Beach volleyball techniques: defense

This post is also available in: Dutch

We have previously talked about the differences between beach volleyball and regular volleyball. We also shared the most important beach volleyball rules. Now it’s time to look at the techniques of beach volleyball. In a previous blog we looked at service techniques in beach volleyball, in this blog we are going to talk about defense.

A good pass is essential in volleyball, this is no different in beach volleyball. Every point starts with a serve, but passing is the basis of the game. Point scoring is based on the pass, with each point coming from that first contact to the last.

A serve cannot be blocked or attacked by an opponent, and you cannot use your hands (play overhand) to pass a ball as you can in regular volleyball. So beach volleyball players use their forearms 99% of the time when passing the first ball. The 1% is a last attempt if you are in trouble, as in a tomahawk.

Platform passing

So how do you pass in beach volleyball? Not very different from indoors, of course. Passing is best performed with both arms fully extended straight in front of your body, pressed together. This is also called “platform passing” because the goal is to create a platform with your forearms. Makes sense, right?

The tomahawk

You really only use a tomahawk as a last-ditch effort. The tomahawk is when a defensive player joins the hands together, bends the elbows and lifts above the head to make (hard) contact with the ball. The tomahawk hit is more of a defensive strike from a player who has little time to react to a ball coming quickly in their direction. A last resort, in other words.

The movement the player makes with his arms and hands makes it look like he is throwing a tomahawk.

In a future “beach volleyball techniques” blog, we will talk about the attack. More info on beach volleyball? Click here.

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