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A new world

Beach Volleyball

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Perhaps no other sport is more closely associated with Rio de Janeiro than beach volleyball, which has been in the Olympic Games since Atlanta 1996. The men’s and women’s competitions will take place on the famous sands of Copacabana beach.
Spectator's Guide - Beach Volleyball
  • Beach Volleyball

Countries

Athletes

Events

24 96 2

Schedule & Results

Schedule & Results

Beach Volleyball

Select the time zone:
Rio Time
My time zone
August21
Date Match Status

About

About

Aim of the game

On a sand court divided in half by a net, two teams of two players must try to hit the ball on to the ground in their opponents’ court

Why should you watch this?

Rio and beach volleyball go hand in hand, and the sport will be contested on the legendary Copacabana beach, where fans will be wowed as much by highly technical and physically astonishing matches as by the stunning views

International Federation

Olympic debut

Atlanta 1996

Rules
  • Carry

    Carry

    A fault awarded by the referee when a player’s contact with the ball is prolonged and the ball comes to a rest

  • Roof block

    Roof block

    A big block made from high above the net, sending the ball down into the opponent’s court, also known as a ‘stuff block’

  • Peeling off

    Peeling off

    When the defender positioned to block retreats from the net in anticipation of a slower, deeper attacking shot

Impress your friends

  • The first beach volleyball matches were played in the 1920s on the beaches of Santa Monica, California

    The first beach volleyball matches were played in the 1920s on the beaches of Santa Monica, California

  • In 1987 Rio de Janeiro held the first international event; the first world championships took place in Brazil, Japan and Italy in 1989

    In 1987 Rio de Janeiro held the first international event; the first world championships took place in Brazil, Japan and Italy in 1989

  • The first women's world championship was held in Almería, Spain, in the same year as the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games

    The first women's world championship was held in Almería, Spain, in the same year as the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games

  • Brazil and the USA dominated the first Olympic beach volleyball competition, at Atlanta 1996. Brazil's women took gold and silver, the US won the same in the men's event

    Brazil and the USA dominated the first Olympic beach volleyball competition, at Atlanta 1996. Brazil's women took gold and silver, the US won the same in the men's event

  • At Beijing 2008, Kerri Walsh Jennings/Misty May and Todd Rogers/Phil Dalhausser ensured that the USA left with both gold medals

    At Beijing 2008, Kerri Walsh Jennings/Misty May and Todd Rogers/Phil Dalhausser ensured that the USA left with both gold medals

  • At London 2012, the Germans Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann became the first European pair to win Olympic gold in beach volleyball

    At London 2012, the Germans Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann became the first European pair to win Olympic gold in beach volleyball

  • Karch Kiraly, from the United States, is the only Olympic champion in volleyball and beach volleyball

    Karch Kiraly, from the United States, is the only Olympic champion in volleyball and beach volleyball

  • Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May, of the United States, have won gold at the last three Olympic Games without losing any of their 21 matches

    Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May, of the United States, have won gold at the last three Olympic Games without losing any of their 21 matches

  • Beach volleyball matches normally continue in moderate rain or wind – only lightning or strong wind and rain cause games to be stopped

    Beach volleyball matches normally continue in moderate rain or wind – only lightning or strong wind and rain cause games to be stopped

  • If it is unclear if the ball landed in or out, the referee can decide by taking account of the ball's mark in the sand

    If it is unclear if the ball landed in or out, the referee can decide by taking account of the ball's mark in the sand

  • At the London 2012 Games, the beach volleyball arena was set up in front of Horse Guards Parade, where the Queen’s birthday is celebrated every year with the ‘Trooping the Colour’

    At the London 2012 Games, the beach volleyball arena was set up in front of Horse Guards Parade, where the Queen’s birthday is celebrated every year with the ‘Trooping the Colour’

Scoring

A match is contested in the best of three sets – the first team to win two sets wins. The first two sets are won when one team reaches 21 points, and if needed, the third set is played to 15 points. A set needs to be won by a two-point margin.

Points are scored when a team hits the ball on to the ground in their opponents’ court or when their rivals fail to return the ball, commit a fault or are penalised by the referee.

Teams

The teams are made up of two players and there are no substitutes. Each pair can touch the ball up to three times before returning it over the net and a blocking move counts as a touch.

Positions

The players alternate on the service, which can be made from any position in the service zone. The player who is not serving stands at the net, ready to block. The receiving players can place themselves in any position on the court to meet their opponent’s service.

Officials

The first referee, who is positioned on an elevated chair, is in charge and has the final say on all questions related to the match.

Equipment

The ball: has a circumference of 66cm to 68cm and weighs up to 280g.

The net: is 2.43m high in men’s matches and 2.24m is women’s matches.

Updates

Stats

Top Medalists

Men
BRA
Emanuel Rego
1 1 1 3
BRA
Ricardo Santos
1 1 1 3
USA
Phil Dalhausser
1 0 0 1
Women
USA
Kerri Walsh-Jennings
3 0 0 3
USA
Misty May-Treanor
3 0 0 3
BRA
Sandra Pires
1 0 1 2

Countries

Athletes

Athletes & Teams

Gender

Gender
Woman 50
Men 50
Women
Men

Age Range

Age Range
Under 15 0
16 - 20 2
21 - 25 16
26 - 30 53
31 - 40 29
Over 40 0
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