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HISTORY
What was once just a seaside diversion for families and individuals has become a worldwide form of entertainment. Beach volleyball is relatively new on the Olympic stage. But in a short amount of time, it has increased its visibility and created its share of stars.

Read here more about the history of beach volleyball.

Year
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995/96
1994/95
1993/94
1992/93
1991/92
1990/91
1989/90
1989
1988
1987
1986
1982
1980
1977
1976
1974
1950s & 60s
1957
1950
1948
1947
1930
1920s, 30s & 40s
1895-1920

2012

A total of 96 of the world’s finest beach volleyball players, 24 two-person teams per gender, artistically drove their way across their special stage at the fifth Olympic beach volleyball competitions in London.

The beach volleyball sessions at Horse Guards Parade were very well attended, with the 15,000 capacity stadium nigh on full and attracting well-known fans such as Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. In all, over 425,000 revelers enjoyed the most athletic beach party anyone has ever seen in one of the most historic and iconic venues imaginable. Throughout the tournament, Big Ben kept time in the background and the London Eye looked down on the action.

On the sand, the players lived up to the occasion – especially the American pair Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, who won an incredible third straight Olympic gold medal on the women’s side.

London Olympics women’s medallists
Gold: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh (USA)
Silver: Jennifer Kessy and April Ross (China)
Bronze: Larissa França and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva (Brazil)

London Olympics men’s medallists
Gold: Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann (Germany)
Silver: Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego (Brazil)
Bronze: Janis Smedins and Martins Plavins (Latvia)

The first Continental Cup was wrapped up in 2012. This new Olympic qualifying process, inaugurated in the lead-up to the London 2012 Games, offers countries another route to the four-yearly tournament.

With a quota once again of two teams maximum per gender, per country, completing the 24-team fields for each gender, the FIVB announced two years ago that just 16 spots will be filled through the Olympic rankings – instead of 24, as in the past. An additional spot was given to Great Britain as the host country, while the remaining seven spots had to be determined differently than in the past four Olympic Games with the introduction of the Continental Cup and the FIVB World Cup Olympic Qualification.

The five winners of Continental Cup competitions earned Olympic berths, with the two remaining positions still up for grabs among the second and third placed teams from each Continental Cup Final.

Those second and third placed teams qualified for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Cup Olympic Qualification tournament in Moscow, Russia. The top two National Federations per gender from this competition took the final two berths to the Games, completing the beach volleyball line-up.

Larissa and Juliana won their fourth consecutive World Tour title and seventh in the last eight years by topping the women's points championship. The Brazilian duo, who ended their run together following the last event in 2012, broke the all-time FIVB women’s record of six career team titles established by compatriots Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar. Larissa and Juliana joined Shelda as the only players with seven season titles (Shelda won a final season crown in 2004 with Ana Paula Connelly).

In contrast, it was a long-awaited first World Tour title win for USA’s Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, who capped the best international season of their career by earning the men’s 2012 points championship.

2011

All roads led to Rome in 2011 as the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Championships took place in the Italian capital. The women's final featured a classic battle between long-time rivals Brazil's Juliana Felisberta and Larissa França and USA's Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. After three tightly contested sets it was the Brazilian pair who clinched their first World Championship. Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti came out on top in the men's tournament, the first time a Brazilian duo had won since 2005. They beat compatriots Marcio Araujo and Ricardo Santos in the final.

The World Tour was a two-way fight in both genders. Alison and Emanuel edged 2010 champions USA's Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser in the men's contest, winning Grand Slam events in Moscow, Gstaad and Beijing along the way. The women's event was clinched by Juliana and Larissa, who held off May-Treanor and Walsh with Grand Slam victories in Stare Jablonki and Gstaad.

Qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games also continued with the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup. Zonal tournaments were completed in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe in 2011 with the teams decided for the finals in 2012.

