The King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Invitational Official historical page for the iconic brands, its partners since inception with the Sideout® Brand in 1983, and the first 1991 King of the Beach® Invitational.
Relive with us the rich history of the combined brands since inception, and the King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Invitationals since 1991. KOTB and QOTB are considered the most prestigious "Royal" beach volleyball titles bestowed on its victors today conducted in a "unique, trademarked"style.
This is our historical page to discover stories of our past, our view towards the future and everything real from the beach along the way. We'd like to thank all of those involved historically, the tremendous athletes that have made our sport special and the volunteers. At King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™, we look forward to giving back as we move ahead in 2017!
Now celebrating over 30 years of exciting Clothing, Accessories, Footwear and Events Since 1986!
"The Invitational" - The Major Tour Event Worldwide
The original King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Invitational started in 1991. It began as the concept and idea of Spalding® King of the Beach® brand ambassador, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, 8 time Manhattan Beach Open Winner, athlete, and current coach of the US Women's National Team, Karch Kiraly. In 1986 and 1988, Kiraly was named the "Best Volleyball Player in the World" by the FIVB. Without a doubt, he is the "King". According to the Orlando Sentinel in a 1991, every year, the tournament would settle who really is "King of the Beach." Prior to the "King of the Beach," the mythical title used to go to the player who won the most beach volleyball tournaments in the prior year.
Together with Karch, who created the King of the Beach and Queen of the Beach Invitational format, Pro Serv and the AVP, a license agreement was reached with the trademark and brand owners. The very first title Sponsor, Old Spice® was in the game. The King and Queen of the Beach Invitational, conceptualized in format by Karch Kiraly, began in Daytona Beach, Florida. The King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ are designed and conducted to determine who is the best individual player on the beach!
Kiraly, of course, went on to win the first three KOTB Invitationals (1991, 1992 and 1993), including the September 1993 King of the Beach® Title. Kiraly means "King", and now he'd proved it three years in a row at the King of the Beach® Invitational presented by Old Spice.
Karch, on his way to victory at the second King of the Beach, and the Old Spice® "Winning Moment".
Kiraly makes it three in a row at the King of the Beach 1993, and Chris Marlowe calls it "not just another volleyball tournament." Adam Johnson, José Loiola and Mike Dodd square off as the Final Four in World Famous Daytona Beach, Florida for the Old Spice® King of the Beach. "To the creator goes the spoils," according to the famous broadcast announcer, Paul Sunderland.
In 1994, The King of the Beach® Invitational moved to Walt Disney World at the Grand Floridian Resort and was Officially called the $175,000 "Old Spice King of the Beach® Invitational." The reigning "King," Karch Kiraly, of course was there going after a 4th straight title. While he toured the Magic Kingdom with his wife and kids, he commented "It's great to be King."
The 1994 Invitational, designed to determine best individual beach volleyball player in the world, that year included Jose Loiola, one of the top international Brazilian players at that time. The King of the Beach® became "International." Loiola was invited when Kent Steffes, Karch Kiraly's partner, elected not to compete. Now, the very best beach volleyball players from around the world would compete under the sizzling Florida sun.
Mike Whitmarsh, a Sideout® and King of the Beach® sponsored athlete, was the eventual winner of the 1994 King of the Beach® Invitational in a hard fought slugfest. This was Whitmarsh's (or "Whitty's"), first King of the Beach title.
In 1996, the King of the Beach and Queen of the Beach Invitational continued on as the first stop on the 1996 AVP Tour under license from the trademark owners of KOTB and QOTB and Karch Kiraly was the winner. In that same year, Karch won his third Olympic Gold Medal in Atlanta together with Kent Steffes (also a former Sideout® and King of the Beach® sponsored athlete), defeating the USA's Mike Dodd and Sideout® and King of the Beach® sponsored athlete, Mike Whitmarsh who took silver.
Karch Kiraly digs for Gold in the very first Olympic Beach Volleyball Event in Atlanta in 1996
The Olympic Gold Medalist, Karch Kiraly, went on to win his 115th Tour victory at the $175,00 1996 Swatch King of the Beach®, held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada!
