Beach Volleyball Home
Beach Volleyball is a ball sport, played between two teams of two players on any 16 x 8 metre sand court divided equally by a net. This is an outdoor sport, played barefoot, often in beautiful beach settings. Players must have outstanding ball control, skill and court speed as, unlike the six person game usually played indoors, the two person team must cover a greater distance in harder conditions. Not only are they competing against the opposing team, but the weather conditions such as the sun, sand and wind.
Partners must be well matched and have excellent communication with each other to prevent their opponents exploiting the weaker player and winning easy points. You need a high level of volleyball aptitude to train and know how to move to your advantage on the sand. It’s not about how high you jump, how hard you hit or how you block the ball. It’s about ball placement and how smart you are at playing the game.
With every serve a point is scored and the opposing team tries to win the rally - or 'side-out' - with a pattern of dig, set, spike within the permitted three touches. Matches are played with the best of three sets using a rally point system. The first two sets are played to 21 points, with the final tie-breaker set being played to 15 points. A team must win a set by at least two points. There is no ceiling, so a set continues until one of the teams gains a two-point advantage.
In Atlanta in 1996 Beach Volleyball was, for the first time, part of the Olympic Games. Twenty four men’s teams from 19 different nations and 18 Women’s teams from 13 nations participated. Australia’s leading women’s team of Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst won a bronze medal and went on to achieve a gold medal in Sydney at the 2000 Olympic Games, where 48 teams from 23 nations competed. Australia has qualified at least one men’s and women’s teams at every Olympics since its inception.
A key to this success has been the Beach Volleyball National Program; The Program’s key roles have been to oversee the selection and development of targeted elite athletes and to ensure their preparation for major international events such as the Federation Internationale De Volleyball (FIVB) World Tour, World Championships and Olympic Games.
About AIS Beach Volleyball
In July 2005, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) joined with the AVF and SASI to establish the AIS/AVF Beach Volleyball National Centre of Excellence (NCE) in Adelaide to dramatically enhance the support to Australia’s best beach volleyball athletes in the daily training environment. The AIS Beach Volleyball Program offers scholarships to up to 20 residential and camps-based athletes each scholarship year, usually for the period October to September. These athletes are exposed to world class coaches, quality facilities and expert sport science and medicine personnel to maximize their performances at 2012 Olympic Games and beyond.
Once selected, scholarship holders will also become members of the AVF’s Beach Volleyball National Squad (Senior) receiving funding and other support to engage in international competition including the Asian and World Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games.
The Program’s first intake of scholarship athletes took place in October 2005.