Beach Volleyball

Beach Volleyball

Beach volleyball  is a sport  played by two teams of two players each on a sand court divided by a net. The ball is played by hitting it with any part of the body.

The objective of the game is for each team to send the ball over the net to ground it on the opponent's court, and to prevent the ball from being grounded on its own court. The ball is put into play by the serving player The ball is in the game after the serve of one player. As it is in volleyball, A team is entitled to hit the ball three times to return it to the opponent's court. A player is not allowed to hit the ball twice consecutively (except at blocking and at the first contact). 

The rally continues until the ball touches the ground, goes "out", or a team fails to return it properly. Regardless which team is serving, the teams that wins a rally scores a point gaining also the right to serve. (according to “Rally Point System”). The serving player must be alternated every time a team regains the right to serve.


Matches are played in the “best two of three set” format. The first team to win two sets wins the match.
The first two sets are played to 21 points, and the 3rd set if needed is played to 15 points. For all sets a 2 point advantage is required, with no cap.

Each side of the court, i.e. the side of one team, has dimensions 8X8m, somewhat smaller than traditional court for volleyball. According to the rules, players are allowed to transpass below the net on the opponent’s side as long as it does not disturb the opponent’s game. Most players play barefoot, either volontarilly or according to tournamanet’s rules.

Highlights throughout history

  1. Beach volleyball first appeared in 1920 in Santa Monica, on California beaches.
  2. In the beginning, six players played against six players according to the rules of volleyball, while in early ‘30s a team consisted of four players.
  3. Until the end of ‘40s some volleyball elements were not used such as: kill and block, while the net used to be lower than today.
  4. The first tournament was held in 1948 in State Beach.
  5. The first World Championship was held in 1976 at State Beach in Pacific Palisades.
  6. In the ‘80s this sport was so popular that Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) gave recognition to it as a part of volleyball in 1986.
  7. In 1992 beach volleyball appeared as a demonstration sport in the Olympic Games in Barcelona, while it gained Olympic status in the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  8. Forthcoming big competitions in this sport are: the Olympic Games in Beijing 2009, SWATCH-FIVB World Championship, and SWATCH-FIVB World Tour 2008, '09, '10 as the only international tournament recognized by FIVB for Olympics qualifications

Beach Volleyball as a part of the Olympic Games

Beach volleyball was a demonstration sport in the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. Then Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos won male tournament, while Karolyn Kirby and Nancy Reno won female tournament. It became official Olympic sport in 1996. Brazil, the USA and Australia are the only countries which have won Olympic gold in this sport so far.

The most famous world beach volleyball players

  • Karch Kiraly, the USA– the only player who has won Olympic gold in volleyball and beach volleyball
  • Sinjin Smith, the USA – most victories in tournaments ever.
  • Phil Dalhausser & Todd Rogers, the USA – currently best ranked on FIVB list for men.
  • Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh-Jennings, the USA – currently best ranked on FIVB list for women
  • Carolina Solberg Salgado, BRA – won FIVB tournaments before she was 18 and two years in a row before she was 21.
  • Emanuel Rego & Ricardo Santos, Marcio Araujo, BRA – among best ranked on FIVB list
  • Ana Paula Connely, Sandra Pires, Shelda Bede, Adriana Behar, BRA – among best ranked on FIVB list
  • Kerri Pottharst & Natalie Cook, AUS – among the most famous female stars of this sport