The tradition of the King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Invitational and "beach royalty" continued on with our global partners, with exciting new opportunities for growth ahead.
The Hard Rock Casino even had "King of the Beach" Branded poker chips produced for the long weekend, bearing the iconic trademark of the King of the Beach® Invitational as depicted below for the 1997 Event.
King of the Beach® resonates inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with custom King of the Beach® Invitational Poker Chips for "Poker Night".
The 1997 King of the Beach and Queen of the Beach™ Invitational, again held at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, was won by José Loiola, who recorded 55 victories in his career, which is the third most among active players. Loiola's victory dethroned Karch Kiraly, who had won the 1996 King of the Beach® Invitational. Kiraly finished a disappointing 6th and the results were as follows:
1997 KING OF THE BEACH® INVITATIONAL RESULTS
Loiola won titles for eight straight years, from 1995 through 2002. Loiola experienced great success both on the AVP Tour as well as internationally, winning 35 domestic events plus 20 on the FIVB Tour, with over $1.8 Million in career prize money. José Loiola is an International King amongst Kings.
His major wins include the 1997 King of the Beach, the 1999 World Championships, 2001 Goodwill Games and twice winning the Manhattan Beach Open (1995 and 2000). He was a 2000 Olympian in Sydney, finishing ninth with Emanuel Rego.
During this same year, the AVP Collapses under mounting financial problems:
1997, The 38th annual Manhattan Beach Open is canceled due to legal issues and a lawsuit brought against the City of Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles County, and the AVP by a small local interest group. The event is moved down the coast to Hermosa Beach and renamed the Miller Lite Hermosa Beach Grand Slam.
1997 The AVP business collapses under mounting financial problems. AVP CEO Jerry Solomon is fired and Harry Usher, former US Olympic organizer is hired to run 1998 AVP Tour.
The Seventh Annual 1998 King of the Beach® Invitational Title was won by Eric Fonoimoana.
Fonoimoana, a 25-to-1 shot entering the tournament --- yes, there was wagering on the matches at the Hard Rock --- claimed a first-prize check of $71,000.
The 28-year-old Fonoimoana, who had won just one other tournament during his six-year AVP career, claimed one of beach volleyball's most coveted crowns Sunday when he won the seventh annual King of the Beach Invitational before a sellout crowd of 5,000 at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Perhaps even more important is that he established himself as one of the top young AVP players for the 1998 season by joining four-time champion and volleyball legend Karch Kiraly, 1997 AVP No. 1 finisher Jose Loiola and Adam Johnson as the only winners of the King of the Beach® Invitational title.
"It would have to rank right up there with winning my first tournament," Fonoimoana said. "Winning King of the Beach ... wow, I'm happy. I don't know if it's really hit me yet."
The tradition of The 1999 "King and Queen of the Beach Invitational" continued under license at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada being held September 17-19, 1999, with the King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ brands and their partners. The license to the AVP also included merchandise for both King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Invitational products, which were sold at the event. The AVP Tour was in full swing, and the top men and women from the 1999 AVP Tour played off live on Fox Sports.
In 1999, David Swatik wins the his first event in Hermosa Beach, the Sideout® Hermosa Beach Open at the "Beach Bash" with partner Mike Whitmarsh beating world's #1 ranked team of Jose Loiola and Emanuel Rego. Swatik and Whitmarsh are crowned "King of the Beach" by the brand owners of the King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ trademarks at this AVP Event.
These teams meet again in the finals of the coveted Manhattan Beach Open and again Swatik/Whitmarsh prevail. Swatik goes on to cap a dream season by winning the King of the Beach tournament in Las Vegas.
The AVP once again sanctions women's events at five men's tournament tour stops. At the season ending event, Queen of the Beach and the King of the Beach are intertwined and, Holly McPeak is crowned Queen of the Beach™. And, David Swatik is crowned "King of the Beach®."
