What is Footvolley?

File photo credit: wikimedia commons

By Hevina Kaur

As its name suggests, Footvolley is a wonderful hybrid of Football and Volleyball. I know, I know, it sounds so strange, playing Volleyball with your feet, but it actually is pretty cool.

It has an interesting story of origin that truly shows how creative people can be in pursuit of what they want. Basically, in 1965 Brazil a football ban was enforced by clubs over the summer in order to ensure that players didn’t get injured. What did they do in response? They took the game to the volleyball courts! Sneaky sneaky….

How do you play Footvolley?

Footvolley follows the basic rules of beach volleyball and the rules of ball touching from football. To put it simply, Footvolley is beach volleyball but players are not allowed to touch the ball and a football replaces the volleyball. 

The objective is to play the ball over the net, to the opponent’s side without letting the ball touch the ground on your side of the court.

The game is played with 2 players on each side and begins when a player serves the ball to their opponent. Service must take place from behind the baseline and the ball has to end up over the net, using only the player’s foot. The player is allowed to build a small hill and place the ball atop it to allow her to kick it more easily.

On the receiving end, the player can receive using either her feet, thighs, chest, shoulders or head with the chest being the favoured option due to a wider contact area. This is known as the first touch after the service.

For the second touch, the player can either pass to someone else on her side to allow for a more efficient attack or go right ahead and play the ball back at the opponent.

After the opponent attacks the ball, the goal is not let the ball hit the floor on your side. That’s why it is important for players to communicate with one another, position yourself correctly and to anticipate the attack. 

Basic Rules

• A maximum of 3 touches are allowed on each side before the ball must be sent over to the opponents side.
• No player is allowed to touch the ball consecutively at any point in the game.
• A ball may be played off the net during a volley and on serve.
• A legal hit is one that contacts the ball without allowing the ball to visibly come to a rest.
• If 2 or more players contact the ball simultaneously, it is considered one touch.
• The player has 5 seconds from the referee's whistle to serve the ball.

The Arena

• The playing field is a rectangle,18m by 9m.
• The “free zone” or area between the boundary lines and advertisement boards must be at 3m.
• The net, situated in the middle of the playing field, is 9.5m by 1m.
• For men, the net is 2.2m high and for women, it is 2m high.


There are various ways in which FootVolley can be played. 

Firstly, there’s the best of 3 version, in which the winning side has to win 2 out of 3 sets. Each set is played to a minimum of 15 points and the winning side has to win by 2 points.

You could also play one set to a minimum of 21 points, again with the winning side having to win by 2 points.

Lastly, you could play one set to a minimum of 15 points, with the winning side having to win by 2 points. 

Now that you understand how to play this game, its time to get your swimsuit on and hit the beach! Needless to say, Footvolley might not be easy, seeing as it is quite unconventional to use our feet when using our hands allows for much greater control. But hey, the best sports are the ones that really test you and take you out of your comfort zone, so embrace the challenge!

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