The FIVB also launched a ground-breaking new media initiative through the Heroes campaign. Top athletes, including a total of 29 beach volleyball players from six nations are on hand to try to help further promote the FIVB and the sports of volleyball and beach volleyball.

2010

The Continental Cup, a new Olympic qualifying process for the London 2012 Games is launched, offering countries another route to the four-yearly tournament. The sub-zonal continental phase begins ahead of the zonal phase and the Continental Cup finals in 2011 and 2012.

The 2010 Men’s World Tour is won by American duo Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser winning Grand Slam events in Rome, Gstaad, Kagenfurt and Stare Jablonki along the way. It was the first time the US duo won the title as well as the first time a pair from the United States clinched top spot since 1992.

The women’s edition is picked up by Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta and Larissa França for the fifth time in six years. Except for USA’s Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor’s victory in 2002, Brazil have won every edition of the tour since 1994.

2009

The FIVB unveils a dynamic “gladiator-style” visual for the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Tour. The innovative visual brilliantly encapsulates the drama, excitement and powerful image of Beach Volleyball by focusing on two of the stars of the sport captured in spectacular action poses in front of a fan-packed coliseum. The visual is created after invaluable input from SWATCH and feedback from officials, federations, promoters, players and sponsors.

The 2009 Men's SWATCH FIVB World Tour is won by Germany's Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann who picked up their share of the USD 7.7 million prize money that was spread across the season. They also won the SWATCH FIVB World Championship in Stavanger, Norway rounding out a successful first year for the team.

Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca win the women's Tour, and maintain Brazil's grip on the competion whilst USA's Jen Kessy and April Ross were victorious at the Women's SWATCH FIVB World Championship following in the footsteps of fellow Americans and former champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh.

2008

The fourth Olympic beach volleyball competition at Beijing 2008 again sees 24 women’s and 24 men’s teams competing against each other, this time over 14 days (after six continuous days in Atlanta, 10 days in Sydney and 12 in Athens) of action-packed fun on the sand. There are a total of 108 matches, comprising 54 men’s and 54 women’s. The 12,000-seat Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground is the stunning venue for the Olympic beach volleyball tournaments.

Beijing Olympics women’s medallists
Gold: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh (USA)
Silver: Jia Tian and Jie Wang (China)
Bronze: Zhang Xi and Xue Chen (China)
 
Beijing Olympics men’s medallists
Gold: Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers (USA)
Silver:  Marcio Araujo and Fabio Magalhaes (Brazil)
Bronze: Emanuel and Ricardo (Brazil)

The SWATCH FIVB World Tour sees a record USD 8.325 million distributed in prize money and bonus pool money. There are six Grand Slam events, 16 double-gender events, five men’s single-gender events and four women’s single-gender events.

The FIVB and SWATCH renew their beach volleyball sponsorship agreement, extending until 2012 a successful partnership that first began in 2003. SWATCH will be the official time-keeper and title sponsor of the 2009-2012 SWATCH FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships in Stavanger, the 2011 World Championships and the yearly Junior and Youth World Championships.

The FIVB and IMG Sports Media, the sports production and distribution division of IMG Worldwide, announce a four-year partnership, commencing in 2009, which will see IMG Sports Media exclusively distributing key FIVB tournaments worldwide as well as acting as the official audio-video media rights and event consultant and TV coordination agency of the FIVB. Under the terms of the deal, IMG Sports Media will distribute all media rights for beach volleyball's SWATCH FIVB World Tour (men's and women's) and SWATCH FIVB World Championships (men's and women's, 2009 and 2011).

Stavanger, the Norwegian host of many Open and Grand Slam World Tour events in the past 10 years, is named as the venue for the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships presented by ConocoPhillips.

2007

The SWATCH FIVB World Championships powered by 1to1 energy in the Swiss mountain resort of Gstaad are a huge success, proving that beach volleyball can be played everywhere and not just by the sea. Tens of thousands flock to the weeklong USD 1 million event. USA sweeps the gold medals at the event, with Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor finishing first in the women’s event and Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser claiming top spot in the men’s.

