Beach Volleyball started on the beaches of Hawaii and California about the same time as modern surfing began to emerge in the early years of the 20th century, and has developed into an international team sport (as well as official Olympic sport since 1996) played by two teams of two players on a sand court divided by a net, although recreational games are often played by more players as they were in the early formative days of the sport. A game of beach volleyball is still a lot like indoor volleyball as the primary objective of both is to send the ball over the net and ground it on the opponent’s side of the court while preventing the same effort by opponents. However, differences between the two volleyball sports (e.g., 2 player teams, no substitutions, and no coaching in beach volleyball) affect game tactics, player technique, culture and style.
The ball is put in play with a ‘serve’ hit over the net to the receiving team by a player from behind the court back line. Each team is allowed up to three touches on the ball to return it back over the net to the opponents. The ‘rally’ continues until the ball is grounded on the playing court, goes outside the court boundary lines, or is not returned correctly over the net. The team winning a rally scores a point and serves to start the next rally. The four players serve in the same sequence throughout a match, changing the server each time a rally is won by the receiving team. See Official International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Beach Volleyball Rules (2017-20) → here
If you missed the live stream broadcast of the 2018 FISU World University Beach Volleyball Championship finals on Friday, July 13, there’s still time to watch a video recording of the competition. Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button on the media player below ↓
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Feature photo of AVP 2017 beach volleyball event is courtesy of Flickr user, Ralph Arvesen, CC BY-NC 2.0