The Difference Between Beach hand setting & Indoor hand setting. Which One is Better?


Mar 06, 2024By Volleyball Paradise Club

Hello, beach volleyball enthusiasts! If you're a seasoned indoor volleyball player thinking about bringing your game to the sunny outdoors, there's something major you should know. The thing is that indoor hand setting and beach hand setting aren't identical twins. They're more like cousins - similar but with unique traits. Now if you don’t know the variances between the two, don't sweat it. Our guide will help unpack the differences and get you set for success on the beach

The Beauty and Challenges of Beach Hand Setting 

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Beach hand setting is the ‘slower’ more ‘catch and throw’ variation of a hand set.  

Extended Contact

he beach game allows for longer contact with the ball, giving increased control over the ball. 

Superior Control

This prolonged contact facilitates unparalleled control, enabling strategic plays from setting over on two contacts to setting a dime from the endline! 

Predictability for Partners

The relaxed pace of beach hand setting offers teammates clarity in anticipating your moves. 

However, every silver lining has a cloud: 

Adapting Techniques

Transitioning from indoor to beach hand setting can feel unnatural, they are 2 different mechanic styles entirely.  

Increased Lift Calls

The extended time the ball spends in your hands might attract more scrutiny from referees. 

Indoor Hand Setting: A Quickfire Approach

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Switching to indoor volleyball or wanting to continue to use your indoor hands on the beach? Here's what fast hand setting brings to the table: 

Rapid Tempo

The brisk nature of indoor hand setting accelerates the game, keeping opponents on their toes. 


The swift release of the ball makes it challenging for blockers to predict its trajectory.

Reduced Lift Calls

A shorter contact duration with the ball means fewer lift infractions. 

Yet, it's not without its pitfalls: 

Double Faults

The quick pace increases the likelihood of double touch illegal contact. 

Hitter Confusion

The fast-moving ball can disorient hitters, affecting their set reading response. 

Compromised Control

When it comes down to it, control is crucial, and beach hand setting offers an edge in this department. 


Which reigns supreme, beach or indoor hand setting? The answer isn't straightforward. Both styles are accepted and encouraged, both offering unique advantages. According to a survey of coaches in the St. Pete, FL area, six out of eight agree that beach hand setting provides greater control, but the ultimate choice hinges on personal preference and playing style.  
Mastering both disciplines not only elevates your game but also prepares you to adapt to any volleyball environment. So, whether you gravitate towards the meticulous control of beach hand setting or continue with the familiar, dynamic pace of indoor hand setting, embracing either—or both—can lead to your evolution into a versatile volleyball player.