Sparking new opportunity for college athletes, USA Volleyball announced Friday that it will sanction National Collegiate Sand Volleyball Association events this year.
"This is the sixth year of the [NCSVA] Championships and we expect students from more than 200 colleges to take part," said beach volleyball legend Sinjin Smith, who founded the NCSVA, in a statement. "There is no question that our next superstars in beach volleyball will come from these events and they will ultimately represent the United States in the future Olympic Games."
Athletes who compete in NCSVA events now will receive a USA Volleyball national ranking. USA Volleyball is the country's national governing body for the sport of volleyball.
"For collegiate beach volleyball athletes who aspire to play professionally or internationally, this is an excellent place to start," said Dave Williams, managing director for USA Beach Volleyball, about NCSVA in a statement.
The NCSVA is scheduled this year to have 25 regional events, including eight regional championships, according to USA Volleyball, which also reported that the winners of the regional championships will be flown to the national championship in July in nearby Long Beach.