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One thing that stays constant despite rule changes, though, is that during each possession on one side of the net, a team can only have three contacts with the ball. These skills were traditionally called bump, set and spike. No player can ever make contact with the ball twice in succession, and the ball cannot be caught or carried over the net.
Each play starts off with a serve. The server steps behind the line at the very back of the court, called the end line, and has freedom to serve from wherever he or she pleases as long as the foot does not touch or cross the line. The server must make the ball go over the net on the serve. Balls that hit the net on serves and still go over and stay in the court used to be illegal, but now they are allowed.
Positions are numbered, one through six, starting with the server in the back right corner. Then going in a counter-clockwise direction, the rest of the positions are numbered. The actual direction of the rotation is clockwise, however.
After the server finishes, the other team gets the ball, and you get the ball back, everyone just shifts to the right one spot. Rotation, if not fully understood, can be a very confusing part of the game. In basic volleyball there are three players in the front row and three in the back, and each player just rotates to the next position as the plays go along.
When the strong hitters are in the back row, they can still attack the ball on the third hit, but they cannot jump in front of the foot line.
Contrary to the way it may seem, there are actually positions in volleyball, and despite the mandatory rotation, it's possible to play the same position every play.
Kennedy was seen attending a match. Dennis Hare went on to write the first book on the subject of beach volleyball: The Art of Beach Volleyball. The winners, the first "world champions", were Greg Lee and Jim Menges. Volleyball magazine staged the event the next year at the same location, this time sponsored by Schlitz Light Beer. Jose Cuervo signed on as sponsor and the prize purse. The event was successful and Cuervo funded an expansion the next year to three events. In following years the tour expanded nationally and was renamed the Pro Beach Volleyball Tour.
It consisted of five events in California and tournaments in Florida, Colorado, and Chicago. At the end of the year, however, Event Concepts was forced out of the sport by a players' strike at the World Championship and the Association of Volleyball Professionals AVP was founded. At the professional level, the sport remained fairly obscure until the s when beach volleyball experienced a surge in popularity with high-profile players such as Sinjin Smith , Randy Stoklos , and Karch Kiraly.
Kiraly won an Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball in its first Olympic appearance in , adding that to the two Olympic golds he won as part of the USA men's indoor team ,  and has won titles. It was won by Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos. Despite its increased popularity in the s and s, American beach volleyball suffered setbacks. In , the American women's professional tour — the WPVA — and the American professional men's tour — the AVP — filed for bankruptcy, plagued by problems as a player-run organization.
After filing for bankruptcy again in , the AVP re-emerged under new leadership in as the main professional beach volleyball tour in the United States. Beach volleyball has become a global sport, with international competition organized by the FIVB.
Brazil and the USA are dominant, with 20 of the 30 Olympic medals awarded to date between them, and 16 of the 20 gold and silver medals. But the sport's popularity has spread to the rest of the world as well.
Beach volleyball is played on a rectangular sand court. The sand should be as leveled as possible and free of potential hazards such as rocks that could cause injuries to players.
The court is divided into equal halves by a net that is 8. The top of the net is 2. FIVB regulations state that the ball must be spherical and made of flexible and water resistant material, such that it is appropriate for outdoor conditions. A team is composed exclusively of two players, who must always be in play and who cannot be subjected to any substitutions or replacement.
At the moment the ball is hit by the server, each team must be within its own court with the exception of the server , but there are no determined positions on the court, such that no positional faults can be committed. A team scores a point when: The team that won the point serves for the next point. A set is won by the first team to reach 21 points 15 points in the deciding final set with a two-point advantage. The first team to win two sets wins the match.
A fault is committed when a referee judges that a team has made a playing action that violates the rules. When a team commits a fault, the opposing team receives a point and gains the right to serve.
If both teams commit a fault simultaneously, the point is replayed. Beach volleyball is fundamentally similar to indoor volleyball. However, there are several differences between the two games that affect players' strategies, gameplay and techniques. The main differences in the rules of beach and indoor volleyball for international competitions governed by the FIVB include: The teams start on opposite sides of the net.
One team is designated the serving team and opposing team is the receiving team. A coin toss is conducted by the referee before the warm-ups to determine which team serves first and which sides of the court the teams start on for the first two sets. If a third deciding set is needed, another coin toss will be conducted prior to the third set. The service order decided at the coin toss before a set is maintained throughout the set. For each point, a player from the serving team initiates the serve by tossing the ball into the air and attempting to hit the ball so it passes over the net on a course such that it will land in the opposing team's court.
The opposing team must use a combination of no more than three contacts with the ball to return the ball to the opponent's side of the net. The team with possession of the ball that is trying to attack the ball as described is said to be on offense. The team on defense attempts to prevent the attacking team from directing the ball into their court: If the ball is hit around, above, or through the block, the defensive player positioned behind the blocker attempts to control the ball with a dig usually a forearm pass.
