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Indoor Volleyball Fun this Winter

The winter season is upon us, but that doesn’t mean your volleyball fun has to end – transition your outdoor fun, indoors. However, if your first experience with volleyball was on the beach, there are a few differences you should be aware of as you make the switch to indoor volleyball. Don’t worry about your skills not being transferrable; you’ll be just as good – just know that there might be a bit of an adjustment before you’re fully comfortable hitting that ball over an indoor volleyball net system.

The Ball

An indoor volleyball is made of leather and is heavier than the ball you use outdoors. While beach volleyball is designed for outside play and allows players to use the weather to their advantage, an indoor volleyball game is about power. The beach volleyball is softer, lighter, and a little bigger than its indoor counterpart. Neither ball is better or worse, but it may take a little getting used to when you move indoors.

The Court

Obviously, the biggest difference between indoor volleyball and beach volleyball is the court. A beach volleyball court is full of sand, and its dimensions are 52 ½ feet long by 26 ¼ feet wide. The indoor court is 59 feet long by 29 ½ feet wide and made of a hard flat surface. The indoor volleyball court poses a greater challenge because there’s more space to cover when defending against an attack. On the other hand, it can be easier to run and move indoors than in the sand, so you may find that you prefer one over the other.

Number of Players

With indoor volleyball, each team gets six players and each person has a specialized position. Throughout an indoor game, there’s a complex series of rotations and switches that ensures everyone stays in their designated position. The main difference with indoor volleyball compared to beach volleyball is that players tend to specialize, so that one player is dedicated to blocking, another or digging, and so on.


A typical indoor volleyball match consists of five sets, and the first team to reach 25 points wins the set. Three sets wins the match, with a possible fifth set as a tiebreaker played to 15 points. Compare that to beach volleyball, where the match is a series of best-of-three sets, and each is played to just 21 points. Both volleyball types require you to win by two points, and both use rally scoring; where you don’t have to be the one who served the ball to win the point. If your team wins the rally, it gets the point.

Indoor volleyball is not dramatically different from beach volleyball, but there is enough uniqueness to each type to warrant a bit of studying up on the rules. Don’t lose out on the fun of volleyball this winter, give indoor volleyball a go this winter – you might find it to be a thrilling alternative to the beach version of volleyball you’ve enjoyed outside under the sun.