NCAA Beach Looking To Move To Becoming More Individualized

  0 Carly DeMarque | December 21st, 2017 | Beach, College - Beach, News

With the rising popularity of beach volleyball in the NCAA, there have been talks of making it a more individualized sport with athletes being able to accept their prize money.

With the way that the sport works on a professional basis – more individualized – and at the collegiate level – more team-oriented – the switch to allowing NCAA beach players to play on a more individual basis could give athletes more opportunities to play. As of right now, players can participate in other events outside of their collegiate institution but cannot accept prize money more than the entry fee to that particular competition, no matter the amount. The move would allow a player to accept all of the money that is awarded from the competition but with the stipulation that they use the winnings for the cost of a flight, hotel or entry fee to another competition.

“The sport is more of an individual sport, where pairs play in various tournaments as juniors every single weekend, but when they come to college, it’s currently classified as a team sport, so if they’re not competing for their school, they can’t compete at all during the school year,” said USC’s Director of Athletic Compliance, Kyle Waterstone in an interview with “What we’re trying to do is switch that classification to become an individual sport and increase participation. We’re trying to identify opportunities for athletes to participate in more events more often where or not their program can afford it or not.”

For this to become a thing, a conference will need to sponsor a proposal by late spring of 2018 that would open up voting in 2019. This, in turn, would take effect in 2020 if the proposal is approved.

This proposal ultimately helps players that don’t make the cut to compete in the team events throughout the season – the top five pairs typically are the only pairs that compete at a team event.

“I think that if you come to college and want to play beach volleyball and you end up on the team 7-8-9 because we’re carrying close to 20, there is really no substitution. So if there is another opportunity for you to compete in another tournament, where you could compete and improve your skills, I think it puts you in a better position where you can fight for that 5 spot,” said USC coach Anna Collier.

As far as prize money goes, players can enter an event and pay $25 to compete but if they win $100 they can only accept $25 of it, no matter what. The provision would allow for players to be able to accept that other $75 to use toward playing in another event. This is something that is allowed in collegiate tennis, which functions much the same as beach volleyball as a team sport but allows their players to compete on an individual basis.

It also allows for individuals to collect prize money on a calendar basis rather than event basis.

The downfall to this would be colleges that don’t have to means to get this started or are located in areas where beach volleyball is not necessarily a strong sport with little opportunities for players to compete without spending a fortune.

The addition of allowing players to play more individually will increase the overall participation in the sport. With beach rosters becoming increasingly large it also benefits that players that don’t make the cut for the team events.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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