History of Beach Volleyball
The real birth date of bead volleyball, or in other words, playing volleyball at the beach in not clearly known as it is not created by one person or a group of people and based on rules to be introduced to the community in contrast with many other sports. It is originated from the social life of the people which was played in the leisure time at the beaches alongside with the development and expansion of volleyball in the world. It is one of the most popular and exciting sports in Olympic and is officially followed in 90 countries in the world. There are more than 200 tournaments every year in the name of beach volleyball all over the world with the overall award of 31 million dollars. What we have as the beach volleyball today in the world dates back to the Hawaii beaches in the summer of 1915, when some of the youth decided to practice it in their leisure time. It was so enjoyable and amusing that the number of interested people and the fans grew higher. The tendency of playing volleyball at the beaches on hot sands were getting stronger and stronger which was followed by providing a special area at the Santa Monica in 1920 for the public to play beach volleyball. It was how the beach volleyball came into a new life and found its place in people’s routines. From then on and with the popularity of this sport, more beach volleyball areas were designed for enthusiasts. Private clubs were established near the shores and accepted members in order to provide them with beach volleyball facilities besides benefitting from the beach areas. Until 1922, the number of these clubs were 11 which led to the groups which played volleyball only at the beaches and sandy places. It was the time for teaming up in order to have some matches. In 1924, it happened among these private clubs but was still for fun and entertainment. Beach volleyball had a big change in 1930s while getting more and more popular. Pablo Johnson, a professional volleyball player of Saint Monica who was technically at a high level, made a team with two players who rivaled the teams with 6 ones as in those years beach volleyball was played like the hall volleyball and the only difference was the court. The idea of playing beach volleyball with two players began with Johnson and became a rule and it still is. Since then alongside with this big change which made the beach volleyball more attractive, different and independent, it was transferred from America to Europe to be given more life in France, Czech Slovakia, Bulgaria and Leetonia. The 1940s was a big start for beach volleyball. There was no cash award but the champion team would receive a cup. The first championship with award for the champions was held in California in 1948 with a number of participating teams. The prize was a box of Pepsi.
The first tournament with cash award was in 1974 in San Diego with an award of 1500 dollars which was greatly welcomed by the teams and fans who flew to the beach. It gradually turned into a must to have a cash reward. Meanwhile, there were also special places for the fans to watch the competitions much easier after that. In 1987, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship ran first in Rio de Janeiro and it was repeated annually. This tournament was renamed to the World Tour since 1989 and was only held in one country. But the first world tour in today’s way which is held in different countries right now began in 1992 taking place in Japan, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Italy and Australia. In the same year, the beach volleyball was practiced in the Barcelona Olympic Games for the first time in history. In 1993, the international committee of the Olympic officially approved it as one of the Olympic sports since Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. The Beach Volleyball World Tours have been part of the qualification process for the Olympic since 1999 and have also been held in different Age groups since 2002. It is now one of the most popular sports in the Olympic Games and is officially practiced in 90 countries with around 200 annual tournaments and award of 31 million dollars all over the world.
Beach Volleyball in Iran
Along the development of beach volleyball in 1990s, Iran Volleyball federation formed the Beach Committee to train and improve the trends of this sport in Iran. At first, it was held daily in beach lands of Peykan Club and Azadi Sport Complex. The indoor volleyball players of the premier league formed two-person teams to take part in the tournaments which were generally of entertaining purposes.
After two years of small one-day tournaments being held among the club teams to bring name to beach volleyball, the beach volleyball athletes were split from the indoor ones. Beach players were gradually divided from the indoor ones to have technical practices in coastal field. Hence, the first edition of three-day beach volleyball tournament set off in the North city of Rudsar.
Iran & Asia
In the late 20th century as the number of beach volleyball players in Iran increased and also the beach tournaments were started to run in the country, Iran national and representative teams were formed to participate in the Asian Tours which was then followed by qualifying for the Asian Volleyball Championship and the Asian Games.
At the beginning of the new century, in order to develop beach volleyball and its importance for the sponsors, Iran decided to hold annual Asian and Oceania Tours in Kish Island which was warmly welcomed by other countries and continued for five years. All these resulted in hosting the Asian Beach Volleyball Championship in 2006.
In succeeding years, the Iranian teams kept competing in the Asian tours and finally entitled the champion of the Asia in 2011.
A New Outlook
Following a period of relative stagnation in Beach Volleyball both at national and international levels, Iran volleyball federation throw a new outlook toward evaluating the situation, taking advantage of effective resources, and mapping new horizons for beach volleyball as being among the top teams of Asia, World, and Olympic. In the first step, Beach Committee changed and expanded into Beach Organization.
Iran with six thousand kilometers coasts (from the south to the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea – from the north to the Caspian Sea) and a population of about 25 million young people aged from 15 to 30 years has two important principles, namely land and human resource.
In order to achieve the global objectives, Iran’s Beach Volleyball Organization used these important elements to develop and implement the given plans and programs since 2013.
In the first step, the Beach Organization looked for the talented players among the teenagers and managed to run the Junior Championship in Iran. Besides talent-finding process and the efforts for revolutionizing beach volleyball generation, the organization started to hold a range of international coaching courses to enhance and update the technical knowledge of the beach volleyball community.
As an another effective steps taken, the organization has started holding the beach volleyball league since last year by engaging the public and bringing the media into beach volleyball.
During the last two years with training efficient technical resources as coaches and players, Iran Bach Volleyball Organization provided the Iranian teams with the opportunity to participate in the world tour to fulfill the requirements and qualify for the Olympic Games and other important world tournaments.
Seeking the consultation of the World Federation along with presenting the developmental plans of beach volleyball, Iran Volleyball Federation requested for hosting the Beach World Tour which was of prominence in the new term of beach activities. After the approval of international experts, Iran was accepted to host beach world tour for three consecutive years.
The Beach Organization believes that Iran will be soon an important pole of beach volleyball in the Region, Asia and world with these well-designed programs. The attempts are made to stick to the plans working day and night to succeed in this mission and try hard to make this sport flourishing amongst the youth. The Organization will also lead the representative teams to head to the credited tournaments of the world by enhancing their knowledge of beach volleyball in order to qualify for the world required standards and Olympic Games.
Officials of Beach Volleyball Committee of Iran:
1993-2000: The late Mr. Mahmoud Adl (AVC Beach Committee Member)
2000-2007: Mr. Mahmoud Hadad (AVC Beach Committee Member)
2007-2012: Mr. Ahmad Khojasteh (The Secretary of AVC Beach Committee)
2012-2014: Mr. Hasan Mansouri
2014-up to now: Mr. Abdul-Azim Azizkhani (AVC Beach Committee Member)