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Beach Volleyball History

1895   William G. Morgan, an instructor at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Mass., decides to blend elements of basketball, baseball, tennis, and handball to create a game for his classes of businessmen which would demand less physical contact than basketball. He creates the game of Volleyball (at that time called mintonette). Morgan borrows the net from tennis, and raises it 6 feet 6 inches above the floor, just above the average man's head.
1920s   There are unconfirmed whispers of men’s teams playing on the beach in Hawaii, but most accounts place the sport's origin in Santa Monica, California where the first Volleyball courts are put up on the beach at the Playground. Families play 6 vs. 6.
1927   Beach Volleyball crosses the Atlantic Ocean. It becomes the principal sport in a French nudist camp founded in Franconville, a north-western suburb of Paris.
1930s   The first two-man beach volleyball game is played in Santa Monica, California.
1930s   Beach volleyball appears in Palavas, Lacanau and Royan (France), around Sofia (Bulgaria), Prague (Czechoslavakia), and Riga (Latvia).
1930s   In the US, people escape the depression by going to the beach; 4 vs 4 and 3 vs 3 games are played.
1947   The first official two-man Beach Volleyball tournament is held at Will Rogers State Beach, California with no prize money. It is organized by Bernie Holtzman and won by Manny Saenz and Harris.
1948   The first tournament to offer a prize is held in Los Angeles, California. It awards the best teams with a case of Pepsi.
1950s Parks & Rec The first circuit is organized by the Parks & Recreation Departments on five beaches in California: Santa Barbara, Will Rogers State Beach, Sorrento Beach, Laguna Beach, and San Diego. In the database, this era is referred to as Parks & Recreation (P&R).
1950s   In Brazil, the first tournament sponsored by a newspaper publishing company takes place.
1950s   The beginning of "Beachmania": Beach Volleyball becomes an entertainment show with Beauty Contests included in the official program.
1957 Parks & Rec Bernie Holtzman and Gene Selznick win an event that features Greta Tyson, star of "Pajama Tops", as Queen of the Beach. Beach volleyball becomes more than a sport; it turns into a real show.
1960s   In France, the winners of 3 vs. 3 games earn about 30,000 French Francs in tournaments in La Baule and les Sables d'Olonne.
1960s Parks & Rec Open tournaments are held on thirteen beaches in California: Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Will Rogers State Beach, Manhattan Beach, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach, San Diego, Mission Beach, Newport Beach, Rosecrans, Sorrento Beach, Marine Street, and Laguna Niguel. The first Manhattan Beach Open takes place in 1960.
1960s Parks & Rec President Kennedy attends the first official Beach Volleyball event in Sorrento Beach, Los Angeles.
1965 Parks & Rec The California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) is founded. Tournament organizers meet to coordinate schedules and define the rules of the game.
1970 Parks & Rec The first Hermosa Beach tournament is played with Ron Von Hagen and Henry Bergman capturing the title.
1975 Parks & Rec Winston Cigarettes becomes the first commercial company to sponsor a tournament which takes place in San Diego, California with 250 spectators. A total of $1,500 in prize money is offered with Dennis Hare and Fred Zeulich winning the event.
1976 Parks & Rec Olympia Beer presents the Inaugural Professional Championships of Beach Volleyball at Will Rogers State Beach with a $5,000 first prize. The event is won by Jim Menges and Greg Lee. It is estimated that close to 30,000 spectators enjoy the competition.
1976 Parks & Rec Events Concepts is founded to promote and expand the beach tour.
1976 Parks & Rec The first event played outside of California takes place on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Fred Sturm and Gary Hooper take home 1st place.
1976 Parks & Rec Ron Von Hagen retires with record 62 Open Wins. Von Hagen is now considered the Babe Ruth of Beach Volleyball.
1978 Parks & Rec Jose Cuervo Tequila enters as the sport's first major sponsor.
1979 Parks & Rec Prize money for the major US events doubles to $10,000.
1979 Parks & Rec The King of the Beach tournament in Manhattan Beach offers $11,000 prize money.
1979 Parks & Rec Tournaments are held in four states, California, Hawaii, Colorado, and Nevada.
1980 Parks & Rec The first sponsored tour in the US begins with seven events on the calendar and $52,000 prize money. The tour includes stops in San Diego, Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach ($5,000), Manhattan Beach ($10,000), The King of the Beach ($12,000), and The World Championships ($15,000).
