Is Beach Volleyball An Olympic Sport?
Beach volleyball is a current Summer Olympic sport and has been included in the Olympics since 1996. Read on to learn more about beach volleyball at the Olympics, including history, tournament format, and the best teams.
Beach volleyball was first introduced as a demonstration event at the 1992 Olympic Games held in Barcelona, Spain. Four years later, at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, beach volleyball made its debut as an official sport in the games. Ever since, beach volleyball has been played in every edition of the Summer Olympics for both men and women.
Olympic beach volleyball is played in teams of two and consists of a men’s and a women’s competition. For both men and women, there are three medals given out: gold for 1st place, silver for 2nd place, and bronze for 3rd place. Olympic beach volleyball follows all standard FIVB rules on international matches, including a best two-out-of-three set format. The first two sets are played to 21 points, the potential third set is played to 15 points, and each set must be won by a two-point margin.
Until the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, points in Olympic beach volleyball could only be scored by the serving team. From the 2004 Games onwards, a rally scoring system has been used, which allows either team to score a point and has the next point served by whichever team won the previous point.
One of the most legendary women’s beach volleyball teams for the United States consisted of players Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor. The pair was incredibly dominant within the sport of beach volleyball, winning gold at the Olympics a total of three times throughout their careers.
On the men’s side, Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes are another notable American team that won the inaugural gold medal at Atlanta 1996. Sinjin Smith and Randy Soklos are one of the winningest teams of all time, and took home the win when the sport was demonstrated at the 1996 Barcelona Games.
Is beach volleyball in the Olympics?
Beach volleyball has been an Olympic sport since 1996. The sport first debuted in the 1992 Barcelona Games, and was made a permanent fixture in the program four years later at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Summer Olympics feature both men’s and women’s competitions.