All You Need To Know About Beach Volleyball at Tokyo Olympics 2021

Published 06/23/2021, 3:15 PM EDT

Beach Volleyball has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a demonstration event during the 1992 Olympic Games. Recognized as an Olympic sport in the 1996 Atlanta Games, the sport has grown in popularity over the years to become a fan favorite and is not set to feature yet again at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.  

But if you’re not aware of the sport yet, look no further. We here at EssentiallySports are going to give you a complete rundown of the rules, regulations and everything in between regarding Beach Volleyball at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.  

The basics of Beach Volleyball at the Tokyo Olympics 


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24 teams consisting of two players each will represent their nations in the Men’s and Women’s events which takes the total participation count to 48. For both events, games will be played out over three sets.


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A two-point advantage is needed to win each set. The winner of the first two sets is adjudged by who gets to 21 points first. A third set is played if the first two are split. The third set is played till 15 points. 

Tournament format

For both events, the competition shall entail two stages – preliminary rounds and single elimination

Preliminary rounds

In this round, the 24 teams are divided into six different pools consisting of four teams each. A round-robin format is followed where each team plays three other teams from their pool once. Teams are awarded two points for a win, one for losing, and zero for forfeiting. After all the pool matches are done with, the top two teams from each pool enter the knockout stage. 

The two best-ranked third-place teams also join the twelve teams based on factors such as win/loss ratio, ratio of sets won, and points won during pool matches.  

The remaining four third-place teams then play ‘Lucky Loser’ games, with the winners of the tie joining the fourteen sides to round of the 16 sides who advance to the single-elimination round 

Single elimination

From here on, it’s do-or-die for each team. The tournament follows a knockout format once the Round of 16 ties start. The winners of the semifinals proceed to the finals to play for the Olympic Gold. The two losing teams, meanwhile, play for bronze.

Where will the games take place?

All the Beach Volleyball games are to take place at Shiokaze Park, Shinagawa-Ku ward, at Tokyo Bay. A temporary venue, Shiokaze Park is situated on Tokyo Bay and the capital’s famous Rainbow Bridge can be spotted from there.


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The defending champions 

At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst took home the Gold medal by beating home favorites 

Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas. The American duo of April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings, meanwhile, brought home the bronze medal.


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In the Men’s section, Brazil brought home Gold thanks to the pairing of Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt by defeating Italy’s 

Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai in the finals. The Dutch duo of Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen wrapped up Bronze to land a spot on the podium. 

Medals on offer and historic favorites


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A total of six medals will be up for grabs. A Gold, Silver, and Bronze for both Men’s and Women’s events. Brazil and the United States are the two most successful nations at the sport winning 13 and 10 medals each.

While Brazil leads in terms of overall medals, the US holds the upper hand in terms of Gold medals leading with 6 as compared to Brazil’s 3.  



Shivayan Roy

1068 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.