Beach volleyball makes sport number 18

Beach volleyball will make its debut on the programme at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

This boosts the number of sports at the Games from 17 to a historic 18 and will focus the world's attention on what are claimed to be "some of the best beaches in the world".

Two 12 team tournaments will be contested, one each for men and women, with two players per team.

Other sports included will be athletics, aquatics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, shooting, squash, table tennis, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling.

A qualification system will be developed in collaboration with the International Volleyball Federation and will be finalised by July, report organisers.

A location for the beach volleyball will now be chosen, seeking a beautiful beach with room for the necessary infrastructure.

An agreement was reached between the Commonwealth Games Federation, the Queensland Government, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association and Gold Coast 2018 to allow for beach volleyball's inclusion.

An integrated Para-sports schedule is set to be announced soon. The Games are to be held between April 4 - 15, 2018.

Pictured: Beach volleyballer and Olympic gold mediallist Natalie Cook became the first Australian woman to compete at five Olympic Games. She is pictured addressing the Rebel Group conference in 2014

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