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How to Build a Volleyball Court in Your Backyard

Ryan Pierse, Getty Images

If you love volleyball and just can’t get enough in, why not consider building a proper volleyball court in your backyard?

There are several ways you can go about it, depending on how involved you want to get. Regardless of the path you choose when setting up your volleyball court, a permanent place to knock the ball around can easily turn your backyard or garden area into a hotbed of activity and fun when the sun comes out.

Measure Out Your Space

volleyballces.com

Make sure you have enough space in your backyard or garden for a volleyball court. A full-sized court should be 9-by-19 meters (29.6-by-59 feet) in area. That’s only if you’re a hardcore team player and a stickler for the rules. If you plan on setting up a beach volleyball court, you won’t need as much space.

A beach court should be 8-by-16 meters in size, which is roughly 26-by-52.5 feet for those folks who have trouble with the metric system. Make sure you have some extra space around the court in addition to the minimum space you’ll need to play. Once you verify that you have enough room for your court, you’ll need to start thinking about the borders and the playing surface.

The Borders of Your Court

David Martin, Wiki Commons

You can mark out the borders of your court several ways. The outside edges, and the centerline dividing the court in two are the most important markers to take into consideration. You can use rope or tape to draw lines for sand courts. Chalk or latex paint (longer-lasting than chalk) will work for a volleyball court set up on a well-manicured lawn.

Sand Versus Grass

Obviously, plenty of backyard gardens have a lawn or grassy area. If you don’t want to fuss a lot with your court construction, you can simply cut the grass extremely short, comb through and get rid of any pebbles or rocks hidden in the grass, and then mark the dimensions of your court.

If you’re into beach volleyball, you’ll have to excavate the desired area up to several feet in depth (1-3 feet), basically creating a giant sandbox. Set up a drainage ditch running toward the lowest point of land, and then lay a perforated drainage pipe across the middle of the court. The pipe, laid with the perforated side facing down and the closed end at the highest point of the excavation zone, should zigzag across the court and empty out into the drainage ditch.

A bottom layer of gravel (covered with landscape fabric) and enough proper sand—meaning sand particles that don’t cloud or dust up easily—will complete your court’s surface area.

Drainage is probably the trickiest part of setting up a sand court, since you don’t want your playing area turning into a giant mud-wrestling ring every time it rains. Thankfully there are plenty of guides online that will show you how to do the job right.

Setting Up the Net and Poles

tennisnets.co.nz

Before you fill up the court with gravel and sand, you’ll need to build two deep concrete footings for your poles. The footings should be approximately 3 feet deep and about 3 feet away from the centerlines of your court. Strong poles that can withstand the elements and don’t have any dangerous protrusions sticking out are best.

Once you have your poles in place, you can string your net (purchased at a variety of locations) across the width of your court. Then all you have to do is gather up your friends, other volleyball enthusiasts, and get a local game or tournament going. The most important thing is to set the court up correctly, so all you have to worry about later is having fun.

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