There are 17 men’s and 17 women’s events throughout the season on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour with prize money and bonus pool of USD 8.15 million.

2005

The SWATCH FIVB Men’s and Women’s World Championships in Berlin, Germany have USD 1 million prize money on offer. The event is held in downtown Berlin through June 21-26 with the best 48 men’s and 48 women’s teams competing for the world crown. USA’s Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh claim the women’s gold and Brazil’s Marcio Araujo and Fabio Magalhaes the men’s gold.

The SWATCH FIVB World Tour features 31 events, including a record 16 stops for women and 15 for men on five continents. A total of USD 7.28 million in prize money and bonus pool money is distributed.

2004

The Olympic beach volleyball competition runs over 12 days in Athens with 24 men’s and 24 women’s teams competing. More than 60 countries take part in the qualifying process on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour. With its new 10,000-seat main stadium built in the style of a traditional Greek amphitheatre, the beach volleyball venue and its surroundings provide an amazingly entertaining atmosphere in Athens. For the first time in an Olympic Games, an entertainment programme is implemented with the involvement of 12 dancers, DJs, multilingual announcers and production managers.

Athens Olympics women’s medallists
Gold: Kerri Walsh and Misty May (USA)
Silver: Adriana Behar and Shelda (Brazil)
Bronze: Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs (USA)

Athens Olympics men’s medallists
Gold: Ricardo and Emanuel (Brazil)
Silver: Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera (Spain)
Bronze: Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel (Switzerland)

SWATCH and FIVB renew their agreement for SWATCH to be title sponsor of the World Tour and World Championships for an additional four years (2005-2008).

The season is a landmark for Beach Volleyball with 26 tournaments (14 men’s and 12 women’s events) in five continents with a total of USD 5.3 million in prize money and more than 750,000 spectators.

Three Grand Slam events are held in Berlin, Germany (USD 600,000 prize money), Marseille, France (USD 560,000), and Klagenfurt, Austria (USD 540,000).

The Under-18 Youth World Championships are held in Termoli, Italy, and the Under-21 Junior World Championships are held in Porto Santo, Portugal.

2003

SWATCH becomes title sponsor of the World Tour and presenting sponsor of the World Championships, creating a new logo/title as visual for posters, flyers, tickets and introducing SWATCH technology such as electronic scoreboards and speedball devices at all events.

The SWATCH FIVB World Tour takes in 22 events worldwide (12 women’s and 10 men’s), including the 2004 Olympic Games qualification tournaments, in four continents with more than 700 athletes from over 50 countries playing for record prize money nearing USD 5 million. More than 600,000 spectators flock to the tournaments. There are four Grand Slam events, in Klagenfurt, Austria (USD 520,000 prize money), Marseille, France (USD 540,000), Berlin, Germany (USD 600,000), and Carson, Calif., USA (USD 600,000).

The FIVB World Championships presented by SWATCH returns to Rio de Janerio, Brazil, with USD  800,000 prize money and the top 48 men’s and 48 women’s teams from five continents. TV distribution reaches more than 200 countries with over 100,000 spectators and 200 accredited media journalists. USA’s Kerri Walsh and Misty May claim women’s gold, with Brazil’s Ricardo and Emanuel taking men’s gold.

There are two Junior World Championship events: Under-18s in Pattaya, Thailand, (August 27-31) and Under-21s Saint Quay-Portrieux, France (August 7-10).

Nine exhibition events are held in Madeira in Portugal, Japan, Italy, France, Switzerland, Italy, Mexico, Norway and San Marino, one Challenger event played as the Olympic test event in Athens, Greece (August 19-24) and three satellite events comprising of one men’s event in Lausanne, Switzerland, and a men’s and women’s event in Lavandou, France. The Olympic test event is staged in Augustin, Athens, to assess the competition, sporting equipment, personnel, venue, sound results system, etc., leading towards the smooth organisation of the Beach Volleyball Tournaments at the 2004 Olympic Games.

