Beach Volleyball [BV] - it's the most dynamic and spectacular sport on the Olympic schedule! The power, grace and composure of the athletes who battle the elements, wind, sand, sun, rain, heat and cold is inspiring and awesome. The emotional, mental and physical challenges of a 2 person game make the game so intense to watch.
Is the only difference between beach volleyball and indoor volleyball the fact that it’s held outside on sand?
There are a few more differences. There are minor rule differences, but only one that is major. After the ball touches the block on the beach it counts as 1 touch, so you only have 2 more to get the ball back over the net, however in indoor it is not counted, so you have 3 touches to get it back.INDOOR VS BEACH VOLLEYBALL RULES
|INDOOR:||6 players||Allowed||Coach is active||9 x 9m||Standard|
|BEACH:||2 players||Not allowed||No coach courtside||8 x 8m||BIKINI!|
Is there a performance reason why the bikinis are so skimpy in beach volleyball, or is it all for the cameras? Why don’t the boys wear sluggos?
The bikini is very functional. It fits the body well and allows full unrestricted movement. And if made properly for you then you don't need to keep pulling the wedgie out every point. (unless you have a tick like some tennis players) Sometimes the temperatures are so extreme that less you are wearing the better. We have played in 55 degrees on centre court in Brasil and you feel like you even want to take the bikini off! If you wear anything more the chaffing is not fun either :)
Now men in sluggos, the crumbed sausage is not a good look. Plus they want more room for logos for sponsorship.
Most BV players, from amateurs to professionals, have incredible bodies! Do you cross train or does BV just give you an amazing overall body workout?
We do cross train for variety and for specific muscle strength or stamina. Over the years, depending on my injuries and how the body and mind are travelling I have used several different types of cross training. Interval training, on and off sand, pool workouts (water running), bike sprints, kick boxing, gym workouts (for power, of strength, depending on wear in the season), yoga, pilates plus lots of recovery and rehab sessions for knees and shoulders)But yes beach volleyball is a great overall body workout. Plus if you chase a ball around the sand for an 1hour you don't even realise how hard you have worked. It is hard enough walking from the car to the water at the beach for a surf! Try playing fetch for an 1hour!
How is a beach volleyball game scored and a winner determined?
Best of 3 sets, first to 21 points, have to win by 2 points though. (no cap) 3rd and deciding set is to 15. Again win by 2 and no cap! So either you win 2 sets to 0, or 2 sets to 1.
Can you explain some of the hand gestures you signal behind your back at the start of each point?Of course! These are crowd favourites. Our hand signals are an intricate communication system that has taken years to perfect. It allows us to say whole paragraphs with 2 hands. It coordinates the block and the defense, the serve and the intention of the play. Every team has a different system now, but in the beginning it started with a simple 1 and 2 call. 1 for blocking line and the 2 for blocking cross. Now you will see all sorts of things, and sorry I can't give ours away!
What are 3 main rules of the sport?RULE 1: You can't touch the net
RULE 2: Three touches maximum on each side
TULE 3: If the ball hits the line it is in
(objective is to get the ball on your oppositions sand!)
What does it take to win Olympic gold in beach volleyball?
Persistence, commitment, passion, maturity, courage, belief, skilful, teamwork, determination...just to name a few!
Natalie Cook is an Oakley athlete. Banzai wishes you all the best for London 2012, Nat!Related links:
- What will triathlete Emma Jackson eat straight after the Olympics?
- GALLERY: Inspirational bodies of Australian athletes
- Helpful tips for everyday athletes