Boise State to add sand volleyball in 2014

bmurphy@idahostatesman.com © 2013 Idaho StatesmanAugust 30, 2013 

IS THIS TITLE IX RELATED?

Boise State added swimming and diving in 2006 and softball in 2007 as part of an effort to get in compliance with Title IX, a federal law that requires equal athletic opportunities for women and men. But Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle said the decision to add sand volleyball — known as beach volleyball in the Olympics — was “a competitive decision to help our volleyball program.”

HOW DOES IT HELP?

Boise State volleyball coach Shawn Garus said the sand volleyball program will extend the competitive season, allow for more training, help develop better all-around players and serve as a recruiting edge.

“The players love going outdoors,” said Garus, who has a background in sand volleyball and will coach both teams.

The sand volleyball team is expected to be populated with players already on volleyball scholarships.

HOW IS IT PLAYED?

Sand volleyball is a 2-on-2 game. A college dual consists of five matches. Like tennis, the teams are seeded one through five and pitted against opponents of the same rank. Each match is best-of-three sets to 21 in the first two sets and 15 in the final set.

All scoring is rally scoring and sets must be won by two points. The first team to win three matches wins.

IS IT AN NCAA SPORT?

The NCAA considers sand volleyball an “emerging sport.’’ In 2012, 15 teams sponsored the sport. Sixteen more joined in 2013. Boise State is the seventh school to add the sport for 2014, bringing the total to 38.

When 40 Division I and Division II schools have sponsored the sport for two years, the NCAA will hold championships. Many other schools, including some in the Mountain West, are considering adding it, Boise State officials said.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association held a national championship event in 2013 and will do so again in 2014 and 2015.

WHERE WILL BSU PLAY?

The Broncos are building sand courts as part of the ongoing football practice field project to be completed by May. The team will not play any home matches in 2014, but will have practice courts. The sport is played in the spring.

SO, BIKINIS ALL AROUND?

No. The college game requires more modest uniforms than the bikinis worn at the pro level and in the Olympics.

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