Are you looking for a backyard activity that’s fun, active, and competitive? If so, then volleyball may be what you’re after. The great thing about this sport is that you can play with two people or twelve people! Once you learn how to make a backyard volleyball court and get it set up, the rules are basically up to you.
Whether you want to know how to make a backyard volleyball court to have a fun, carefree activity or are a volleyball player wanting to sharpen your skills, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll, of course, cover our step by step process for making your very own volleyball court, but we’ll also go over the basic rules of playing.
Step One: Find the Best Location
As you may have guessed, you’ll need a good amount of room to make your backyard volleyball court. A standard volleyball court is 60 feet long and 30 feet wide, but you can make yours smaller if necessary.
If your backyard allows for it, having 6 to 10 feet of extra space around the perimeter for safety is recommended. Start by measuring different locations around your yard, and see if you can find any spots that meet your sizing preferences.
For more information on measuring your backyard, read this article.
When choosing the perfect location, there are a couple of other factors to consider to make the best decision. You’ll want a plot of land that is flat and not near anything that could get easily damaged, like windows on your house.
You’ll have to dig up a couple of feet of your yard to replace with sand, so avoid any spots that have large tree roots or electrical wiring beneath the ground.
Once you have found a mostly flat, large plot of land in a good location, you can begin prepping the ground.
Step Two: Prep the Ground
Start by removing the top layer of grass using a shovel and then turn the soil. Collect any grass using a wheelbarrow, and discard it properly.
Once you’re finished, use a rake to remove any other stones ore debris. Once you have thoroughly raked the area, rent a rammer from your local hardware store and ram the site to make the ground even.
Then, begin measuring out the desired amount of space you’ll need for your backyard volleyball court. Use paint or chalk to outline the area.
Install a drainage ditch that leads away from the lowest point of your court. You’ll want a perforated drainage pipe to lay across the court with a cleanout on the high side with the other end open to the drainage ditch.
While it may not seem like a necessary step, drainage is essential. Sand will retain water, even if the court is above ground level. The last thing you want to happen is to build your volleyball court only for it to turn into a mud pit.
Step Three: Install Edging
Edging will keep all of the sand within your volleyball court. Without edging, sand will fall to the outside anytime someone runs or jumps through it, which ideally will happen a lot.
You can purchase edging from your local hardware store. Make sure that you find edging that is made of flexible plastic to prevent injuries if someone falls.
Follow the manufacturer instructions carefully and install the edging around the court. Use a flat shovel or hoe to push it into the soil, so it holds well.
Step Four: Cover With Sand
It’s going to take quite a bit of sand to fill your court. You’re going to need approximately 600 pounds of sand.
The cost of sand can be a bit expensive, but you can enjoy it for years to come. With proper maintenance, the sand should last for several years.
When adding sand, spread it evenly in the court using a shovel and a rake.
Choosing the Right Sand
You don’t want to use just any sand for your volleyball court.
If the sand is too dusty, you’re going to find yourself coughing and struggling to see the other players. On the other end, sand that is too abrasive is going to be extremely uncomfortable to play in.
To evaluate the abrasiveness, wear shorts and kneel into the sand when it’s dry and again when it’s wet.
To check for dusty sand, shake the sand in a clear bottle of water and see how cloudy the water gets.
Step Five: Set Up Volleyball Net
You can find a volleyball net from a sporting goods store. Some nets can be placed in the ground using stakes, while others will need cement to stay put.
Whichever net you choose, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
When selecting poles, choose a material that can withstand tension. You should also consider padding the poles to protect the players who will be visiting your court.
Selecting a Net
A typical outdoor volleyball net will be 32 feet long and 39 inches tall. If you’ve predetermined to build a smaller court, you will want a proportional net.
The standard height for a men’s volleyball net is 8 feet tall while a women’s is 7 feet and 4 inches tall. Keep this in mind when measuring below and above the surface.
For our review of the best outdoor volleyball nets, read this article.
Step Six: Maintaining Your Volleyball Court
Maintaining your volleyball court will keep the sand from getting yucky and needing to be replaced. Keeping it free of rocks, sticks, and other debris will make it a cleaner, safer space to play all together.
Every day or two, look through your court to remove any debris and dispose of them.
To clean, use a rake to bring up any trash, sharp objects, or other pieces of nature. Raking your court regularly will also keep the sand itself nice and soft.
While cleaning, look for any spots that look uneven, and use the rake or shovel to even it out. Regularly check the padding on the poles and repair or replace it if needed.
If there is grass around the perimeter of your court, make sure you keep it cut short and dispose of any clippings properly.
Basic Rules to Play Volleyball
Once you’ve finished building your backyard volleyball court, it’s time to play! If you’ve never played volleyball, we’ll give you the basic rules below.
Ideally, you’ll want six players per team. However, you can play with as little as two. Make sure there is an even number of players on each side of the net.
If possible, create two rows of players. The first row will be the closest to the net with the other row toward the back of the court.
Serve the Ball
To determine which team will start, toss a coin. For the serve to be good, the ball has to go over the net and land inside the court.
The person who is in the back right corner of the court is the one who will start by serving the ball. Rotate players so you will have a new server for each service game.
If the first person fails to serve the ball, the team will rotate, and the next player will have a chance. This is repeated as many times as necessary to get the ball on the opposing team’s court.
Playing the Game
Once the serve is good, the game has begun! You can only hit the ball three times within your court, and then it must go over the net.
From there, each team will hit the ball back and forth until a fault occurs.
Faults in volleyball happen when:
- The ball hits the ground
- The ball goes out of bounds
- Someone touches the net
- Someone’s foot goes under the net
- Someone hits the ball two consecutive times
- The team hits the ball more than three times before sending it over the net
- Catching the ball without bumping it
Determine Points Allowed For Each Game
Before you start, decide how many points will be allowed per game. For example, start new games when a team hits 15 points.
A typical match lasts for three games, and then each team switches sides for the new game. The losing team will have the chance to serve in the next game.
If you’re looking for a project that’s not too challenging and will provide fun for years to come, then creating a backyard volleyball court is perfect for you. The creation process is actually pretty simple, although following all of the steps above is important in order to have the best outcome.
Volleyball is fun for people of all ages and most activity levels and is a great way to get in exercise without actually feeling like you’re working out. If you don’t have a group of friends to play with, even just one other partner can be an enjoyable, easy-going time!