Rules that differ from indoor volleyball:
1. You can’t set the serve. In indoor volleyball you may be able to set the serve all day but outdoor volleyball is different, you can’t double contact the serve. You may pass the ball with your hands above your head but your hands must be touching each other.
2. You can’t open hand tip the ball. This ugly practice that you may have developed playing sloppy indoor volleyball is a no no in the sand. You can shoot the ball gracefully but nothing with an open hand.
3. Your set has to be clean. Indoor sets look very ugly to an outdoor player because they spin a lot and just don’t look clean. The actual rule doesn’t count how many rotations the ball spins after the set but if it is spinning the ref will naturally assume that you doubled the ball on the set and it will not be good. Super clean looking sets are key. I say “looking” because they have to look clean to the ref.
4. You can’t set any ball that’s not hard driven unless the set is very clean.
5. You can’t side set over the net. When setting over the net you must set directly in front or behind you.
6. There are no rotation rules.
7. The block counts as one of your 3 hits.
8. You can double the ball when it’s a hard driven ball (spike). If someone spikes at you double it all you want.
9. This isn’t really a rule but something good to know if you are making the transition from indoor to outdoor volleyball. The ball is not going to feel like a rock because it’s so pumped up like an indoor ball. The ball pressure is supposed to be less in outdoor volleyballs, so don’t try to pump up all the balls or complain that they need more air. That’s the way they are supposed to be.
10. The court is smaller. This means that if you are use to hitting the ball on the back line it will be a few feet out so you need to work more on hitting straight down and using shots. The outdoor court measures 8 meters by 8 meters on each side.