1981 Parks & Rec Miller Brewing Company joins Beach Volleyball as a major sponsor.
1982 Parks & Rec The tour becomes national with the first east coast tournament held in Clearwater, Florida. With Miller Brewing as a sponsor, $69,000 in total cash prizes are awarded for six tournaments.
1982   Beach Volleyball becomes popular on the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
1983 Parks & Rec $137,000 in total cash prizes are awarded for twelve tournaments. The tour expands with stops in New York, and Chicago.
1983 AVP On July 21, the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) is formed to protect players' interests and to preserve the integrity of beach volleyball.
1984 AVP Players strike at the World Championships in Redondo Beach. The AVP begins running its own tour.
1985 AVP Bolle Sunglasses joins the AVP as a major sponsor. The total tour prize money reaches $275,000.
1985 AVP The AVP Tour includes stops in eight states ( California, Florida, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Hawaii).
1986 FIVB The first international Beach Volleyball exhibition in Rio de Janeiro is held with 5,000 spectators.
1986 FIVB Brazilian Volleyball Champions, like Renan, Badá, Montanaro, William, Jackie Silva, Isabel Salgado, Vera Mossa, Regina Uchoa, along with the 1984 Olympic Volleyball Champion, Pat Powers and the King of the Beach, Sinjin Smith become leading figures in the world-wide growth of Beach Volleyball.
1986 FIVB The Australian Pro Beach Circuit is born.
1986 AVP AVP Pro Beach Volleyball receives cable television coverage via "Prime Ticket", and Pro Beach Volleyball makes its network debut on ABC's Wide World of Sports.
1986 WPVA The Women's Professional Volleyball Association (WPVA) is created when a group of professional women that include former Olympic and collegiate All-American volleyball players join together. Led by Pepperdine volleyball coach Nina Matthies, the formation of the WPVA is the first step to organizing the women's pro beach volleyball events which had previously been played as amateur games or as the accompaniment to the men's professional game.
1987 FIVB The first international FIVB sanctioned Beach Volleyball tournament is held at Ipanema Beach ( Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) with $22,000 in prize money. Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos win the tournament.
1987 WPVA The WPVA holds its first Women's Professional event in Newport Beach, California on May 16-17. Linda Chisholm and Jackie Silva win the event and split $300 in prize money. Chisholm dominates the inaugural season winning eight out of nine tournaments with two different partners, Jackie Silva (seven) and Nina Matthies (one).
1988 AVP The AVP awards cash prizes for twenty-seven tournaments. The AVP signs a three-year contract with Miller that results in a total of $4.5 million in prize money. Miller hires the AVP to produce twenty-three Lite Beer events.
1989 AVP After winning two indoor Olympic gold medals with USA volleyball and playing indoors professionally in Italy, Karch Kiraly turns to the beach full time and wins four events with Brent Frohoff.
1990 FIVB The first FIVB Beach Volleyball International Circuit offering $140,000 in total prize money, named the World Series, is created with men’s tournaments in Brazil, Italy, and Japan. The Brazillian event sells out with thousands of people outside the stadium wanting to get in. Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos are the Men's World Champions.
1990 AVP NBC Sports makes its debut on the beach volleyball scene, broadcasting the Hermosa Beach event.
1990 AVP In the AVP, Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos top the $200,000 mark in a single season, each winning $221,438. Karch Kiraly teams up with a young Kent Steffes to win two events out of ten before returning to win five of thirteen with Brent Frohoff.
1990 AVP Long time partners Tim Hovland and Mike Dodd play their last tournament together on July 14th-15th in Milwaukee. Hovland and Dodd hold the second longest partnership with 163 tournaments together dating back to 1981.
1991 AVP The AVP adds the King of the Beach Event to their schedule. This event features a unique format where players play round-robin with different partners to determine the "King of the Beach." One of the event's creators, Karch Kiraly, wins the inaugural title.
1991 AVP NBC Sports provides the first live coverage of an AVP tournament in Milwaukee.
1991 FIVB The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Series stops in four countries (France, Italy, Japan and Brazil) and offers $200,000 in total prize money. The 1990/91 Men World Champions are once again Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos.
1991 FIVB In September the first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Council gathers in Lausanne to determine the program for Beach Volleyball.
1992 AVP Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes dominate the AVP winning sixteen of nineteen events together including thirteen in a row to tie the all-time record for consecutive wins. Karch and Kent also become the first players to top $300,000 in a season with Kent winning $332,740, and Karch, who missed the first six events, winning $327,100.
