University of Hawaii Takes Women’s Volleyball to Beach—uh, Sand

The University of Hawaii has been wanting to add a new sport for women’s athletics: sand volleyball, an activity that is played exclusively on the beach. In April 2009, UH announced that it was interested in adding beach volleyball to its roster of sports for women. They had hoped to introduce the sport in the 2010-11 season, but it got pushed back to an inaugural NCAA 2011-12 season starting in March 2012. At the time, UH featured 20 sports total for men and women, and 11 sports exclusively for women.

Is it a beach sport? Or is it sand volleyball?

The National College Athletics Association (NCAA) prefers to call the sport “sand” volleyball over “beach” volleyball. Notably, the summer Olympics introduced beach volleyball to its list of competitive activities in 1996.As the number of sports offered by UH continues to grow, the UH athletics department recognizes the need to expand its opportunities for women, an “under-represented” gender on campus, according to UH officials. The university is concerned about increased activities for females across all channels on campus. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser predicts that Women’s Volleyball Associate Coach Scott Wong will be leading the sand volleyball team. The newspaper questions the specific location of the playing fields, but says that the University of Hawaii will build new courts at the Manoa sports complex Ching Field, to be finished by 2013.

Beach courts: outdoor and indoor options in Hawaii

Temporary courts will likely be located on an Oahu beach, making it easier for teams flying in from the mainland to land in Honolulu. Throughout the US, sand volleyball teams include USC, Long Beach State, and Florida State University. Scholarships will be granted to players interested in joining the team. Unfortunately, players who receive a scholarship for the outdoor, beach-bound sport cannot use their scholarship for indoor sports. However, indoor sports players can use their current scholarship for outdoor beach sports.

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