Huskers: Beach Volleyball and World Championships Essay

Submitted By patrick0645
Words: 1135
Pages: 5

The sun is shining, the ocean waves are rolling in, and your feet are sinking in the warm sand. You and your partner are facing a big net, and two people are on the other side waiting for you to start serving. Beach volleyball is a sport that evolved from regular team volleyball, and like the indoor sport, it's all about teams serving and returning a lightweight ball over a tall net. Beach volleyball was probably first played in Hawaii in 1915, when the Outrigger Beach and Canoe Club set up a court on Waikiki Beach. Most people though believe that it begun in Santa Monica, California, in the 1920s, about 25 years after the indoor version of the game was invented on the other side of the USA in Massachusetts. The sport began as a form of family fun at the beach, and its wide appeal and low cost meant it soon spread around the world. By the 1930s it was being played in the most strange places: Riga, Sofia and Prague, the capital cities of Latvia, Bulgaria, and the then Czechoslovakia. The sport was given a boost during the Great Depression. Cash-strapped Americans in the hundreds flocked to the beaches to play what was virtually a no-cost pastime and a free source of entertainment. By the 1950s, competitions were being held in California. Included on the program were beauty contests and other forms of entertainment. As the sport continued to grow, it wasn’t long before sponsors came forward to take advantage of beach volleyball’s popularity, and by the 1970s a full-fledged pro beach volleyball tour was organized . In 1986, the International Volleyball Federation recognized the sport. Since then, beach volleyball’s world tour has spread from the United States into Asia and Europe. In 1999 it featured twelve open events for men and six for women with total prize money of US$3.66 million. The 1999 tour attracted more than 460,000 spectators. Beach volleyball was a demonstration sport at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, and shortly afterward the International Olympic Committee announced that the sport will be included in the 1996 games in Atlanta. According to Beach Volleyball Database, there are a total of 14,434 total players that play in tournaments such as the Olympics. Of that total number, 8,352 are men and 6,082 are women. There is a total of over 3,000 tournaments per year that the athletes compete in. Federation Internationale de Volleyball informs the people that there are many worldwide tournaments. These include the World Tour, World Championships, the Opens, the U19 World Championships, the U21 World Championships, U23 World Championships, and the Continental Cup (World Cup Olympic Qualification and World Cup Final). There are four major differences between beach volleyball and indoor volleyball. The first difference are the court sizes. Indoor courts are 18m x 9m, with a parallel attack line that is 3m from the center line. Back row players must stay behind this line when hitting the ball. Beach courts are smaller--16m x 8m and there is no attack line. A player may hit the ball from anywhere on their side of the net. If you wonder why the beach court is smaller, try a quick lateral sprint through the sand and see how much speed (and breath) you lose. A smaller court ensures that the ball will stay live longer and rallies will be more entertaining. Another big difference is the ball that is used. Indoor volleyballs are made of leather and are heavier than outdoor balls. Indoor volleyball is a game of power and the heavier balls move quicker and can be hit harder. Beach volleyballs are softer, lighter and a bit bigger than indoor balls. The lighter weight allows them to float more in the air, allowing good players to use the weather to their advantage. The third difference is the players per side. Indoor volleyball is played with six per side. Each person has a specialized position and there are complex rotations and switches going on throughout games to ensure that each person remains in their designated