1992 WPVA Gail Castro and Lori Forsythe end the longest women's partnership at Atlantic City, July 4th-5th. Castro and Forsythe played 70 tournaments together dating back to 1988. The partnership produced just three victories, all coming during the 1991 season. Forsythe will go on to play with Barbra Fontana beginning in 1993 to put together a tie for second longest partnership at 51. Before retiring in 1995, Forsythe will reunite with Castro for four more events bringing their record setting total to 74.
1992 FIVB The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Series offers $950,000 in total prize money for six events.
1992 FIVB Beach Volleyball is played as a demonstration sport in Almeria, Spain with over 100 players representing the five continents while the Olympic Games are being held in Barcelona. The first women's FIVB Beach Volleyball competition also takes place in Almeria, Spain from August 5th-12th. The first Women World Champions are Karolyn Kirby and Nancy Reno.
1992 FIVB Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos, enter into legendary status by becoming World Champions for the 5th time.
1992 FIVB The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) sets up a Beach Volleyball Department.
1992 FIVB The Confederação Brasileira de Volley-Ball (CBV), the Brazilian National Federation creates a 24-leg National Championship.
1993 AVP NBC Sports broadcasts a record ten AVP Tour events in a year in which prize money totals $3.7 million and more than 600,000 people attend AVP tournaments.
1993 AVP Karch Kiraly wins his third straight AVP Championship and his third straight King of the Beach crown. Karch and Kent Steffes once again dominate the AVP tour winning eighteen of twenty-four events together en route to becoming the first players to top $400,000 in a season. Karch wins $467,877 and Kent nets $409,877.
1993 AVP Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos play their last tournament together in San Antonio, May 8th-9th. Smith and Stoklos hold the records for most tournaments played together at 235 and the most victories as a partnership at 114. Smith and Stoklos first played together in 1982.
1993 AVP The AVP holds women's events at sixteen of the men's tour stops. In a unique format, eight players comprising four teams, exchanging partners weekly, battle all season with prize money paid at the end of the year. Holly McPeak wins the tour championship with eleven victories to claim the $65,000 first prize.
1993 WPVA With eight of the top players moving to the AVP tour, Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan begin the most dominant era in the WPVA winning eleven of twelve tournaments and splitting $74,550. Masakayan and Kirby begin a partnership that will eventually tie for the second longest among the women at 51 tournaments.
1993 FIVB S.E. Sr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, IOC President, Billy Payne, ACOG President and IOC members attend the February FIVB Beach Volleyball Finals held in Rio de Janeiro along with 140,000 spectators (in one week).
1993 FIVB On September 21, beach volleyball becomes an Olympic sport when the International Olympic Committee grants the sport medal status at Monte Carlo’s IOC meeting. Twenty-four men's teams and eighteen women's teams will compete for the first Beach Volleyball Olympic Gold Medal in the upcoming 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The AVP's popularity, in coordination with its broadcast partner NBC who is set to broadcast the games, pushes beach volleyball into the Olympics.
1993 FIVB The first non-Americans Franco Neto and Roberto Lopes of Brazil are the Men's World Champions. Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan of the United States are the Women's World Champions.
1994 AVP The Miller Lite/AVP Tour and its twenty-seven events approach the $4 million mark in total prize money. Evian and Nestea join the growing list of AVP sponsors with Evian opting for an indoor event in Madison Square Garden.
1994 AVP NBC's total broadcast time climbs to twenty-one hours for ten events.
1994 AVP Adam Johnson breaks Karch Kiraly's three-year reign as King of the Beach, but Kiraly and Kent Steffes continue to dominate the AVP circuit winning seventeen out of twenty-two tournaments together.
1994 AVP The AVP lures four more women's teams to play at fourteen men's events. The format no longer consists of exchanging partners and prize money is paid out at each tournament.
1994 FIVB The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Series tops the $1 million mark in total prize money with twelve tournaments.
1994 FIVB Beach Volleyball is included in the Goodwill Games held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Goodwill Games men's medallists are:
  • Gold: Jan Kvalheim and Bjorn Maaseide (Norway)
  • Silver: Carlos Briceno and Jeff Williams (United States)
  • Bronze: Sinjin Smith and Bruk Vandeweghe (United States)

The women's medallists are :

  • Gold: Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan (United States)
  • Silver: Mônica Rodrigues and Adriana Samuel (Brazil)
  • Bronze: Barbra Fontana and Lori Forsythe (United States)
1994 FIVB Brazil, United States, and Chile host Women's FIVB Beach Volleyball events.
1994 FIVB The Men's World Champions are Jan Kvalheim and Bjorn Maaseide (Norway) and the Women's World Champions are Mônica Rodrigues and Adriana Samuel (Brazil).
