How to Make a Backyard Volleyball Court

Bill Taylor
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Step One: Find the Best Location

The ideal volleyball court location is on flat ground. The ground needs to be level or slightly sloped to allow for good drainage.

In areas where the ground freezes, run a geothermal line underground so that you can get to your court in the winter to make repairs. You also need to determine where to put your volleyball court lines so you know how to shade your court.

Step Two: Prep the Ground

Lay six inches of gravel in the entire court area. This will ensure that your ball can't get stuck in any soft spots, and it will also help keep the mud down if it does rain.

Court Drainage

The great thing about building your own court is that you can make it as complicated or as simple as you want. You can play an intense match on a high quality court or set the bar lower by making a court suitable for family play. The most important aspect of the design of your court is to ensure that you can drain the water out of the court quickly. This is very important especially if you are using the same court for other activities during non-rainy days. Rainy day or not, you will have to get the water out of the court immediately after play is finished to prevent the growth of bacteria or to prevent fungus from building up.

The best way to ensure that the court can dry off quickly is to dig it deeper than usual. Usually you will want the court to be no more than 1 foot below the surrounding surface. However, with a dryer court you will have to be more careful. Digging the court too deep will lead to significant settling of the court over time. This will leave the play surface harder and flatter than it should be. The deeper you dig the court the more settling will occur over time. For average backyard play, a court 170 feet by 70 feet should be dug 3 feet below the surrounding surface. If a high-quality court is the goal, you will need a well with a pump to get the water out of the court quickly.

Step Three: Install Edging

Measure the width of the area you'll be working on to purchase edging. You want a length that will give you the most court surface and, therefore, require the least amount of weaving in and out. Mark the edge of the court, and shovel the area to be edged. Lay the edging, and pack it into the ground.

The top edge of your court will be six feet, so try to use the edging that is built to account for this. If you have to build it shorter, make sure you buy enough and that you pack it down firmly. Fill the gaps in your work with a molding of the appropriate fill dirt. Use a walk-behind compactor, and then sweep the completed edge. Allow it to dry, and then install end lines.

Step Four: Cover With Sand

After the gravel is on level with the desired height, you will want to cover the entire court with the correct amount of sand (8-10 inches, with a 2-4 inch border of pea gravel around the edges).

Lay down the net if you are using it and cover as needed with the sand. You might need to use a rake to get the sand into the corners and press it into an even layer. Now you just have to rake the court again, and add another splash of water to make sure everything is settled and level. Congratulations! You just made a DIY volleyball court!

Remember, if you do not have a net, you can divide the court into two levels, one for each team.

Choosing the Right Sand

The first thing to do in making a volleyball court is to pick the right sand. You will generally find that courts will either use silica sand or play sand. These are readily available locally. You can easily find play sand at your local home improvement store.

Step Five: Set Up Volleyball Net

The volleyball net is designed to keep the ball in play during the game. Get the net that best suits your needs. Are you having a permanent court or a portable court?

The volleyball nets will be set up in a zigzag shape across the court. You can adjust the size based on the size of the court. It's usually around 6 feet high.

It also helps prevent players from leaving the court for safety reasons.

You would also have to attach some hooks or loops on the wall or the poles, depending on the construction of the court.

This will help you set up the net easily and quickly. It will also help the net stay in place during the game.

Selecting Poles

Choosing what to use as your poles is a big decision. You need a lightweight material that is strong enough to support the nets and weather resistant enough not to rot quickly. Aluminum and steel are lightweight and durable enough to work well. If possible, try out a few options and test them to ensure they will work for your needs.

Poles come in all different sizes so be sure to buy the poles that will work with your hill and height requirements. You need the poles to remain in the ground securely so use ground screws (rather than lag-screws which are better for concrete but damage the poles). Try to use many screws but avoid over-tightening the screws; this will cause the poles to bend or break.

Clearances are also important. The poles must be higher than any basketball net you buy or at least 9 feet to be safe. Otherwise, you'll need to remove the basketball net.

Finally, make sure the court you are designing can withstand the poles (both the structure and surrounding environment). Lastly, remember to stay safe, and wear safety glasses!

Selecting a Net

Before you can start playing on your volleyball court, you first need a volleyball net. Your net can consist of a chain link net or a webbed net with sections, or the traditional and durable rope netting. Whether rope or webbed, you need a net with the proper tension, or the ball may go "in" or "out" depending on what side you're playing.

The two important factors to consider when it comes to getting a volleyball net are size, which determines the number of players who can play together, and weight, which relates to the durability of the net.

If you're interested in playing hard-court volleyball or if you plan to have some fun with family and friends, a size of 60 feet by 10 feet is a good bet. The weight of your volleyball net is particularly important if you want to use your net for competition and tournaments. You need a volleyball net that will hold up to consistent play.

If you're purchasing your volleyball net as a replacement, follow the manufacturer's instructions for lifting the net. Some nets are very heavy and require special lifting equipment, so read the manual before you lift.

