Watch College Nationals 2023 on ESPN

Sand vs. Grass vs. Turf - The Pros and Cons of Roundnet Surfaces

One of the best qualities of roundnet is that you can really play anywhere. Bring it to the beach to play on sand, head to your local park and play on grass, or go to a local gym and play in the racquetball court. Of course, tournaments are typically held on sand, grass, or turf, and players definitely have their preferences. What are the pros and cons of each surface?



  • Diving - This has to be the clearest advantage of playing on sand. With soft sand below you, you never have to hesitate before diving for a long get or dropping to the ground to reach a drop shot. You can go all out all the time. 
  • Beaches - Most sand tournaments are held on beaches which means that tournament days double as beach days. Go for a swim after the event and enjoy the great beach atmosphere. 


  • Slants - Not all beaches are completely flat. This means that some roundnet courts will be held on a slight slant, which can put the uphill team at an advantage. This has been seen during the massive pool play of SummerSpike, but fortunately is not a recurring issue in Chicago or on the West Coast.  

Ian Golembeski winds up to hit a ball at SummerSpike 2016.

  • No Lines - One of the biggest issues with tournaments on sand is the inability to put down serving lines. The one thing it does offer, though, is the ability to look where a player stepped due to imprints in the sand.
  • Net Movement - Since contacting the net causes a loss of point, we need to be sure that players did, in fact, make contact with the net. Sometimes on sand a player's motion on sand will cause the sand, and subsequently the net, to shift. This puts players and observers in a tough spot as it is difficult to tell what caused the net to move. A disagreement of this nature occurred at the Chicago Grand Slam last August. 
  • Wind - Wind is not exclusive to beaches, but it is more common than on fields a bit more inland. In my opinion, wind is the most frustrating element to deal with when playing roundnet. It is not always an issue, but pool play at the Chicago Grand Slam was noticeably windy.



  • Quicker Movement - Grass already is easy to move on, but the ability to wear cleats takes it to the next level. Players can move quickly on grass fields to get to long hits or circle around the net to play body defense.
  • Lines - Serving lines can be installed using spray paint for the benefit of both players and observers.


  • Slants and Uneven Spots - Grass fields are often slanted or have divots in certain spots that make some areas unfair or unsafe to play on.  It is often possible to avoid these spots if there is enough space on the field, though. 
  • Weather Effects - Rain, even a few days before the event, can ruin the fields. Playing on a muddy field is not ideal for a competitive tournament. Rain the day before East Regionals in Boston made for a muddy affair. 

Max Model of Hilltop Spikes covered in mud at 2017 East Regionals.



  • Even Surface - Turf fields are always flat, creating a fair playing surface for all sets. 
  • Quicker Movement - Like grass, players can move faster on turf fields.
  • Weather Effects - Turf fields are minimally affected by rain.  


  • Rough Surface - It depends on the field, but many turf fields hurt to dive and slide on. This causes players to hesitate before going down to their knees or diving. A lot of players choose to wear knee sleeves and pads to help with this issue.
  • No Lines - It is not possible to spray paint temporary lines on turf. The good news is that recently we have we been experimenting with chalk paint and tape lines with decent results.

Chris Hornacek serves at the Washington D.C. Tour Stop in 2016.

  • Heat - Turf fields can get really hot. The 2016 Washington D.C. Tour Stop was held on a particularly hot day and the conditions on the turf were brutal.
  • Ball Rolling - As the turf fields are perfectly flat and lack tall grass, the ball rolls forever, which requires players to have to spend a lot of time chasing down balls. Chasing down balls was not fun at the aforementioned D.C. Tour Stop. 

What do you think is the best surface?  Let us know in this Straw Poll:

What pros and cons did we miss? Comment below!

Got something related to roundnet that you want to know more about? Have any topics you want to be discussed on the podcast? Contact Mike White at or @mwhitey17 on Twitter.

Follow the Spikeball™ Roundnet Association on Twitter and Instagram!

Subscribe here to receive weekly email updates from The Rally Blog!


  • Freda

    This is a very joyful day of my life because of the help PRIEST Salami has rendered to me by helping me get my ex-husband back with his magic and love spell. I was married for 6 years and it was so terrible because my husband was really cheating on me and was seeking a divorce but when I came across PRIEST Salami email on the internet on how he helped so many people to get their ex back and help to fix relationships. and make people happy in their relationship. I explained my situation to him and then sought his help but to my greatest surprise, he told me that he will help me with my case and here I am now celebrating because my Husband has changed totally for good. He always wants to be by me and can not do anything without my presence. I am really enjoying my marriage, what a great celebration. I will keep on testifying on the internet because PRIEST Salami is truly a real spell caster. DO YOU NEED HELP THEN CONTACT DOCTOR PRIEST Salami NOW VIA EMAIL: Whatsapp number: +2348143757229 He is the only answer to your problem and makes you feel happy in your relationship…

  • Aira

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually bought me dinner simply because I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this.
    카지노 보증 업체 제이나인
    제이나인 먹튀 없는 사이트
    사설 먹튀 검증 제이나인
    제이나인 검증 카지노
    마닐라 카지노 제이나인

  • Nicole Morris

    I ordered a job spell on a Friday night and on Monday the place I applied for a job called for me to come by their office. They gave me the job I applied for and made me an offer of more per hour than I have ever made in my life! I am so happy! Government jobs sometimes are a slow process. You somehow managed to speed up that process, and I start in just a few days! DR EMU I will be forever grateful thanks once again. You can call on him for help on his email address or add him up on his WhatsApp +2347012841542. DR EMU also lent a helping hand to the following } 1. GETTING YOUR EX LOVER BACK. 2. WINNING LOTTERIES. 3. CHILD BEARING. 4. BREAKING OF GENERATION COURSE. 5. GETTING OF JOB. 6. JOB PROMOTION. 7. HERBAL CARE. 8. SPIRITUAL PROTECTION. 9. HERBAL CARE. 10. SPIRITUAL PRAYER. E.T.C.

  • Dexter Tamara

    My mom was suffering from Type 2 diabetes and Lupus for over 17yrs. She tried many drugs but at last became dependent on saferoom and metformin due to the weakness and constant pains, She found that life was just sinking & there was no way of hope. Then she consulted Chief Dr Lucky for herbal treatments, Which she had been hearing so much about, After some couple of days taking this herbal medicine, Things started to change, The symptoms started to decrease and after 19 days of taking it, She became healthy and fully free from all the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes and Lupus. My mom’s life is totally different now. That’s why I decided to let everybody know about the wonderful healing of Chief Dr Lucky herbal, If you are having any health challenges kindly visit email or WhatsApp +2348132777335
    Facebook page

  • hhlmlidmfv

    Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

Leave a comment