A Step Forward in Beach Development

 The Domestic Development Committee recently voted to adopt two new Beach Rule Changes for the 2011 Beach National Championships.  Volleyball Canada believes that these new rules are a step in the right direction for the long-term development of our athletes and the creation of a new standard of professionalism and excellence for beach events.  VC is excited about these changes and look forward to provinces and territories implementing the rules at their discretion. Listed below are the new rules and rationale for the changes.

Beach Rule Change 1

1. For Canada Only – 16U and younger

After a team loses service the last player to serve for that team, at the moment of service by the opposing team, must be positioned closer to the right sideline than their teammate. This requirement must be followed until that team regains the right to serve. During a rally each athlete has the freedom to position him/herself anywhere on the court


Currently at the national team and provincial team level we are experiencing athletes who are only able to side out from one side of the court or are only comfortable doing so from one side. This is a significant limiting factor for both developing athletes and Canada internationally if talented athletes are unable to pair together because of this limitation.

Beach Rule Change 2

2. For Canada Only – 16U and younger

Coaches must identify themselves to all parties participating in the match including the opposing team, the player referees and the referee supervisor in the area. The coach’s name must be included on the match score sheet (if applicable).

The coach must abide by the following set of rules:

1. Coaches cannot call time-outs for their athletes nor coach them to do so.

2. Coaches may coach their athletes before the match begins, during time outs and between sets only.

3. Coaching is only permitted at the request of the athletes within the designated coaching area outside of the free zone.

Coaching is not permitted in the Youth Open and Adult Division.


There is no coaching in beach volleyball at the international levels.  The new rule is a good way to not only prepare the athletes for this change, but to prepare and educate coaches to coach their athletes in such a manner.

The beach game is not the same as the indoor game and thus the approach to coaching the sport is not only different technically and tactically but mentally and emotionally.  A beach athlete by the nature of the game needs to be independent and self aware not only of their own emotions and play, but the opponents.  For success, coaches will need to find ways to coach their athletes to be attentive to aspects of the game on their own.