Beach volleyball started being played in the 1940s and 1950s in countries with long coasts, such as the United States and Brazil. However, it was only in 1986 that the International Volleyball Federation recognized this event, granting it a statute and its own rules, and it was only in 1999 that it was incorporated into the Pan American program. Its basic structure is identical to the structure of court volleyball. However, instead of two teams of six, beach volleyball in the Pan American Games is played with two players. The manner in which points are won is the same as in court volleyball, but at the beach games are won by the best of three sets. The first two are played up to 21 points (in case of a draw at 20, the set will continue until a pair obtains a two point-advantage) and the last one is played up to 15 (with the same rule in case of a draw at 14).
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Sport's Instructive Manual (DOC / PDF)