Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules. It has been a part of the official program of the Summer Olympic Games since Tokyo 1964.
The complete set of rules is extensive, but play essentially proceeds as follows: a player on one of the teams begins a 'rally' by serving the ball (tossing or releasing it and then hitting it with a hand or arm), from behind the back boundary line of the court, over the net, and into the receiving team's court. The receiving team must not let the ball be grounded within their court. The team may touch the ball up to 3 times, but individual players may not touch the ball twice consecutively. Typically, the first two touches are used to set up for an attack, an attempt to direct the ball back over the net in such a way that the serving team is unable to prevent it from being grounded in their court.
US women's team has cited several advantages to bikini uniforms, such as comfort while playing on sand during hot weather. Photo shows US national team players (Jennifer Fopma (left) and Brooke Sweat) in their uniforms.
United States and Brazil have won most of the Olympic medals of beach volleyball. Picture shows Juliana Silva (left) of Brazil, with Kerri Walsh (center) and Misty May-Treanor of the United States at the 2011 FIVB Moscow Grand Slam.
Beach volleyball players at the Outrigger Canoe Club in Hawaii, ca. 1915
A beach volleyball referee determines if a fault has been committed.
Unlike indoor volleyball, a touch off the block counts as one of the three allowed touches.