Indoor and Beach Volleyball have gained immense popularity over the years. They’re both very fun sports that anyone at any age can enjoy. Although most people would think both sports are the same, the truth is they are very different. The environment, rules of play and the collegiate opportunities that many players have are a few of the main components that separate these sports. Indoor volleyball was invented in Holyoke Massachusetts by William G. Morgan on February 9, 1895.

Originally, the sport was known as “Mintonette” until it was changed a year later to “volleyball” which it is still known as today. The present name seemed to fit a lot better because of the nature of the game. Since then, the sport has grown at a fast rate throughout the world. It was added to the Summer Olympics program in 1924 where both men and women competed. On the other hand, Beach volleyball was introduced several years later in 1987 and became part of the Olympics in 1996.

The environment of both sports is vastly different in many ways. Indoor is completely covered and usually has wood or concrete floors which make it very easy to move on. All players must be fully equipped with uniformed jerseys, kneepads, tennis shoes and the appropriate bottoms, usually spandex for females and gym shorts for males. Beach is played outside completely uncovered and on sand. Female players mostly wear two piece swimsuits or a sports bra with spandex. Male players either are shirtless or wear a tank with swim trunks.

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It is also recommended to wear socks in case the sand gets too hot and sunglasses to help against the brightness of the sun. Indoor volleyball consists of six players on the court which all have their specific positions or roles on the court. These positions are known as setter, middle blocker, opposite, outside hitter and libero/defensive specialist. Setters have the greatest responsibility on the court because they are in charge of making all the decisions in the offense, because of this they must be great leaders and know how to make quick decisions.

Middle Blockers are the best at being able to read the other teams’ offense in order to put up a solid block, also hits quick sets to throw the other teams’ defense off balance. Outside Hitters are also known as the all around players because not only do they have to be the best and most consistent hitter on the team but they must also have great passing and defensive skills. An opposite’s main role is to block the other teams’ outside hitter and also serve as second setters. Finally, the libero/defensive specialists are the best passers/diggers on the court, it is prohibited that they ever play in the front row.

Beach volleyball is the complete opposite because it only consists of two players on the court and they do not have any specific positions. It is much more difficult to play than Indoor due to the harsh playing conditions. Moving on sand can be extremely difficult and sometimes the temperature (especially in Florida) can get to dangerous highs that could possibly lead to dehydration that’s why it’s so important to drink as much water as possible. Another significant difference between indoor and beach is that indoor can be played year round while beach can only be played during spring and summer time.

Indoor is played best out of five “sets”, all of them go to twenty five points (win by two) except the last set which only goes to fifteen points. There always must be two referees present along with line judges who must not be biased in order to keep the game fair. Beach is not as complicated as this because there are absolutely no referees present unless it’s the professional level, then there tends to be some. Nevertheless, the players themselves are the ones that control the game and must be honest at all times.

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