The billboard for the September 17-19, 1999 King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Invitational held by the AVP under license by Omnichanel™.
1999 KING OF THE BEACH®
QUEEN OF THE BEACH™ INVITATIONAL
Under License to the AVP
The 1999 King of the Beach and Queen of the Beach Invitational was now in full swing!
At the 2000 King and Queen of the Beach Invitational, Veteran Mike Whitmarsh wins his second King of the Beach® title and Barbara Fontana is crowned Queen of the Beach™ at the combined men's and women's season ending AVP sanctioned event.
The 2001 AVP season concluded with Kevin Wong winning the 2001 King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Invitational, and title of King of the Beach®. Wong also had wins that year at California events in Santa Barbara and Manhattan Beach, before winning the King of the Beach® title in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Holly McPeak won the Queen of the Beach™ Title in the combined King of the Beach and Queen of the Beach Invitational.
For more information, releases and results please click this link to the 2001 King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Invitational.
AVP Professional Beach Volleyball - King of the Beach/Queen of the Beach - Las Vegas, NV - 2001 - Holly McPeak - Photo by Wally Nell/Volleyball Magazine
In 2004, the King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ branded experience advanced to include other grassroots events around the country.
In 2004, the KOTB and QOTB trademarks were licensed by its owners to International Management Group (IMG), the global leader in sports, media, events and fashion, for The Bank Of The West® Beach Games in Huntington Beach, California. It was a major joint announcement for IMG, Bank of the West® and KOTB/QOTB on PR Businesswire.
The announcement included a statement in the third paragraph that "A key element of the 2004 Bank of the West Beach Games is the addition of an exciting new event, the King and Queen of the Beach professional volleyball tournament. This event will be a "throwback" to the early days of beach volleyball, featuring larger courts and traditional beach rules."
For the first time The Major Surf and Beach Volleyball events were joined, as the sport of kings and queens. The King's and Queen's were officially crowned King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Invitational in Huntington Beach, California at the joint Professional Beach Volleyball Event and the US Open of Surfing (now owned by the WSL). It was now big time in Surf City, USA.
The Bank of the West Beach Games were broadcast to over 70 million households on Fusion TV, and airing on Fox Sports Net. The shows re-aired on FUEL TV and Volleyball received two original hours on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN).
The Bank of the West Beach Games continued on and 2005, the brand owners expanded further with the King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ concept and signed a new license with Spalding® to produce the best beach volleyball in the world, The Spalding® King of the Beach®, the Official Ball of the King and Queen of the Beach Tour. Spalding® is today owned by Berkshire Hathaway's Fruit of the Loom®, a major global concern with over 60,000 employees world wide.
Together with Spalding®, King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ would advance and expand further into the grassroots of the sport of Beach Volleyball with USA Volleyball, Volley America and other grass roots leaders of events in the US.
In 2007, a significant and major announcement, together with Spalding®, USA Volleyball, Crown Imports and Karch Kiraly took the Spalding® and the King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ brands further in to the heart of the grassroots of the sport: The First Annual US Open of Volleyball.
"CORONA EXTRA TO BE PRESENTING SPONSOR OF U.S. OPEN OF BEACH VOLLEYBALL"
CHICAGO – March 28, 2007 – Volleyball legend Karch Kiraly joins Crown Imports executive Timm Amundson to announce that Corona Extra will be the presenting sponsor of the U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball. The event will take place September 21-23, 2007 in Huntington Beach, Calif.
"Sanctioned by USA Volleyball, the tournament is expected to draw more than 250 volleyball teams and approximately 1,000 beach volleyball players in the first year. Tournament play will be held in up to 15 different divisions, including draws for men, women and co-ed two-person, four-person and six-person teams. In addition there are plans for two divisions of masters categories for both men and women with one division for those players 35 and older and a second one for those 45 and older."
The First Annual US Open of Volleyball would now crown the best male and female beach volleyball athletes as King and Queen of the Beach.
The US Open of Beach Volleyball would hold it's second annual event in Santa Barbara, California, as announced by USA Volleyball, in partnership with Spalding®.
