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The Game - Beach Volleyball Rules
major changes in BEACH volleyball rules   

Pre 1992
* Court lines width established as 5-8 cm (previously 5 cm).
* For FIVB world competitions three-ball system introduced (previously one ball).
* Timeouts reduced to four (previously four timeouts plus four sand timeouts per match).
* Coaching not authorised during match (previously authorised).
* Ball can have bright colours (previously only white).
* Protest request allowed by either player (previously only captain).
* Timeout called by either player allowed (previously only captain).

1992 to 1996
* For FIVB world competitions free zone increased first to 5 metres from side lines and 4 metres from the end lines (previously 3-metres minimum) and then during 1996 to 5 metres all around the playing court.
* For FIVB world competitions sand depth is increased to a minimum 40 cm (previously 30 cm).
* Inside pressure of ball decreased to 171-221 mbar (previously 300-360 mbar).
* Only one service attempt allowed (previously two allowed, maximum 5 seconds each).
* Incidental contact of hair with net not a fault (previously a fault).
* An injured player is allowed 5-minute recovery time in a set (before, two were possible for the same player).
* Players designated area 3-metres minimum from scorers' table (previously no minimum).

1997
* No penalty for attack-hit using overhand pass which has a trajectory not perpendicular to the line of their shoulders when player setting his or her team-mate.
* Clarification of misconduct sanction scale: Expulsion for repeated rude conduct only applicable at Format B.

1998
* Increase in ball circumference to 66-68 cm for FIVB international competitions (previously 65-67cm).
* Ball can be synthetic leather (previously only leather).
* Player may return a ball that his/her team-mate passed outside the antenna as long as the ball is returned to the court outside the antenna (previously ball was called out and play could not continue).
* Change in referees' procedure on order of official hand signals. First show team to serve, followed by the nature of the fault and the player in fault in case required.
* Reinforcement to the requirement that scorers must inform players correct service order.
* Player may retrieve the ball that has crossed the vertical plan of the net totally or partly outside the crossing space (previously ball was called out and play could not continue).

1999
* Twelve seconds is maximum time from the end of a rally to the whistle for service under normal playing conditions.
* Timeouts reduced to two per set (previously four timeouts per set/match).
* Changes introduced at the misconduct sanction scale introducing the verbal warning and the use of yellow card for penalty and red card for expulsion.
* From November 1999 onwards the past use of yellow and red cards (yellow for warning, red for penalty) restored.
* "Let serving in play" tested. Introduction of the new rule "while crossing the net, the ball may touch the net" from 2000 onwards.

2001
* Test of new court dimensions (reduced from 9 metres x 18 metres to 8 metres x 16 metres):
*Consequently new length of net (reduced to 8.30 metres/ 8 metres from antennae to antennae, while previously was 9 metres).
* Test of a new scoring system: Rally point scoring system (previously points only scored on service).
* Match format changed to best of three sets for all matches (previously usually only one set).
*Best two of three sets, first two sets played to 21 points, third set if needed to be played to 15 points. Two-point advantage required for all sets with no cap.
*Court switches immediate without delay, every 10 points in the first two sets, every 5 points in the third set.
* Two timeouts of 30 seconds per team per set.
* One-minute intervals (before in Format B time between sets was 5 minutes).
* Sanctions (misconduct and delays) not accumulative for the match but applied per set.
* Only one medical timeout per match is allowed per player.

2002
* Rules of the game officially approved by FIVB Board of Administration in April 2002, which formally puts into effect measures introduced and tested on an experimental basis during 2001 season.
* Reduction of size of the court to 16 metres x 8 metres.
* Redefinition of free zone to measure 5 metres minimum and 6 metres maximum.
* Adjustment of net size to 8.5 metres in length.
* Introduction of "rally point system" with following format: Best of three sets, scoring to 21 (sets one and two) and 15 (third set). All sets decided with two-point lead with no cap.
* Adjustment of number of timeouts to one per set per team (Rule 19.2). Duration of timeouts remains the same (30 seconds).
* Introduction of a 30-second technical timeout in sets one and two when the total sum of points scored by the teams equals 21 points.
* Adjustment of court switches to occur every seven points in sets one and two (Rule 22.1.1). Court switch in third set remains every 5 points.
* Redefinition of time between sets to one minute.
* Clarification of misconduct sanction scale adapted to RPS format.

2003
* For FIVB world competitions an 8-metre net with smaller meshes and brandings displayed between the end sides of the net and the poles may be used.

2006
* Test of net contact by players: New wording/interpretation for Rule 15. PLAYER AT THE NET.
* Rules of the Game officially approved by the FIVB Congress in Japan, which formally put into effect new wording and interpretation for the Rule 15. Player at the Net as tested on an experimental basis during the 2006 season.

2007
* For FIVB world competitions whenever the pool play format is implemented, Rule 7.4 (DEFAULT AND INCOMPLETE TEAM) may be subject to modifications as stated in the Specific Competition Regulations in due time issued by the FIVB, establishing the modality to be followed for treating the forfeit cases.
* Contact with the net or antenna is not a fault, unless it is made during the action of playing the ball or interferes with play.
Incidental contact of the hair is never a fault.