We play on the sand and there is a dispute as to how to judge a ball in or out. If the ball hits the line, so that the line clearly moves, but then strikes the sand an inch out of bounds, is the ball in or out by official rules? This happens all the time and we have always played "line is in" but recently many want to change to "go by the mark in the sand". Which is correct? Due to the contentious nature of this, I'd appreciate reference to official rules and standards with citations, more than personal opinions or anecdotes.

  • When you say "sand volleyball," is that the same as "beach volleyball" or is it a different variant? – user527 May 10 '16 at 18:03
  • It's a variant, so to be honest, the rules are taken with a grain of... sand but when possible we like to refer to an existing rule. So let's say any version of volleyball played in the sand will do. The point is there is a line that "floats" on the sand and it's not clear if it is to be respected like the line painted on a hard court. – Rich May 10 '16 at 18:21
  • Okay, I did retag as "beach-volleyball" as that tag is for "a variant of the sport of volleyball played on sand." So, if that's wrong, then feel free to roll back. – user527 May 10 '16 at 18:23

The FIVB Beach Volleyball rules are very clear on this. Quoting from Rule 8.3, Ball "in":

The ball is "in" when it touches the surface of the playing court including the boundary lines.

See also Section 5.1.2 in the 2015 Casebook which pretty much covers your situation precisely:

Referees should be aware that the ball may land out, but has struck the line, which is in a raised position. In this case, the ball contacts the line and must be called "in".

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  • Woot! My favorite! I got the answer that makes me right! LOL I can go strut out onto the court and be obnoxious now. :-) Thanks. – Rich May 10 '16 at 20:50

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