Sand Volleyball

Program Overview

Empower Volleyball is excited to offer sand volleyball doubles during the summer months! We absolutely love what sand volleyball has to offer and we look forward to all of our families enjoying the many benefits of this program.

"The beach game is GREAT for improving your indoor skills/game. Whatever your weaknesses are, you get to work on them a ton. Unlike the 6 person game, you touch the ball in every rally, and with just two of you covering the court, you learn to read and anticipate much better. Dealing with the sun and wind helps you be more adaptable. Player height is less important outdoors where ball control and skill is more important."

John Kessel - USA Volleyball

Sand 2024 Program Details


Boys AND girls ages 12 - 18 who are at an intermediate or advanced skill level.

Session Dates


Sand volleyball training runs on Mondays and Wednesdays from June 17, through August 2nd, 2024.

Session Cost

Cost for session is

$400 per player

Included in cost:

  • Two days weekly training
  • Empower tank
  • Beach volleyball
  • 2 tournament days

Training Days and Times

Mondays and Wednesdays


Between 5:30 pm-8:30 pm

*Some makeup sessions may be offered as needed. Please contact Coach Maureen for more information.


  • Choose your own dates that fit your schedule. Stay with just 2 tournament dates or add as many as you would like as you go.

Tournament Locations

  • Four Lakes Volleyball Courts, Lisle, IL
  • North Avenue Beach, Chicago, IL

2024 Beach Volleyball Age Divisions


Players who were born on or after September 1, 2010


Born on or after August 1, 2009


Players who were born on or after August 1, 2009

Players who were born on or after August 1, 2008 (15 years or younger) who shall neither have completed nor are in a grade higher than the eighth grade (8th) during the current academic year.


Born on or after August 1, 2007


Players who were born on or after August 1, 2005 (including high school graduates eligible based on the above paragraph)

Players who were born on or after August 1, 2004 and a high school student in the twelfth (12th) grade or below during some part of the current academic year.

Training Locations

Discovery Park
Dellwood Park
Lake Strini

Please take a moment to read all of our Frequently Asked Questions below! 

For additional questions or concerns please contact:  Maureen Sampson, Sand Coordinator


Enhanced Endurance

The resistance that sand provides not only forces you to work harder, but it can also help promote a healthy cardiovascular system. It is estimated that the body has to work approximately 30% harder to maneuver on the sand. Luckily, the sand has less impact on the joints, which can help you work your lower body more effectively. If you are looking for a way to get a great workout in without spending a lot of time, playing on the sand is the way to go.

Improved Hand-Eye Coordination

While it may seem counter-intuitive, playing on sand can help improve your hand and eye coordination and sharpen your reflexes. The sand is a constant distraction, requiring continual feats of acrobatics and balance. Combine that with attempting to keep your attention focused on the ball, it makes for an excellent workout for the brain as well as the body.

Burn Calories and Fat

It’s true that sand volleyball is a super effective way to burn calories. A study from Harvard Medical School showed that an hour-long game of sand volleyball could burn up to almost 500 calories! The extra energy needed to play on the sand is enormous, making it an excellent way to stay in shape. If you are looking to shed some extra pounds, sand volleyball is an excellent way to lose weight and stay in shape.

Improved Muscle Tone and Strength

Playing sand volleyball is a fun and challenging way to strengthen your whole body. The resistance from the sand makes for a much more vigorous workout since your muscles have to work harder to maintain stability. If you are looking for a way to improve your muscular system, playing sand volleyball can help you build up your entire body. Playing this challenging sport can help tone and strengthen your lower legs, thighs, belly, shoulders, arms, as well as your upper body.

Improved Mental Health

Playing sand volleyball can positively affect a person’s social and mental health. Playing a sport with other people is an excellent way to create new friendships, improve your interpersonal skills, and can help a person feel connected to others. Many find that exercising and playing sports is a healthy and natural way to fend off depression, improve your mental health, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem. Talk about a winning combination!

Sand Volleyball FAQS

We will meet at the designated sand courts for training sessions. You will work primarily with your coach and your doubles partner on the majority of skills and drills.

If you have someone in your same age group who would like to be your teammate, you are welcome to bring them to our program. You will each register individually but will be teamed up throughout the season. If you don’t have a partner, no worries, you do not need one for the training sessions!

Tournaments are offered throughout the season on Fridays, Saturdays, and/or Sundays. Some tournaments may be included in your fees but you can sign up for as many tournaments as you like and pay as you go.

Age groups are divided into 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U. If your athlete played 12U for the indoor season, she will play 12U for Beach. A 13U would need to play up in the 14U age group.

Yes. This can be arranged through the program coordinator.

Summer is a busy time and we understand that you may miss practices at times. We recommend that communicate with your sand partner if you will not be attending a practice or a tournament. Please note that there are no refunds for any missed practices or tournaments.

Switching partners is very common in sand volleyball. While it is best to stick to the same partner throughout the season, sometimes it’s necessary to change. If your partner is ill or otherwise unable to play, we suggest you try to find another player within the program to fill in so that you can still compete.

We will train rain or shine. Most competitions will happen rain or shine as well. Training may be cancelled or discontinued if the weather becomes severe and/or the forecast is for threatening weather to continue.


  • There are only 2 people per team and no substitutions.
  • Sets are played to 21, and a match is best of 3. If a third set is needed, play to 15.
  • Teams switch sides every 7 points in games to 21 and every 5 points in games to 15 to try and make it fair for both teams when dealing with the wind, the sun, and other components of outdoor play.
  • A ball cannot be taken with open hands (set) unless it is hard driven and downward, so sand players often practice multiple ways to take a ball overhead without setting with their fingertips.
  • Open hand tips are not allowed, usually tip with the knuckles (a "dink" or "pokey").
  • Many sand players choose to bump-set (forearm passing) and not use their hands. Officials are very strict about setting forms, plus, if a player using his or her hands to set the ball and the wind takes it over the net, it will result in a point for the opponents. Even if it is unintentional, it still counts as an open hand tip.
  • The block counts as one of the three hits, but the blocker can contact the ball a second consecutive time after the block, giving the other player just one hit to play the ball over the net.
  • Any contact with any part of the net is a violation.
  • Active coaching is limited to timeouts and in between sets.
  • No official is provided for junior sand tournaments. Players must call the violations for both themselves and their opponents.
  • The playing space is smaller. The size of the entire beach volleyball court (both sides combined) is 52 feet 6 inches x 26 feet 3 inches (indoor courts are 60x30)
  • A different volleyball is used. Outdoor and beach volleyballs are made for the tough conditions that can be associated with the outdoors.

The advantage of playing beach volleyball is that a player must be able to perform every skill. To be successful at beach volleyball a player must be able to pass, set, hit, serve, and play defense. It forces the players to develop their weaker skills. It also requires players to cover more of the court on serve receive and on defense and this teaches players to read the hitter and control the ball.

Moving in the sand and jumping in the sand is much more difficult than in indoor, so playing beach volleyball helps you develop a stronger jump and makes you quicker on defense because you’re under constant resistance in the sand.

See the links below to learn more about how sand volleyball can help you improve your indoor game!

Sand Volleyball Resources