Step Six: Maintaining Your Volleyball Court

As you've probably already discovered on your own, maintaining a volleyball court in the backyard is definitely going to be more work that just maintaining a regular portion of your landscape.

For example, you will have to mow, water and fertilize a rectangular area that is then going to be used for games many days throughout the spring and summer.

This can be a lot of work, but if you do it properly and make sure your surface is as stable as possible, you will be able to use your new volleyball court for many years to come!

After the first few uses, the sand needs to be raked and put back into the box's holes. Essentially, the sand is just piled onto the surface, as you created that will allow the sand to filter through the holes and fill back into the box. You just need to keep the surface even.

The only soil that needs to be used in the patch is a thin layer of dirt (or sand) that goes around the outside edge of the patch. Weed block can also be used to keep the surface from becoming overgrown by weeds. A combination of both these materials is probably the best way to go.

And you're done! Just play the games and enjoy your new volleyball court!

Basic Rules to Play Volleyball

Volleyball is a game of endurance rather than speed and quickness. Your stamina is going to be the most important factor in being successful.

The basic rules for the game are as follows:

First 2 teams to score 21 points, win the game.

Score occurs in a rally, when the ball hits the ground and a team hits the ball back over the net. Points do not count until the ball is over the net.

During a rally, when the ball is released by a team before the ball touches the ground, that team has to rotate one position.

Each team consists of 6 players on the court, 2 at each end line.

Teams alternate rallies, switching ends.

Serving must be decided by a coin toss. The winner of the flip-flop serve of the ball. The team with the ball must score for points to count and serves alternate after a team scores.

If the ball hits the ground twice without being touched, the ball is out of play and the team loses the rally.

Playing decisions like if the ball goes out of bounds, serve disputes, boundary calls, and server position are made by team captains or the opposing captains. There are referees to determine an unplayable ball, outs, and if the ball has been released prior to hitting the ground. The referees rule is final.

Setting Up

Place the volleyball net with supports directly in the center of the marked court area. You will probably want to mark this area off with some long lines on the ground and flag markers. These can be taken down after the court is all squared away and ready to use.

Divide the court area into sections with the line string. Measure the exact distances needed. Spread some paint along the inside of where the line string will go. Place the string in and pull it tight while simultaneously painting the string. Let it dry thoroughly. Lastly, string small white flags along the painted line string. You are now ready to play!

Serve the Ball

As a volleyball player, I believe that having a consistent serve is the most important part of a good serve. An inconsistent serve, in a competitive match, will cost you points. Your serves need to be consistent in terms of height, speed, and accuracy.

If you are having trouble with consistency, there are a few things you need to focus on, and one of them is starting position. It is important to have a consistent starting position for your serve. The more consistently you can start in the same spot, the more consistent your serve will be. If you are having trouble with consistency or height, look to your torso. Is it moving a lot or is it stable? If it is unstable, you may want to make sure it is stable for the next time you are practicing your serve.

The next piece is footwork. When I get to a stable position and start my motion, my footwork needs to be as simple as possible. It should be a repeatable motion that is simple to do. As you proceed up the court after your serve, you want to make sure you also have a stable footwork pattern.

Playing the Game

The most common version of the game is played by two teams of at least two players each. Each team is assigned a side of the net and the team that wins is the one that can keep the ball in play and up off the ground.

To win, the team members must pass, setting up an easier opportunity to score. When you set a pass, the ball must be tipped up to enable the catcher to hit it. The game can end with a team winning a pre-determined number of points.

Etiquette and strategy are keys to victory in volleyball. For example, when there is a fast breakaway or a sharp angle shot after a good pass. A sharp ball may need a side-spike if the player is open.

Determine Points Allowed For Each Game

The number of points a team must get to win in each game is called the “game point requirement.” This means that when a team wins a game, they win that game. For example, a team could win by a score 10-0.

Because there are many different levels of volleyball, there are also numerous variations in game point requirements. There are also different requirements for men's and women's competitions. These requirements vary based on the number of points a team wins to win the game. So if you were playing a game to 15 points, you could win the game by winning by 5 points or by 15 points.

The number of points a team wins by only determines how many games they have to win to win the match. A team could win the first two games 25-1, and the third game 25-23. If the game point requirements are set at the number of games played, and that team won both games in the first set 25-1, they would still need to play three games to win the match, as they didn’t win the match in the first set.

Final Thoughts

When you love something, you want to share the feeling with everyone. And if you love playing volleyball then it is obvious that your ultimate goal will be to turn your own backyard into your very own volleyball court. However, some people do not have the space for a court, as some do not have the means, or simply do not have enough willpower to convert their dreams into reality.

The good news is that you can easily do a DIY project and create a special place where you, your family, and friends can enjoy the game of volleyball to the fullest. There are three main steps for beginner volleyball courts. First, you need to prepare the area then you need to ensure there is security around it, so you do not have any uninvited guests ruining your court.

Lastly, you need to create a design of the court that matches your needs. Once you have a good design, you need to create a combination of layers of materials such as sand so that the court is sturdy and solid. Follow these three simple steps and you will be ready to play on your own court in as little as one day.