For the most complete and recent official beach volleyball rules followed by the FIVB, International Federation of Volleyball, click here: Official Beach Volleyball Rules. Keep in mind, these are the professional rules. Below are some modifications to keep things fun at The Sand Club.


The Sand Club has 10 basic rules to prepare you for league play. Please handle all violations in a respective manner, polite tone and redo the play if there is a continued disagreement. Please feel free to e-mail us with comments or suggestions. Also be aware that all players who are responsible for knowing and abiding by their location’s additional rules as well:
McQueen Park RulesGene Autry Park Rules

  1. The game ball will be provided by The Sand Club but players are welcome to play with personal volleyballs.
  2. Leagues consist of 7 matches plus a season-ending playoff. League matches consist of 3 games with rally scoring straight to 21 (cap at 21, no win by 2). With respect to each player’s time on the court, the 3rd game is timed and game point will be called on the hour because lights go out at 10P. In order to maximize your time on the court, please make the league host is aware of a team running behind and warm-up off the court. Limit warm-ups on the court to 5 minutes.
  3. Each game should take around 15-20 minutes but players are recommended to also keep rest periods between games limited to 1-2 minutes when games are tight, like 21-20 or even just long rallies.
    Captains may ask for one switch when the first team reaches 11 points due to wind, light, etc. but no more than one switch per game to stay on time. If teams choose to switch every 7 points, then teams should expect the 3rd game to be cut at whatever the score is at the end of the hour. Captains are recommended to “rock, paper, scissor” for side or serve on the 1st and 3rd games. The loser of game 1 chooses side or serve for game 2.
  4. All 3 games count and are recorded. If the 3rd game is cut short due to time, then points will be prorated. For example, if the actual score was 15-13 the final score will be 21-19. Forfeits result in 3 losses but 5 points less than the lowest total of the week in their division.  If a team is a no-show-no-call, then the team will not only receive 3 losses and 0 points but also lose another match during the season in order to make up for their opponent’s lost match.
  5. Let serves are live and not a fault.
  6. For 4-on-4 leagues, blocks do not count as a hit (block plus 3).  For 2-on-2 leagues, block DO count as a hit (block, plus 2).  The blocker may block and then immediately pass the ball.  For 2-on-2 leagues, when two players joust the team now has plus 3 (meaning 3 contacts).  Players are not allowed to attack/block the serve above the top of the net immediately following the serve.  Players are allowed to “tomahawk” or overhead pass the serve over on one as long as the contact is not above the net.
  7. Serves are not considered hard-driven so “beach digs” do not apply to serves, which means the ball cannot be momentarily held on a serve. Players are allowed to use fingertips on the serve and non-hard-driven attacks as long as they do not make double contact nor momentarily hold the ball.
  8. Captains are expected to call their own team’s faults (lifts, carries, throws, etc.). How “tight” captains will call hand-setting or overhead passes should be determined before the match begins and teams can have at least one replay to establish the standard if there is a dispute.
  9. Rain-outs & holidays will be rescheduled as needed. We rarely cancel due to rain or wind, so our simple policy is assume we are playing unless you hear from us. We generally do not cancel before 4P because Arizona weather is crazy. It could be pouring in Scottsdale but clear at Mesquite Beach. It could be pouring at Mesquite Beach at 3P but dry and sunny at 6P when matches begin. If we do cancel, we will email everyone. It’s very difficult to text all the players, so we may text one player and ask them to text the rest of the team if we have to postpone at the last minute. Postponed matches are rescheduled at the end of the season, which means the following weeks stay the same but the playoffs may get pushed out a week.
  10. Forfeited matches are not refundable and are not rescheduled by The Sand Club. There is a $1 billion fee for no-shows (missing a match without providing us with at least 6 hours notice). All kidding aside, some players have a long commute, so please be considerate. We have a sub-list on Facebook to help find players and please understand that we encourage subs over forfeits. Captains are asked to find subs even if it’s for the entire team (coed 4’s and 2’s) out of respect for the other team.  If a team is a no-show-no-call or does not give the league director at least 6 hours notice, then the team forfeiting will lose an additional match during the season in order to accommodate the opponent who potentially drove out for nothing.



League rules apply but teams play one game to 21 (tournament director will determine if games are to 21, cap at 21 or win by 2 cap at 25). Tournaments are double elimination, so some teams may end up only playing 2 games on tournament night. The tournament is completed in one evening and players are expected to arrive at the designated start time of the tournament in case of forfeits. Division 1 winners will receive 50% off the upcoming league or prizes. Division 2 winners will receive 40% off the upcoming league or prizes and Division 3 & 4 will receive 30% off the upcoming league or prizes.


