Yes, according to the updated rules of beach volleyball, you can use your feet to contact the ball and keep it in play. You are allowed to touch the ball with any part of your body, whether it be your head, your shoulders, or even your torso.
Using your feet while playing beach volleyball might often seem like a good idea. If you just started playing this sport, you might wonder if you can use your feet in beach volleyball and whether that would be effective or not.
However, some rules should not be overlooked when performing these kinds of moves. If you want to dig deeper on this subject, you need to understand when, and how, you can legally use your feet. By doing so, you will be able to grow as a player.
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When Can You Use Your Feet in Beach Volleyball?
There are a few situations in which you can safely extend your legs and make contact with the ball. After all, this is a movement that should only be done as a last resort because of its lack of accuracy. When you hit the ball with your foot, there is a high chance of it bouncing off the court.
Therefore, players should only do it when the opponent’s attack is almost unreachable. Our legs have a greater reach than our arms, which is why it is possible to save difficult balls with our feet. Nonetheless, you should always try to use your arms since they allow better control of the ball.
Unless you have vast experience using your feet in sports, your arms and hands are better tools when it comes to controlling and directing the volleyball. Additionally, overusing this move can cause your hand skills to decrease as you will not be using them as often.
How Can You Safely Use Your Feet in Beach Volleyball?
Recklessly trying to reach the ball with your feet can cause you and your teammate certain problems. For instance, if you try to save a difficult ball by kicking it, you might accidentally hit your teammate if you’re not aware. This can cause him an injury.
On top of that, you can also injure yourself with a sprained ankle or even a concussion. This is why you need to be careful not to perform this move without a single precaution. Before trying to reach the ball you should communicate to your teammate that you’re going for it.
That way, he stays out of the way and avoids getting hit. Then, you should leap forward, extend your leg, get into the floor, and put your feet directly under the ball. This will allow the ball to safely bump on your feet. Additionally, avoid swinging your leg, this would cause the ball to fall out of the court.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Your Feet in Beach Volleyball
Though you can perform incredible saves using your feet, there are many aspects that you need to consider before doing it. Learning them will allow you to have a better understanding of the game and make good decisions throughout the match.
- Since your legs have greater reach than your arms, you will be able to contact difficult balls that would otherwise be unsavable.
- It is a great move to quickly save an unexpected attack from the opponent.
- You could take your opponent by surprise. Your opponent might let his guard down by thinking there is no way of stopping their attack. However, if you manage to save it, you can quickly attack and score an unexpected point.
- Since it is made of sand, the beach court is way softer than its indoor version. This allows you to fall to the ground, and save balls with your feet without hitting yourself too hard.
- If you are not precautious, you could either injure yourself or accidentally hit your teammate.
- Since using your legs is not as precise as using your hands, this move can be very inaccurate.
- If you use it too often, you might under-develop your hand skills (which are considered much more important in this sport).
- It is not the most effective way of hitting or blocking the volleyball. Most of the time it would probably end up outside of the court.
Rules That Influence Using Your Feet
There are a lot of rules that can affect this move, which is why it is often not the best way to hit the ball. Breaking them would cause your team to lose the point and the right to serve, which would highly affect your team’s situation.
On top of that, it could decrease the morale of your teammates. Making mistakes and losing points too fast can deteriorate your team’s performance. This can make you lose the match, and even worse, negatively influence your teammate’s mentality.
That’s why you need to learn and understand the rules that affect these kinds of moves. After all, they are made to make the game better and more balanced for both teams. Here are the rules that influence hitting the ball with your feet in volleyball.
Prolonged Contact With the Ball or Carry
According to the rules, a player cannot make prolonged contact with the volleyball nor catch it. This is a common blunder made by players when handling the ball, and it is penalized with a point for the opposing team.
The ball should quickly bounce out of your feet while hitting the volleyball to be considered a valid hit. If the contact is longer than a few seconds, it may be considered a carry, and the point may be forfeited.
Avoid this mistake by placing your feet directly under the volleyball while attempting to hit it, allowing the volleyball to bump against it. Furthermore, avoid swinging your leg, since this will either send the ball flying or be considered a lift (which is also a prolonged contact).
The volleyball can only be hit three times by each team before it must be sent to the other side of the net. If the team touches the ball for the fourth time, it can be penalized with a point for the opposing team.
You should always consider that hitting the ball with your foot counts as a touch. This implies your teammate has only two touches left to hit the ball into the opposing team’s court.
Additionally, keep in mind that contacting the ball with your foot is not precise, therefore it may cause your teammate to become disorganized. This can lead them to touch the ball erratically. As a result, you can lose points and eventually lose the match.
Hitting the ball with your feet can be useful in certain situations only if it is done carefully. Though, overusing it can be harmful to your volleyball skills in the long run.