NEW NCAA Sport in 2016: Sand Volleyball
Starting in the spring of 2016, Sand Volleyball will officially be an NCAA sport for Division I, II, and III. A rapidly growing sport at the college, professional, and Olympic levels, 50 schools are set to sponsor Sand Volleyball as of January 2015.
According to the NCAA, “Teams will consist of five pairs of players. The first team to win three of the five matches is the winner, which is similar to how team champions are decided in men’s and women’s tennis. However, unlike tennis, in which national individual champions are crowned in singles and doubles, the NCAA does not plan to name individual or pair champions in sand volleyball.”
The journey for Sand Volleyball to become an NCAA sport began back in 2009 when it was named an emerging sport for women by Division I and II members. To become a champion-level sport, an emerging sport needs at least 40 varsity programs to participate within 10 years. Other examples of women’s emerging sports that gained champion level status are women’s water polo, rowing, and ice hockey.
Schools looking to add Sand Volleyball will also be looking to add some specialized outdoor standards. Designed for a more punishing environment, sand volleyball standards may be permanent or removable (recommended), may feature Aluminum material and/or special finishing, and should be height adjustable. Standard pads are required.
Featured Above: Rally Volleyball Club at LakePoint Sporting Community, Atlanta, GA
Cites: “NCAA DII, DIII membership approves Sand Volleyball as 90th championship” NCAA, 17 Sept. 2015. Web. 13 Oct. 2015