Beach volleyball was probably first played in Hawaii in 1915, when the Outrigger Beach and Canoe Club set up a court on Waikiki Beach.
Most people though believe that it begun in Santa Monica, California, in the 1920s, about 25 years after the indoor version of the game was invented on the other side of the USA in Massachusetts.
The sport began as a form of family fun at the beach, and its wide appeal and low cost meant it soon spread around the world.
By the 1930s it was being played in the most strange places: Riga, Sofia and Prague, the capital cities of Latvia, Bulgaria, and the then Czechoslovakia.
The sport was given a boost during the Great Depression,
Cash-strapped Americans in the hundreds flocked to the beaches to play what was virtually a no-cost pastime and a free source of entertainment.
By the 1950s, competitions were being held in California.
Included on the program were beauty contests and other forms of entertainment.
As the sport continued to grow, it wasn’t long before sponsors came forward to take advantage of beach volleyball’s popularity, and by the 1970s, a full-fledged pro beach volleyball tour was organized.
In 1986, the International Volleyball Federation recognized the sport.
Since then, beach vollyeball’s world tour has spread from the United States into Asia and Europe.
In 1999 it featured twelve open events for men and six for women with a total prize money of 3.6 million.
The 1999 tour attracted more than 460,000 spectators.
Beach volleyball was a demonstration sport at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, and shortly afterward the International Olympic Committee announced that the sport would be included in the 1996 games in Atlanta.
As part of our Beach Sports week, we learned all about this fun sport.
Using a net and a balloon, students enjoyed playing one on one games with their friends!