Do you know what the hand signals mean in beach volleyball?


If you have been playing beach volleyball for awhile, you may already be familiar with the basic hand signals players place behind their backs. For everyone else let’s start with the concept. What do these signals mean? At the beginning of nearly every serve, the player not serving for the serving team, will indict to their partner various things through hand signals. They accomplish this by placing one or two hands behind there back, displaying a certain sign. The majority of the time the focus is on blocking and where the blocker should go. Other areas of focus include who to serve, or area of the court to serve, or disguising a play. Here is the break down:

Movement or Pointing of the Hand

If a player pointing to the right, for example, is telling their partner to server the player on the right. The same is true of the player is waving their right hand behind their back.

Use of 2 Hands

The left hand is most often representing the opposing player on the left side of the court. The right hand in turn represents the player on the right side.

1 Finger

If a player’s hand is holding out one finger this means the blocker should block line.

2 Fingers

This is an indicator that the blocker needs to take away the angle and prevent the hitter from swinging across the court. When this happens the passing defender will usually line up straight across from the hitter and cover the line hit.

Closed Fist

This simply means the blocker will pull off the net when the other team is about to swing.

Open Hand

An open hand signal is less common, but tells the defender the blocker is going to block the ball on any swing. Not usually the best option unless you are playing with a very good blocker.

3 Fingers on 1 Hand

Another less common signal includes, holding 3 fingers up on one hand. Many people, even those that play beach volleyball often, are unaware of this, and the signal to follow. This sign indicates the blocker will show or fake an angle block and jump into line.

4 Fingers on 1 Hand

This signal is opposite of the last, where the blocker will fake a line block and jump into angle.

Keep in mind these are just some of the signals used by beach volleyball players. Many teams have their own signs but for the most part they will be similar to the ones mentioned above.

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