The SWATCH FIVB World Tour finally becomes a well recognized TV property with 10 26-minute highlight programs produced for all Grand Slam and Open events and one 52-minute show for the World Championship event.

Promotional and public relation VIP packages and promotional activities are made available to attract audiences and special access passes for major events are created.

The constant organisation of anti-doping tests to guarantee the integrity of the athletes and maintain a drug-free sport is maintained.

2002

A growth plan is launched by the FIVB with the aim to establish beach volleyball as one of the most popular summer sports by 2008.

The season schedules 21 tournaments (11 men’s and 10 women’s) over four continents and 12 countries with total prize money of USD 3,350,000. The year sees two Grand Slam events in Marseille, France, and Klagenfurt, Austria.

FIVB introduces official annual Under-21 and Under-18 Beach Volleyball World Championships to encourage future generations to play Beach Volleyball. The Under-21 World Championships for men and women are held in Catania, Italy, through July 10-14 and the Under-18 Beach Volleyball World Championships run August 28 in Xylokastron, Greece, with some 100 players from 20 countries.

A Challenger event is held in Kiev, Ukraine, through July 23-28 and a Satellite event is held in Lausanne, Switzerland, through August 15-18.

The Beach Volleyball World Council confirms that the rally point system and a smaller court (16 metres x 8 metres) is to be adopted on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour and also used at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

2001

There are 12 men’s and 12 women’s events including the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. Goodwill Games prize money is USD 300,000. Total FIVB prize money is USD 1,275,000 with a bonus pool of USD 1,000,000.

The USD 500,000 World Championships held in Klagenfurt, Austria, see more than 120,000 spectators attend the five-day competition. Brazil’s Shelda and Adriana Behar win women’s gold and Argentina’s Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde claim men’s gold.

The first Junior Beach Volleyball Under-21 World Championships are held in Le Lavandou, France, through August 24-26, with 24 teams in both the women's and men's events.

2000

Four years after the overwhelming success of the first Olympic experience, beach volleyball becomes even more of a hit at Sydney 2000. The top 24 men’s and 24 women’s teams in the world compete on Bondi Beach in a wonderful stadium seating 10,000 spectators and with modern facilities, offering a top-class event to the Olympic family of players, fans, media, sponsors. Teams from than 50 countries take part in the qualifying process.

Sydney Olympics women’s medallists
Gold: Natalie Cook and Kerri-Ann Pottharst (Australia)
Silver: Adriana Behar and Shelda (Brazil)
Bronze: Sandra Pires and Adriana Samuel (Brazil)

Sydney Olympics men’s medallists
Gold: Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana (USA)
Silver: Zé Marco and Ricardo (Brazil)
Bronze: Jörg Ahmann and Axel Hager (Germany)

The Athens Olympic Games Organising Committee confirms that Beach Volleyball is included in the Olympic Games programme for 2004.

The World Tour features 26 events with USD 4 million in prize money. The women's tour sees a tremendous increase in the number of tournaments from seven in 1999 to 12 in 2000.

The FIVB assigns the 2001 World Championships to Austria (August 1-5) and reaches an agreement with Turner Inc. to include beach volleyball in the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia (August 29 to September 4).

A new rally scoring system is tested at a Challenger and two Satellite events for eventual future implementation.

1999

The World Tour is the only international circuit recognised by the IOC for qualification in the Olympic Games. The qualification process consists of a period which begins January 1, 1999, and ends August 15, 2000.

The World Tour includes 12 men's and six women's open events with USD 3.66 million in prize money.

The Men and Women's World Championships are organised in Europe for the first time, in Marseille, France. The event distributes USD 600,000 in prize money and is held in a special facility for 5,000 spectators. By the end of the competition the total number of spectators reaches nearly 50,000. Brazil’s Shelda and Adriana Behar take women’s gold while compatriots José Loiola and Emanuel win men’s gold.

