Very interesting and shows that the attention to detail is very important in these sports.
Look closely at the picture above (click for a bigger version). What do you notice? Better yet, what don’t you notice?
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings are sprawled out in the sand, a position they find themselves in more than a dozen times per match. They’re surrounded by their sport’s playing surface and it’s kicked up all around them. But look at Kerri’s legs. Check out Misty’s arms and take special notice of her feet. There’s no sand anywhere.
How do beach volleyball players manage to avoid the billions of granules of sand that cover their sport’s playing surface? Because it’s not the same sand that gets between your toes when you go on vacation.
The sand used in competition is heavily regulated by the International Volleyball Federation. There are no pebbles or bits of shells. The shape ensures a smoother grain. The size is Goldilocks style: not too small or too big. Why doesn’t it stick? Because it’s designed not to.
Nothing is perfect, of course, so sand is bound to find its way in between articles of clothing and on the skin. That’s why some athletes use a special towel to clean themselves during changeovers.
- Why doesn’t sand stick to beach volleyball players? (stltoday.com)
- Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh Jennings win third straight Olympic beach volleyball gold in all-U.S. final (stltoday.com)
- You: Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor win third gold (latimes.com)
- You: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Win Gold Medal in Beach Volleyball Final (bleacherreport.com)
- Olympics: Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor advance into beach volleyball gold-medal match (mercurynews.com)