HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce that Huntsville, Alabama, will be the site of its newest event: the AVCA Fall Collegiate Beach Championships. The inaugural event, slated for Nov. 4–6, 2022, will feature a women’s pairs national championship and a men’s team national championship.
"We’re delighted the AVCA has chosen Huntsville for its inaugural Fall Collegiate Beach Championships, and that they will be here through 2024,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “When we built our world-class sand volleyball complex in John Hunt Park, this is what we envisioned—the opportunity to welcome hundreds of highly skilled athletes in a sports facility worthy of their talents and dreams.”
The women’s tournament will include 64 pairs selected from college beach teams across the country. The men’s event will bring four schools to Huntsville to compete for the first men’s collegiate beach team national championship. Information on the qualification/selection process is being developed, and more details will be available on the AVCA website by June 15.
Legislation passed last week by the NCAA allowing multiple-day events for college women’s beach volleyball players during the fall season paved the way for the championships. The announcement is great news for the 1,000 women who are year-round beach players. Almost 100 NCAA institutions sponsor women’s beach volleyball, and this legislative change allowing more competition in the non-championship season allows for a competitive experience similar to other college sports.
This first-of-its-kind event will take place at John Hunt Park, which is home to a $3.7 million, state-of-the-art beach volleyball complex with 15 lighted courts in the heart of Huntsville. Since opening in 2019, the facility has hosted many major beach volleyball events, including 2022 conference beach championships for the ASUN, CCSA, and Conference USA.
“We are thrilled to launch this pairs championship for women’s beach and adding the men’s team event is groundbreaking,” said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. “Thanks to the leadership in Huntsville, Colleen Craig at Rally, and Megan Burgdorf at Beach Volleyball Consulting. These excellent partners allow AVCA to punch above our weight.”
Huntsville was awarded the championships for the next three years—from 2022 through 2024—as part of a collaboration between the AVCA and a group of local partners: the city of Huntsville, the Huntsville Sports Commission, Rally Volleyball, and the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau.