Here are some tidbits of historical information about the beach volleyball, one of the most popular outdoor sports. Whether you play it simply as a seaside pleasure or in a more competitive, professional level, you get the same natural high whenever you play beach volleyball.
Ten years after beach volleyball was acknowledged by the International Volleyball Federation, it was finally recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Beach volleyball made its first appearance at the 1996 Atlanta Games, with 24 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams from different countries participating in the event. Since then the United States has consistently won the Olympic gold medals.
For the fifth time, Association of Volleyball Professional (AVP) stars Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos became beach volleyball world champions, making them the legends of Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). During their prime, Smith and Stoklos became the most dominant pair in men’s beach volleyball.
The $500,000 World Championships, a double-gender beach volleyball competition, was held in Klagenfurt, Austria from August 1 to August 4, 2001. About 120,000 spectators attended and witnessed the action. Shelda and Adriana Behar from Brazil won the women’s gold, while Argentina’s Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde gunned successfully for the men’s gold.
USA’s Kerri Walsh and Misty May had a perfect record in the women’s tournament throughout. They never lost even a single set, thus demonstrating their dominance in the sport.
The 2005 Beach Volleyball World Championship in Berlin, Germany was the fifth official edition of this volleyball tournament. It previously held ten unofficial championships, all in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 1987 to 1996.
The silver finishers were Sascha Heyer and Paul Laciga of Switzerland, while Julius Brink and Kjell Schneider of Germany won the bronze.
The 2007 Beach Volleyball World Championship in Gstaad, Switzerland was one of the 12 tournaments of the Swatch FIVB World Tour 2007.
In the SWATCH FIVB World Championship women’s event, USA’s Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh won the gold. Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, also from the USA, claimed the gold in the men’s division.
For the tournament, a fake sand beach was temporarily constructed in the middle of Paris, just in front of the famous Eiffel Tower. The event was held from June 16-22, 2008. Also called Henkel Grand Chelem, the event ended with Kerri Walsh/Misty May-Treanor of the USA winning the women’s gold, and Todd Rogers/Phil Dalhausser also from the USA, winning the men’s gold.
The 2009 Beach Volleyball World Championships was held from June 26 to July 5, 2009. You wouldn’t think Norway, which is famous for skiing, would play host to the prestigious sandy sports event. However, it actually became the first Northern European/Scandinavian country to host the Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann of Germany won the gold in the men’s division, while April Ross and Jennifer Kessy of the USA won the women’s gold.
In 1986, beach-lovers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil held what would be the first international beach volleyball exhibition. It attracted 5,000 spectators. The following year, an FIVB-backed international tournament was held on Ipanema Beach in Rio. This time, there was a big cash prize at stake — $22,000 (US). USA’s Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos emerged victorious in the tournament, and that marked the beginning of their dominance in beach volleyball.
The beach volleyball gold medalists in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia were Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana from the United States (men’s tournament) and Australians Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst (women’s tournament)
By the 1970s beach volleyball cemented its place in the professional sports circles. As beach volleyball continued to grow, sponsors soon came pouring in to take advantage of its popularity. The first major sponsor was Jose Cuerva Tequila in the late 1970s, followed by Miller Brewing Company. In 1986 beach volleyball received more important highlights: it received its first cable TV coverage, made its national TV debut, and then was finally recognized by the International Volleyball Federation.
Some sources claim that the roots of beach volleyball actually began way back in 1915 in Hawaii, where two clubs put up a court at the Waikiki Beach. The sport started as a plainly enjoyable diversion for families who spent the day at the beach. Its universal appeal, as well as low cost, helped spread the popularity of the sport. By the 1930s, beach volleyball reached other countries, even in the most unlikely places such as Riga in Latvia, Sofia in Bulgaria, and Prague in the then Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic).
Beach volleyball became even more popular during the Depression era. Its low-cost appeal greatly helped draw players and cash-strapped crowds looking for cheap and free entertainment. By the 1940s doubles, tournaments were being held in Santa Monica beaches for prizes.