The ball you saw Kerri Strug and Misty May spiking in their gold three-peat in an all US final was Mikasa’s official game ball. The company has been supplying the Olympic volleyballs since beach volleyball first became a sport in 1996 . To prevent moisture absorption that comes from outdoor play, beach volleyballs, like soccer balls, are made of synthetic material these days instead of leather. The main difference between an indoor ball, and a beach volleyball, is the fact that the beach ball is smooth and it has stitched seams. At $75, you may not want such an expensive ball for the standard backyard barbeque, so Mikasa does have less expensive versions available.