Beach volleyball is included for the first time in the Pan American Games, which are held in Canada.

1998

There are 25 FIVB beach volleyball tournaments (World Tour and Goodwill Games) with USD 3,900,000 in prize money and FIVB bonus pool.

New World Tour Open organisers spring up with events in Argentina, Canada, China and Czech Republic. Chile and Bulgaria organize Challenger events.

Men and women players are rewarded at the same level for the first time with USD 170,000 prize money per open event.

The Goodwill Games features beach volleyball competitions from July 22 to August 2 in New York's Central Park with the world's eight best men's and women's teams.

Beach volleyball is included in major sports competitions such as the South East Asian Games, Central & Pan-American Games, Universiade.

FIVB offers new opportunities to mid-level players and organisers by introducing lower event categories: Challenger, Satellite and amateur tournaments, in addition to major World Tour competitions such as Grand Slam and Open events.

More than 120 National Federations have regular beach volleyball activities.

1997

There are 22 FIVB World Tour tournaments with USD 3,900,000 in prize money and FIVB bonus pool.

Ericsson and Nike present the Men's and Women's Beach Volleyball World Championships at the UCLA Campus in Los Angeles, USA. Both genders are rewarded equally with a total of USD  600,000 in prize money. The event is broadcast in more than 120 countries.

Austria, Italy and France host women's World Tour events for the first time and Bulgaria and Czech Republic organise inaugural Challenger events.

A new competition format with single elimination bracket and rally scoring system is tested in Marseille, France and Los Angeles, USA.

1996

The first Olympic beach volleyball competition is held at Atlanta 1996. Twenty-four men’s teams and 18 women’s teams compete for Olympic medals on Atlanta Beach in July in a 10,000-seat stadium, with over 107,000 spectators selling out the six-day event. Some 600 athletes representing 42 countries take part in the Olympic qualifying process. Karch Kiraly becomes a three-time Olympic gold medallist and first Olympic champion in volleyball and beach volleyball.

Atlanta Olympics women’s medallists
Gold: Jackie Silva and Sandra Pires (Brazil)
Silver: Mônica Rodrigues and Adriana Samuel (Brazil)
Bronze: Natalie Cook and Kerri-Ann Pottharst (Australia)

Atlanta Olympics men’s medallists
Gold: Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes (USA)
Silver: Mike Dodd and Mike Witmarsh (USA)
Bronze: John Child and Mark Heese (Canada)


There are 27 FIVB
beach volleyball tournaments (World Championships Series and Olympic Games) with USD  4,300,000 total prize money and FIVB bonus pool.

France and Portugal organise men's Grand Slam events and Puerto Rico holds a women's Grand Slam.

More than 95 National Federations have regular beach volleyball activities.

1995/96

There are 27 FIVB beach volleyball tournaments (the “World Championship Series”), with USD  3,500,000 in prize money & FIVB bonus pool.

Host Broadcasters present 100 hours of news, highlights and broadcasting.

The “FIVB Final Beach Volleyball Ranking” serves as a basis to qualify the best pairs in the world for the Olympic Games. Some 600 athletes representing 42 countries take part in the Olympic qualification season.

More than 50 National Federations have a beach volleyball National Council to promote the sport in their countries.

1994/95

Twelve FIVB beach volleyball tournaments take place (World Series and Goodwill Games) with USD 1,440,000 in prize money and FIVB bonus pool.

Brazil, Chile, France, Japan, Puerto Rico, USA and Chile host FIVB beach volleyball competitions.

Beach volleyball is included for the first time in the Goodwill Games held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

1993/94

Six FIVB beach volleyball tournaments (World Series) take place with USD 880,000 in prize money and FIVB bonus pool.

Brazil, USA and Chile host women's FIVB beach volleyball events.

IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, ACOG President Billy Payne and IOC members are among the 140,000 spectators in one week who attend the February FIVB Beach Volleyball finals held in Rio de Janeiro.

September 24, 1994: Recognition is given to beach volleyball as an Olympic discipline at the IOC meeting in Monte Carlo, Principalty of Monaco.

1992/93

Six FIVB Beach Volleyball World Series tournaments are held with USD 950,000 in prize money and FIVB bonus pool.

The first women's FIVB Beach Volleyball World Series tournament takes place in Almeria, Spain.

USA pair Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos enter into beach volleyball legend by becoming world champions for the fifth time.

A Beach Volleyball Department is created within the FIVB.

1991/92

Seven FIVB Beach Volleyball World Series tournaments are held with a total of USD 600,000 in prize money and FIVB bonus pool. Australia and Spain host FIVB beach volleyball events for the first time.

1990/91

Four FIVB Beach Volleyball World Series events are held with USD 200,000 in prize money and FIVB bonus pool.

France, Italy, Japan and Brazil host men's FIVB beach volleyball events.

September 1990: The first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Council gathers in Lausanne to determine a growth programme for beach volleyball.

1989/90

Three FIVB Beach Volleyball World Series events are held with USD 140,000 total prize money.

The first FIVB beach volleyball international circuit, named the World Series, is created with men’s tournaments in Brazil, Italy and Japan. The Brazilian event sells out with thousands of people outside the stadium wanting to get in.

Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos become 1989/90 men’s world champions.

1989

An FIVB men’s tournament is held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with USD 50,000 prize money. USA’s Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos are the winners.

1988

An FIVB men’s tournament is held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with USD 51,500 prize money. The winners are USA’s Karch Kiraly and Pat Powers.

1987

The first international FIVB-sanctioned beach volleyball tournament is held on Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with  USD 22,000 prize money. Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos of USA win the tournament.

1986

The first international beach volleyball exhibition is held in Rio de Janeiro with 5,000 spectators.

Brazilian volleyball champions such as Renan, Badá, Montanaro, William, Jackie Silva, Isabel Salgado, Vera Mossa, Regina Uchoa, along with 1984 Olympic Volleyball champion Pat Powers and King of the Beach Sinjin Smith, both American, become leading figures in the worldwide growth of beach volleyball.

1982

Beach volleyball becomes popular on the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The USA tour becomes national with tournaments held from Denver to New York and Clearwater, Florida.

1980

The first sponsored tour is organised in USA with seven events in the calendar and USD 52,000 prize money.

1977

Pro beach volleyball tournaments are held in Santa Cruz, Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles, USA.

1976

The inaugural championships of beach volleyball are staged at State Beach, Pacific Palisades in California with USD 5,000 prize money. Jim Menges and Greg Lee win the tournament in front of 30,000 spectators.

1974

The first commercially sponsored tournament takes place in San Diego, California, with 250 spectators. A total of USD 1,500 in prize money is offered. The winners are Dennis Hare and Fred Zuelich.

1950s and ’60s

Beach volleyball becomes part of the California lifestyle, much like surfing. The sport is associated with the beach, the sun and modern music. Even the Beatles come to Sorrento Beach, California, and pass the ball around and Marilyn Monroe talks about beach volleyball.

Open tournaments are held on eight beaches in California: Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, State, Manhattan, Corona del Mar, Laguna, San Diego and even on Lake Tahoe's shores. The first Manhattan Beach Open takes place.

President Kennedy attends the first official beach volleyball event in Sorrento Beach, Los Angeles.

1957

Bernie Holtzman and Gene Selznick win an event that features Greta Tyson, star of “Pyjama Tops,” as “Queen of the Beach.”

1950s

The first circuit is organised on five beaches in California: Santa Barbara, State, Corona del Mar, Laguna and San Diego.

In Brazil, the first tournament sponsored by a newspaper publishing company takes place.

1948

A tournament is held at State Beach, California. The best teams are rewarded with a crate of Pepsi.