1995 AVP The season's biggest news is the injury to Kent Steffes that forces Karch Kiraly to find another partner. Karch chooses Scott Ayakatubby until Steffes' return. After reuninting with Kent, the two only manage one win in four events, and Karch again turns to Ayakatubby. The season proves to be a gold mine for Scott who wins eight times with Karch in just thirteen events compared to seven prior victories in thirteen seasons.
1995 AVP The Miller Lite/AVP Tour grows to a record twenty-nine tournaments. The Evian Indoor Series becomes a full pre-season circuit, with events in Washington, DC, Boston, Minneapolis and New York.
1995 WPVA In the WPVA, Holly McPeak and Nancy Reno return from the AVP, who's women's tour folds, to end Karolyn Kirby's and Liz Masakayan's dominance. McPeak and Reno win eight of fourteen tournaments together when Liz Masakayan is sidelined with an injury that shortens her season. Liz and Karolyn play just seven events together, winning three.
1995 FIVB The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship Series includes twenty-seven tournaments for both men and women and offers $3.5 million in total prize money.
1995 FIVB Host Broadcasters present 100 hours of news, highlights and broadcasting of FIVB events.
1995 FIVB The FIVB Final Beach Volleyball Rankings serve as a basis to qualify the best pairs in the world for the Olympics. Some 600 athletes representing 42 countries take part in the Olympic Qualification season.
1995 FIVB Over 50 National Federations have set up a Beach Volleyball National Council to promote the sport in their countries.
1995 FIVB Brazilian teams sweep the World Championships as Franco Neto and Roberto Lopes are the Men's Champions setting a record with seven victories for the season. Jackie Silva and Sandra Pires are the Women's Champions despite a stellar performance from Nancy Reno who sets the record with seven victories, six coming with Holly McPeak and the other with Karolyn Kirby.
1996 AVP Karch Kiraly claims his fourth King of the Beach title at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
1996 AVP AVP teams dominate the U.S. Olympic Trials in Baltimore with the teams of Karch Kiraly/Kent Steffes and Mike Dodd/ Mike Whitmarsh advancing as the U.S. Olympic Team representatives.
1996 AVP Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes cap off their incredible year with wins at Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and the Great Texas Shootout, where they take home the winner-take-all payout of $100,000. Steffes is voted by his peers as Miller Lite/AVP Tour Player of the Year. Kiraly breaks the single season prize money earnings record with $492,081. Despite having such a great season, Adam Johnson and Jose Loiola end their dominance and become threats on the tour winning seven tournaments, including four in a row, while limiting Karch and Kent to just eleven victories.
1996 FIVB The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Series once again holds twenty-nine tournaments for both men and women for a record $4.3 million in total prize money.
1996 FIVB The first Olympic Beach Volleyball competition takes place from July 23 to 28 in Atlanta Beach, in a 10,000-seat stadium. Twenty-four men’s teams and eighteen women’s teams compete for Olympic medals as over 107,000 spectators attend the event. AVP teams dominate the men's Olympic competition with a gold and silver medal sweep. Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes take home the gold as Kiraly becomes a three-time gold medalist and the first indoor and outdoor Olympic champion in volleyball. Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh win the silver medal. Canadians John Child and Mark Heese outduel Americans Sinjin Smith and Carl Henkel for the bronze medal to prevent three American teams from appearing on the podium. In the women's competition, Brazil dominates with Jackie Silva and Sandra Pires beating fellow Brazilians Mônica Rodrigues and Adriana Samuel for the gold medal. Australians Natalie Cook and Kerri-Ann Pottharst win the bronze.
1996 FIVB In November the IOC confirms that Beach Volleyball will be included in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
1996 FIVB The number of National Federations which have regular Beach Volleyball activities soars to 95.
1996 FIVB Brazilians once again dominate the World Championships with Zé Marco and Emanuel Rego winning the Men's Championships and Jackie Silva and Sandra Pires winning the Women's Championships. Rego sets the men's FIVB record for winnings in a season with $174,000, and Silva and Pires tie the women's FIVB record for victories in a season with seven.
