Sand is not just sand
One of the key ingredients of a beach volleyball match is sand. No big deal. You can find sand anywhere in the world…
Wrong!! Sand has become a rare resource over the last years. Ordinary beach sand is too firm for beach volleyball. When players dive into the wrong type of sand, they can easily get injured. Broken fingers are a quite frequent injury players complain about.
This is why sand for beach volleyball requires exact specifications that have been defined by the International Volleyball Association (FIVB). Geologists define sand not by its composition but by its size with grains between 0.0625 and 2.0 millimetres across. Based on a recent article by “The New Yorker”, sand in defined specifications is a rare resource due to global economic growth, especially in China.
For FIVB World Tour events sand has to sourced remotely
Therefore sand for beach volleyball events often has to be sourced in remote places and to be transported to the event location. This was true for several FIVB World Tour Events. And for the first European Games in Baku (Azerbaijan) in 2015, local sand in the required specifications was not available although Baku has its own beaches. After a long search, suitable sand was finally found in southern Turkey, about 800 hundred miles to the west.
So next time you are on a beach volleyball court considering the sand’s journey, you might wanna appreciate even more the opportunity to play beach volleyball.
For further updates on the FIVB World Tour go to the beach volleyball blog.