Disclaimer

Beach Volleyball skill levels may vary widely by region. Feedback is highly encouraged here.

We googled around the web to find definitions for these levels, combined some, wrote some. This is an attempt to help with definitions.
 

There are probably better descriptions for indoor and grass volleyball. Our main focus here is beach volleyball at this time. 

Beach Volleyball Levels and Definitions

Beach Volleyball Levels - volleycatchers
From Recreational to Professional

These levels are widely accepted in the US and we will be using them to evaluate our members.

Recreational

Recreational players are pretty much total beginners.
Rec players have a great time meeting folks and making friends, while they enjoy the game under significantly loosened rules. 
Sometimes called Picnic players, Rec players, Jungle Ball players, and in some sports Recreational is "D" level.

A Recreational player might know the basics of volleyball or not and maybe played some volleyball before, but he/she is just beginning to bump, set, and spike. Most of the time the goal here is to have fun.
Recreational players often do not know even the very basics of volleyball or have only recently been introduced to them.
Recreational players will be just learning the fundamentals of the bump, set, and spike and the rules of Beach Volleyball.
 

B

Intermediate or recreational players, with good basic volleyball skills (played high school indoor volleyball, no collegiate experience), but has very limited sand doubles experience. A "B" player is still in the early learning stages of the game but knows the skills. A "B" player knows how to bump, set (a little), and sometimes spike. But a "B" player has a lot of practice yet to go to be able to do these skills consistently.
A "B" player makes mistakes often. 

"B" Level is Intermediate
"B" players are still in the learning stages, but have had much more time in the game and have thus become a bit more familiar with the individual skillsets used in the game. "B" players are beginning to get comfortable with the bump, set, and spike, and are trying to use 3 hits more often, but have a good bit of time and practice yet in order to play the game skillfully. "B" players make a good bit of mistakes, but they can often see where they want their skills to be, and are working towards that place.  B players  are getting a bit of consistency with their touches, but have not yet gained the ability to make consistent  shots or clean contacts like  BB players can.  B players often welcome advice from more skilled players, so don't be afraid to ask for tips from better players.

BB

Intermediate or recreational players, with good basic volleyball skills (played high school indoor volleyball, no collegiate experience), but has very limited sand doubles experience. A "BB" player knows where to be on the court at all times when plays are developing. He/she knows where to be when the opponent is hitting. A "BB" player knows the footwork of and how to approach hitting effectively. A "BB" player knows how to run a 5-1, a 6-2, and needlessly, a 4-2.
"BB" Level is High-Intermediate"BB" players know where to be on the court at all times, and are consistent with their contacts most of the time. BB players generally know where to be defensively most of the time, and are can see open spots to allow their hits  and shots to be  more effective to earn points offensively. While some BB players still can work their way to becoming A or better,  many BB players have hit their ceiling for development due to individual abilities.  Those BB players that want to grow their skills should always feel comfortable to ask more skilled players.  It's amazing how for example you can have 25 folks explain how to set, but the way the 26th person explains it is the magic key that changes your setting skills forever.  Keep asking.

A

High level of indoor volleyball skills, but has limited sand doubles experience or training. Have played sand doubles for at least 1-2 years and consistently places 6th through 15th in the A division in past tournaments/leagues. An "A" player is somewhere between "BB" and "AA". They know all the skills extremely well but cannot always execute the super-high level plays extremely effectively all the time. "A" players can run combination plays in a basic way if passes are good. That includes slides, tandems, x's, crosses, and back-row hitting. An "A" player should know Blocking Signals and Defense Signals, Peeling off the net and common plays.
"A" Level is Competitive"A" players know all the skills extremely well, but still often do not always execute the super-high level plays extremely effectively."A" players will periodically have nearly fault free games, but generally make a few less than perfect or less than effective plays each game that should have been done better."A" players are also often limited by their own physical characteristics, that prevent them from ever getting much better. For this reason, "A" level is often the best a player will ever get. While some "A" players will ask for advice, often they don't want to hear or take advice as much, because they're full of themselves and think they know everything. For that reason, please don't tell me what to do - haha.


