LEXINGTON, Ky.—According to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), the number of colleges sponsoring a varsity program in beach volleyball, referred to as “sand volleyball” by the NCAA, has increased 100 percent since the sport was added to the emerging sports list prior to last season.
Fifteen Division I schools competed in the 2012 inaugural season and will be joined by 15 more in 2013.
The growth of beach volleyball as a collegiate sport has been remarkable,” said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. “Our partners in Gulf Shores (Ala.), CBS Sports, USA Volleyball, NCAA and in the individual institutions can all take credit for the warp speed at which programming is expanding. The story line on this sport has many heroes.”
Once the number of varsity teams crosses the 40-school threshold, which is anticipated to occur in the spring of 2014, the NCAA will begin making plans to transition sand volleyball to championship sport status. It is also anticipated that the sport, internationally known as “beach volleyball,” will undergo a name change at that time.