The Growth of
Sand Volleyball - Famous Players and Legends on the Beach
Read about sand volleyball history and the growth of the sport.
History of Sand
Volleyball - Becoming Part of California Lifestyle
• 1957 – Beach volleyball history took on a star-studded flavor when
Greta Tyson appeared as the “Queen of the Beach” in a tournament won by
Bernie Holtzman and Gene Selznick.
• 1950s- 1960s – Beach volleyball continues to engrain into the
Stars like Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles make this sport gain serious
recognition. President John F. Kennedy also made an appearance at the
first beach volleyball event in Sorrento Beach during this timeframe.
• 1965 California Beach Volleyball Association was founded to
establish official rules and sanction tournaments.
Volleyball - Commercial Tournaments
• 1974 – Fred Zuelich and Dennis Hare win the first-ever commercially
sponsored tournament in San Diego, California. A total of 250
spectators during out to see who would win title that was on the line.
• 1976 – The first-ever Championships of Beach Volleyball take place at
State Beach. The tournament pulls in 30,000 spectators and has players
battling it out for a whopping $5,000 in prize money.
• 1977 – Professional beach volleyball takes off as tournaments are
held in such locations as Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and Lake Tahoe.
• 1980 – The first sponsored tour in the United States takes place. The
tour includes seven events.
• 1982 – Beach volleyball goes national with its USA Tour that takes in
such cities as New York, Denver and Clearwater, Florida.
Volleyball - The Association of Volleyball Professionals, AVP Founded
• 1983 – The Association of Volleyball Professionals, or AVP for short,
gets it official start on July 21. The organization was founded to
protect player interests and to preserve and ensure the integrity of
• 1984 – The first AVP players strike takes place during the World
Championships at Redondo Beach. This results in the AVP playing host to
its own tour.
• 1985 – The AVP Tour now includes stops in eight states, including
California, Hawaii, Florida, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
• 1986 – The Australian presence in the game becomes even more marked
as the Australian Pro Beach Circuit officially springs to life.
• 1986 – Female players of the game strike out on their own to form the
Women’s Professional Volleyball Association in the United States.
Sanctioned Event in 1987
• 1987 – International tournament play gets its start when the first
FIVB, International Volleyball Federation sanctioned event takes place
at Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
• 1988 – AVP tournaments continue to grow with 27 events now on the
Legend Karch Kiraly Goes to the Beach Full-time
• 1989 – Olympic indoor volleyball gold medalist Karch Kiraly turns his
attentions to beach volleyball full-time. He proceeds to win four
events with partner Brent Frohoff.
• 1990 – The World Series FIVB Beach Volleyball International Circuit
gets under way with men’s tournaments set in Japan, Brazil and Italy.
Randy Stoklos and Sinjin Smith are named the Men’s World Champions.
• 1990 – Mike Dodd and Tim Hovland play their last tournament together
during a July 14-15 event in Milwaukee. The team up ended with the two
being known as the second longest standing partnership. They played 163
tournaments together beginning with their first in 1981.
• 1991 – AVP tournaments get a real boost when the first live
television coverage is staged for an AVP event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
• 1991 – The very first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Council convenes in
Lausanne to set the program for beach volleyball.
• 1992 – More than 100 players from five continents converge on
Almeria, Spain, for FIVB Beach Volleyball as the Olympic Games take
place in Barcelona. This demonstration event would eventually
open the doors for Olympic play in 1996.
From Aug. 5-12, the very first FIVB women’s tournament is organized in
Stoklos and Sinjin Smith - 5th World Championship
• 1992 – Randy Stoklos and Sinjin Smith become FIVB legends by winning
the World Championships for the fifth time.
• 1992 – Brazil’s love for beach volleyball becomes solidified as the
Confederação Brasileira de Volley-Ball (CBV), the Brazilian National
Federation, creates its own FIVB 24-leg National Championship.
• 1993 – The International Olympic Committee grants beach volleyball
medal status for the first time ever. The debut of the sport is set for
the 1996 Atlanta Olympics where both men’s and women’s teams will
• 1993 – AVP stars and international legends Sinjin Smith and Randy
Stoklos play in their last tournament together as a team during a May
8-9 tournament in San Antonio, Texas. The pair hold the record for the
most tournaments played together as a team with 235 total. They also
hold the record for partnership victories at 114.
• 1994 – Karch Kiraly’s three-year run as King of the Beach comes to an
end thanks to Adam Johnson. Kiraly and partner Kent Steffes, however,
continue to grab headlines by dominating the AVP circuit with 17 wins
out of 22 tournaments together.
You find more pages about sand volleyball history by going back to
History of Volleyball page.