The origins of beach volleyball can be credited to two areas with world renowned beaches, Hawaii and Santa Monica. Starting in the 1920s, it was originally played between teams of six players, but by 1930, it was modified to teams of two players. The sport gained popularity and expanded quickly because it was low cost family fun at the beach. Competitive tournaments began in the 1940s with the first World Championships being staged in California in 1976.
Beach volleyball was first introduced to the Olympics during the Atlanta Summer Games in 1996, where Canadians John Child and Mark Heese won a bronze medal.
Beach volleyball is played on sand courts that are 8m x 8m. Matches are the best of three games played to 21 points (15 points for the third game) and teams switch ends every seven points. Teams play rally point, where the winner of each rally, irrespective of which team served, scores a point. As in indoor volleyball, there are several basic skills competitive players need to master: serving, passing, setting, attacking, blocking, and digging. There are a number of different rules from the indoor version of the game including: a block at the net counts for one of the three allowed touches and it is legal to cross under the net as long, as it doesn’t interfere with the opposing team.