Click on the video player above to watch King of the Court: men’s and women’s beach volleyball from the Netherlands.
Live coverage begins on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET and runs through to the finals on Sept. 12.
See broadcast schedule for full listing of event.
Unlike regular beach volleyball, King of the Court matches involve at least three teams.
A pre-match draw determines which team starts on the King’s/Queen’s side (the winner’s side) of the court. The winner’s side is defined by the gold outline. The challenger’s side has a black outline.
Points are only counted if earned from the winner’s side, so only teams in the King’s/Queen’s position can score points.
If the team on the winner’s side wins a rally, they register a point and stay in the King’s/Queen’s position, while the challenging team leaves the court and is replaced by the next challenger. If a rally is won by the team on the challenger’s side, they assume the King’s/Queen’s position and can start earning points on the next rally.
The team that loses a rally while in the King’s/Queen’s position leaves the court and goes to the end of the line on the challenger’s side to wait their turn to play again. When a challenging team wins a rally and moves to the winner’s side, they are replaced on the challenger’s side by the next challenger in line.
Each rally starts from the challenger’s side, and they can choose which player will serve. There is no set rotation. Once a rally starts, the game is played with regular beach volleyball rules. If a team on the challenger’s side makes a serving mistake, there will be no points given. However, in the last two minutes of a round, every three service mistakes are one point.
When a new team enters the King’s side, the service mistakes will go to zero and the count starts again. In the last 30 seconds of a round, every service mistake is one direct point.
Unlike regular beach volleyball, there is a clock for this game. There is a maximum of eight seconds between rallies, so the pace is fast. Games are 15 minutes — except the final, which is 15 minutes (most points at that time wins) or first to 15 points.
After each round that is played, the team with the least amount of points scored in that round will be eliminated.
Watch out for the Golden Ball. At various times during the tournament, teams can earn one of these, which they can retain and use later in order to replay a rally that did not go in their favour.