The National Junior College Athletics Association has opened the door to beach volleyball competition on a national scale at the junior college level.
With a vote at its 2018 annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the NJCAA Board of Directors approved the adoption of beach volleyball as a full-time varsity sport beginning in 2019.
Schools will be able to field teams beinning in the fall with the first competitive season set for spring 2019. The first national championship, however, will not take place until the spring of 2021.
“It’s an exciting time for the NJCAA with the addition of the sport of beach volleyball,” vice president of the NJCAA Volleyball Coaches Association Mary Young said. “This addition will provide endless opportunities to our member schools and most importantly to our student-athletes. I’m excited to see where the journey of beach volleyball will take the NJCAA and our student-athletes.”
The addition is due in part to a partnership with the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
“Beach volleyball, played as a tennis-style, flighted team sport, is relatively new to the college scene,” AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer said. “The growth has been remarkable with over 70 four-year colleges adding programs in just six years. This forward-looking vote by the NJCAA will open new opportunities to attract student-athletes to its campuses and give options to those wanting to move on.”
Currently, there are 55 Division I beach programs across the nation, 11 on the Division II level and three in the Division III ranks.
The NJCAA leadership is excited for the growth of the sport and the future it holds for student-athletes.
“Mary and I are so proud and overwhelmed with joy that we were a part of this project that will bring new opportunities for member schools and ultimately enhance the education experience for hundreds of lives in the future,” NJCAA First Vice President for Women Marci Henry said.