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Backyard Sports


Ideas, dimensions and layout for a backyard volleyball court

  • Outdoor volleyball can be played on grass or sand.
  • A wooden border keeps the sand from this volleyball court neatly in place.
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Volleyball court perspective drawing.
View the PDF

Volleyball court plan view.

A volleyball court consists of the playing area and the safety space around the boundary, which measures a total of 50 feet by 80 feet. Of course, you can make it smaller to accommodate your yard.

Volleyball Court Anatomy:

  • Sidelines - mark the outer boundaries of the playing area
  • Back lines - mark the rear boundaries of the playing area
  • Service area - a ten foot section on the right side of each back line
  • Center line - divides the court in half and marks the place for the net
  • Attack line - divides each side of the court into a front and rear section
  • Standards - two poles outside the center line to which the net is attached
  • Net - hung from the standards directly over the centerline (Men = 8', Women = 7'4")

You will need to excavate a 1.5 - 3 foot deep area and install a drainage ditch that leads water away from the lowest point of the court, or install French style drains. Overlay the area with a one foot thick layer of smooth gravel. Then install a layer of burlap or landscape fabric and place one to two feet of beach sand or washed masonry sand on top. Rake and level out the sand.

  • Tip: A sand court needs borders. You can use concrete curbing, weather-resistant wood, or garden edging.

While outdoor volleyball is commonly played on sand, you can also construct a playing area of clay or grass. Whatever your preference, it is important to make sure it has proper drainage and that the area above the court is an open space, free of tree branches or structure overhangs.

Read a Q&A about designing outdoor sports courts with Flex Court tiles.

  • Tip: Make sure the sand you select for your court is not too rough. Coarse sand can cause scrapes when diving for a ball.

Another important part of a backyard volleyball court is the net. The net must be supported by study poles on either side. Volleyball poles are commonly made of galvanized metal or treated lumber (6 x 6's or larger). Anchoring your poles into the ground with a concrete footing is essential for keeping the poles from bending or tilting. A bent or titled pole can lead to a sagging or uneven net.

  • Tip: Wrap the poles of your volleyball court in a cushioned pad to protect players using your court.

How to Play VolleyballVolleyball - 2010 and 2011 Rules and Interpretations (PDF) - Learn how to play and score a game of volleyball according to NCAA rules.

Official Beach Volleyball Rules (PDF) - Learn the rules of beach volletball from the International Federation of Volleyball.

Contributing Author:

Scott Cohen, contributing writer for Landscaping Network and owner of The Green Scene

Related Links

Tennis Courts
Putting Greens

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