1947

The first official two-man beach volleyball tournament is held at State Beach, California, with no prize money. It is organised by Bernie Holtzman and won by Saenez-Harris.

American soldiers play beach volleyball on the European shores for the first time.

1930

Beach volleyball appears in Palavas, Lacanau and Royan in France; around Sofia, Bulgaria; Prague, Czech Republic; and Riga, Latvia.

The first two-man beach volleyball game is played in Santa Monica, California.

1920s, ’30s & ’40s

Families are reported to be seen playing six against six. There are also rumours that six-man teams are playing on Hawaiian beaches.

All you needed is a bathing suit, a net, a ball and sand to play beach volleyball. The fever catches on rapidly in the USA where people can escape the depression by going to the beach.

1895-1920

The game of volleyball which gave “root” to beach volleyball is invented in 1895 by American William G. Morgan, the Physical Director of the Holyoke Y.M.C.A. Morgan blends elements of basketball, baseball, tennis and handball to create a game for his classes of businessmen that want a new game with less physical contact than basketball.

The original name of the game is Mintonette, which is derived from badminton, since the nature of the game is to volley a ball back and forth across the net. Morgan agrees to change the name to volleyball. The game is invented just four years after basketball.

In 1900 Canada becomes the first country outside of the USA to take up volleyball, followed by Cuba in 1906, Japan in 1908, China in 1911, France in 1915 (during World War I on the beaches of Normandy and Brittany). The true birth of beach volleyball most likely begins on the beaches of Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, also in 1915, then in Italy, Russia and India in 1917 and the rest of Europe in 1918 via the American Expeditionary Forces.

The year 1920 sees the first annual double championships of Philadelphia held at Germantown YMCA and in 1922 the first Volleyball Federation is founded in Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria.

There are unconfirmed whispers of men’s teams playing on the beach in Hawaii, but most accounts place the sport's origin in Santa Monica, California, where the first volleyball courts are put up on the beach.

Photo Gallery





2012: At the London Olympics, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won their third Olympic gold. Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann took their first.





2011: The FIVB unveiled its Heroes campaign, designed to help further promote beach volleyball through a selection of the sport's top players





2010: The Beach Volleyball Continental Cup
is launched, offering a new way to qualify
for the Olympic Games






2010: USA's Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser and Brazil's Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca reign on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour



2010: The dancers have become part of
beach volleyball entertainement








2009: Stavanger, Norway hosts
the SWATCH FIVB World Championships
with USA's Jen Kessy and April Ross and
Germany's Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann
taking the men's and women's titles respectively








2008: USA's Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor
and Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser win gold
in front of a huge crowd
at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games




2008: The SWATCH FIVB World Tour stops in Paris
in front of the Eiffel Tower



2007: The SWATCH FIVB World Championships
takes centre stage in Gstaad
in the Swiss mountains



2005: Brazil's Marcio Araujo and Fábio Magalhães capture the World Championship title in Berlin





2004: Brazil's Ricardo and Emanuel
and USA's Kerri Walsh and Misty May
clinch the gold medal
at 2004 Athens Olympic Games



2001: Klagenfurt, Austria welcomes the World Championships and becomes a regular stop
on the World Tour circuit





2000: Australia's Natalie Cook and Kerri-Ann Pottharst win gold in front of their home fans
while
USA's Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana become Olympic champions
at Sydney 2000 Olympic Games








1996: Beach volleyball
is featured at the Olympics for the first time in Atlanta as Brazil's Jackie Silva and Sandra Pires
and USA's Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes
celebrate Olympic gold





1992: USA's Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos write their names into the beach volleyball history books by becoming world champions for the fifth time



1986: Astonishing crowds flock to
a beach volleyball event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



1970: Beach volleyball open
in Manhattan



1947: Double gender tournament at Long Beach



1930s: Women's tournament
on Santa Monica beach



1915: Beginnings of beach volleyball
on Hawaii beaches

   

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