The original concept of the sport was invented to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere, a cheap and accessible sport for all.
FootVolley has become one of the fasting growing sports gaining international recognition and popularity over the past years; and is played according to the same field rules of beach volleyball but without using hands. The game has attracted many international football’s stars especially in Brazil – from where the game has been launched in 1965.
Teams of footvolley had five a side initially. Due to the skill level of the then footvolley athletes (nearly all were professional football players); the ball would rarely drop. Thus, the players began lowering the number of players on each side, eventually settling on 2 versus 2, which is still in use today.
In recent years, professional football players have taken up footvolley in both promotional events and celebrity matches.
Women are also getting more involved developing a more technical game, which is as impressive as the men’s.
First official footvolley tournament was organized in 1990s on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In 2011 UAE hosted the Footvolley World Cup with participation of 27 countries. The event was the first official cup belonging to the International Federation of Volleyball.
The Incredible Rise Of Footvolley
While football may be Brazil’s most popular sport, volleyball isn’t that far behind with millions of people playing it around the country. It can be done on a court, at the beach, or in empty streets. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the two primary sports would merge to create a fascinating spectacle. Most of the players grew up practicing both with their friends anyway so they already possess the skills necessary to play the new game. Footvolley is spreading across the globe like wildfire. In many ways, its exponential growth is just like the progressive jackpots at the Royal Vegas casino. The rise came swiftly and players are having a blast.
Humble Beginnings in Rio
In 1965, Octavio de Moraes developed footvolley in Rio’s famous Copacabana Beach. Every day, thousands of people play football and volleyball on the sandy shores. There were lots of skilled players who could be persuaded to try it out and many liked it. In time, these players brought the sport to different cities around the country such as Santos, Salvador, Brasilia, Recife and more. The rules changed as elements were refined for better flow. For instance, the number of active players used to be 5 but now there are only two per side. More high profile players began to take it up including professional athletes.
Footvolley Goes International
After decades of incubation inside Brazil, footvolley was ready to get introduced to the world. The first event of importance happened in 2003 at Miami Beach. The US Footvolley Association demonstrated the sport at that year’s Fitness Festival where it turned heads. Networks were also formed which strengthened the global base. Those in attendance sought to create federations within their own countries and attract more talented players. International rules were also drawn up to standardize gameplay. Scoring is now based on the rally point system. The court is of the same size as old beach volleyball courts for adaptability. A Pro Tour was setup to showcase the best of the sport.
Rapid Global Growth
Footvolley may have been Brazil’s best kept secret for a long while but once the world knew about it there was no turning back. There are now active players in virtually every continent from the Americas to Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Every year, several major events are held at beautiful beaches across the globe. For example, USA Footvolley organizes competitions and other events to promote the sport in its homebase of Florida as well as other parts of the country such as Virginia and California. There are professional and amateur ranks with the activities peaking in the summer months.
Surprisingly, the first world champs of the sport did not come from Brazil. The team was from Paraguay and the most valuable player in that event was named Jesus. The UK may not be known for beaches or sunny weather but it has its own teams led by football greats. Italy, Israel, and Australia are some of the other major influencers in the sport.