Normal volleyball is Sri Lanka’s national sport, and beach volleyball (BV), played with just two players per side, is perfectly suited to a small island fringed by sea and sand.
It was introduced in 1992, and the first National BV Championship, limited to men only, was won by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. It has been an Olympic sport since the 1996 Atlanta Games.
The Sunday Times reports that in 2000, the first Women’s BV Championship was held and won by the Sri Lanka Air force.
In 2003, men and women participated at an international competition for the first time, and since then have participated at the Asian Championship, the Asian Beach Games, Asian Games, Lusufornia Games, South Asian Beach Games, Asian Youth Games and Youth Olympic Games.
In 2009, in Bangladesh, Jude Mahesh Perera and Wasantha Rathnapala won Sri Lanka’s first international medal at the Asia Pacific BV tournament. That same year, at the first Youth Asian Games, Sandun Madusanka and Ashen Jeewantha came 5th place.
In 2011, at the first South Asian Beach Games, both the Men and Women won Gold and Silver, which is considered one of the best victories Sri Lanka has achieved in its BV history.
In 2014, at the 2nd Youth Olympic Games, Chamika Sandaruwan and Isuru Madhushan came 9th, an important milestone in Sri Lanka BV.
Says Susil Ranasinghe, a former official of Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation: “In volleyball, though Sri Lankan teams are playing well, at the Youth and Junior levels, the Senior level suffers mainly due to the problem of height, physique and technical actions.
“But, in BV there does not appear to be a hindrance. As a team is limited to only 2 players and the game being limited to 3 Sets, we have a significant advantage, more than in volleyball.”
Read the full report here.