Levels of Play in Beach Volleyball for Adults in the USA
From Recreational to Professionals. Let us help define your level.
It doesn't matter to us how good or bad you are. What's is important for us is to find what level you are at the moment.
The key to finding your level is to know how consistent you are on the court.
If you can do it occasionally or by luck, it doesn't really count. We know that self-evaluation can be tricky so we hope to get that sorted out for you.
We'll help you find your level
Why is so important to "know your game?"
The more accurate on finding your level you are the easier will be to match you with the right group.
There is a huge problem with players self-evaluating themselves everywhere. Let us solve this problem by connecting you to the right group.
Our Volleyball Quiz is coming soon! Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter and we will keep you posted!
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.
Our main focus here is beach volleyball at this time. There are probably better descriptions for indoor and grass volleyball on the internet.
Beach Volleyball Levels
From Recreational to Professional
AA/A/BB (Amateur) | AAA (Semi-Pro) | Open/Pro (Professional Level)
These levels are widely accepted in the US and we will be using them to evaluate our members.
Beach Volleyball Levels and Definitions
Zero consistency. 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.
Very small level of consistency. 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.
"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.
Small level of consistency. Intermediate, 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.
Consistent player. 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.
"A" Level is competitive. The game starts to change here as sometimes you're going to have blockers, hitters and sharp cuts and because of that an "A" player should know Blocking and Defense Signals, Peeling off the net and common defense plays but sometimes they don't know or they're just learning.
An "A"player should sometimes help their partner by communicating on court, example: call ball in/out, blocker, high line, middle, "coming to you" when there is a bad pass an etc. Depending on how difficult the plays are, he/she won't communicate at all. Sometimes they're just learning or improving their level of communication on court. - MY OPINION.
"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.
Sometimes 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.
Very consistent player.
Games here are different than the the other levels because of the consistency of the players and it might often need some strategy to win.
More often than not you're going to have good to great blockers, hitters and sharp cuts and because of an "AA" player should definitely knows Blocking and Defense Signals, Peeling off the net and common defense plays and they rarely won't. They're crafting these skills.
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".
Good level of communication on most plays (in/out/no one/high line etc) - MY OPINION
They place serves wherever they want on court, mean float serves or strong jump serves.
"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.
Semi-Pro. Extremely consistent player. 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.
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.
What's missing here?
What skills you think a A or AA player should have to be considered at their level? 🤔