"The second annual U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball, presented by Corona Extra, will hit the beaches of Santa Barbara on Sept. 26-28, as more than 500 beach volleyball players from across the country arrive to compete in one of the nation's largest grassroots beach volleyball tournaments."
Hosted by volleyball legend, and Santa Barbara native, Karch Kiraly, the tournament would feature competition in 16 divisions for men, women and co-ed teams. The event was sanctioned by USA Volleyball and managed by Elevation Management Group.
"The U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball brings the sport back to its roots on the beach and we are really looking forward to a great event in Santa Barbara," Kiraly said. "Over the years, such players as Misty May, Todd Rogers, Phil Dalhausser, Mike Dodd and Nicole Branagh and I have played in events like the CVBA tournaments and the Zephyrhills competitions. Now, with the help of our friends at Corona we have brought these and several other great events into the U.S. Open as qualifier tournaments. This allows us to bring teams from all over the country to compete for the title of U.S. Open Champions."
It was also announced that Spalding® would underwrite the entry fees of those teams that advanced to the U.S. Open through one of the 24 qualifier events in the men's, women's and open divisions. Teams in other divisions that advanced to the U.S. Open through one of the Official U.S. Open Qualifier Tournaments will have their entry fees paid by Paul Mitchell.
And, California men and women advanced to the finals to win King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Titles in many divisions.
Now, the Spalding® King of the Beach® volleyball had become the Official Ball of USA Beach Volleyball, USA Volleyball's Junior Beach Volleyball program, the Official Ball of the US Open of Beach Volleyball and the Official Ball Tour Ball of Volley America and Volley America Juniors. The King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ story had now matured even further and moved along from the "Invitational" that began in 1991 as the concept of Karch Kiraly, into the mainstream conscious of the sport.
2010 US Open of Beach Volleyball
Once again, Spalding® King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Champions were crowned at the US Open of Beach Volleyball in Manhattan Beach, California.
Sean Rosenthal and Aaron Wachtfogel made it two in a row at Manhattan Beach, adding the 2010 U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball championship to their Manhattan Beach Open crown from earlier in the year.
Rosenthal and Wachtfogel defeated Matt Prosser and Josh Binstock in the Men’s Open division final of the adult beach volleyball national championship on Sunday afternoon at Manhattan Beach Pier.
In the Women’s Open division final, Brittany Hochevar and Dianne DeNecochea completed an undefeated weekend picking up their first U.S. Open title with a convincing 15-6 win over the Florida-based team of Tara Kuk and Brooke Sweat in the final.
Men’s Open: Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Aaron Wachtfogel (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
Women’s Open: Dianne DeNecochea (San Diego, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
Co-ed Open: Adriano Araiyo (Brazil) and Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif. / Evan Engle (Dana Pointe, Calif.) and Christal Engle (Dana Pointe, Calif.) – final called due to darkness
Men’s AA: David Fisher (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Jack Quinn (Venice, Calif.)
Men’s A: Dillan Bennett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Nick Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Men’s BB: Jason Marentette (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and Matthew O’Sullivan (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
Men’s B: Bobby Jones (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Jeff Urton (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
Men’s Masters: Jason Wyrick (Denver, Colo.) and Paige Harrington (Denver, Colo.)
Women’s A: Helen Reale (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Lucy Han (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Women’s B: Jae Carpenter (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Gabi Sheik (Santa Monica, Calif.)
Women’s Masters: Aimee Richardson (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Julie Chan (San Diego, Calif.)
Co-ed A: Dillan Bennett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Katie Spieler (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Co-ed B: Masui Allen (Cypress, Calif.) and Etta Jackson (Cypress, Calif.)
After financial difficulties forced the Association of Volleyball Players (AVP) to cease operations just before the Manhattan Beach Open in 2010, most professional beach volleyball players were left wondering where they would be playing, if at all, in 2011.
However, three local tournaments in 2011 offered fans a chance to check out up and coming players as well as players competing for a berth in the 2012 London Olympics.
