History of Beach Volleyball A Timeline of USA Volleyball Sand Success

History of beach volleyball Misty May Treanor, Kerri Walsh, Dain Blainton and Karch Kiraly make beach volleyball history on the sand for the United States 

History of Beach Volleyball: Misty May Treanor, Kerri Walsh, Dain Blainton and Karch Kiraly make beach volleyball history for the United States (Daniel J Coomber)History of Beach Volleyball: Misty May Treanor, Kerri Walsh, Dain Blainton and Karch Kiraly make beach volleyball history for the United States (Daniel J Coomber)


This recent beach volleyball history timeline details the events that contributed to the highs and lows of beach volleyball in the United States.


1965: The California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) was formed.



The "Quicksand Documentary" is a beach volleyball documentary detailing the history of beach volleyball which started in Southern California and epitomized the Southern California lifestyle.



  • 1983: Twenty years later the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was formed.


  • 1986: The first professional beach volleyball association only for women was created called the Women's Professional Volleyball Association (WPVA) was formed.


WPVA(Women's Volleyball) 1994 Ft. Lauderdale Final




History of Beach Volleyball Timeline: 1990s


  • 1992: The Four Person Pro Beach Volleyball League was started in the United States.

Four-Woman Pro-Beach Team Champions

  • 1995  Team Sony
  • 1994
  • 1993  Team Champion (We won!) - Captain Paula Weishoff, Tammy Liley, April Chapple, Kelly Strand Van Winden, Cheri Boyer Fitzner
  • 1996: In the Atlanta Olympics the two-person beach volleyball made its debut as an Olympic Sport.


1996 Olympics Beach Volleyball Quarter Final Match Pt. 1



  • 1997: Dain Blanton becomes the first African-American professional beach volleyball player in US beach volleyball history to win a tournament on the Miller Lite/AVP Tour.


  • 1999: For the first time in the history of volleyball in the Pan Am Games, beach volleyball was introduced in the 13th edition held in Winnepeg, Canada.


History of Beach Volleyball Timeline: 2000s


  • 2000: Eric Fonoimoana and Dain Blanton (USA) defeat Brazilian champions Ze Roberto and Ricardo Santos claim the first Olympic Beach Volleyball Men's Gold medalists.


  • 2000: The women's Beach Volleyball America (BVA) announces their inaugural season of play.


Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana

Beach Volleyball 2000 Sydney Olympics

Gold Medal



2001: Christopher "Sinjin" Smith partnering with George Roumain, played his final match of his long and industrious career against Dax Holdren and Todd Rogers in the 4th round of the contender's bracket at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open. 

Sinjin retires as the leader in the most beach volleyball tournaments played with 416, second in all-time victories with 139, and fourth in all-time winnings with over US $1.6 million earned.


2002: In an effort to make the beach game more fast paced and TV friendly the beach volleyball court dimensions were reduced to 8m x 8m per side.


2003: Karch Kiraly created another milestone in beach volleyball history by becoming the first volleyball player to earn three million dollars in prize money and the oldest player to win an AVP beach volleyball tournament at age 42 years, 9 months and 14 days.



2004: Without losing a set, Kerri Walsh and Misty May Win the gold medal and the Women's Olympic Beach Volleyball Title in Athens, Greece.



Gold Medal Moments:

Misty May & Kerri Walsh

(2004, 2008 & 2012 Summer Olympics)



2005: Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor win their second Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Open women's title and the 2005 overall women's championship.


History of Beach Volleyball Timeline: 2006


2006: Elaine Youngs' second place finish with Rachel Wacholder in Seaside Heights pushes her career earnings past $1 million.

She becomes the third American beach volleyball player to achieve that mark.



Karch Kiraly retirement ceremony during the AVP Manhattan Beach Volleyball Open in 2007 by announcer Chris "Geeter" McGee.



  • 2006: In Seaside Heights, both Casey Jennings with Matt Fuerbringer and Kerri Walsh with Misty May-Treanor won titles, becoming just the second husband-wife duo to win pro beach volleyball events on the same weekend. They join Mike and Patty Dodd, who accomplished the feat four times in 1989, but each time in different locations.


  • 2006: Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor win in Chicago as Walsh joins the millionaire club.

She is the 18th person worldwide to win over $1 million in her career, and did so in fewer events (90th tournament) as well as being one of just four to reach the mark before turning 28 years old.


History of Beach Volleyball Timeline: 2007


  • 2007: Misty May-Treanor passes Brazilians Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede as the winningest player since the women's competition on the international beach volleyball circuit began in 1992.


  • 2007: Misty May-Treanor becomes the women's all-time wins leader by capturing her 73rd victory, surpassing Holly McPeak's record by winning with Kerri Walsh in Hermosa Beach. She reached this total in just 123 tournaments -- winning 57.5% of her events.


  • 2007: In a championship match that lasted 1:41, Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs defeat Jennifer Boss and April Ross 21-19, 18-21, 16-14 in Seaside Heights. The marathon set the record for the longest match in rally scoring, men or women, in domestic or international play.

  • 2007: Karch Kiraly retires to close an impressive career on the beach, leaving as the all-time wins leader and money earner.

Insuring his mark in beach volleyball history, Karch's longevity was marked by the fact he won a tournament in 24 different years, and he advanced to the semifinals in over 75% of all the events he ever played and was named as the AVP's Most Valuable Player a record six times.


History of Beach Volleyball Timeline: 2008


  • 2008: Hot Winter Nights, a series of 19 events in January and February, kicks off in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma marking the first ever indoor beach volleyball tour. Mark Williams and Nancy Mason were the first winners in the "King of the Beach format" events.




  • 2008: At the Beijing Olympics despite an unfortunate incident where Olympic Men's volleyball coach's father-in-law was killed before the start of the volleyball competition, the US men's volleyball team won a gold medal while the women reached the finals and lost to Brazil which earned them a silver medal tying the best finish ever for an American women's volleyball team in the Olympics.


  • 2010: The AVP closes its doors unable to raise the money needed to conclude the 2010 pro beach volleyball season. 



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If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 


Learn more about the history of beach volleyball in the pages below.




  • Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
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  • How To Play Beach Volleyball Competitively Why Learn The Beach Basics?
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  • History of Beach Volleyball A Timeline of USA Volleyball Sand Success




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