Having written about the Greatest Beach Volleyball Of All Time and its background, I should probably write a bit about its aftermath.
It was certainly true that at the time the AVP was the dominant beach volleyball tour in every sense. It’s representatives (Kiraly/Steffes and Dodd/Whitmarsh) fairly comfortably won the gold and silver in Atlanta. But within two years the AVP essentially went bankrupt for the first time. By 1999 there were fist fights in the players tent. In 2001 and 2009 similar financial problems caused further changes of ownership, before the tour finally went bankrupt, cancelling its tour, in 2010. For a time it existed only as a name on trademark papers in a lawyer’s office but for now is running again and many are cautiously optimistic about its future.
Karch continued to play in the various guises of the AVP until his retirement in 2007 but eventually became involved with another tour, the ‘Wide Open Tour’ before becoming a coach and a World Champion.
In 2010, USA wanted to organise trials for Olympic qualification instead of using only participation on the FIVB World Tour to determine its representatives. The players united against this proposal and it was dropped.
The FIVB tour has continued to grow. In 2012 it has 13 men’s and 13 women’s tournaments in 13 different countries. USA teams won both gold medals in 2008, Rogers/Dalhausser and May-Treanor/Walsh, and May-Treanor/Walsh won again in 2012.
Olympic beach volleyball is one of the most popular and sought after Olympic tickets.
Sinjin Smith continues to serve on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Commission.