Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. I've never played beach volleyball. Why should I consider it?
There are several great reasons and/or benefits to playing beach volleyball, especially for those that also play indoor volleyball.
Beach volleyball adds a significantly higher number of "touches" or "contacts" to a player's volleyball work, both in practice as well as tournament play (NO substitutions in doubles). It also adds various training components, including dealing with the challenges of sand, wind, heat, sun, etc., all of which give players a chance to improve in technical, conditioning, communication, focus, and other skill sets in a more challenging environment.
Many of these skills from beach volleyball translate well to indoor volleyball, and give players a chance to excel when they "go back indoors". They will often feel faster, stronger, jump higher, etc. when those beach elements are removed.
At the same time, the "playing" environment for beach volleyball is very different than indoor, as it often has a more "laid back" feel. You'll often see practices and events providing background music. Players still get volleyball training, but the environment is often different enough that players have a "fun" experience but still get year-round work and improve chances of avoiding burnout.
Q. Are there different rules for beach volleyball?
There are a few rules differences between beach volleyball versus indoor/hardcourt volleyball. Here's a brief summary of the differences as it pertains to beach versus indoor (for our programs).
Fewer players on the courts (2 for beach, 6 for indoor)
The court is slightly smaller (approx 26' x 52' for beach, versus 30' x 60' for indoor)
No substitutions and no positional rotations in beach volleyball.
Players will switch sides multiple times during sets in beach volleyball (to account for outdoor elements).
Some contact rules are different.
Standards for "clean" contact with open-hand are more strict, unless in a reactionary defensive play on a hard-driven attack.
First contacts are NOT given "leniency" as they are for indoor.
USAV now allows "open hand" serve receive, but contact MUST meet strict "clean" contact standard.
(Note: Other sanctioning organizations may not such as AAU, JVA, etc. and/or other tournaments may still prohibit open-hand on serve receive).
One-handed tips/pushes (with fingertip use) to play ball across the net is prohibited.
Two-handed contacts (with fingertip use) to play ball across the net is also prohibited UNLESS:
contact is deemed "clean" AND
path of ball is perpendicular to the shoulder line (i.e., straight-forward or straight-backward)
No "drop" on service toss allowed.
No contact with the net is allowed, regardless of "action of play". Since there is no center line, infractions under the net are only prohibited if it interferes with players on other side.
A touch on a block attempt counts as the first of the 3 allowed contacts. However, if first contact is the result of a block attempt, the same player may also make the second contact w/o double contact violation.
"Active" coaching is limited to select instances and situations. Other "instructional" coaching is prohibited.
Q. Is it just for girls?
We offer The OC Beach specifically for girls, but boys are encouraged to check out Tulsa Boys Volleyball Club (one of our partners).
Q. So how does club beach volleyball work? How is it different from indoor club volleyball?
The OC Beach program has several similarities to indoor club volleyball, but several differences as well.
SIMILARITIES - Joining the club has fees to cover coaches, facilities, equipment, gear, etc. Club beach volleyball activities include practices, and then participation in tournaments. An OKRVA summer membership is required (usually $15 or less) if not currently an active member.
DIFFERENCES - The OC Beach does not have a tryout process. All players that wish to participate in beach volleyball and agree to the club rules/policies/guidelines can join the club. Players may also arrange their own partners for doubles as well as pick and choose which tournaments to participate (partners and tournaments subject to review with coaches). Also, tournament fees are NOT included with the club fees.
Q. How do we choose which tournaments to play? And why aren't the tournament fees included?
The club will work to provide a variety of available tournaments for players to consider when the season begins, and The OC Beach staff will be happy to help players with recommendations for tournaments.
We will encourage all players to try to participate in at least one tournament, but the actual number is dependent on what the players (and families) decide. Fees will vary from tournament to tournament, but you can expect an average from $30-50 per player.
The reason we don't include the tournament fees in the club fees is that it allows players more flexibility as to how many tournaments they want to play.
Q. What if I don't have a partner and I still want to participate?
Players are allowed to register and practice as part of our training program. Tournament play is not required, but you may be able to find a partner for the season with another player registered w/o one, or grab a partner for a tournament or two through the season as well. There may even be a "princess-of-the-beach"/"blind draw" event here or there where a partner is not required to enter.
Q. My family and I are very busy during the summer, and are often out of town because of camps/vacation/etc.. Is that going to be a problem?
We understand that summertime is busy for families. As long as the players and their partners are ok with their schedules, there are no penalties for having miss practices. We will ask that players notify the club when they know they will be missing events (when possible).
Q. Do the boys have to play in tournaments against the girls (and vice versa)?
There are tournament options where the boys are in a separate division from the girls. And on a few occasions, boys may be permitted to compete against (or with) girls under certain conditions.
Q. What does the gear/jerseys/attire look like for beach? Is it like we see on TV?
In this case, no. The OC Beach will require the same attire/jersey rules as the NCAA does. Bikinis are NOT allowed. All attire (at practice, clinics, and tournaments) will require all belly buttons to be covered up. Bottoms for all players (whether spandex or shorts) should have a minimum of 1" on the inseam.
Q. Do I have to travel for tournaments? Is there additional costs to do that?
Technically, the answer is usually no on "having" to travel for tournaments. The sport of beach volleyball has grown enough at the juniors levels that there are multiple tournaments options in the Tulsa area. However, there are likely to be some larger, more prestigious tournaments outside of the Tulsa area. We recommend trying at least one out-of-town (such as OKC, Wichita, Fayetteville, etc.) if participants schedules permit it.
The only additional costs for the out-of-town tournaments is the actual travel expenses for the players (and families). There is no additional costs to cover any coaches expenses (reimbursements the coaches will need are included in your club fees).