1997 AVP Jose Loiola wins the Miller Lite King of the Beach Invitational after finishing as runner-up for the past three years. Loiola joins Karch Kiraly and Adam Johnson among an elite group of "Kings."
1997 AVP The 38th annual Manhattan Beach Open is canceled due to legal issues and a lawsuit brought against the City of Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles County, and the AVP by a small local interest group. The event is moved down the coast to Hermosa Beach and renamed the Miller Lite Hermosa Beach Grand Slam.
1997 AVP Dain Blanton becomes the first African-American professional beach volleyball player to win a tournament on the Miller Lite/AVP Tour, with partner Canyon Ceman at the Miller Lite Hermosa Beach Grand Slam. This event also marks the most prize money for a single tournament in the history of beach volleyball at $300,000.
1997 AVP Jose Loiola becomes the first international player to reach the $1 million mark in career earnings as he and partner Kent Steffes win the Miller Lite Open at Chicago, one of twelve tournament wins for the pair in 1997. Kent claims his 100th career win, teaming with Jose at the Miller Lite Open at Milwaukee.
1997 AVP Karch Kiraly and new partner Adam Johnson go winless until the end of July and then win four consecutive tournaments. At the Miller Lite U.S. Championships at Hermosa Beach they defeat the rookie tandem of Dax Holdren and Todd Rogers. With their second place finish, Holdren and Rogers set a Miller Lite/AVP Tour record for the best finish by a rookie team.
1997 AVP The AVP business collapses under mounting financial problems. AVP CEO Jerry Solomon is fired and Harry Usher, former US Olympic organizer is hired to run 1998 AVP Tour.
1997 WPVA Holly McPeak and Lisa Arce dominate what will be the final WPVA season winning seven of twelve events.
1997 FIVB Ericsson and Nike present the Men's and Women's Beach Volleyball World Championships at the UCLA Campus. Men and women players are rewarded on an equal footing with total $600,000 in total prize money and the event is broadcast in more than 120 countries. Brazilians dominate the World Championships with Rogerio Pará and Guilherme Marques winning the gold medal over Americans Mike Whitmarsh and Canyon Ceman. Brazilians Paulo Emilio and Paulão win the bronze medal. In the women's competition Jackie Silva and Sandra Pires win the gold medal over Americans Holly McPeak and Lisa Arce. Brazilians Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede capture the bronze medal. Americans dominate the four-person tournament with gold medals in both men's and women's competitions. The medal results for the four-person tournament are:


  • USA
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Japan


  • USA
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
1997 FIVB Brazilians dominate the Tour Championships for the third straight year as Zé Marco and Emanuel Rego repeat as the Men's Champions and Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede win the Women's Championships.
1998 AVP Prize money is drastically cut as sponsors pull back on their support of the AVP. The AVP continues to struggle under extreme financial burden.
1998 AVP Eric Fonoimoana is crowned King of the Beach at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
1998 AVP Emanuel Rego, the world's #1 ranked player signs with the AVP and teams with Jose Loiola to create one of the tour's most exciting teams. Emanuel earned AVP Rookie of the Year for his outstanding play, winning four tournaments, two with Loiola, one with fellow Brazilian Andre Gomes, and one with Kent Steffes.
1998 AVP The first all Brazillian final is played in Cleveland. Jose Loiola and Emanuel Rego defeat Franco Neto and Roberto Lopes.
1998 AVP Bill Berger and Dan Vrebalovich take over management of the AVP as CEO and COO respectively. They immediately fund the day to day business, and begin to restructure the AVP from a players association to a for-profit, privately owned entity. The AVP is placed into chapter 11 bankruptcy, the players are signed to new long-term agreements as independent contractors and a long-term turnaround deal is agreed to by the AVP's creditors.
1998 FIVB For the first time in the FIVB World Tour, men and women players are rewarded at the same level with $170,000 in total prize money per Open event.
1998 FIVB In March the Olympic qualification formula and the competition program for the Olympic Beach Volleyball tournament are established. National Federations and teams receive information almost three years before the Olympics. Twenty-four men's teams and an equal number of women's teams, will compete in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney (Bondi Beach).
1998 FIVB A massive TV campaign orchestrated by the FIVB Marketing Department and Television Agency, will give tremendous exposure to the World Tour.
