Because of the many difficulties of playing outdoors, such as the sand, the sun and the wind, beach volleyball players must have outstanding ball skills and court speed. Partners must be well matched or opponents will win easy points by exploiting the weaker player.
||China's Tian Jia dives for the ball during a semi-final match at the FIVB beach volleyball grand slam in Gstaad, June 24, 2006. [Reuters]
In beach volleyball, matches are played best of three sets using the rally point system. The first two sets are played to 21 points, with the final tie-breaker set being played to 15 points. A team must win a set by two points. There is no ceiling, so a set continues until one of the teams gains a two-point advantage.
There was a men's and women's volleyball event and a men's and women's beach volleyball event.
In volleyball, 12 men's teams of 12 players and 12 women's teams of 11 players competed. In beach volleyball, 24 men's and 24 women's pairs competed.
Volleyball at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games will feature the same competitions as Sydney 2000 (men's and women's volleyball and beach volleyball), with the same number of teams participating (12 men's and 12 women's volleyball teams with 24 men's and 24 women's teams for beach volleyball).
The only significant difference in formats will be that volleyball will be played in one venue with 3 sessions per day. It is currently proposed that beach volleyball will be played over 12 days (instead on 11) including one rest day, with two sessions per day. It is also proposed to run evening sessions under lights.
LIST OF EVENTS
beach volleyball Men beach volleyball Women