The side out era

Feb 26

In order for a sport to try to build a fan base there must be some kind of integrity to the game. Beach Volleyball seems to come out with multiple new rules every other year or so. The AVP tends to follow in the FIVB’s footsteps in most cases, and the thought is to make the sport more TV friendly. However, I believe they have actually just made the game less exciting.

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The original beach volleyball match was played to 15 with side out scoring. This means that only the team that is serving can score a point. Now the match is two out of three payed to 21 where teams can score on every rally. This not only takes away from the excitement of the game from a match standpoint, but it also takes away from the velocity of serves from the service line.
At one point the league even tried to put a time limit on each match, so the games would finish before they had even reached 21.

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Another huge rule change was the structure of the court. They shrunk the court from 18 meters by 9 meters to 16 meters by 8 meters. In addition they added indoor antennas to the net to make the court even smaller. The thought was that this would create for better defensive plays, but it actually just means that the serves are weaker and the big players with less talent can get away with having bad ball control.

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Aside from these major rule changes there have been many that have come and gone through the last decade. Let serves are now in play when the used to be an error, the actual ball that is used to play on the AVP seems to change every other year, and the way that you are allowed to set your partner has changed. They no long allow what is called a “deep dish”. So, when it comes down to it the fan cannot actually watch a consistent match of volleyball from year to year. My hope is that one day everything will go back to the way it was in the side out era, and we will be able to gain the respect of the true patrons of the sport.

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