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Volleyball | Under the Sun Sports to get a Suntan

Sand Volleyball/Beach Volleyball

This country has many sport competitions like football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, golf, etc., but were you aware there is a very big, up and coming sport called Beach Volleyball? Professional beach volleyball is a sport played by two teams of two players each on a sand court divided by a net. The playing court is a rectangle that measures 52 ½ feet by 26.3 feet, surrounded by a free zone with a minimum of 9.10 feet wide and a free space from any obstruction up to a height of a minimum of 23 feet from the playing sand surface. The leveled sand must be as flat and uniform as possible and of course, free of any shells, rocks or anything that could cause a player injury.

The object of the game is to send the ball over the net hoping it will hit the ground on the opponent’s side within the playing court before they can hit it back. The game begins when it is hit by the server over the net to the opponent’s court. The rally continues until the ball is either grounded or one team fails to return it properly. When the receiving team wins a rally, it gains a point and the right to serve. The serving player changes every time this occurs. Games are played in a set of three with 21 points needed to win the first two and 15 for the third.  You must also have a minimum lead of two points to win a game.

Like most sports, beach volleyball is not just a man’s game. The net height is different for men, women and children. In April of 2009, the NCAA Division I Legislative Council added sand volleyball to the list of developing sports for women.

The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) should be given the most credit for bringing this sport alive in non coastal areas. They host competitions on man-made courts in locations such as Cincinnati, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, and Las Vegas, Nevada. They also sponsor indoor sand competitions in January and February called Hot Winter Nights in cold weather cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan and Omaha, Nebraska.

The NCAA will call the new sport Sand Volleyball rather than Beach Volleyball hoping that it will not be confined to the coastal areas. The University of Texas, the University of Nebraska and the University of Utah are already competing in collegiate competitions in the spring. The NCAA will be adopting rules that will govern sand volleyball as a collegiate sport.

Get your sunscreen, swimsuit, hat & sunglasses & go take in a game of Sand Volleyball!

-Ms. Suntan

Want to find out about more under the sun sports? Or would you like to check out our Volleyball Olympics section?

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