Beach volleyball is popular around the world.

Many young people assume that beach volleyball is a relatively new sport and was added to the Olympic Games because of its growing popularity. But the game has been in existence since around 1915. It was created as an alternative to indoor volleyball in Hawaii, where it became popular on the beaches of Oahu and was noticed by tourists from California. These tourists brought the game back to the mainland, where it became a common sight on the beaches of Southern California.

The current version of beach volleyball has been with us since the mid-1920s and is credited to athletes in Santa Monica, California, who began to play it competitively. Its popularity continued to grow due to the easy access to public sandy beaches and the need for only a ball and a net to stage a competition.

As the game grew in popularity, international athletes took note of it on California beaches. They brought it back to their home countries, where it was an immediate hit, and worldwide international competitions soon followed.

Beach Volleyball Becomes an Olympic Sport

Beach volleyball was first added to the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 as a demonstration sport. The large number of countries that already had highly competitive teams led to a successful and impressive debut, and it was added as a regular sport to the Atlanta, Georgia, Olympic Games four years later. It has been a part of the Olympic Games ever since.

Rules of Two-per-side Beach Volleyball

The most significant difference between beach volleyball and the indoor sport is that the beach version has fewer players. A beach volleyball team consists of two players, while an indoor volleyball team has seven. The beachside court is also smaller. Beach volleyball courts are two meters shorter and one meter narrower than their indoor cousins.

Beach volleyball games are played to 21 points, while indoor volleyball games are played to 25 points. A match in beach volleyball is won by the first team to win two sets. Teams must win another set in the indoor game to win a complete match. Beach volleyball also allows a team to hit the ball three times before returning it, which enables the two players to set themselves up to score, the same as in indoor volleyball.

A Tougher Game

There is a lot of diving in beach volleyball.

Although you may think that beach volleyball players have it easier with fewer points to score, fewer sets to play, and a smaller court, the truth is that indoor volleyball teams can substitute players up to six times per set. In beach volleyball, no substitutions are allowed throughout the match.

Although the court is smaller, only two players have to cover all of it. Both players must be skilled in hitting, setting, blocking, and playing both offense and defense. Because of the soft, forgiving sand, there is much more all-out diving to return a ball or make a clutch shot in beach volleyball.

Beach volleyball also differs from the indoor game in the ways that players are allowed to touch the ball. In the beach game, players aren’t allowed to softly tip the ball over the net as they can in the indoor game. They have to use an open hand or straight or curled fingers to hit the ball at all times.

Immerse Yourself in Beach Volleyball

To many viewers, beach volleyball represents a “stripped-down”, tougher version of the game. With fewer players, there are fewer distractions for viewers, and people can easily get caught up in a particularly close and competitive match. Communication between team members is one of the most critical aspects of beach volleyball, and you often see very experienced and skilled teams communicating and moving almost like a choreographed ballet.

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