John Kessel has joined Beach Nation as part of its coaching and leadership team.

According to the Beach Nation news release, “After 30-plus years with USA Volleyball, John will now help guide Beach Nation’s transition from beach athletes and coaches to now include doubles volleyball on grass as well. John remains heavily involved in the FIVB, NORCECA, World ParaVolley, US Center for Coaching Excellence, Starlings Volleyball USA, and learning and teaching volleyball in less traditional areas to grow the game and facilitate opportunity. Beach Nation will follow his lead on these and other focus areas.”

Kessel, who retired from USA Volleyball in June as part of staff cuts and layoffs, will help guide Beach Nation’s transition from beach athletes and coaches to including grass doubles volleyball. Beach Nation said it will also follow Kessel’s lead on his efforts to teach volleyball less traditional areas to grow the game and increase opportunities.

“We are now thrilled to have John add his leadership as Beach Nation teaches players and coaches across all talent levels with elite curriculum, technique, attention, making learning and to further develop beach and sand coaching for coaches,” the organization said.

FIVB — Most of the season was wiped out, of course, but three events are on tap, starting with the one-star this week in Ljubljana, Slovenia. There are also various tournaments going in Europe. Click here for the FIVB news, and here for the FIVB calendar.

12U Gold Winners Sara Smedley and Katrina Oswald/Quad C Photography

USA National Juniors — USAV was excited to announce on June 25 that the Rally Volleyball club in Huntsville, Alabama, had stepped up to be the host for the 2020 USA National Beach Tour Junior Championship this past week. Click here for all the results. You can find more, including photos, at the USA Volleyball Facebook page.

16U Boys Gold winners, Tate Colebaugh and Gavin Blanchette/Quad C Photography, Huntsville, Alabama

AAU nationals — The organization, which recently concluded its indoor nationals in Orlando, is headed to California next month to hit the beach. The event will be at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. Click here for more info and to register.

JVA Midwest — The single-day event is set for August 2 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in divisions for 14U and 16U. There is a 36-team cap. Click here for more information and to register.

AVPNext — There are three tournaments with registration links on its website, including next weekend in Atlantic City, N.J., back in the Boardwalk City in September, and another tournament in Treasure Island, Florida, at the end of the year. Click here for info.

Alaska’s Big Lake mud tourney — The Anchorage Daily News reported on the 33rd annual mud volleyball tournament in the town of Big Lake, where there were few masks, no social distancing, and plenty of slop. The tournament was smaller this year, but no less messy. Click here to read about it and see photos.

A ton of beach stories — We’ve had them. Heck, the first week of the AVP Champions Cup we had 16 articles alone, many profiling the new teams for the three-weekend tournament. We’ve also had in-depth recaps of the AVP competitions. Click here to see all of our beach coverage and read on.

Action from the USA Volleyball Junior Nationals in Huntsville/Quad C Photography

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