Build your own Beach Volleyball Court!
- Let Home Court Show You
Be forewarned: This is not a project to undertake in half measures. If you're planning to build a beach volleyball court, do it right, and be prepared to invest a fair amount of time and money. Otherwise, you could end up with the world's most expensive sand box. First let us look at the basics How To Build A Sand Volleyball Court. Playing area consists of court and space around it measuring approximately 10-ft in each direction (more if possible). Space above playing area should be free of obstructions (branches, power lines, etc.). The playing area should be level. It's important to use good quality sand, deep enough to prevent players from contacting any underlying hard surface. Dimensions of standard court 30 X 60-ft or 52.6 X 26.3-ft and measured from outer edge of boundary lines. Boundary lines should be made of brightly colored rope or web. Poles should be place 36 to 37-ft apart, at center court. Men's playing height is 8-ft and women's playing height is 7-ft 4-inch.
We recommend that you have license contractor install your game post for your sand court. After all the money and time you have invested, you do not want the poles falling down or breaking from improper installation. Net supports should be made of steel, wood or other material that will withstand tension and not bend or break. Supports should be at least 10.5-ft long buried at least 2-ft in cement. Make sure they're free of hazardous protrusions. If you use guy wires, they should be made of bright colors or marked with flags so they're visible. All anchors for guy wires and court lines should be level with playing surface and free of sharp edges. For areas comfortably above sea level, court area should be excavated two to three feet deep, depending on the depth of sand and gravel base you intend to use. For low-lying areas, court area should be excavated only about six to eight inches; you should end up building an elevated court rather than one that is flush with the ground. To keep dirt or grass from mixing in with court sand, you may want to build a barrier around the court, either with wooden beams (such as railroad ties) or some type of low, solid fencing. This can be especially important for a court built slightly above ground. You should have a drainage system under the court. A drainage ditch should lead away from the lowest point of court, and perforated drainage pipe should laid in a zigzag pattern over the base of the area with one end capped and other open to drainage ditch. Drainage is very important. You don't want to be playing in a swamp.
Step by step How To Make A Beach Volleyball Court:
- Excavate court area to your desired depth using a Bobcat or front-end loader. Our experts all advise against using a bulldozer or backhoe (bulldozer won't be able to pick up and replace the dirt, and backhoe won't dig a level surface). If you're in a low sea level area (for example, shoreline areas in Florida), court should be built slightly above ground. Use the dirt you excavate to create a slight slope up to the court.2. Arrange your court perimeter (if desired) around the edges of the excavated site. This keeps dirt and grass from leaking into the court and vice-versa. If you're using railroad ties or similar materials, our experts suggest covering the exposed top edges with some sort of padding to minimize injury potential. One expert says he's had great luck buying used rubber escalator handrail material from escalator companies and seating it atop his 2 x 6-inch wooden boundaries.
- Lay out your drainage pipe, perforated side down, with the open end at the low point of the court. You may wish to wrap each section of pipe with some type of filter to keep sand from filling up the pipe: burlap is one choice although eventually it will rot. Our experts suggest using flex wrap or "handicap wrap" can be bought at plumbing supply houses.
- If you are using your own standards they should have a length of 10.5 to 13-ft, you will need to sink your poles at least 2-ft deep in concrete. Prepare your net standards by attaching hooks, pulleys, hook-and-eye hardware and any winch type hardware. For longevity, if you're using wooden poles you should pre-treat them with a weather-resistant stain. If you're not using guy wires as supports, set your poles in the ground at a slight angle outward from court to allow for any "bend" caused by eventual net tension. If you are using our #AGP3 system you will sink them only 2-3-ft below top sand level. If your sand base is deeper then you need to bring the concrete support with re-bar, up into the sand. You may want the concrete in L shape (key). You also want the concrete to extend below your gravel base into the ground for support. Another item to consider with a sand court is ground sleeves. If sand enters sleeve during play the poles will become permanently stuck to sleeve. The top joint between sleeve and pole has to be sealed from sand entering, so sleeves may not be the best way to go. Use license contractor when installing your poles, if you do not know what you are doing.
- Cover the pipe and remaining court area with one-foot thickness of small gravel. Various sizes seem to work, but the overall consensus is to use a small, pea-sized gravel known around the country as #56 gravel, #2 or #3 size gravel. Explain to your gravel supplier that it will be used for drainage, and he can recommend the size for your needs.
- Cover the gravel with a screen-type filter to keep gravel and dirt from working its way up to the sand level. Again, burlap will work, but it will eventually rot, especially if you get a lot of rain. The best material is ground stabilization filter fabric, which is a woven poly-blend that won't deteriorate. You can find a supplier by calling a landscaping or excavating company for a referral.
- Deposit your sand--one to two feet deep--and rake so it's level. With a good gravel base, one foot of sand is usually enough.
Make and Construct Sand Courts In No Time With These Easy Step By Step Instructions
Attach your net, put down your boundary lines and you're ready to play. Now for the big question: How much your basic costs will fall into three categories: sand and gravel, excavation equipment rental and court equipment. If you're lucky enough to live on a coast, sand will probably be readily available at a reasonable cost. Unless you want to spend a lot of time with a shovel and a pickup truck at the beach, you'll need to purchase sand from a local sand pit or milling company (check your yellow pages or internet). Sand comes in several grades, but our volleyball experts say this isn't the place to cut corners. Washed plaster sand, washed masonry sand, washed river sand or, if possible, washed beach or dune sand recommended. Sand sold either by the ton or by the yard, depending on where you live. You can calculate how much sand you'll need using the following formula: (Length x Width x Depth in feet divided by 27) x 1.6 gives you tonnage; (L x W x D) divided by 27 gives you yardage. Using this formula, a court approximately 40 x 70-ft with one foot of sand needs about 166 yards of sand. Gravel can be slightly cheaper, ranging from $5 to $14 per ton, although in some areas it can cost more than the sand. The formula for calculating the tonnage needed is the same as for sand. Good luck. This article was originally publish in Volleyball Magazine in the late 80's.