost, matches are not automatically canceled due to weather.  Players will need to confirm with the league at 480-560-5090 or if they want to receive a credit for a weather cancellation.  When matches are not rescheduled, players will receive their money back in the form of a $5 credit for every match canceled for their next season. Players will be given a coupon code to redeem their credit. Players do not receive credit when they decide to play or matches are rescheduled.  Players also do not receive a credit if they do not confirm before 4P that a match is officially canceled.

When to check for weather cancellations?
Players are recommended to check with AccuWeather at 4P MST.  Arizona weather is tricky and the clouds maybe deceiving.  Checking the weather at 4P gives every player 2-3 hours of advanced noticed.

What about rain?
Players are recommended to check with AccuWeather at 4P MST for rain too.  The Sand Club usually will leave it up to the players if they want to play through sprinkles but if there is a 75% chance of rain at 4P MST for the hour of a scheduled match, then more than likely the match will be rescheduled.

How will you be contacted about cancellations?
Cancellations are not made until 4P AZ time.  The first place to look for cancellations are the league pages (look for the Twitter updates). After The Sand Club makes an official cancellation on Twitter, which appears on the league pages (you do not need to have a Twitter account), then the league host will contact the captains.  After the captains are contacted, we post on the Facebook group page.

When are matches rescheduled?
When the entire league night is canceled due to weather, that canceled league week will be rescheduled between last week of league and before the first tournament the tournament(s) will be pushed out a week.  Matches that are canceled for specific teams will be rescheduled sometime during the season.  Teams should expect a double header for the missed match.

What about tournaments?
The weather policy does not include the tournaments.  When the weather forecast “feels like” 49 degrees or below at 4P MST or there is a 75% chance of rain, The Sand Club will get the consensus from the players and make a decision based on the majority.

Best Contact Person?
There is are league hosts assigned to every league and their contact information is on the schedule.  Please contact the league host whenever there is a question or concern.  Before 2P, players may call 480-560-5090.

Matches during the regular season are 60-65 minutes and playoff games are capped at 25 in order to respect the 10P City of Gilbert “curfew” and everyone’s time. We know there will be exceptions but all we are asking is to please be aware of your time between sets so everyone has a better chance of completing all 3 sets to 21 during the regular season. Do not switch every 7 points and take more than 1 minute between sets. Switch once when the first team reaches 11 for each set and keep rest time between sets to 1 minute and everyone should finish in 60-65 minutes or less. The 3rd set is not guaranteed to be played to 21 points. Matches will be done no later than 5 minutes after the hour. If one court goes 65 minutes at 7P and 8P, the 9P match could start as late as 15 minutes, which is why we are implementing timed matches.

Please try to keep bye requests to a minimum and use them only when BOTH or ALL players cannot play. We have a Facebook sub-list that can help with finding subs. Teams may ask for a bye when players are unable to play certain weeks. This means that teams will be scheduled for doubleheaders to accommodate byes. One bye can be easy to accommodate, two byes are tough and 3 byes are extremely difficult (just to give you a heads up.) Time requests (such no “9P matches please”) are also doable but there may be a week or two that we are unable to accommodate. Get your request in early because requests will be based on a first-come, first-serve basis. Bye and schedule requests are not guaranteed.

Players are encouraged to join our Facebook Group Page to find subs or even to get additional playtime. If players are unable to find subs, they are encouraged to contact the League Host (contact information is posted on the schedule) no later than 12P before their match. When teams forfeit less than 7 hours before their match, the forfeiting team may be subject to losing another match during the season in order to make up their opponent’s lost match. That is, the forfeit team loses the forfeited match and an additional match anytime during the season. When teams find a sub, the match will still count; however, when teams have two subs the opponents will receive all 3 wins. Teams should find subs, even when they are taking 3 losses because it’s the right thing to do or they are subject to giving up a scheduled match on top of the forfeit.

Teams are responsible for the team fee and there are NO REFUNDS after the schedule is made due to an injury, schedule conflict, etc. Please see respective league pages for current league fees. Players agree to pay the team fee when registering for the season. There are no refunds for not playing in the tournament or finals for having a substitution. Only registered players are eligible to play in the tournament or final week. Substitutions must play 6 games or 2 matches during the current regular season in order to be eligible for the tournament or final week. Only the tournament director may approve of substitutions but one of the registered players must email five business days before the date of the tournament.

Teams are responsible for a $10 late fee (for 2-on-2 leagues) and a $20 late fee (for 4-on-4 leagues) if payment is not received before the regular season begins. Teams that are not paid by the 2nd week may be temporarily taken off the schedule without making up that week.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? We’re happy to help!
480-560-5090 |

If you don’t see the answer to your question, please contact us and we will do our best to provide an answer.