In 2011, the NCAA officially named beach volleyball an emerging sport at the Division 1 and Division 2 level. In the following years, college beach volleyball gained traction across the U.S. and around the world. Now, there are more than 1,410 college beach volleyball players at schools from Oregon to Florida. And each year, more colleges are adding a beach volleyball program, creating more opportunities for college-bound student-athletes.
While the sport is gaining momentum, recruiting is extremely competitive. College coaches search for elite athletes with multiple years of beach club experience. For the top D1 programs, the requirements are even more stringent, and it becomes tougher to stand out from the crowd, making it imperative to ace your recruiting process. You must know what it takes to get recruited by college coaches. And that’s where we come in.
We’ve compiled what you need to know to get recruited by college coaches and find the best program for you. Use this sport-specific information alongside our college recruiting guide, which outlines the whole recruiting process from start to Signing Day.
College coaches are looking for athletes with extensive experience competing on a club beach team, who also have the right body type and a high beach volleyball IQ. However, even if you have these characteristics, there’s no guarantee that a college coach is going to find you. The only way to make sure college coaches know who you are? To reach out to them yourself. In this section, we go over how to find the right schools, contact those beach volleyball coaches, develop relationships with programs that would be a good fit for you and much more.
Do you know when to expect contact from college coaches? The NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from actively recruiting a beach volleyball player before their junior year. But there are numerous athletes committing to schools before this time. We explain how that’s possible by walking you through the written—and unwritten—rules of beach volleyball recruiting.
If you’re a 5’10” blocker with three or more years of club experience, do you know what division levels you likely qualify for? Our recruiting guidelines go through the body types, experience levels and skillsets coaches at each division level are looking for in their recruits. We also explain how athletes who may not meet all the requirements still get recruited by college coaches.
Scholarships are available for collegiate beach volleyball players at the NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 levels, as well as at NAIA colleges and junior colleges. D1 schools can give out a maximum of six beach volleyball scholarships, D2 coaches can offer a maximum of five scholarships, and the limit for NAIA and junior colleges varies. Most often, beach volleyball athletes will receive a partial scholarship, which pays for a percentage of their tuition. We explain more about scholarship opportunities, how they are divided up and how D3 athletes can find scholarship dollars.
Your highlight video is oftentimes a coach’s first—and maybe only—way to watch you compete, so it needs to really capture your best qualities as a beach volleyball player. Our former collegiate coaches give insider tips on how to make your best highlight video, including how to start your video, the right footage to use and how to film during a game.
Attending the right camps, showcases and tournaments can make or break your recruiting. Your experience competing on the beach against other elite players is critical for getting interest from college programs. To do that, you need to be playing in these major tournaments. Most of them take place in California, Texas, Florida and Alabama, but as the weather warms up across the country, you’ll find events popping up in the Midwest, East Coast and West.
There are about 90 colleges across the U.S., with a large portion of the college beach volleyball programs clustered in California, Texas, Florida and Alabama. While it is still one of the newest NCAA sports, it continues to grow each year. We’ve compiled a list of all the schools that currently offer beach volleyball—as well as the schools that will be adding a program in the next few years.
Insider tip: Despite the impact that coronavirus had on college sports, as of June 1, 2021, the NCAA resumed its regular recruiting rules and activity! Coaches are actively working to fill their rosters, so student-athletes should be proactive in reaching out to coaches. Read up on how the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes who were most affected by the pandemic in 2020 will impact future recruiting classes.