Deanna Madrigal

Written by Deanna Madrigal

Modified & Updated: 21 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Beach volleyball is a sport that combines athleticism, strategy, and the serene beauty of sandy shores. While most people are familiar with the basics of the game, such as the two-player teams and the importance of serving and spiking, there are plenty of surprising facts about beach volleyball that may not be commonly known. From its origins to its rise in popularity, there are interesting aspects of this beachside sport that will pique your interest. So, whether you’re a die-hard fan or someone looking to dive into the world of beach volleyball, here are 17 surprising facts that will take your understanding of the sport to the next level.

Key Takeaways:

  • Beach volleyball was invented in Santa Monica, California in the 1920s, and it became an official Olympic sport in 1996, captivating fans with its fast-paced and exciting nature.
  • With smaller courts, unique rules, and demanding physical fitness, beach volleyball is a dynamic sport enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels around the world.
Table of Contents

Beach volleyball was invented in Santa Monica, California.

In the 1920s, beachgoers in Santa Monica started playing a variation of indoor volleyball on the sandy shores. This led to the birth of beach volleyball as we know it today.

The first official beach volleyball tournament was held in 1948.

Paul “Pablo” Johnson organized the first beach volleyball tournament in 1948 in California. It featured teams from neighboring beaches and marked the beginning of organized beach volleyball competitions.

Beach volleyball became an official Olympic sport in 1996.

After gaining popularity and international recognition, beach volleyball was included as an official Olympic sport in the Atlanta Games of It quickly became a fan favorite due to its fast-paced and exciting nature.

Beach volleyball courts are smaller than indoor courts.

A beach volleyball court measures 16 meters long and 8 meters wide, while an indoor volleyball court measures 18 meters long and 9 meters wide. The smaller court size in beach volleyball adds to the intensity of the game.

The first beach volleyball world championship was held in 1987.

Brasília, Brazil, hosted the first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in It brought together the top teams from around the world to compete for the title.

Beach volleyball requires exceptional physical fitness.

Due to the demanding nature of the sport, beach volleyball players need to have excellent cardiovascular endurance, agility, and strength. The sand adds an extra challenge, making it a high-energy and physically demanding game.

The highest recorded spike in beach volleyball reached over 14 feet.

In a demonstration of incredible athleticism, Italian player Marco Marcato holds the record for the highest vertical jump spike in beach volleyball, reaching a height of over 14 feet.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings are considered the greatest beach volleyball duo.

The American pair of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings dominated women’s beach volleyball for over a decade, winning three Olympic gold medals together and becoming the most successful duo in the history of the sport.

Brazil is the most successful country in beach volleyball.

Brazil has enjoyed great success in beach volleyball, producing legendary players like Emmanuel Rego, Ricardo Santos, and Juliana Felisberta. Brazilians have won the most Olympic medals and World Championship titles in the sport.

Beach volleyball has different rules than indoor volleyball.

While the basic gameplay is similar, beach volleyball has some distinct rules, such as allowing players to touch the ball with any part of their body and not penalizing open-handed tips over the net.

The AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) is the oldest beach volleyball tour.

The AVP, established in 1983, is the longest-running professional beach volleyball tour in the United States. It features top players competing in tournaments across the country.

Beach volleyball players often use sunglasses to reduce glare.

With games taking place under the bright sun, many beach volleyball players wear sunglasses to reduce glare and improve visibility. This helps them track the ball and make accurate plays.

The largest recorded beach volleyball tournament had over 2,000 participants.

In 2012, the Hague Beach Stadium in the Netherlands hosted the largest beach volleyball tournament ever. Over 2,000 participants competed across various divisions and age groups.

The sand on a beach volleyball court affects the game.

The type and condition of the sand on a beach volleyball court can significantly impact gameplay. Softer sand may slow down movement, while firmer sand allows for faster gameplay and explosive jumps.

Beach volleyball requires strong teamwork and communication.

As a doubles sport, beach volleyball relies heavily on effective teamwork and communication between partners. Players must anticipate each other’s moves, communicate strategy, and support one another throughout the match.

Beach volleyball is played in over 150 countries worldwide.

Beach volleyball has gained tremendous popularity globally, with participation and viewership in over 150 countries. It is admired for its exciting and dynamic nature, attracting both professional and recreational players alike.

Beach volleyball is not just for the pros.

Beach volleyball is not limited to professional athletes; it is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Many beaches around the world have designated areas for recreational beach volleyball, encouraging everyone to get involved and have fun.


In conclusion, beach volleyball is an exciting and dynamic sport that has gained tremendous popularity worldwide. From its humble beginnings in sunny California to its inclusion in the Olympic Games, this sport continues to captivate and inspire athletes and fans alike. Whether you’re a professional player or simply enjoy a casual game on the beach, beach volleyball offers a unique combination of skill, athleticism, and teamwork.With its fast-paced action and stunning displays of athleticism, beach volleyball is a sport that truly embodies the spirit of summer. So the next time you hit the beach, grab a ball, gather your friends, and experience the thrill of diving, spiking, and serving your way to victory in a game of beach volleyball.


1. How many players are there in a beach volleyball team?

Beach volleyball is played with two players on each side, making it a team sport of 2 players per team.

2. What are the dimensions of a beach volleyball court?

A standard beach volleyball court measures 16 meters long and 8 meters wide.

3. Can the ball touch the net during a serve?

Yes, the ball can touch the net during a serve and still be considered in play as long as it crosses over to the opponent’s side.

4. What are the scoring rules in beach volleyball?

Beach volleyball follows rally scoring, which means points can be scored by either team on every play.

5. Is beach volleyball an Olympic sport?

Yes, beach volleyball is an Olympic sport and has been part of the Olympic Games since 1996.

6. Are there any height restrictions for players in beach volleyball?

No, there are no height restrictions for players in beach volleyball. Athletes of all sizes can compete and excel in the sport.

7. Are there any specific rules regarding attire in beach volleyball?

There are no specific rules regarding attire in beach volleyball, but most players opt for comfortable and functional athletic clothing, such as bikinis or board shorts.

8. Can beach volleyball be played on any type of sand?

Ideally, beach volleyball is played on soft and well-maintained sandy surfaces. However, it can also be played on other surfaces like grass or even indoor courts with special sand-like surfaces.

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