Medical Area and Requirements

Injured athletes getting the needed medical attention


The goal of medical assistance and services at Beach Volleyball events is to ensure the physical well-being of people and create safe environment, thus the image of the event itself.

Aim to preserve the reputation of your event to avoid possible loss in revenues (i.e. when large settlements might be required if services had not been provided) or loss of actual business opportunities that results from bad publicity for the event and the image of the Beach Volleyball.


It is not just the organisers, but also the sponsors, venue owners and operators who may be held liable for injuries should the event fall foul of the law.

At any Beach Volleyball event, organizers must pay attention to the medical assistance from the first basic aid and ambulance to the more specific medical and physiotherapeutic treatment not only for the athletes, but also for the spectators, the officials, referees, heads of delegation, spectators, organizing committee members and staff members. A well organized medical attention at the event may help avoid unnecessary contingency, especially if the matches are televised and delays cannot be accepted. Preserve your event and your stakeholders by creating good experience. The following section will cover recommended medical facilities and required medical services personnel to ensure the Beach Volleyball event running smoothly. Obviously, the below should be considered as recommendations that might help one`s organization if adjusted to a given event`s scenario, available resources and applied appropriately and cost effectively.



Medical Service Area

A medical services area at the venue should have at least one medical doctor on duty whenever there is training or a competition. Medical services area should consisting of a minimum of 30 m2 with at least one bed, basic medical equipment, basic medication, defibrillator and oxygen, equipment to assess and treat dehydration and hyperthermia (including intravenous treatment), stretcher(s) and an ice machine

Massage Room

Massage room should be equipped with at least 1 physiotherapist and at least 1 massage table located close to the athlete`s lounge.


Ambulance should be equipped for advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (including defibrillator), always available, as close as possible to the venue and located on the same side as the medical area.


First Aid Room

A first aid room should be situated at the venue with a medical doctor on duty (the first aid room must be equipped with all necessary instruments and medicine). Tables for first aid should be located as close as possible to the playing area with a Red Cross sign and a medical doctor on duty. In case of an emergency, immediate medical assistance must be provided to players on court, whenever a medical time-out is called.

Doping Control Section

(if tests are to be carried out)

Doping Control section should be minimum of 25 m2, divided into 3 sections (10 m2 waiting room, 10 m2 sampling room, and toilet). It should be equipped with refrigerator (with lock), bottled soft drinks, bottled water and refreshments.

Medical Director

Medical director should be a physician certified in sports medicine.


Doctors providing regular medical assistance at a Beach Volleyball event should ensure that they have a basic knowledge of the sport, its rules and its risks, as well as pay attention to the sport being played outdoors under severe weather conditions (i.e. heat, humidity, etc.). The doctor should be comfortable with the knowledge of the particular aspects of physique and fitness of the athletes required to safely participate at the appropriate level and also with the knowledge of the possible type, mechanisms and results of injury sustainable in Beach Volleyball. Finally, the doctor should have an appropriate knowledge, experience and equipment to deal with such injuries to competitors, officials and spectators.


There are several considerations doctors should consider, if appropriate to the situation, when extending their services at a Beach Volleyball event:

  • Clarify whether medical support covers competitors and/or spectators. At all events the organizers have responsibility for arranging medical cover for the spectators and providing medical equipment.
  • Liaise with the organizing committee of the event regarding level of support required, roles and communications; for example, if an event is spread over a large area, communication systems will need to be determined, i.e. possible use of radios and mobile phones.
  • Undertake a thorough risk assessment and, if appropriate, assess the level of assistance required from other doctors, nurses or paramedics which may be dependent on the number of spectators expected.


In events where over 2000 people are expected, doctors should be fully conversant with the statutorily required major incident plan and the role they may play within it.

  • Determine duties and responsibilities. A doctor who delegates treatment or other procedures must be satisfied that the person to whom they are delegated is competent to carry them out.
  • Ensure that their own medical equipment, and that available at the event, meets the needs of the Beach Volleyball.
  • athlete_medical_time_out-400-267
    Athletes are being examined during a Medical Time Out
  • Liaise with emergency services where appropriate – familiarization with local services if travelling outside known healthcare systems, in case competitors require transportation to hospital should a serious injury occur. Notify in advance the ambulance and hospital services of an event from which assistance may be required.
  • Consider a plan to deal with larger scale problems should they arise, including crowd incidents. Alcohol consumption by spectators is a factor at some sporting events which may lead to a number of incidents.
  • Consider influences on competitors’ ability to perform safely, and where possible be aware of any medication taken or medical conditions, for example, whether the competitor is asthmatic or diabetic.
  • Be clearly identifiable at any event to competitors and spectators – make sure your uniform is easy to be located in the crowd
  • Be aware of doping regulations of the sport in order to recommend treatments that do not contravene sports regulations.