Karch Kiraly, who is widely recognized as the greatest beach volleyball player of all time, brought his Corona Light Wide Open (CLWO) to Hermosa Beach. Players competed for a $75,000 purse, awarded Sunday evening at an awards ceremony at Sangria on Pier Plaza.
The following weekend, August 28th, the Spalding® King of the Beach® Volleyball was again the Official ball of the Manhattan Beach Open, the first of three tournaments in the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series. The series was backed by a powerhouse partnership between USA Volleyball, which selects the Olympic teams, and entertainment behemoth International Management Group (IMG).
The men's final match, between the team of Sean Scott and John Hyden against Billy Allen and Brad Keenan at the Manhattan Beach Open at Manhattan Beach was on August 28, 2011 in Manhattan Beach, California.
Then, on the weekend of September 23, the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series returned again to Hermosa Beach for the National Championships and the video highlights below of the victory by Pedro Salgado and Casey Jennings:
Once again, Spalding® King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ was the Official Tour Ball of the Jose Cuervo Tour and National Championships, in Hermosa Beach, California. The Hermosa Beach Open was the Grand Finale for the National Tour.
Continuing into 2012 Spalding® King of the Beach® Volleyball was again the Official ball of the Manhattan Beach Open, the first of three tournaments in the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series. The series was backed by a powerhouse partnership between USA Volleyball, which selects the Olympic teams, and entertainment behemoth International Management Group (IMG).
The Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Bel Mar Open:
The Jose Cuervo Chicago Open:
And, the 2012 Jose Cuervo Huntington Beach Open National Championships, won by John Hyden and Sean Scott and sponsored by Spalding® King of the Beach®:
In late 2013, in a key press release, the Spalding® King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Invitaitional type concept would dive further into the full development of grassroots expansion with a National Juniors Program, together with Karch Kiraly, Spalding®, King of the Beach®, Queen of the Beach™ and Volley America.
“Volley America’s mission has always been to provide unparalleled benefits to regional Volley America programs throughout the country, including a unique playing experience and top purse and prize packages for the participants,” said Rich Heiles, Volley America Executive Director. “We’ve worked to align ourselves with key individuals who have tremendous experience and resources in the industry. Our new partnership will allow us to grow our programming into the Juniors’ category in 2014.”
It was announced that Spalding®, the first company to introduce the “beach volleyball,” will serve as presenting sponsor for the new effort among juniors.
Karch Kiraly, a three-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist, and Spalding® King of the Beach® Brand Ambassador has been committed to supporting all aspects of the volleyball community for decades, and he has partnered with Spalding to amplify that work. “I am excited to support this program aimed at winning new life-long players and fans”, said Kiraly.
"The Original" King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ products have been there digging it in the sands of time worldwide since the beginning!
From volleyballs, beach wear, footwear and accessories, you're sure to be King or Queen of the Beach in our gear. With over 1000 Spalding® King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ Tour Events, Special Sponsorships and Beach Volleyball Invitationals Nationwide alone in 2017 and over 100 stops, you will have great chances to "Rule the Sand" this year again!
Even on the grass, the Spalding® King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ are proud to be the Official Ball of the US Open of Grass Volleyball in 2017, at the Waupuca Boatride. This year's US Open of Grass Volleyball, the World's Largest Grass Volleyball Event is July 8-10, 2017 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, featuring a new 2016 Poster.
Watch for our Spalding® King of the Beach@ and Queen of the Beach™ advertisements on the back covers of major magazines like DIG and USA Volleyball Magazine and follow us on our Social Media, including our KOTB Facebook, QOTB Facebook, KOTB Instagram, QOTB Instagram , Twitter, KOTB Tumblr, Google+, Snapchat and YouTube for updates around the world!
Summer is here and it's good to be King or Queen of your beach in 2017! "Rule the Sand" this summer!
2017 Latest Spalding® King of the Beach® and Queen of the Beach™ back cover ad in the new March Issue of DIG Magazine.
King of the Beach and Queen of the Beach Invitational Official Page