32¢ Beach Volleyball
1996 Summer Olympics
Issue Date: May 2, 1996
City: Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Volleyball was a highlight of the 1996 summer games. Not only were the U.S. teams contenders for the gold medal in the more traditional indoor competition, but for the first time beach volleyball joined the Olympic program.
An intense and challenging sport, beach volleyball differs from traditional volleyball in several ways. One of the most obvious is that it is played on sand, rather than on a wooden court or one made of synthetic materials. Another major difference is that beach volleyball teams consist of two players with no substitutes, while up to 12 players make up an indoor team – six of whom must be on the court at all times. And of course, instead of the regulation shorts and sport shirts, beach volleyball players are allowed to wear swimsuits – a difference that may not affect the outcome of the game, but one that draws a lot of attention from the spectators. Court sizes, balls, and nets are the same for both games. However, the nets are placed at different heights for men and women.
Selected during the world championship series, the qualifying teams play in a double elimination tournament until four teams qualify for the semi-finals and finals. A play-off is held for the bronze medal.