After a successful dig, the team transitions to offense. The game continues in this manner, rallying back and forth, until the ball touches the court within the boundaries or until a fault is committed. Teams switch ends of the court after every 7 points set 1 and 2 and 5 points set 3 played. When the total points are 21 adding the score of both teams there is a technical time-out. Each team may request one time-out per set. While there are no set positions, competitive players will generally have specialized defensive roles: Some competitive teams have no specializations, with the two players taking turns blocking and playing defense.
This allows them to conserve energy since the demand for energy on the sand is higher. Competitive players also tend to specialize in playing on either the right- or left-side of the court. This allows for greater consistency in receiving serve and shot selection. Left- handed players generally prefer to play on the right-side while right-handed players generally prefer to play on the left-side, as it is easier to spike a ball that has not passed across the line of one's body.
The ball may touch any part of the body except during the serve, when only the hand or arm may make contact , but must be hit, not caught or thrown. During a hit, a player may only make contact with the ball one time. When two players from the same team contact the ball simultaneously, it is counted as two hits, and either player may make the next contact.
When two players from opposing teams contact the ball simultaneously over the net, in what is known as a joust , the team whose side the ball ends up on is entitled to another three contacts.
When receiving a ball from a hit that is not hard driven, the ball must be contacted "cleanly". If a player receives the ball open-handed, the contact of each hand with the ball must be exactly simultaneous. In particular, in defensive action of a hard driven ball, the ball can be held momentarily overhand with the fingers. When employing an overhand pass hands separated, ball handled with the fingers as the second of three team touches usually with the intent of "setting" the ball, so that the other player may make a more effective attack-hit , the standard for a double contact fault is more lenient than when receiving or attacking, though still much stricter than in indoor volleyball.
The standard for a lift fault during an overhand pass is less strict than in indoor games—it is legal to allow the ball to come to rest for a small period of time. Attack-hits using an "open-handed tip or dink" directing the ball with the fingers are illegal, as are attack-hits using an overhand pass to direct the ball on a trajectory not perpendicular to the line of the shoulders overhand passes which accidentally cross over the net are an exception.
Beach volleyball players use hand signals to indicate to their partners the type of block they either intend to make if they are the designated blocker or that they want their partner to make if they are the designated defender. Block signals are important so that both the blocker and defender know which area of the court is their responsibility to cover. Block signals may also be given during a rally while the opposing team is preparing their attack.
For some teams, closed fist and open hand signals have the opposite meaning of blocking. If the partner is showing the closed fist the blocker should block "ball" and open hand means that the blocker should "pull-off" the net. There are several basic skills competitive players need to master: Serving is the act of putting the ball into play by striking it with the hand or arm from behind the rear court boundary. Serving can take the form of an underhand serve or an overhand serve, and examples include: For example, players may choose a top-spin serve when serving into the wind, causing the ball to drop short in front of the passer.
For example, a sky ball serve is especially effective at high noon, because the sun gets into the passer's eyes and can cause the passer to become disoriented. The pass is the first of a team's 3 allowed contacts.
In indoor volleyball, passing involves two main techniques: However, the standards for hand setting are stricter on the beach. In practice, this means that players are effectively forbidden from hand setting the ball on serve receive; similarly, players seldom use an overhand passing motion as the first except on a hard driven attack or last of the three allowed team contacts.
Digging is a similar skill to passing, but the term is not used to describe receiving the serve or a free ball, but rather refers to an attempt to prevent an opponent's attack hit from touching the court.
The set is the second team contact, and its purpose is to position the ball for an attack on the third hit. Similar to a pass, the ball can be set with either a forearm pass technique, known as a bump set , or an overhand pass technique, known as a hand set. If a referee determines that a double-hit has occurred, the point will be given to the other team.
Excessive spin after a ball has been set is often used as an indicator of a double contact fault, but causing a ball to spin while setting is not explicitly prohibited. After completing the contact, the setter typically turns his attention to the defense and communicates to his partner whether a blocker is up and which area of the court is open.
The second contact can also be used to attack the ball, known as an "over-on-two" attack. A beach volleyball attack can be categorized as either a spike or a shot. A spike involves hitting the ball hard with one open hand on a downward trajectory from above the top of the net.
A shot is a relatively soft attack used to place a ball into an open undefended area of the court. In beach volleyball, a block can be used to score a direct point by directing an attack by the opposing attacker back into their court, or used to channel the ball to the defender by "taking away" part of the court,  or used to slow the ball down so the defender has time to chase down the ball.
Blockers may also attempt a shot block, where instead of maximum penetration across the net, the blocker reaches with their hands as high as possible to achieve maximum height above the net. Players often decide against blocking if the opposing team's pass and set are not in a good position to produce a spike attack and instead opt to retreat and play defense. This skill is known as peeling , dropping or pulling off the net,   and is almost exclusive to beach volleyball.
The regional governing bodies are:. In the United States, USA Volleyball is the governing body for beach volleyball, as well as indoor and sitting volleyball. Players can only participate in the Continental Tour that their national federation is a member of.
In addition to prize money, Continental Tour events award players with FIVB ranking points and their national federations with National Federation ranking points. Circuito Brasileiro de Voleibol de Praia is the main national tour.