The above considerations should be in addition to having the essential clinical skills basic to all medical practice: sound medical knowledge; good communication with patient and history taking; proper, relevant and adequate examination; accurate record keeping and doctor-patient confidentiality.


Make sure your doctor commands the language needed to communicate with the participating athletes, officials, staff and spectators.

Other Medical Personnel

For any Beach Volleyball event at least one medical doctor and a physiotherapist should be on duty at the venue whenever there is a training or competition (for events with more than one venue, it would be recommended to have at least one doctor and physiotherapist at each court location). Another doctor available on 24-hour duty should cover the athlete and officials hotels.


Make sure that there is an assigned hospital near the venue for emergency specialist care and hospitalization in case of an emergency. Prior to the event, you should test the time needed to reach the hospital and familiarize with services the hospital may offer.

Doping Control (if applicable)


Click on WADA's Doping Control Video to get an explanation of the entire procedure:

This video is available in Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish at:

Testing must be carried out in strict conformity with FIVB Medical Regulations and the International Standards for Testing (IST) established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Doping control protects your athletes and protects Beach Volleyball as a sport.

The FIVB's Anti-Doping progamme seeks to preserve the spirit of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball, maintain ethics, fair play and honesty and the health of the athletes. As doping is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport, FIVB wants to keep a clean and leveled playing field. One of the main aims is to educate Volleyball and Beach Volleyball players on Doping Prevention as well as informing them on their rights and responsibilities regarding this matter.

fivb_regulationAnti-Doping Rules, like Competition rules, are sport rules governing the conditions under which sport is played. Please refer to FIVB Medical Regulations which also contain Anti-Doping Rules.

In addition, WADA's International Standard for Testing (IST) foresee procedures which assure and maintain the integrity of testing and identity of samples, from notifying the athlete to transporting samples for analysis, as well as regulations on Whereabouts requirements in order to conduct unannounced out-of-competition testing. Click here to access IST.

Anti-Doping Education

we_play_it_cleanFIVB believes that it is vital that its Athletes are aware of their rights when it comes to Anti-Doping. Therefore the FIVB developed an online Anti-Doping programme « We play it clean!» which educates Volleyball and Beach Volleyball Athletes on their rights and responsibilities as well as guiding them towards a healthy lifestyle and helping prevent them from doping.

FIVB`s Anti-Doping education programme – We play it clean! aims to educate Athletes, Team Support Personnel and National Federations about Prohibited Substances. It provides for an interactive learning experience made up of interactive videos and questions on a range of Doping topics, including Testing, Therapeutic Use Exemptions and Whereabouts information submission requirements. Real life situations form the basis and users are tested with engaging exercises.

Athlete protected with a Kinesiology medical tape during a match


This section is specifically dedicated to Beach Volleyball players and contains information on the player's health which should be protected and the utmost done to prevent possible injuries.

Principles of Prevention and Treatment of Common Volleyball Injuries

Injuries are, regrettably, an unavoidable hazard of sports participation. Although Volleyball and Beach Volleyball are by most estimates relatively safe sports, epidemiologic research has revealed that Volleyball athletes are at risk for certain types of injuries.

Serious injuries which interfere with the athlete`s ability to participate have obvious immediate consequences (time lost form training and competition) and may have long term implications as well (chronic disability and functional limitation).

Coaches and trainers should therefore have an understanding of the most common Volleyball-related injuries in order to appreciate the potential impact injuries may have on the both, the athlete and the team.


Additional information on athlete`s health, injury prevention and on Volleyball sports medicine and science is available on the FIVB website in the medical section (


The main factors that affect Beach Volleyball athletes are usually climatic, hydration and nutrition. Maximum attention should be paid not only by the athletes, but also by their coaches to place the importance on prevention.

nutrition_hydration_climatic-400-299CLIMATIC FACTOR - SUN EXPOSURE

Today`s changes in the ozone layer increase the potential affect of sun. Exposure of the ultraviolet light (mainly UVB) may cause sunburn and its severity depends on the intensity of the UV light as well as the amount of protective pigments in the skin.

While sunburn is noticed immediately, there are also chronic cumulative effects of UV light on the skin that accelerates aging skin, but of greater concern is the possible development of skin lesions (actinic keratoses) which in one-eight cases develops into a skin disease.

PREVENTION IS EASY → by using protective clothing, hats or sun-block.

Brooke Hanson (USA) protects herself from the sun with a hat and sunglasses

Most sun-block creams and lotions are less effective on a skin which produces a lot of sweat.


