Play Olympic beach volleyball with two teams of two players in the same uniform on a sand court. After the serve, the players on each team have the opportunity to hit the ball three times before sending it back over the net. Teams play a best two-out-of-three game set to determine the winner. Similar to regular volleyball, teams must maintain the service order. Different than regular volleyball, the players do not have assigned positions. Players must wear uniforms that adhere to regulations set by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball whose rules govern the sport at an international level and the Olympic Games.
Tops and Bottoms: Competitors on the same team in Olympic beach volleyball must wear clean uniforms bearing the same color and style. An Olympic beach volleyball player may wear a full bathing suit to play her game. She may also wear a tank-top. The player’s jerseys must bear the number one or two in a color that contrasts with the jersey. The stripe forming the number must be a minimum of 1.5 cm wide. Place this number on the chest. Changing a wet jersey between sets is only permitted by referee authorization. Shorts are required to play Olympic Beach Volleyball, if the player is not wearing a full bathing suit. (Ref 1)
Hats, Glasses and Footwear: Wearing a hat is permitted in Olympic Beach Volleyball. Footwear, including socks and shoes, must be authorized by the referee. Barring any authorization footwear by the referee, Olympic beach volleyball competitors play barefoot. Olympic beach volleyball permits players to wear glasses.
Considerations: Some objects and uniform alterations are forbidden in Olympic Beach Volleyball. Players may not wear any object that may cause harm to a player including bracelets, pins and casts. When both teams arrive in matching jerseys of the same color, one team must switch to an alternate uniform. To decide which team changes uniforms, use a coin toss.
Eligible Players: All eligible competitors must comply with Fédération Internationale de Volleyball rules. The minimum age for Olympic beach volleyball is 14. All players must have participated in a minimum of 12 FIVB official Olympic Qualification Tournaments in the year prior to the games.
History: The first beach volleyball game was played in Santa Monica, California in 1930. The inaugural Olympic Beach Volleyball competition came many years later at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. During the six-day sold-out event, 24 men’s and 18 women’s teams competed in front of over 107,000 spectators. The women’s team from Brazil and the men’s team from the United States took home gold medals.
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FIVB Beach Volleyball Homepage
Biography of Beach Volleyball
FIVB Offical Beach Volleyball Rules 2011