|While Beach Volleyball was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in
1915, this unique sport started its first growth spurt in Southern
California in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s. The next strong growth period
was in the mid ‘50’s to mid ‘60’s, when two teams proved to be
dominant in matches from Northern California down to Brazil.
In the finals of most tournaments were defensive wonders
Gene Selznick and Ron Lang pitied against the tall bombers,
Mike O’Hara and Mike Bright.
As with champions John
McEnroe Vs. Bjorn Borg in tennis, four decades later, these hot
and explosive matches created enthusiastic fans identifying
with each team, and soon the Manhattan Beach Wimbledon
World Championship of Beach Volleyball, drawing between
10,000 and 15,000 excited fans to each final day contest.
While Selznick and Lang played over a longer period of time
and won more total tournaments, O’Hara and Bright won the first
five World Tournaments at Manhattan Beach, (a record that still
stands today), with Selznick and Lang winning the sixth annual
tournament in 1965... More...
by Sinjin Smith
President, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Council