UVB is not filtered out by thin clouds. Sand and water (sometimes also wind) each reflect UV light, therefore enhancing the exposure.


Even the most highly conditioned athletes can become victims of heat exhaustion and heat stroke if they do not take special precautions when exercising in hot, humid weather. Heat stroke is the most serious of all heat-related conditions and it should be treated as a medical emergency. Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency in which the body's cooling systems stop working and the core temperature can rise to dangerous levels. Symptoms of a heat stroke include hot, dry skin, lack of sweating, a very fast pulse, confusion and perhaps seizures or coma. If untreated, heat stroke can be fatal.


Other common conditions which require less dramatic measures are heat cramps and heat exhaustion.

Heat Stroke Treatment

Treating heat stroke immediately is essential to avoid life-threatening complications. Stop activity and follow the Heat Stroke Treatment Guidelines established by your doctor. If exercising in hot conditions, you feel a headache coming on, or you feel weak, dizzy or nauseated, stop exercising and seek a cool, shaded place. Drink cool water. Take a cool shower or bath, jump in a lake or river of find a garden hose and cool off.

Heat Stroke Prevention

heat_stroke_prevention-450-247Preventing heat stroke begins with preventing heat exhaustion. This includes acclimating to hot conditions slowly, staying well-hydrated with proper hydration and avoiding exercise during the hottest part of the day. Hydrate well before and during exercise and replace lost electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and magnesium with food or a sport drink (drink 16 to 20 oz (approximately 1 – 1.5 liters per hour).

Wear light, loose clothing. Or wear clothes made with wicking fabrics such as CoolMax®, Drymax®, Smartwool or polypropylene. These fibers have tiny channels that wick the moisture from your skin to the outer layer of the clothing where it can evaporate more easily. Use sunscreen to prevent sunburn, which can limit the skin's ability to cool itself.

If you notice any of the symptoms of heat illness, stop activity and seek a cool shaded place. Remember, it is easier to prevent heat illness than to treat it once symptoms develop.

Playing in the heat


Rhooney Ferramenta from Brazil staying hydrated

One of the most important components for Beach Volleyball athletes (and not only)is to avoid dehydration.

Dehydration refers to an inadequate amount of fluid in the body. Among athletes who participate in endurance sports or long workouts, dehydration can occur quickly. In general, a person is considered dehydrated when they have lost more than 2 percent of their body weight during exercise.

Adequate fluid intake is essential for athletes before, during, and after exercise. Whether to use sports drinks or just water depends upon your duration and intensity of exercise.


Preventing Dehydration

Athletes need to take certain precautions when exercising in the heat in order to prevent dehydration. Drinking the right fluids at the right times can help.

Proper Hydration for Athletes

Athletes need to stay hydrated for optimal performance. Studies have found that a loss of two or more percent of one's body weight due to sweating is linked to a drop in blood volume. When this occurs, the heart works harder to move blood through the bloodstream. This can also cause muscle cramps, dizziness and fatigue and even heat illness such as Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke.


Athletes who exercise for hours at a time can easily become dehydrated if they don't consume adequate fluids.


Becoming an elite athlete requires good genes, good training and conditioning and a sensible diet. Optimal nutrition is essential for peak performance. Nutritional misinformation can do as much harm to the ambitious athlete as good nutrition can help.



To make sure your preparation for the event is in place, please refer to the Medical Checklist template, which may be adopted for your event. See if you can tick off all requirements in the checklist for your event! The Medical Checklist should be established by the Organizer 2 months prior to the event and verified by the Medical Doctor prior to the event and/or Technical Supervisor on site.

To download the Medical Checklist template, please click here

REMEMBER! Checklist may need to be adapted to the needs and volume of your event!


For further reading please refer to the material released and published by Swiss Volley in French language on the following topics:

Thème 1: Echauffement

Thème 2: Stabilisation du tronc

Thème 3: Epaule, coude, main

Thème 4:Stabilisation de l'axe des jambes et extrémités inféreieures

Thème 5: L'articulation de la cheville

Thème 6: Stabilisation des doigts à l'aide d'un tape

Thème 7: Colonne vertébrale

Thème 8: S'échauffer juste pour mieux se protéger

Thème 9: Quand "ça lâche" malgré tout

Thème 10: Prévention des accidents au volleyball

Thème 11: Stabilisation et renforcement

Thème 12: Fitness sans stress

Thème 13: Le taping kinésiologique: une révolution

Thème 14: A l'abris des blessures grâce à la prévention

Thème 15: Le projet de prévention fitness star

Thème 16: Les fitness stars au check-up

Thème 17: Tout repose sur les épaules

Thème 18: Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

Thème 19: Endurance et persévérance

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