News Worthy volleyball

There’s a new kid in town: Forty-one teams and counting- the fastest growing sport in NCAA history


There is a new kid on the NCAA playground and in just under three seasons it has qualified to be considered to hold an NCAA National Championship. Women’s beach volleyball has officially become the fastest growing NCAA emerging sport ever. In its inaugural year(2012) there were just 16 teams, last year we saw 29 participate and this spring in its third season 41 different universities will have funded women’s beach volleyball teams, and there seems to be no signs that this growth will stop anytime soon. The growth hasn’t just been seen at the college level. According to the AVCA nearly 500,000 13-25 year old females have taken up the sport since 2007. Clubs and high schools around the country have already begun to add beach volleyball programs with Arizona becoming the first high school in 2012. Sand volleyball has become an appealing sport to add to the varsity roster for a number of reasons.One factor being overhead cost:  there isn’t much equipment or large rosters and some indoor athletes will cross over keeping scholarship cost down.  It is also appealing to a  lot of schools because it increases female sport participation- to help with title 9 restriction.

When the first schools decided to add volleyball to their list of varsity sports many speculated that we would see too much cross over with court athletes skipping their spring training and playing beach in the off season and while that has certainty been the case at many schools, the cross over seems to be less and less. Girls and coaches are choosing to focus on either indoor or beach and honing in on those skills. While most of the skills in indoor can be translated to beach and vice versa they really are two different sports that need a different style of volleyball athlete. In the 2014 class we saw one of the top ten high school indoor players chose to accept a scholarship exclusively for sand volleyball, and have continued to see other athletes do the same.

Be on the lookout for this sport to continue to grow. Misty May and Kerri Walsh inspired indoor players across the country to get out and play sand and I suspect that the addition of the sport to college roster and the upcoming 2016 games will only increase this great sports popularity

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2014 Sand Volleyball Competitors 
** New programs in 2014

University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Arizona**
Arizona State University**
Boise State University**
California Polytechnic State University**
California State University, Bakersfield
California State University, Northridge**
California State University, Sacramento
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles
College of Charleston
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida International University
Florida State University
Georgia State University
Grand Canyon University
University of Hawai’i
Hawai’i Pacific University**
Jacksonville University
Long Beach State University
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Louisiana State University**
Loyola Marymount University
Mercer University
Mississippi State University**
University of Nebraska
University of North Florida
University of Oregon**
University of the Pacific
Pepperdine University
University of San Francisco
San Jose State University**
Santa Clara University
University of South Carolina**
University of Southern California
Saint Mary’s College of California
Stanford University
Stetson University
Tulane University
University of Washington**

About the author
Aaron Sorenson