AA

Very competitive advanced sand players. Well-developed sand volleyball skills and game strategy. Have played competitive sand doubles for at least 3-4 years. Consistently places 11th through 15th in the Open division and consistently places 1st through 5th in the A division in past tournaments/leagues. Blocking or Defending "On 2". Very consistent player.

Good level of communication on most plays (in/out/no one/high line etc) - MY OPINION

"AA" Level is about as good as it gets in many places, though there are a couple of folks that have greater potential.

This level is also interesting because some people think they are here but their inconsistency drags them down to A. A lot of times these players are balancing work and training life. Sometimes there's more work than training and you end up rusty or with not enough cardio to keep up.  
 

AAA

Semi-Pro. Very competitive advanced sand players. Well-developed sand volleyball skills and game strategy. Have played competitive sand doubles for at least 3-4 years. Consistently places 11th through 15th in the Open division and consistently places 1st through 5th in the A division in past tournaments/leagues. Extremely consistent player. Use of high levels of strategy to win games and advanced level of communication on plays (in/out/no one/high line etc). In some locations, you won't find AAA players as their level is pretty much PRO level but they just didn't pursue a career in Beach Volleyball, retired, coaches and etc.
 

Open/Pro

Professional Level. "Open" Players usually keep to themselves and set up private gatherings to play, so they can best regulate their competition. Totally valid, so don't put a hex on 'em. Instead, look for opportunities to watch them play. Open players are very limited in numbers.

Extremely high skilled and advanced sand players; collegiate sand or pro or equivalent. Have played highly competitive sand doubles for 5+ years and consistently places 1st through 10th in the Open division for past tournaments/leagues.

Levels in Beach Volleyball

BB


You can write a reference whenever you have interacted with a member, either through Volley Catchers recommendation or in person, and have learned something about this person that will be informative to the community.




A


Look for this icon on the player's profile.




B


Use the form on the top of this page. All members can write and receive references. Choose the player - From the dropdown menu choose the player you're writing a Reference. How was your experience - From the dropdown menu choose between positive, negative or neutral. Add your First and Last Name - Your First and Last name used to sign up on Volley Catchers. Write your Reference - This is where you're going to write with details your experience with this member.




Recreational


-




AA


References are ideally factual, descriptive, and informative. The following are useful pieces of information: Is the information on this member's profile accurate? Do you believe this member is trustworthy? If they hosted you, did you find their environment safe and welcoming? Describe your overall experience. What specifically made you feel that the experience was positive, neutral, or negative? Would you play with, host, or meet with this member again? Would you recommend this member to a volley catcher friend? What personal qualities stand out about this member? Did you find them to be talkative? Respectful? Energetic? What particular activities did you enjoy sharing with this person besides Beach Volleyball?




AAA


We collect both public and private feedback. On the forms when leaving your references, you’ll see “private” or “confidential” for information that won’t be shared with the person you’re reviewing. Positive feedback tags will be public and grouped anonymously on this person’s profile in future site updates. Negative feedback tags are private and will be reviewed by our team. Both Positive and Negative references are displayed on member's profiles.




PRO





Are you an experienced Indoor Player but NEW to Beach?


You may want to start at a skill level slightly below your indoor level, until you get acclimated to the flow of the game (whether fours, threes, or doubles), and the evil sand monster that will noticeably slow your defense, and take a several inches off your vertical. You use all volleyball skill sets in beach volleyball, so work hard on your weakest skills (passing, defense, pass-setting and hand-setting, etc.).




Tournament Divisions


AA/A/BB (Amateur) | AAA (Semi-Pro) | Open/Pro (Professional Level)





Levels in Beach Volleyball

BB


You can write a reference whenever you have interacted with a member, either through Volley Catchers recommendation or in person, and have learned something about this person that will be informative to the community.