Teams are responsible for emailing us at with their roster at the beginning of the season (first and last name, email, phone) and then any weeks they have a sub. The teams eligible to play the tournament/final week are the teams with players on the roster that have played at least 7 games or 1 match for that particular team of the current season. For 4-on-4 leagues, teams are also eligible if they play with just 3 players (as long as 1 girl is on the court and the 3 players are on the roster). Teams are still welcome to play in the tournament with subs that are not on the roster but they will not be able to eliminate any of the top 4 teams that do not have a sub. The tournament prizes will only be awarded to the top teams with an eligible roster. Teams are encouraged to email the tournament director as soon as they know they will not be able to play with their registered roster or eligible sub. The bottom line is don’t “blindside” the league host by showing up with a sub because you might be going home after 2 games. After 15 years of running leagues, the players have spoken MANY TIMES that they are tired of seeing subs knock out teams and go home with prizes.


The Sand Club is a Player’s League, first & foremost, which means that all violations should be handled in a respectful manner by the Captains. Please redo the play if you choose to call your opponent for any first time violation when there is a disagreement.

A violation that occurs when a player uses 2 actions during contact. The ball may contact various parts of the body on the 1st team contact (serve or attack), provided that the contacts take place simultaneous. A double block or two players above the net making simultaneous contact will not be considered a double hit nor a contact for that matter in coed 4’s and the team will still have 3 contacts. A blocker making contact with the ball above the net may make a 2nd contact after the block as long the blocker was not trying to “swing” at an overpass.  NOW, if the player’s hands are rigid and the player is not using a fingertip action, then the hands may be apart on the first contact as long as it is one action. For example, a player can not “paddle motion” or make two actions on a ball on any team contact. Another example that is not a violation is if the ball hits the player’s platform and then the player’s shoulder in one action on the first contact–it is a violation if the player tried to hit the ball again with their shoulder.

When a player momentarily holds the ball on a “hard driven” attack. Players will be called for a violation when the player momentarily holds the ball on a serve or non-hard driven attack.

The ball has a downward trajectory with very little time for the defense to react, except the serve. An overhead attack that is fast but still having an initial upward trajectory will not be considered “hard-driven” and the first hit may not be momentarily held.

Using fingertips is legal on the 1st or 3rd hit as long as the ball is not momentarily held or the player does not make double contact. The first pass using fingertip action (on the serve or attack that is not consider to be “hard driven”) will be more strictly judged than the second hit. Players should not be called for overhead passing or “hand setting” based on spin or the number of revolutions. The only time The Sand Club agree with a “spin” violation is if there is more spin coming out then coming in. Due to high controversy in the past, there was no hand-setting over the net in The Sand Club leagues, unless both captains agree to play it. Technically, if a player is square, there is no double contact, and the ball is not momentarily held then the player may set the ball over. We ask that the captains discuss the “tightness” of hand setting and setting over before the match or game begins.

A violation that occurs when teams first contact is above the net. If a player is standing at the net and raises their arms to make 1st contact after the serve but the contact is not above the net, then it is not attacking the serve as long as there is an upward trajectory to the ball.

A violation that occurs when the player attempts to strike the ball over-head but momentarily holds the ball. The ball should “pop”. A spike that appears to look like a basketball “dunk” is a throw and a violation. A player may “scoop” a dig BUT again the ball must “pop” out of the hand. Sometimes, players “waffle” an attack meaning they miss-hit the ball but there is no prolonged contact so that’s still legal. Sometimes, players “paint brush” an attack meaning there is back spin but not carrying the ball so that’s still legal.

A violation that occurs when the player is attacking and using just fingertip action. When the fingertips are rigid (like the cobra technique) then the player is not called for a tipping violation. Players are recommended to use knuckles to avoid a tipping violation.

Occurs any time the player makes contact with the net while making a play on the ball.

Occurs when a player crosses the plane through or under-the-net and interfere with the ability of the opponent to make a play on the ball. The blocker is not able to touch net or the attacker if the blocker makes contact with the ball. If the blocker makes contact with the net but does not make contact with the ball or the player, then it is not a net violation unless the blocker makes contact at the top tape of the net. If the attacker and blocker make simultaneous contact under the net (but on the plane), it is not a violation.

Occurs offensively and defensively. When the offensive player is attempting to spike the ball on the 3rd hit, the attacker is not allowed to reach over the net or the offensive player will be called for an over-the-net violation. When a defensive player reaches over the plane, in the opponent’s space, and makes contact with the ball before the attack hit the defensive player will be called for over-the-net violation. When there is an overpass on the 1st contact that is approaching the net, the blocker may penetrate and block the 2nd contact but not before the 2nd contact is made because all actions (whether it be the 2nd contact or 3rd contact) which direct the ball towards the opponent are considered as attack hits so the 2nd contact could be considered an attack hit.

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