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  • NCAA Add Beach (errr.... sand!) volleyball

    http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_12 ... ck_check=1

    <<The sport, known on the professional and Olympic levels as beach volleyball, will be called sand volleyball to make it more attractive to landlocked schools.>>

    Lakes don't count?

    Obvioiusly they're changing the name so it won't be associated with those lascivious sluts who play the Olympic version. I expect the NCAA will also announce that the players have to be in one-piece suits with skirts attached.

  • #2
    I am a long-time beach volleyball player and my kid was a high-level player and I think it is a highly demanding sport that almost universally under-estimated.
    That being said, IMHO, adopting it as an NCAA sport is idiotic. The reasons are manifest:

    1) It is only a two-person sport! Is there any other NCAA sport that features two-person teams? What would be the logistics of competition between schools? This would be akin to having a stand-alone high jump competition between two colleges. If all competitions are tournaments, then how many teams could each school field? if, for instance, each school has 3 teams then ADs will have to hire coaches, provide facilities and travel expenses, etc., for a half-dozen athletes. And it won't be an income producer. Only the Stanfords of the world could afford to build sand court stadiums that might sell a substantial number of tickets. And in lots of places, indoor practice facilities would be needed. Think that might be costly??? And revenue from TV? Forget it... the AVP tour with the best players in the world can barely eke out TV time on sports-only networks.

    2) DI men's indoor programs are dying on the vine with only a very few schools competing at that level and a limit of 3.5 scholarships per team. Adding men's "sand" teams could be the death knell for the programs that produced the players for the USA's gold medal team in Beijing. Those guys were seasoned by lots of years of international play but they were prepped in DI indoor programs.

    3) Kerri Walsh's assertion that adding the sport will give more women the chance to pursue pro careers on the beach is ridiculous. Kerri is a bright person who ought to know better. She and her partner, Misty May, were the two best collegiate indoor players of their era. Walsh never played beach ball until she was out of college and had completed a cycle on the indoor Olympic team. Even then, only the most elite players (meaning maybe the best half-dozen American teams) can earn enough $$$ on the pro tour to break even. To make big bucks teams have to play on the FIVB beach tour, travel to all parts of the world on their own dime, and then be consistent winners (like Walsh/May and/or Rogers/Dalhousser) and then they might land some sponsorship money. Foreign players are much more likely to get government sponsorships or a corporate deal. Almost all the other American players are basically playing for love of the game rather than for money. The AVP tour is teetering on bankruptcy and has been for years.

    I could go on and on!

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    • #3
      Good points all, jhc68. I share your skepticism.

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      • #4
        BVB

        1) My colleague Tom Burke just wrote a history of the sport, and he traveled to Beijing to watch it being played for all tha marbles.

        2) During my layover last Wednesday on Jet Blue between DC and SF, I saw Olympian Misty May (Trainor) in a line for a flight to Dulles at the Long Beach Airport. She said the leg she injured on "Dancing..." is getting better. Very genial.

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