Thursday, May 27, 2010

Florida State to add sand volleyball

We probably will not be blogging about every school that adds sand volleyball, the NCAA's latest addition to the NCAA's emerging sport list.
But I was intrigued by the brief article about Florida State's decision to add sand volleyball to its roster; largely because there seemed to be some misinformation. And thus it offered me an opportunity to look a little deeper into sand volleyball.
First, the article by Florida Today (an online news site), stated that sand volleyball is the NCAA's "number one emerging sport." Not sure what they mean by number one. I know that the decision to add sand volleyball to the list was, in part, a result of the growth of the sport. But I haven't seen anything that states it is the fastest growing. Also note that women's wrestling has also been growing and that hasn't quite made the list at all yet. (Erin can better speak to this as she attended the NCAA's Gender Equity Conference.)
Anyway, looking at the NCAA website, it does not appear that the emerging sports have, in any way, been ranked, so why sand volleyball is claimed as number one is odd. It has been the most recent emerging sport but that does not make it "number one."
Second, the article stated that play would begin at FSU in fall 2011. And though that is not untrue, spring will be the traditional season for sand volleyball. Only (up to) four contests will be allowed to be scheduled in the non-traditional season.
And third, the article stated that "team members will be separate from the current women's volleyball program, and the team will require an additional coach." I think many concerns still exist about how separate the teams will be and whether the current indoor coach may be hired as the sand coach as well.
And since I was looking into it, I decided to go straight to the source. Here is the NCAA's page on sand volleyball which provides info on start-up costs, facility, scholarship, and coaching requirements.