A


Look for this icon on the player's profile.




B


Use the form on the top of this page. All members can write and receive references. Choose the player - From the dropdown menu choose the player you're writing a Reference. How was your experience - From the dropdown menu choose between positive, negative or neutral. Add your First and Last Name - Your First and Last name used to sign up on Volley Catchers. Write your Reference - This is where you're going to write with details your experience with this member.




Recreational


-




AA


References are ideally factual, descriptive, and informative. The following are useful pieces of information: Is the information on this member's profile accurate? Do you believe this member is trustworthy? If they hosted you, did you find their environment safe and welcoming? Describe your overall experience. What specifically made you feel that the experience was positive, neutral, or negative? Would you play with, host, or meet with this member again? Would you recommend this member to a volley catcher friend? What personal qualities stand out about this member? Did you find them to be talkative? Respectful? Energetic? What particular activities did you enjoy sharing with this person besides Beach Volleyball?




AAA


We collect both public and private feedback. On the forms when leaving your references, you’ll see “private” or “confidential” for information that won’t be shared with the person you’re reviewing. Positive feedback tags will be public and grouped anonymously on this person’s profile in future site updates. Negative feedback tags are private and will be reviewed by our team. Both Positive and Negative references are displayed on member's profiles.




PRO





Are you an experienced Indoor Player but NEW to Beach?


You may want to start at a skill level slightly below your indoor level, until you get acclimated to the flow of the game (whether fours, threes, or doubles), and the evil sand monster that will noticeably slow your defense, and take a several inches off your vertical. You use all volleyball skill sets in beach volleyball, so work hard on your weakest skills (passing, defense, pass-setting and hand-setting, etc.).




Tournament Divisions


AA/A/BB (Amateur) | AAA (Semi-Pro) | Open/Pro (Professional Level)





Level by skillsets

In Beach Volleyball you have to master Serve, Passing, Setting and Hitting and sometimes you develop a power serve but can't set the ball. When that happens, unfortunately the overall level of the game is brought down by one specific skill or player. You won't be considered a AA player if you have a great spike, awesome serve but only pass 3 balls out of 10 when receiving the serve. Again, consistency always come into play but if your level differs too much by skill set, your game will suffer.
Some examples below:

Setting:

  • I can only bump set the ball. (B level)

  • I have decent hands when it comes to setting (BB).

  • I can jump set the ball and/or run plays (AA/AAA)


Serving:

  • I underhand serve or can do a basic overhand serve. B

  • I overhand serve and can place the ball pretty much where I aim. BB

  • I can do special kinds of serves - like jump serves AA/AAA


Blocking:

  • What? In doubles?! B

  • I'm working on it, but not great yet. BB

  • I can block, and call what I'm blocking so my partner can cover the rest. A

  • I can switch up my calls on blocking at the last minute, or recover from a block by still passing it if it lands near me. AA/AAA/PRO


Hitting:

  • I can hit the ball, but my aim isn't that great. B

  • I can hit the ball offensively sometimes on a good set. BB

  • I can hit a hard driven ball, cross court and line, sharp cut shots A

  • I can look where the defender is and spike the ball even if when it's off the net . AA

Some other classifications found on the internet

We won't be considering these on Volley Catchers for now but might be worth to have it.

Skill Level Descriptions for Leagues and Tourneys

 

  • C – Novice – Happy to get the ball over the net, very vague understanding of the rules, generally only plays 6×6 leagues

  • B – Beginner level – Is gaining ball control, can get it over the net, has an understanding of the rules and the concept of three hits, plays 6×6 and some 4×4

  • BB – Intermediate – Practices the 3 hit concept, can overhand serve, understands the positions and has decent court mobility, some 6×6 but mostly 4×4 and 2×2

  • A – Advanced – Has good ball control, consistent passing, setting, and hitting.  Plays 4×4 and 2×2

  • AA – Expert – These players know who they are!