Hungary trades sand for snow at its winter volleyball championship

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By Euronews
Hungary trades sand for snow at its winter volleyball championship
Copyright  Felipe Dana/Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

It's not the average person who gets up on a winter's morning, puts on a pair of cleats, and grabs a volleyball to play in sub-zero temperatures, but that's exactly what professional Hungarian volleyball players did in Budapest on Saturday.

For the first time in two years, the snow volleyball championship has taken place in the Hungarian capital on the winter ice rink of its iconic Heroes Square. The winners could even qualify for the sport's World Tour and other competitions.

The rules of snow volleyball are much the same as regular beach volleyball: the nets are the same height and the courts are the same size. The only difference is, there are only three to a team and it is played on the snow.

It's a game that has been played for decades in cold climates like Russia, but Austria is largely considered the country to have popularised the sport with non-official competitions.

The sport made its debut in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and it is expected to become an official event in the next one in 2026.

Adrien Czene, a professional Hungarian volleyball player, says that the sport is a good way to stay in shape between seasons and it's great for those who love similar sports in the snow and the winter atmosphere.

The sport is also often hailed as a great fusion of summer and winter Olympic sports.