1998 FIVB The 1998 Goodwill Games feature Beach Volleyball competitions from July 22 to August 2 in New York’s Central Park with the world’s eight best men's and women's teams. The men's medallists are, gold: Rogerio Pará and Guilherme Marques (Brazil), silver: Karch Kiraly and Adam Johnson (United States), and bronze: Martin Conde and Eduardo Martinez (Argentina). The women's medallists are, gold: Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede (Brazil), silver: Pauline Manser and Kerri-Ann Pottharst (Australia), and bronze: Holly McPeak and Lisa Arce (United States).
1998 FIVB Beach Volleyball is included in major sports competitions such as the South East Asian Games, Central and Pan-American Games, Universiade, etc.
1998 FIVB The FIVB offers new opportunities to mid-level players and organizers by introducing Challenger, Satellite, and Amateur tournaments, in addition to the major World Tour Grand Slam and Open events.
1998 FIVB More than 120 National Federations now have regular Beach Volleyball activities.
1999 AVP Berger and Vrebalovich form a partnership with Spencer Trask Securities to form Major League Volleyball. MLV purchases the AVP out of bankruptcy and funds the 1999 Tour. The AVP holds twelve events with a total of $1 million prize money.
1999 AVP Karch Kiraly wins his 139th career open victory at the Sunkist/AVP Dallas Open with partner Adam Johnson and ties Sinjin Smith's all-time record for open victories. A few weeks later on the 4th of July, Kiraly breaks the record as he and partner Adam Johnson win the U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball in Chicago.
1999 AVP David Swatik wins the his first event in Hermosa Beach with partner Mike Whitmarsh beating world's #1 ranked team of Jose Loiola and Emanuel Rego. These teams meet again in the finals of the coveted Manhattan Beach Open and again Swatik/Whitmarsh prevail. Swatik goes on to cap a dream season by winning the King of the Beach tournament in Las Vegas.
1999 AVP The AVP once again sanctions women's events at five men's tournament tour stops. At the season ending event, combined with the King of the Beach, Holly McPeak is crowned Queen of the Beach.
1999 USAV On April 29, continuing on a commitment to increase awareness of its all-new product line-up in the highly competitive California market, Oldsmobile Division of General Motors announces sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic beach volleyball series to determine which athletes will represent America at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Three women's and two men's tournaments are played as part of the Oldsmobile Alero Beach Volleyball Series sanctioned by USA Volleyball and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
1999 FIVB The Olympic qualification process starts with a period from January 1st 1999 until August 15th 2000. The best eight teams results will count towards the qualification of the best twenty-four men and twenty-four women's pairs at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
1999 FIVB The Men's and Women's World Championships are organized in Europe for the first time. From July 21st to the 25th, Marseille, France hosts these major competitions with the best athletes of the planet. This event, which is organized every two years and has $600,000 in total prize money, is held in a special facility for 5000 spectators. At the end of the competition the spectators total nearly 50,000. The ranking points are double of any other Open event.
1999 FIVB At the end of July, Beach Volleyball is included for the first time in the Pan American Games which are held in Canada. In a packed stadium of 5000 spectators, the men's Canadian team of Jody Holden and Conrad Leinemann win against the Brazilain duo of Lula and Adriano. Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil win the women's competition.
1999 FIVB Brazilians dominate the World Championships again with Men's Champions Jose Loiola and Emanuel Rego and Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede repeating as Women's Champions. Loiola and Rego tie the men's FIVB season record with seven victories and Behar and Bede set the women's FIVB record for earnings in a season with each winning $118,000.
2000 BVA On January 12, the newly formed professional women's beach volleyball tour titled Beach Volleyball America (BVA) announces the schedule and purses for their inaugural 2000 season of play. The BVA is created to guide and promote the growth of women's beach volleyball in the United States. "A strong domestic tour is crucial in order to develop US athletes for the top levels of international play, in particular the Olympic Games in Sydney." said Charlie Jackson, tour CEO. For this reason, BVA is working closely with the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) and the Olympic Challenge Series (OCS) to maximize opportunities for the women and avoid schedule conflicts.
2000 BVA In May, the BVA held its first tournament in Oceanside, CA. Lisa Arce and Barbara Fontana capture the title and split the $15,000 first prize.
2000 AVP Veteran Mike Whitmarsh wins his first King of the Beach title and Barbara Fontana is crowned Queen of the Beach at the combined men's and women's season ending event
2000 AVP In a season of parity, eight different teams win tournaments in the eleven event season. Brazilian's Jose Loiola and Emanuel Rego top the season with three victories.
