NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship
The NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship is an NCAA-sanctioned tournament to determine the national champions of collegiate women's beach volleyball. It is a National Collegiate Championship featuring teams from Division I, Division II and Division III, and is the 90th, and newest, NCAA championship event. It was the first new NCAA championship to be created since the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship in 2012, and the first for women since the NCAA Bowling Championship in 2004.
|Sport||College beach volleyball|
|No. of teams||8|
|TV partner(s)||ESPN, TruTV, TBS|
The championship was approved by the NCAA Convention during the fall of 2015, and a committee was selected to determine the tournament's organizational structure. Before 2015, sand volleyball had been part of the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women program (which included women's ice hockey, bowling, rowing, and water polo in the past). As such, a separate championship had been contested annually, since 2012, by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Before 2012 several championships were televised by Collegiate Nationals. As of 2015, over 50 schools (from Divisions I, II, and III) had sponsored sand volleyball, ten more than the total number of required programs.
The championship is held each May and consists of eight teams playing in a double-elimination style tournament with a single-elimination final, under standard beach volleyball rules. All matches consist of five sets, with each team needing to win three sets to advance.
The NCAA does not add automatic qualifiers until two championship seasons have passed; but in 2016, the top 3 teams from the east and west were given automatic bids with 2 additional teams invited at-large.
As of fall 2019, seven conferences sponsor beach volleyball, all with at least six members — the minimum number for a conference to qualify for an automatic bid to other NCAA championship tournaments. Five of these conferences were represented in the inaugural tournament; the exceptions are the Ohio Valley Conference and Southland Conference, both of which begin beach volleyball sponsorship in the upcoming 2020 season.
|NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship|
|Winner||Score||Runner-up||Third Place||Fourth Place|
|Gulf Shores, AL
|Gulf Shores Public Beach||USC||3–0||Florida State||UCLA||Hawaii|
Result by school and by year
Thirteen teams have appeared in the NCAA Tournament in at least one year starting with 2016. The results for all years are shown in this table below.
The code in each cell represents the furthest the team made it in the respective tournament:
- Tied for 7th place
- Tied for 5th place
- 4th place
- 3rd place
- National Runner-up
- National Champion
|Long Beach State||1||7|
Turner Sports held broadcast rights to the tournament for the first two years (2016 and 2017), with early-round coverage airing on TruTV, and the championship game broadcast on TBS. In December 2017, ESPN signed a multiyear agreement to broadcast the NCAA Women's Beach Volleyball Championship through 2022.
- American Volleyball Coaches Association – previous sponsor of collegiate beach volleyball tournaments in the United States
- NCAA Men's Indoor Volleyball Championships (National Collegiate, Division III)
- NCAA Women's Indoor Volleyball Championships (Division I, Division II, Division III)
- List of NCAA women's beach volleyball programs
- "NCAA DII, DIII membership approves Sand Volleyball as 90th championship". NCAA News. NCAA.com. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
- "NCAA's newest championship will be called beach volleyball". NCAA. June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- "Culver column: FSU beach volleyball could be a part of NCAA history". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "Turner Sports Reaches Multi-Year Agreement to Present NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship". NCAA. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- "NCAA awards ESPN beach volleyball rights". ncaa.com. December 20, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2018.