Sand Volleyball
About Sand Volleyball



On April 20, 2009, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) approved beach volleyball as an emerging sport for women, creating both participation and scholarship opportunities for collegiate beach volleyball athletes. The collegiate sport of beach volleyball is known as "sand volleyball." It is played on an outside court of sand that is slightly smaller (8x8 meters) than the size of the surface court used for indoor volleyball (30x30 feet). The net height for women is the same for sand and indoor volleyball (7'4 1/8").

During the first season of competition in 2011-12, 15 Division I schools sponsored sand volleyball programs. That number doubled by the 2012-13 academic year with the addition of 14 additional schools from Division I and one school from Division II. By the 2014season, the number of sponsoring schools is expected to exceed 40. Once 40 schools complete two seasons of competition, collegiate sand volleyball will reach championship status with the NCAA. The sport is on pace to accomplish that feat faster than any other emerging sport in history.

Sand volleyball is played in the spring season and NCAA rules require a minimum of eight contests, at least three of which must be dual competitions. There is a limit of 16 dates of competition per season. The format for dual competitions is similar to college doubles tennis. A dual competition consists of five doubles teams competing in a flighted dual or tournament competition. The winner of a dual is the school whose doubles teams win at least three of the give flighted matches. In tournament competition, individual team winners can be named in each flight and the team champion is the one scoring the most points in all five brackets combined.

The American Volleyball Coaches Associations (AVCA) has sponsored a national championship in the sport since its inception in the inaugural 2011-12 season. The 2014 national championship will be held in Gulf Shores, Ala..




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