Olympics Sports >> Beach Volleyball

Beach Volleyball


  • 1 men's tournament
  • 1 women's tournament


24 teams of 2 players. 6 groups of 4 teams.

The top 2 in each group advance to the second round along with 4 of the 6 third-placed teams. A knockout phase then leads to the final.



Volleyball is invented by American William G. Morgan.


Beach volleyball starts to become popular as a family sport in California and later spreads to Europe, becoming the main sport of France's nudist colonies.


Beach volleyball is taken a stage further - the first real competition circuit is born, involving hundreds of enthusiasts and five Californian beaches.


Introduction of sponsors and cash prizes. Celebrities help to promote the sport, including John Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles.


Founding of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP).


The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) establishes the men's world championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This proved an important step in the struggle for prominence between the FIVB and the AVP.


Creation of the World Series which attracts great crowds.


Beach volleyball makes its Olympic debut in Atlanta.


Merging begins between the FIVB and AVP circuits.


Karch Kiraly (United States)

The all-rounder. Winner of two volleyball gold medals in 1984 and 1988, he added a third Olympic title by winning the first Olympic beach volleyball gold in 1996. World champion in 1986 and European Cup winner in 1992.

Sandra Pires (Brazil)

The pioneer. With her compatriot Jacqueline Silva, the Brazilian won the first women's Olympic beach volleyball gold in 1996. Added the the world title in 1997 before winning Olympic bronze in 2000 with Adriana Samuel.

Shelda Bede - Adriana Behar (Brazil)

Dynamic duo. World champions in 1999 and 2001, the two Brazilians let the 2000 Olympic title slip through their grasp and had to settle for silver in Sydney as well as in Athens, in 2004.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.

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