2000 BVA In its inaugural season, five different teams win in the seven scheduled events. At the season ending Kyocera U.S. Championships, volleyball greats, Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan reunite and finish 5th
2000 FIVB The second Olympic Beach Volleyball competition takes place from September 16 to 26 in a specially constructed 10,000 seat venue at Bondi Beach near Sydney, Australia. Twenty-four men's and women's teams compete for Olympic medals. Despite the perfect score in qualifying, Brazilians Jose Loiola and Emanuel Rego finish a dissapointing 9th. The last team to qualify, Americans Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana win the gold over Brazilians Zé Marco and Ricardo Costa. The 15th-seeded German team of Jörg Ahmann and Axel Hager are surprise bronze medalists. Surprise women's top-seeded Australians Natalie Cook and Kerri-Ann Pottharst held true to their seed in winning the gold medal over the second-seeded Brazilians Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede. Brazilians once again dominate the women's competition as Sandra Pires and Adriana Samuel win the bronze.
2000 FIVB Brazilians dominate the men's season with three teams combining to win nine of the thirteen events. Jose Loiola and Emanuel Rego win five events, World Champions ZéMarco and Ricardo Costa win four and newcomers Marcio Araujo and Benjamin Insfran win two.
2000 FIVB The American women dominated the women's season with three teams finishing in the top four in rankings and combining to win seven of the thirteen events. World Champions Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil led all teams with four victories. The American teams of Holly McPeak and Misty May, who finished ranked 2nd, and Liz Masakayan and Elaine Youngs, who finished 4th, each won three tournaments while fellow Americans Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan, who finished 3rd, claimed the other victory for the United States.
2000 BVA Holly McPeak becomes the richest women in beach volleyball, passing Karolyn Kirby early in the season and topping the $700,000 mark in career earnings. Holly's five victories in 2000 (three FIVB, one BVA, and one OCS) moved her to 55 career victories just 12 behind all-time leader Karolyn Kirby and just three behind Jackie Silva.
2001 AVP On May 31, Agent Leonard Armato and his company Management Plus announce that they have acquired the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) and will unite the world's best men's and women's professional beach volleyball players under one umbrella organization. With this historic unification of the men's and women's competition, the 2001 AVP Tour will be able to capitalize on having one property that can maximize sponsor dollars, marketing opportunities, media coverage and prize money. The AVP will now stand alone as the only professional beach volleyball tour in the country. It will follow the regulations set forth by USA Volleyball and the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) and will allow its players to compete in official tournaments en route to the 2004 Olympics.
2001 FIVB The 2001 Goodwill Games feature Beach Volleyball competitions from August 29 to September 4 in Brisbane, Australia with the world’s sixteen best men's and women's teams. The men's medallists are, gold: Jose Loiola and Ricardo Santos (Brazil), silver: bronze: Martin Conde and Eduardo Martinez (Argentina), and bronze: Stein Metzger and Kevin Wong (United States). The women's medallists are, gold: Sandra Pires and Tatiana Minello (Brazil), silver: Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede (Brazil), and bronze: Pauline Manser and Kerri-Ann Pottharst (Australia), and bronze: Elaine Youngs and Barbra Fontana (United States).
2002 AVP With his 143rd career victory at the AVP Michelob Light Santa Barbara Open Presented by Paul Mitchell, Karch Kiraly becomes the oldest player to win a professional domestic beach volleyball tournament. The win with Brent Doble, the 12th partner to taste victory with Karch, comes at the age of 41 years, 225 days.
2002   Holly McPeak becomes the first woman to win $1Million in prize money. Winning her 62nd career title, the 6th with Elaine Youngs, at the FIVB French Grand Slam in Marseille nets her $15,000 to bring her career total to $1,001,927.
2002   Karch Kiraly becomes the first beach volleyball player to break the $3 Million mark in prize money. His share of the $7,500 for finishing 3rd at the season ending Paul Mitchell AVP Shootout at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas with Brent Doble brings his total career earnings to $3,001,258.
2003 AVP Misty May and Kerri Walsh cap off a perfect season with their victory at the Las Vegas Aquafina AVP Shootout Presented by Bud Light. May and Walsh not only won all eight AVP Nissan Series events they entered, but they also compiled a perfect 39-0 match record -- the first time any team has ever gone through an entire season without losing a match. En route to their perfect record, Misty and Kerri only lost five sets in compiling a 78-5 set record and outscoring their opponents 1711-1236. Despite playing one tournament less than their main rivals, Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs, Misty and Kerri also won the points championship to earn each of them a one-year lease on a Nissan vehicle of their choice.
