History of Beach Volleyball

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Early 1920s

Most accounts place the sport's origin in Santa Monica, California,
where the first Volleyball courts were put up on the beach
at the Playground (Santa Monica).
Families played 6 vs. 6.

1927

Beach volleyball became the principal sport in a French nudist camp
founded in Franconville (north-western suburb of Paris).

1930

First two-man beach volleyball game was played in 
Santa Monica, California.

Beach volleyball appeared in Palavas, Lacanau and Royan (France),
around Sofia (Bulgaria), Prague (Czechoslavakia), and Riga (Latvia).

In the US, people would escape the depression by going to the beach,
4 vs 4 and 3 vs 3 games were played.

1947

First official two-man beach tournament was held,
at State Beach in California.  It was organized by
Holtzman and won by Saenez-Harris.

1948

First tournament held in California (Los Angeles),
awarded the best teams with a case of Pepsi as the
winners' prize.

1950's

Open tournaments held at five beaches in California.
	   Santa Barbara
	   State
	   Corona Del Mar
	   Laguna 
	   San Diego

Beach volleyball became an entertainment show and 
Beauty Contests were included in the official program.

First Brazil tournament took place, sponsored by a 
Newspaper Publishing company.

1957

Bernie Holtzman and Gene Selznick won an event that 
featured Greta Tyson, star of "Pajama Tops",
as Queen of the Beach.  Beach volleyball became 
more than a sport, it turned into a real show.

1960's

Open tournaments held at eight beaches in California.
           Tahoe (added in late 60's)
           Santa Cruz
	   Santa Barbara
           State
	   Manhattan   1st Manhattan Beach Open - 1960
	   Corona Del Mar
	   Laguna
	   San Diego

In France, the winners of 3 vs 3 games earned about 30,000 Francs
in tournaments taking place in La Baule and in les Sables d' Olonne.

The first Manhattan Beach Open took place.

1965

CBVA - California Beach Volleyball Association is founded.
       Tournament organisers met to coordinate the schedules and define
        the rules of the game.

1974

First commercially sponsored tournament took place in San Diego.
	 $1,500 San Diego Open, sponsored by Winston Cigarettes.
	 Won by Dennis Hare and Fred Zuelich
	 250 spectators

1976

Olympia Championship of Beach Volleyball 
	 $5,000 first prize
	 Won by Menges/Lee
	 30,000 spectators

Events Concepts founded, to promote and expand beach tour.

Ron Von Hagen retires with record 62 Open Wins.

1978

Jose Cuervo Tequila enters as sport's first major sponsor.

1979

Prize money for the major USA event doubled to $10,000.
King of the Beach tournament held in Manhattan Beach 
offered $11,000 prize money.

1980

Cash prizes for 7 tournaments.
$52,000 prize total (Jose Cuervo sponsor).
	 San Diego, Santa Barbara, Laguna ($5,000)
	 Manhattan ($10,000)
	 King of Beach ($12,000)
         World Championships ($15,000)

1981

Miller Brewing Company joins as major sponsor.

1982

Cash prizes for 6 tournaments.
$69,000 prize total (Miller Brewing sponsor).
Tour becomes national, with Clearwater (Florida) Open.
         
1983

Cash prizes for 12 tournaments.
$137,000 prize total (Miller Brewing sponsor).
Tour stopped in 4 states (CA, FL, NY, CO) 

AVP - Association of Volleyball Professionals founded (July 21, 1983).
 
1984

AVP - Tour stopped in 7 states (CA, FL, NY, CO, IL, AZ, HA)
       25 total events - Miller sponsored 18, Cuervo 7 
       Player strike at World Championships, Redondo Beach.

1985

AVP - Bolle Sunglasses joins as major sponsor
       Total tour prize money reaches $275,000.

1986

AVP - Pro Beach Volleyball receives cable television coverage via 
       "Prime Ticket", and Pro Beach Volleyball makes its network debut
       ABC's Wide World of Sports.

International Exhibition in Rio de Janiero, with 5,000 spectators.
         
WPVA - Women's Professional Volleyball Association formed.

Australian Pro Beach Circuit formed.

1987

FIVB - FIVB Men's Beach Volleyball World Championships held for first time - Ipanema, Brazil

AVP - Tour stopped in 4 countries, 9 states (CA, FL, NY, CO, IL, AZ, OH, WI, MA).

1988

AVP - cash prizes for 28 tournaments.
       signs 3 year agreement with Miller, calling for $4.5 Million dollars.  
       Cuervo sponsors three $100,000 events.
       Miller hires AVP to produce 23 Lite Beer events.

1991

AVP - King of the Beach Event added to AVP schedule

1992

FIVB - First Women's Event, Almeria, Spain, August 12-15

1993

FIVB - Women's World Championship Series initiated

AVP - NBC broadcasts 10 AVP events
       Estimated live attendance 600,000
       $3,700,000 total prize money.

Olympics - September 21st, the International Olympic Committee
	    (IOC) grants Beach Volleyball Olympic medal status.

1994

AVP - 27 total events
       Evian sponsors indoor event at Madison Square Garden
       Nestea sponsors four events
       NBC broadcasts 10 events (21 hours)
       $4,000,000 total prize money

1995

AVP - 29 total events 
       Evian Indoor Tour expands to 4 events
        (Washington, Boston, Minneapolis, New York)

1996

Olympics - Olympics in Atlanta, 
            24 men's teams and 16 women's teams represent their countries
            in the first ever Olympic Beach Volleyball Tournaments.

Dominant Players over Time


     1950's  Gene Selznick, Holtzman, Saenz

1960-1964    O'Hara, Bright

1965-1974    Ron Von Hagen, Lang

1975-1979    Jim Menges, Fishburn, Matt Gage, Dane Selznick

1980's       Sinjin Smith, Randy Stoklos, Mike Dodd, Tim Hovland

1990's       Karch Kiraly, Kent Steffes
             	Karolyn Kirby, Liz Masakayan

 

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