olympics_Beach Volleyball - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

olympics_Beach Volleyball

Introduced at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, beach volleyball is one of the most popular spectator sports at the Summer Games. It is fun and exciting to watch, which is why big name celebrities enjoy attending the competitions. In the 1960s, the Beatles were huge fans of the sport. While watching a competition at Sorrento Beach in Los Angeles, the  immensely popular musicians actually stepped onto the sandy court and hit the ball around for a bit. The crowds loved it! Other celebrities who attended the tournaments in those early years and brought national attention to the sport were President John Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. The popularity of beach volleyball has been growing wildly ever since.

History tells us that beach volleyball dates back much further than the 1960s, however. It actually became popular in Santa Monica, California in the 1920s when new jetties created large areas of sand. It didn't take long for the public to notice and find a great use for the sandy areas…beach volleyball! Permanent nets were set up and clubs began to form and compete against one another.

Most of these early competitions had at least six members to a team, like standard indoor volleyball. The two-person beach volleyball teams we know today have an interesting history. In 1930, Pablo Johnson was impatiently waiting for players to show up for a six-man game. Tired of waiting for all twelve players to arrive, he formed two teams with two players each, and the result changed the game forever. It was difficult but exhilarating for the two players to cover their side of the sandy court. Two-person teams became the most widely played form of the game and the only version accepted at the Olympics.

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