If you love volleyball, you may be interested in creating your own sand court. You can play a game with your friends whenever you want. Having fun is better than working out in a gym. We’re going to go over how to build a sand volleyball court. Along with any other information that could help you during the process.
Recommended Court Dimensions
When you are considering how big of a space you need. You need to consider both the size of the court and the size of the safety area surrounding the court. According to Volleyball USA, you want about ten feet of safety space extending in all directions from your court. This rule applies to indoor courts as well.
This means the total space you need will be about 50 feet x 80 feet. Some international organizations recommend an even larger 20 feet in all directions. This requires a 70 feet x 100 feet space, but this is generally excessive for a personal backyard volleyball court.
The size of a standard 6 on 6 beach courts is 29 feet 6 inches by 59 feet. To measure this, you will start at the outer edge of the court. If you have less space available, you could also consider putting in a 2 on 2 beach courts. This is slightly small at 26 feet 3 inches by 52 feet 6 inches.
You should lay out your boundary lines with either bright tape or a bright rope. Rope often holds up better, but it can lead to rope burn if you trip or slide on them. The volleyball net will serve as the central boundary that divides the court in half. The regulation net height for women’s beach courts is 88 1/8 inches high. Men’s is 95 5/8 inches high. The two poles holding up the net should be outside of the boundaries and 36 feet apart.
How to Prepare the Site
It’s a good idea before you start any digging to get clearance from your city. Check that there aren’t any underground pipes, power lines, etc., that you can hit. Once you have clearance, you can start digging. It would be nice to know someone that has a small front-end loader. This would not only help with digging but hauling tons of sand and other materials around.
The court playing area should be dug out somewhere between a foot and a half to three feet deep. You will also need to be careful to layout space for a proper drainage system. More on that below.
You could end up playing volleyball in mud rather than sand. Keep in mind that the deeper your hole is, the more potential drainage problems you could have. Drainage could still be an issue even in an above-ground court.
How to Set Up Proper Drainage
You should set up at least one drainage ditch. Make this lead away from the lowest point of the court. You also want to lay down a perforated drainage pipe with the perforated side down. Do not use corrugated pipes as they will likely collapse when you lay down the sand.
In addition to the pipes depending on how well your soil drains on its own. You will want to add pea gravel over the entire court. If your court is shallower, you only have to lay a couple of inches.
For deeper courts, you can lay down up to 1-foot. We do understand that pea gravel can be expensive. If you have a limited budget and decent drainage already. You can place pea gravel around the pipe to keep the holes from getting plugged up.
Finally, to prevent the sand from washing down through the gravel. You can look into purchasing some landscape fabric or cover. You can lay this between the graven and the sand. These different layers (pipes, gravel, fabric, sand) will keep your court dry and your sand from washing away.
What Kind of Materials Should You Use
When considering how to build a sand volleyball court, you need to consider the kinds of materials you will use. One of the most important materials that you will consider is a good quality sand. If you do not get the right kind of sand, your court will likely never get used.
You will end up with cut-up knees and elbows. Other sand will turn into dust as you play on it. The most highly recommended type of sand is washed beach or dune sand. People also use washed plaster sand, washed masonry sand, and washed river sand. You could lay railroad ties, free in most cities, or 8 x 8 pressure-treated beams below ground level for the outside perimeter of the court. This would help keep the sand in the playing area.
You may want to test the sand before you make any purchases. It is expensive, if not impossible, to return. You can check how the sand feels. Whether or not it will cut you by kneeling in the sand. It would be best if you did this in both dry and wet conditions. Make sure it is not agitating, nor does it cut you.
Also, You should test the sand for dust. You can check current dust by putting the sand in a clear bottle. Give it a couple of shakes to see if the water gets cloudy. Another way to check for playing dust is to pay to send it to a lab.
You will also need to pick out some poles to hold up your net. The poles should be made of stainless steel, anodized aluminum, galvanized steel, or treated wood. They should be strong enough to hold guy wires. They will need to stand up to tension without bending or breaking.
You also want to get padded metal or wood poles so that your players do not get injured. Just in case they run into them while playing. The poles should be 10-16 feet long anchored into the ground in concrete footing at least 3 feet deep.
You will also need to pick a net. The official size for outdoor volleyball nets is 32 feet long and 39 inches tall. You can change the size of the court by getting a smaller net for smaller courts. As far as attaching your net, if you are going to be leaving it up permanently.
You are going to want to use aircraft cables with fixed eye loops. This will let you padlock the net and so that it will be difficult to cut. If you are going to take the net up and down, you can use Kevlar cords or standard ropes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now, let’s take a look at a few of the most frequently asked questions. These are all related to how to build a sand volleyball court.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Sand Volleyball Court?
Building your own volleyball court can be a bit expensive and also takes quite a time commitment. Generally speaking, you should expect to pay about 35 thousand dollars to install a proper beach volleyball court and ensure that you do not end up with a glorified giant sandbox. There are some ways to bring down the cost slightly, but you should expect to invest a good bit of money into your court.
How Do You Maintain a Sand Volleyball Court?
Once you have finished the process of building and paying for your new sand volleyball court, you want to make sure that you do an excellent job at maintaining it so that the court lasts and everyone who plays has a good time. Before playing, you always want to make sure that you remove any sharp rocks, stones, or sticks that could potentially hurt or cut the player’s bare feet.
You also want to regularly rake the court to keep all of the sand dry and soft. Finally, over time you will start to notice spots where sand has been kicked up or a trench has been created; make sure that you use a rake or shovel to keep the court even so that no one gets hurt.
How Do You Keep Weeds Out of Your Sand Volleyball Court?
Depending on where you are putting in your volleyball court, an important thing that you might be concerned with weeds popping up through the ground that could be a hazard on the court. If you end up with some weeds popping up through the ground, it is not that hard to get rid of them.
You are going to thoroughly wet the ground then cover it with a transparent plastic sheet. You are going to want to make sure it is secure with things like rocks and bricks. Before long, the plastic should kill off any weeds that popped up. You can also feel free to place down this sheet whenever you know you will be away from the court for a little while.
Are There Other Options For Volleyball Courts?
If you do not have the time, space, or money to install a full sand volleyball court, you can consider some other less permanent and more budget-friendly options. For instance, there are nets available to set up whenever you need in the grass or take it with you to the beach. While this will not work for any serious games, it will allow you to play some fun volleyball games with your friends.
Even though building a volleyball court yourself is a bit of a time and money commitment, it is not as hard as you might think. Plus, once you have it built, it is reasonably easy to maintain. If you have space, you can get started on your own volleyball court today, and before long, you will be playing pickup games whenever you want.