2004   Misty May and Kerri Walsh extend their match winning streak to 57 after beating Jia Tian and Fei Wang of China in the SemiFinals of the Brazil Open. With the victory, May and Walsh break the longest known streak of 56 matches by Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan.
2004   Misty May and Kerri Walsh extend their tournament winning streak to 14 after beating fellow Americans Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs at the Hellas Open. Their streak of 14 consecutive tournaments breaks the record of 13 shared by Karch Kiraly/Kent Steffes and Greg Lee/Jim Menges.
2004   Holly McPeak ties Karolyn Kirby for the most career tournament victories at 67 when she and Elaine Youngs win the China Open over fellow Americans Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan. Holly leads also leads all women in career tournaments played (228) and career winnings ($1,206,202).
2004   With their 31st victory together at the Japan Open, Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar become the winningest women's team of all time. The Brazilian pair had been tied at 30 with Linda Hanley and Nina Matthies since September, 2002 -- needing 14 tournaments to add the historic victory.
2004   In the semi-finals of the Manhattan Beach Open, Jenny Johnson Jordan and Annett Davis snap the 89-match winning streak of Misty May and Kerri Walsh by the score of 21-19 and 21-19 in 36 minutes. The last time Misty and Kerri had been defeated was July 5, 2003 by Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires in the finals of the Norway Open. During the streak, Misty and Kerri also won a 90th unofficial match over Vanilda dos Santas Leão and Gerusa da Costa Ferreira in a U.S. vs. Brazil series. The loss also snapped May/Walsh winning streak of 15 consecutive tournaments and 13 straight domestic tournaments including a perfect 8 for 8 in 2003.
2004   Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs defeat Jenny Johnson Jordan and Annett Davis in the Manhattan Beach Open 21-19, 16-21, and 15-12 in 76 minutes to give Holly her 68th victory and move her ahead of Karolyn Kirby as the all-time leader in women's victories. The victory is Holly's 12th with Elaine Youngs.
2004   Karch Kiraly extends his record number of victories to 145 by winning the Manhattan Beach Open with Mike Lambert over Matt Fuerbringer and Casey Jennings, 21-15 and 21-18 in 45 minutes. The victory is the 1st for Mike Lambert, who becomes the 13th partner to win with Karch. Karch also adds to his records as being the oldest player to win at 43 years, 7 months, and 3 days and winning in his 23rd different season.
2004   In a repeat of the previous week, Karch Kiraly extends his record to 146 career titles and Holly McPeak extends her record to 69 career victories as both win in San Diego. Kiraly and Mike Lambert defeat Sean Rosenthal and Larry Witt 21-18, 14-21 and 15-8 in 59 minutes while Holly and Elaine Youngs defeat Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan for the second straight week 22-20 and 21-18 in 51 minutes.
2005   With their 34th victory together, in the Austin Open, Misty May and Kerri Walsh become the all-time women's team victory leaders, passing the Brazilian duo of Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar.
2005   With their $20,000 check for winning the Santa Barbara Open, Misty May and Kerri Walsh join the Brazilian duo of Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar to become only the second women's team to surpass $1 Million in career team winnings.
2005 FIVB With her bronze medal finish at the Swiss Open in Gstaad, Adriana Behar of Brazil becomes the first woman to eclipse the $1Million mark in career FIVB winnings.
2005 FIVB Citing favoritism for the American players for signing a modified version of the player contract, players at the World Championships in Berlin went on strike, halting play for 95 minutes. FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta Hernandez met with the players and reached an agreement that favors the continued success of the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour and SWATCH-FIVB World Championships, powered by Smart, to further the growth of the sport. Three "major" items were agreed with the players, including the creation of Beach Volleyball Player's Commission for each gender. The commissions will be made up of seven players each and will meet at least once a year in Lausanne, Switzerland in a date to be determined.
2006 AVP With their win at the Santa Barbara Open, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh become the first women's team with 50 tournament titles.
2006 AVP With her win at the AVP Cuervo Gold Crown Huntington Beach Open and the $50,000 paycheck, Misty May-Treanor becomes the second American woman to top the $1 Million mark in career winnings. Misty achieves the mark in just her 99th tournament, which is faster than the other three millionaire women, fellow American Holly McPeak (199 tournaments) and Brazilians Adriana Behar (107) and Shelda Bede (101).

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