After making sand volleyball its 90th championship sport, the NCAA decided that it will now refer to the sport as beach volleyball. Ostensibly, sand volleyball was chosen as the name of the emerging sport back in 2009 so that it would seem appealing even to inland schools, but the committee that oversees the sport made the decision to change in order to bring the NCAA in line with the way the sport is referred to at all other levels of competition.

It is important for the growth of the sport to be in sync with the rest of the sports organizations dedicated to this great sport at the international, national and professional levels, said Marilyn Moniz-Kaho’ohanohano, associate athletics director at the University of Hawaii and a member of the NCAA Beach Volleyball Committee.

The inaugural NCAA beach volleyball championship will be played in spring 2016 and will feature an eight-team, double-elimination bracket. Two conferences, the Pac-12 and the Big West, have secured automatic bids to the championship the winners of their conference tournaments.

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